Exercise Dramatically Increases Lymph Flow

By Arthur C. Guyton and John E. Hall, March 30, 2014

Textbook of Medical Physiology” is one of the the most respected and widely used textbooks for medical students. It’s popularity is due to the fact that it’s packed with an enormous amount of complex, technical information about human physiology, but it’s written so well, and phrased so clearly, that it’s accessible to people who may be new to the subject.

In chapter 16, “The Microcirculation and the Lymphatic System,” they mention several factors that can increase the circulation rate of lymphatic fluid. (The portion quoted on our website in in bold type):

Pumping Caused by External Intermittent Compression of the Lymphatics. In addition to the pumping caused by intrinsic intermittent contraction of the lymph vessel walls, any external factor that intermittently compresses the lymph vessel also can cause pumping. In order of their importance, such factors are:

• Contraction of surrounding skeletal muscles
• Movement of the parts of the body
• Pulsations of arteries adjacent to the lymphatics
• Compression of the tissues by objects outside the body

The lymphatic pump becomes very active during exercise, often increasing lymph flow 10- to 30 fold. Conversely, during periods of rest, lymph flow is sluggish, almost zero.

From “Textbook of Medical Physiology”, by Arthur C. Guyton and John E. Hall, 11th Edition. Published 2006.

Link to the book on the publisher’s site: http://www.us.elsevierhealth.com/guyton-physiology/guyton-and-hall-textbook-of-medical-physiology-hardcover/9781416045748/

Tags: lymphatic ,  lymph

Leave a comment
No comments

Find this interesting? Share this with your friends and family - let them know!