What is the role of lymphatic system in the absorption of fats?
One role of the lymphatic system is to absorb fats from the small intestine and transport them to the venous circulation.
The mucosa of the small intestine is covered with fingerlike projections called villi.
Special lymph capillaries, called lacteals, in the center of each villus absorb the fats from the intestine.
The lymph capillaries merge to form lymphatic collecting vessels, which have walls and valves similar to veins.
These lead to the lymph nodes, which filter the lymph before it enters the blood.
The lymph nodes feed the lymphatic trunks, which join to form collecting ducts and then empty into the subclavian veins that feed blood back to the heart.
Consider these two facts:
1. lymphatic system absorbs fat, and
2. lymph flows back very slowly to venous circulation.
Thus level of fat never rises sharply in blood and it helps in maintaining the health of arterial walls.