There are a lot of interesting things to learn about blood. We have grasped the meaning and parts of this body fluid in Science class and further learned what it looks like under the power of microscope in Biology class. Some of us have even tasted blood after getting wounded and this is another learning experience for us.
Blood is a body fluid that is used as means to deliver important substances to and from the body. One of its functions is to carry nutrients and oxygen to various cells as well as transporting wastes that the cell no longer needed. Human beings need to have normal amount of blood for optimal functions. And talking about blood levels, what comprises normal blood?
Blood comprises about 8% of adult’s body weight and normally, adults have 5 liters of blood circulating in their system. Blood also consists of plasma and corpuscles, and formed elements like erythrocytes, or popularly known as the red blood cell (RBCs), leukocytes or white blood cells (WBCs) and thrombocytes or the platelets.
The ability of blood to carry oxygen lies on the hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a protein present in every red blood cell. This protein component circulates in the lungs and picks up oxygen to be utilized by various parts of the body such as the cells and tissues. After oxygen has been distributed to these parts, the hemoglobin collects cellular wastes in the form of carbon dioxide and brings this back to the lungs to pick up more oxygen and the process starts all over again.
What does blood taste like? We often meet this question as many people have tasted blood many times in their lives. Actually, blood tastes like iron because of the presence of hemoglobin in the blood though others have claimed it has a similar taste with copper. Hemoglobin contains iron and the amount of iron present in hemoglobin is determined by a laboratory test called Complete Blood Count (CBC).
This laboratory exam usually does not need special preparations prior to the test. A small amount of blood is drawn from our vein and this is then submitted for laboratory analysis. The normal values for adult hemoglobin levels are as follows:
Male: 13.8- 17.2 gm/dL
Female: 12.1- 15.1 gm/dL
The result of this test is also one way to determine if we have anemia. When hemoglobin values are below normal, this can indicate anemia due to insufficient amount of iron in the diet or may also indicate further health problems. To assure us about our current health condition, it is best to consult medical doctors so that any problems seen will be given immediate interventions.