Circulatory System, or cardiovascular system, in humans, the combined function of the heart, blood, and blood vessels to transport oxygen and nutrients to organs and tissues throughout the body and carry away waste products. Among its vital functions, the circulatory system increases the flow of blood to meet increased energy demands during exercise and regulates body temperature. In addition, when foreign substances or organisms invade the body, the circulatory system swiftly conveys disease-fighting elements of the immune system, such as white blood cells and antibodies, to regions under attack. Also, in the case of injury or bleeding, the circulatory system sends clotting cells and proteins to the affected site, which quickly stop bleeding and promote healing.
The one-way circulatory system carries blood to all parts of your body. This process of blood flow within your body is called circulation. Arteries carry oxygen-rich blood away from your heart, and veins carry oxygen-poor blood back to your heart.
In pulmonary circulation, though, the roles are switched. It is the pulmonary artery that brings oxygen-poor blood into your lungs and the pulmonary vein that brings oxygen-rich blood back to your heart.
In the diagram, the vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood are colored red, and the vessels that carry oxygen-poor blood are colored blue.
Twenty major arteries make a path through your tissues, where they branch into smaller vessels called arterioles. Arterioles further branch into capillaries, the true deliverers of oxygen and nutrients to your cells. Most capillaries are thinner than a hair. In fact, many are so tiny, only one blood cell can move through them at a time. Once the capillaries deliver oxygen and nutrients and pick up carbon dioxide and other waste, they move the blood back through wider vessels called venules. Venules eventually join to form veins, which deliver the blood back to your heart to pick up oxygen.