The human heart is the most fascinating and magnificent organs known. It is the metaphorical seat of the soul. We can hear our heartbeat, feel the heart pumping. It is part of the human circulatory system which supplies blood to each cell of the body. The heart is a muscular organ with specialized cardiac muscles. The human heart is four-chambered and exhibits the most advanced features. As it performs the most vital functions and is literally the last organ to stop functioning, maintaining heart health becomes all the more necessary. A well-balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle are effective in achieving it.
The heart consists of 2 upper receiving chambers called the atria and the 2 lower releasing chambers known as the ventricles. The chambers are anatomically separated by valves that are helpful in preventing mixing up of oxygenated and deoxygenated blood. The most important function of heart is that it provides blood to each cell of the body to carry out their fundamental activity and distributes different substances such as oxygen, carbon dioxide, and various hormones, wherein the heart collects deoxygenated blood from all parts of the body and transports it to the lungs to receive oxygenated blood.
Facts About Human Heart
The human heart has great elasticity, pumping gallons of blood throughout one’s lifetime. Listed below are interesting heart facts.
- A human cannot stay alive without a heart but a heart can persist without a human. The human heart is known to generate its own electrical impulses which enable the heart to continue to beat even if isolated from the human body. The pre-requisite for this condition, however, is that there needs to be continuous and constant oxygen supply. Exactly the same setup as observed inside the human body wherein oxygen is supplied in the body through the lungs.
- The only muscle in the human body that performs the greatest amount of physical work in the body is the heart where it produces nearly 1-5 watts of power.
- The human heart is one of the first organs to be formed, however, it takes several weeks before it resembles the typical four-chambered structure. The heart starts to beat when it reaches 4 weeks post conception and stops only when a person dies.
- The amount of time taken for the blood to travel from the heart to the lungs and back to the heart, the entire round trip takes just a mere 6 seconds while the time taken for blood to travel from the heart to the brain and back again to the heart takes roughly 8 seconds. Blood takes just 16 seconds to travel from the heart to toes and back to the heart!
- The pressure generated by the heartbeat is enough to enable blood to squirt to a reach of 30 feet.
- Blood is carried to the heart by blood vessels. These blood vessels if stretched out can be whirled around twice around the globe. The blood vessels if extracted from a single person can extend to the length of 60,000 miles approximately
- Takotsubo cardiomyopathy or stress-induced cardiomyopathy may arise in a person if he is suddenly stricken with an emotional event or trauma
- While an adult human has around 4.5-5.5 liters of blood which the heart pumps throughout the body, beating close to 75 times a minute, the amount of blood that is available in a newborn baby is a mere one cup.
- As opposed to the popular myth, our heart does not stop beating while we sneeze. The myth came to light as a change in the pressure in the chest during a sneeze causes modification in the flow of blood hence causing a feeling to have skipped a beat.
- Pollution can not only be harmful to the lungs but also the heart. Even lower levels of heart toxicity can be damaging. Inhaling pollutants stimulate an increase in the reactive oxygen species that are superoxiding molecules known to harm cells thereby causing a sense of inflammation to the lungs, flickering a gush of dangerous effects in the cardiovascular system and the heart. Exposing the heart to pollution can put one at a high risk of arrhythmias.
Apart from the heart, there are other human body structures that are affected by pollution. An interaction necessitating environmental factors as well as genetic factors are known to trigger a disease of the joints in human body, known as Rheumatoid arthritis. It is a medical condition which causes long-term autoimmune and inflammatory disease that mainly affects the joints. Occupational exposure and active smoking increase the chances of stimulating inflammation and originating rheumatoid arthritis associated autoantibodies in the lungs of the body which may introduce this medical condition in the person’s body.
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