What Are White Blood Cells?

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By james
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Reviewed: Dr. Gromatzky
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If we cut ourselves, we give pathogens a way to get inside the body where they can do us some real harm. Some pathogens are also inhaled or ingested from the air, what we eat, and what we drink. They can also be transmitted from person to person in saliva and other bodily fluids.

With so many threats around us, we need a way to keep us safe, and this is where white blood cells come in. They form an important part of our immune system and perform a number of roles, most of which involve detecting and destroying unwelcome intruders.

1. Red Blood Cells

In order to understand what white blood cells are, it is important to differentiate them from another type of blood cell: Red blood cells. Red blood cells are the most numerous type of blood cell and it is their red color that causes our blood to be red also.

The red color comes from their high iron content, and the iron enables them to carry oxygen around the body. If we were to lose too many red blood cells then we would basically asphyxiate as our body is starved of oxygen. Red blood cells are made in the bone marrow, and they have a life of approximately 4 months.

White Blood Cells

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