Plasma

Plasma, the liquid medium, is a sticky, straw-colored fluid that is about 90 percent water and includes metabolites, nutrients, wastes, salts, and proteins. Cells receive nourishment from dissolved substances carried in the plasma. These substances, which may include vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and glucose, are absorbed from the digestive system and transported to the cells. Plasma also carries hormones and brings wastes from the cells to the kidneys or the lungs to be removed from the body.

A variety of proteins are carried in the plasma. The plasma proteins have various functions. Some of the proteins in the plasma are essential for the formation of blood clots. Another protein, called albumin, plays an important role in the regulation of osmotic pressure between plasma and blood cells and between plasma and tissues. Other proteins, called antibodies, help the body fight disease.

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