Most people take their skins for granted. It has always been there and they don’t think too much about how versatile and adaptive it is. The following facts should interest you:
Skin accounts for 16 percent of your body weight.
In one square centimeter on the back of your hand, there are almost three metres of blood vessels, 30 hair follicles, 300 sweat glands, 600 pain sensors, 6 cold sensors, 36 heat sensors 75 pressure sensors, 9000 nerve endings, more than ten metres of nerve endings and four oil glands.
The average person sheds about 18 kilograms of skin in a lifetime.
Skin thickness varies from 0,5 millimetre on your sex organs to about 6 millimetres on the soles of your feet.
The skin cannot absorb water or solutions with sugar or salt. It can absorb a limited amount of oils and fats.
Skin produces its own antiseptics and prevents harmful bacteria from entering your body.
About 10 percent of your blood circulates through your skin.
Approximately 60 percent of the human body consists of water. Skin prevents that water from evaporating.
Your skin has more nerve endings than any other part of your body.
The average adult man has about five to six litres of blood in his body, while the average woman has about four.
Your blood makes up about 7% of your total body weight.
About 95% of the body’s blood cells are made in bone marrow.
There are approximately 1 billion red blood cells in two to three drops of blood.
There are three types of blood cells: Red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets, all of which float around in plasma. The blood that you donate can be separated into these constituent parts.
Your body usually replaces the volume of the blood you donate within 24 hours.
Restoring red blood cell levels to normal can take up to two months though.
Whole blood has a shelf-life of 35 days. Red blood cells last 42 days, platelets only five days and plasma up to one year.
The most common blood type is O positive, while AB negative is the rarest. People with AB blood can receive any kind of blood from a donor, while O negative blood can be given to anyone.
Scientists recently managed to change type A and B blood into type O. If this process can one day be done on a large scale, it would go a long way to alleviating the persistent shortage of blood.
If you are healthy, you will be eligible to donate blood up to 330 times in your life.
Glucose is the most widely distributed sugar in nature, although we rarely eat it in its purified form.
Fructose, found in fruits and honey, is the sweetest of all the monosaccharides (sugar incapable of being hydrolysed to a simpler form). When tasted in crystalline form, fructose is twice as sweet as sucrose (table sugar).
Sugar cane and sugar beets are known to have the highest concentration of sugar.
Sugar is simply separated from the beet or cane plant, and the result is pure sucrose.
Fruits don't only contain fructose – they also contain sucrose and glucose.
Pure fruit juice contains 12g of sugar per 100ml; a can of Coke contains 8g of sugar per 100ml.
When you consider the health of your teeth, it's better to eat 10 jelly beans all at once than it is to eat two jelly beans every hour.
Moderate amounts of most sugary foods do not produce dramatic rises in blood sugar as was always thought. Many starchy foods (bread, potatoes and many kinds of rice) are digested and absorbed at a faster rate than sugar.
During World War II, only 120g sugar was allowed to be bought per person per week as part of their rations.
When a spoonful of sugar is added to a vase, it prolongs the life of freshly cut flowers.
Sugar is used as a preservative in jams and jellies. In these foods, it inhibits the growth of microorganisms.
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