Tasks of the electrolytes | Functions of the blood

Tasks of the electrolytes

Various electrolytes are dissolved in the blood. One of them is sodium. Sodium is much more concentrated in the extracellular space, which includes the blood plasma, than within the body cells.

It is this difference in concentration that makes special signal transmissions in the cell possible. Sodium is also important for the distribution of water, as it carries water with it. Another important electrolyte is potassium.

Potassium is much more concentrated inside the cell than outside and is used for information transfer, muscle excitation and the regulation of intracellular fluid. The next important electrolyte is calcium. Calcium is found particularly in teeth and bones and is generally much more highly concentrated outside the cells (i.e. also in the blood) than inside the cells.

Calcium is also important for muscle excitation, but also for blood clotting and the regulation of hormones and enzymes. Magnesium is also an important electrolyte for the function of muscles and enzymes. The next substance is phosphate.

It serves as a buffer system, i.e. it ensures that the pH value remains as constant as possible by balancing acids and bases. Furthermore, it is also found in bones. The last important electrolyte is chloride. It is important to keep the difference in concentration between the cell and the space outside the cell constant.

PH value

The pH value of the blood is normally between 7.35 and 7.45. It is determined by the amount of hydrogen ions and depends on the ratio of acids and bases to each other. In the blood these are mainly carbon dioxide (CO2) and bicarbonate (HCO3-).

The blood pH value is kept as constant as possible by means of various buffers. The most important is bicarbonate. However, the pH value can also be regulated by the increased exhalation of CO2 or the excretion of hydrogen ions via the urine. It is very important to keep the blood pH value constant, otherwise life-threatening derailments of the acid-base balance can occur, acidosis (overacidification) or alkalosis (too many bases). You can find more information on this topic under: pH value in the blood

Blood composition

The blood consists of a cellular part, the blood cells, and a liquid part, the blood plasma. The cells make up about 45% and can be divided into erythrocytes, thrombocytes and leukocytes. The erythrocytes make up about 99% of the cells.

The blood plasma is a yellowish liquid. It consists of 90% water, 7-8% proteins and 2-3% low molecular weight substances. Blood serum is the blood plasma without fibrinogen. The following topic might also be interesting for you: Blood Gas Analysis

Tasks of the blood plasma

The blood plasma is particularly important for the transport of various substances. It transports not only blood cells, but also metabolic products, nutrients, hormones, coagulation factors, antibodies and breakdown products of the body. It is also important for the distribution of heat in the body and contains the buffers that keep the pH value constant.

The main part of the proteins in blood plasma is albumin with about 60%. Among other things, albumin is an important transport protein for non-water-soluble substances. The other proteins are the so-called globulins (about 40%). They are composed of complement factors (parts of the immune system), enzymes, enzyme inhibitors (enzyme inhibitors) and antibodies and are present in increased quantities, for example, in the inflammatory or immune response.