• Your Arteries

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    The arteries are the vessels that carry blood away from the heart’s main pumping chamber, called the left ventricle.  The aorta is the main artery leading out of the heart to the body.

    Arteries are strong, thick pipes that supply oxygen-rich blood to all parts of the body.  While they carry blood from the heart to the body, other vessels, called veins, return blood containing carbon dioxide and other wastes from the body’s tissues to the heart.  The arteries and veins are part of the body’s circulatory (cir-KU-la-to-ry) system. 

    The vessels through which blood actually delivers oxygen to the cells and gathers carbon dioxide from them are called the capillaries (CAP-e-LA-rees).  These are so thin and fragile that oxygen, carbon dioxide and other nutrients can pass right through their thin walls.  They are present in great numbers in every organ, muscle and bone and ultimately serve to connect the arteries back to the veins.