The kidney is one of the most important organs in the human body, it is one of the most interesting too. Kidneys filter the blood and act as the waste disposal system of the body, sending unwanted products to the ureter to be passed out as urine.
Here some facts about the kidneys:
- Most human beings are born with 2 kidneys. However, if one of the kidneys is taken out, the body only loses 25% of kidney function. Due to hypertrophy, the remaining kidney continues to sustain the body.
- For children born with renal agenesis (i.e. one kidney), the lone kidney grows till it has the combined weight of two.
- The average kidney is as big as a cellphone and weighs 4-6 ounces. Even though the kidney only accounts for 0.5% of the body’s weight on average, it receives more blood than all other organs except the liver.
- Nephrons are the filtering units of the kidney, and each kidney has between 1 t0 2 million nephrons. If the nephrons in the 2 kidneys are removed and laid end-to-end, they cover a distance of ~10 miles.
- Kidneys are capable of generating Vitamin D in the body. This is primarily done by the skin on exposure to sunlight. Should the skin fail, however, the duty falls to the liver; should the liver fail, the kidney takes over.