The lymphatic system, which runs throughout the body alongside the cardiovascular system, plays an important role in keeping us healthy. When we’ve pushed ourselves too hard, we are especially prone to immune and respiratory challenges and keeping our lymphatic systems clear is part of helping us through those times.
The lymphatic system is a network of tissues, organs, and a complex system of vessels and capillaries that run alongside the cardiovascular venous system. The tonsils, adenoids, spleen, and thymus are all part of this system, as well as over 600 lymph nodes. The lymphatic system is a vital part of our immune system.
The Lymphatic system has three primary jobs:
1. Immune Support
To provide specialized white blood cells called lymphocytes (both T cells and B cells), which are primary immune system cells that defend the body. All lymph fluids pass through lymph nodes, where much of our immune system defense takes place.
2. Fluid Cleansing
The Lymphatic system cleanses and moves fluids in the body as lymph. Lymph absorbs fats from the intestines and transports them to the blood. Lymph fluids also transport oxygen, glucose, amino acids, and other nutrients needed by the body. The digestive system is surrounded by lymph nodes which ‘digest’ metabolic waste which lymph transports back to the intestines to be cleared from the body.
3. Maintaining Fluid Balance
The lymphatic system drains excess fluids from tissues throughout the body and keeps the body’s fluids moving and in balance (called homeostasis) and taken where they can be cleaned and the waste removed.