Q:

What is the function of the vasa recta?

A:

Quick Answer

Through a series of intricate pathways, capillaries and tunnels, the vasa recta help the kidney produce concentrated urine. The vasa recta contain a group of capillaries and vessels located in the kidneys. Biologically, the vasa recta lay parallel to the loop of Henle, which facilitates the flow of blood into and out of the kidneys.

Know More

Full Answer

Each vasa recta in the kidneys has a small turn in the medulla that transports blood away at a slow rate. This regulation of blood is important for maintaining a countercurrent exchange between the vasa recta and the loop of Henle; these two components work together to process and filter blood to remove impurities before sending it elsewhere in the urinary system and throughout the body. The ability of the vasa recta to regulate blood is critical. This task is what triggers the kidneys to produce and excrete concentrated urine. According to the North Carolina Wesleyan College, the vasa recta, in addition to having a series of short and straight capillaries, contain a long, descending tube on the downward side. In this tunnel, calcium and urea are cleansed and reabsorbed into the bloodstream. In the process, water is produced and secreted from the walls of the vasa recta. That water, like blood, is cleansed and exported throughout the body.

Learn more about Human Anatomy
Sources:

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are ketones in urine?

    A:

    Ketones in urine are a sign of insulin deficiency or an indication that the body is using fat instead of carbohydrates as a source of energy. Ketones are chemicals formed when the body breaks down fat for energy, as WebMD explains.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Can jogging cause blood in the urine?

    A:

    Jogging can cause blood to appear in the urine if this activity causes trauma to the urinary tract, which includes the urethra, bladder, ureters and kidneys, explains Mayo Clinic. Blood in the urine, also called hematuria, is not a normal condition, but it can be triggered by strenuous exercise.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What does urine consist of?

    A:

    Normal, healthy urine typically contains 95 percent water and 5 percent solutes. The solutes include elemental ions, such as potassium, calcium and chlorine. Solutes may also include urea, uric acid, creatine, hormones, fatty acids, carbohydrates and enzymes.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What can cause concentrated urine?

    A:

    Concentrated urine has a dark brownish appearance, whereas normal urine has a yellowish appearance. The brown discoloration of urine is as a result of health conditions, such as jaundice, gallstones, liver cancer, porphyrias, sickle cell anemia, heart disease, renal arterial stenosis, alcohol liver disease, pancreatic cancer, yellow fever and renal cell cancer.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore