View random article

How Does the Human Body Eliminate Dead Cells?

There are various skin scrubs and expoliants sold in the market that can be used to get rid of dead skin cells. Inside the body, cells also die and dead cells are eliminated through the blood stream by the macrophages. Macrophage is a special type of leukocyte or white blood cell that helps in cleaning the blood stream of dead cells. Macrophage comes from a Greek word that literary translates as big eaters.

Cells inside the body die in two ways. One is they die a natural death. Certain cells have limited life spans and would die at a certain time. This is called apoptosis. The other way is when cells die due to trauma or infection. This is called necrosis. Necrotic cells can be removed by surgery or other medical procedure or they enter the blood stream. Macrophages can detect dead cells. Whenever dead cells pass by a macrophage, these dead cells are surrounded and covered with antigen. Cells from the immune system now know that these dead cells are not harmful to the body. The antigen makes the dead cell an easily removed component of the blood in the blood stream. Then these cells are eliminated in the digestive system. That is why it is safe to say that the fecal matter is composed of dead cells along with fibers and undigested food.

When macrophages fail to process dead cells and these dead cells are allowed to circulate, this may cause an inflammation and result to an autoimmune disease like lupus.

Featured in Health