Difference between blood and lymph

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The human body is majorly made up of a lot of fluids. These fluids also called the body fluids perform different functions necessary for efficient functioning of the body. These fluids include bood, lymph and tissue fluids.
The most frequently asked question however, is the difference between blood and lymph. The answer to this question is quite simple. Read on to find out!

1. What are blood and lymph?
Blood is defined as the body fluid that circulates in the human body through the arteries, veins and other blood vessels in order to supply oxygen, carbon dioxide and nutrients to the different organs.
Lymph is defined as the body fluid that bathes tissues and drains into the blood stream through the lymphatic drainage system.

2. Where are blood and lymph present?
Blood is present throughout the body mainly in the blood vessels and heart.
Lymph is present in the lymphatic system of the body.

3. What are blood and lymph composed of?

Blood is composed of 55% plasma, 40% red blood cells, 5% white blood cells and the rest, clotting factors or platelets.
Lymph is primarily made up of plasma and white blood cells.

4. How are blood and lymph formed?
Formation of blood: The process of formation of blood in a growing embryo takes place in the bone marrow and is called hemopoiesis or hematopoiesis. This process involves the differentiation of hemopoietic stem cells called hemocytoblasts to form blast cells that later develop to form the different cell components present in blood.
Formation of lymph: The tissue fluid that bathes tissues in the body is not always returned to the capillaries. The excess tissue fluid drains into the lymphatic system. Lymphocytes are produced at the lymph nodes that clear the bacteria present in the tissue fluid. This aids in immunity.

5. Are blood and lymph the same color?
Blood is a red colored fluid while lymph is colorless.

6. Functions of blood and lymph.
Functions of blood: Blood as it flows through the body performs the function of transporting oxygen to the different organs and organ systems present in the body. It also collects the carbon dioxide from organs (deoxygenated blood) and is then sent to the lungs for oxygenation.
Functions of lymph: Lymph performs the function of clearing bacteria and other waste products that are released in the tissues.

7. Direction of flow of lymph and blood.
Blood in the body flows in a cyclic manner. The oxygenated blood flows from the lungs to the heart and from the heart to the body organs. The deoxygenated blood on the other hand flows from body organs to the heart and then the lungs for oxygenation.
Lymph however, flows from the tissues to the lymphatic system. When in the vessel, it flows only in one direction.

8. Can both lymph and blood be seen and noticed by the naked eye?
Blood being red in color, is visible when the outer layer or surface of skin is cut. Lymph is not very easily visible and can only be noticed when lymph nodes get swollen.

9. Purification of the two body fluids.
Purification of blood is carried out in the kidneys. The kidneys help remove waste products and excess water from the blood. They also help maintain the balance in pH of blood.
Lymph is capable of self purification. It thus forms an important part of the immune system in the human body.

10. The oxygen, carbon dioxide and nutrient content in each fluid.
Blood: Blood carries large amounts of nutrients and oxygen in it.
Lymph: Lymph consists of large amounts of carbon dioxide.

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