Health Glossary - For Everyone

Red blood cells (haemoglobin)
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What are red blood cells?

Red blood cells are the lifeblood of the body. Red blood cells carry oxygen which are transported through the blood by haemoglobin.

The basic function of red blood cells is to carry oxygen from the lungs to body tissues and to transfer carbon dioxide from the tissues to the lungs.

The hormone erthyropoietin, secreted by the kidneys, stimulates the bone marrow to produce red blood cells. The creation of red blood cells is known as erthyropoiesis.


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Important red blood cells facts

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Why red blood cells are important

The normal red blood cells values at various ages are:

Age Group Gender RBC
Newborns All 4.8 - 7.2 million
Children All 3.8 – 5.5 million
Adults Male 4.6 - 6.0 million
Adults (female) Female 4.2 - 5.0 million
Pregnant Female slightly lower than normal female adults


Abnormal levels of red blood cells are due to the following:


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Last reviewed: 30 September 2007 || Last updated: 14 March 2010


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More information

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NOTE: Mega doses of any type of vitamin, mineral, amino acid or herbal supplement cannot cure illnesses and in fact can be very dangerous and produce toxic side effects and interfere with medicine you are taking. Always ensure you consult your doctor before taking any type of complementary supplements.
Disclaimer: This guide is not intended to be used for diagnostic or prescriptive purposes. For any treatment or diagnosis of illness, please see your doctor.


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