How the Lungs Work

The human body is a wonderfully constructed intricate network of systems that, working in unison, are able to sustain life. The role the lungs play in the human circulatory system are so vital, the system would fail to function properly without them. Here’s why.

The human lungs are true a marvel of the natural world. These two lobe-like structures resemble a sponge on the inside. But what it really is, is a mass conglomerate of very small tubes, and smaller tubes and even smaller tubes that appear to have no rhyme or reason to their placement. The truth is, this network of fragile tubing is constructed in precisely the way is needs to be in order for the lungs to perform their magic.

These tubes decrease in size the farther along the path they go until they become what is called alveoli. Inside the alveoli are minute blood vessels called capillaries, and this is where the magic actually happens.

As the blood enters the capillaries the waste from the blood stream (carbon dioxide, cellular waste and other foreign bodies) which have been picked up by the blood enroute to the lungs from the rest of the body, is removed. At the same time, the blood is resupplied with oxygen and then sent along its way back to the heart and out to the rest of the body. Amazing huh? In less than a blink of an eye, your blood is cleaned of waste, and then restocked with oxygen again so it can be transported to the other organs and tissue in your body that need it in order to survive.

So in a nutshell, each time you breath in you deliver oxygen to these tiny capillaries for transfer to the blood stream, and each time you breath out you carry the waste from these same capillaries out of your body. These tiny tubes also help filter other environmental toxins we breath in as well as deliver oxygen. That’s a bit of a mundane way of explaining it, but in essence that’s what happens.

So, the role the lungs play in the circulatory system is to remove waste from your blood stream, and replace it with oxygen before it circulates through your body again. Considering that a healthy human being takes roughly 23,000 breaths a day, that’s a lot of work for such small, fragile things like capillaries. But, when you take into consideration that there are 300 million of these little buggers inside your lungs you can begin to understand how the job gets done so efficiently.