The main function of the cardiovascular system is to transport nutrients, waste products and gases around the body. Moreover, it protects the body from blood loss and infection, helps the body keep a constant body temperature and helps maintain fluid balance. It serves as an internal road network that links all body parts.
The cardiovascular system is composed of the heart, blood and blood vessels. It connects all parts of the body through arteries and veins, arterioles and venules, and capillaries. Through this network, the blood delivers and expels nutrients, gases, waste products and chemical messengers throughout the body. Red blood cells transport oxygen, while white blood cells detect infections and kill foreign microbes and toxins. Clotting mechanisms further protect the body from blood loss when there’s a wound. The cardiovascular system works alongside the respiratory system to deliver oxygen to the body’s tissues and to remove carbon dioxide. It also helps maintain constant body temperature through the process thermoregulation. The sweat glands, smooth muscle around arterioles, skeletal muscle and endocrine glands all work together to keep a normal body temperature. Hormones, which are essential chemical signals used by the body to communicate with itself, are transported by the cardiovascular system to other parts of the body to deliver their message. Lastly, the cardiovascular system helps maintain fluid balance, which is important to ensure efficient movement of nutrients, gases and electrolytes in the cells.