Human Heart: All You Need To Know

Human Heart: All You Need To Know

The human heart is the most important organ in our body. It is entirely a pump supplying a consistent flow of the vital fluid i.e blood throughout the body’s tissues.

It is mostly hollow and muscular, composed of cardiac muscles and connective tissue. The heart is the epicentre of the circulatory system, which supplies the body with oxygen and other vital nutrients necessary to sustain life.

The circulatory system

The circulatory system of our body, along with the cardiovascular system, has many functions, such as:

  • To help fight off diseases.
  • Help the body maintain normal body temperature.
  • Sustain the right chemical balance to ensure our body’s homeostasis (state of balance among all its systems).

Components of the circulatory system

There are four primary components of the circulatory system:

  • The human heart: Our heart is almost the size of our fists held together. It is placed at the centre of our chest. The heart pumps blood continuously, keeping the circulatory system working at all times.
  • Arteries: These nerves carry oxygen-rich blood away from the heart to different organs and muscles of our body.
  • Veins: This is the other important nerve of the circulatory system, carrying deoxygenated blood to the heart, then directed to the lungs to receive oxygen.
  • Blood: The red-coloured fluid transports nearly everything within the body that are needed to keep the body healthy (hormones, nutrients, oxygen etc.)
The circulatory system, comprising the heart, arteries and veins.
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The mechanism

As we inhale air, it enters the lungs. The oxygen from the air is absorbed by the tiny membranes in the lungs and the oxygen enters the bloodstream via these membranes. As the body uses the oxygen and processes nutrients, it generates carbon dioxide, expelled by the lungs as we exhale air. The digestive and endocrine system similarly transport nutrients and hormones, respectively.

The circulatory system functions throughout the body only because of constant pressure from the heart and valves. This pressure ensures that the arteries transport blood away from the heart and the veins carry blood to the heart.

ALSO READ: 7 Ways ‘Arjuna’ can Benefit the Human Heart

Types of circulation

Three different types of circulation regularly occur in the body:

  • Pulmonary circulation: In this type, the system carries oxygen-depleted blood away from the heart, to the lungs, and back to the heart.
  • Systemic circulation: This part carries oxygenated blood from the heart to other parts of the body.
  • Coronary circulation: This type of circulation gives oxygenated blood to the heart so that it can function well.

Now coming to the Human Heart

Our heart works a lot harder than other organs.

On average, the human heart beats around 75 times in a minute.

Unbelievably, the heart steadily pumps an average of 7,500 litres of blood each day throughout the body.

The human heart is located underneath the sternum and ribcage and between our two lungs.

The human heart weighs less than 500 grams.

The heart’s chambers

The human heart has four chambers that function as a double-sided pump, with an upper and continuous lower chamber on each side of the heart. They are:

  • Left atrium: This chamber receives oxygenated blood from the pulmonary veins of the lungs and pumps it to the left ventricle.
  • Left ventricle: The left ventricle is the hardest pumping part of the heart, as it pumps blood that flows to the heart and rest of the body other than the lungs.
  • Right atrium: This chamber receives deoxygenated blood from the veins that have been circulated through the body, excluding the lungs, and pumps it to the right ventricle.
  • Right ventricle: It pumps blood from the right atrium to the pulmonary artery. The pulmonary artery sends the deoxygenated blood to the lungs, where it absorbs oxygen in exchange for carbon dioxide.

The left ventricle has the thickest muscle mass of all chambers.

The two atria are both located on the top of your heart. They receive blood from your veins. The ventricles are located on the bottom of your heart. They pump blood into your arteries. These chambers contract so that the heart beats and to pump the blood through each chamber. They fill up with blood before each beat, and the contraction pushes the blood out into the next chamber.

These contractions happen with the help of electrical pulses that start from the sinus node (also known as sinoatrial (SA) node) located in the right atrium tissue. Then the pulses travel through the heart to the atrioventricular (AV) node located near the centre of the heart between the atria and the ventricles. These electrical impulses keep your blood flowing in a proper rhythm.

This is called the cardiac conduction system.

An antidote

If you’ve reached this far, you would have understood about the circulatory system, and how the human heart works.

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