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Arteries are strong tubes, or vessels, that carry blood from your heart to the rest of your body. Arteries transport blood containing oxygen and nutrients to smaller tubes called arterioles, which then deliver blood to even smaller vessels called capillaries. Capillaries are tiny, thin blood vessels that allow oxygen and nutrients to flow to nearby tissue. The tissue extracts the nutrients and oxygen from the blood.
After the oxygen and nutrients have been delivered to the body’s tissues by the capillaries, another network in the body, made up of venules and veins, carries this oxygen-depleted blood back to the heart.
The arteries throughout the body support many systems and are critical to your cardiovascular health and many other functions of your blood, including nutrient delivery.
Your arteries are strong and flexible, but they can become less effective over time. A substance called plaque can build up in the arteries, restricting blood flow and ultimately stopping or blocking it altogether. This plaque can cause serious cardiovascular disease that leads to heart attack, stroke, peripheral artery disease or renal artery disease.
Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.