Are you aware that a delicious meal you eat, the air you breathe, the environment you live in, the people you shake hands every day expose you to a great number of foreign substances ?
Sometimes there are microbes that can make you sick and dangerous viruses that lurk even in the water you drink. However, you likely do not even realize the existence of these harmful substances that enter into your body several times a day. The reason for this is the existence of a special army assigned to detect and destroy the things harmful to you. This superior army of defense, which Almighty Allah created as a great blessing for people and which has no equal on earth, is continuously on patrol inside your veins.
Leukocytes or lymphocytes are white blood cells. Under normal conditions, there are around six to ten thousand white blood cells in one cubic millimeter of blood. In the circulatory system, there is one white blood cell for every five hundred red blood cells. If all the white blood cells in the circulatory system get together, they would only fill a coffee cup. (The Human Body: An Intelligent Design, Alan L. Gillen, Frank J. Sherwin III, Alan C. Knowies, Creation Research Society Books, number 8, p. 113-114) However, when there is an infection in the body the number of white blood cells increases up to thirty thousand per one cubic millimeter of blood. (Regina Avraham, The Circulatory System, The Encyclopedia of Health, p. 50)
These cells are warrior cells. They recognize every foreign substance that enters the body and confronts them. While some directly fight with microbes, some recognize foreign molecules and microbes, and warn the system. Now let us examine this struggle of white blood cells in the body.
White Blood Cell Production Center: Bone Marrow
White blood cells are produced and live in the bone marrow. The production speed of white blood cells in the bone marrow is 1.2 million per second. This amount means the production of half a ton of white blood cells over a lifetime. The bone marrow is like a shelter or a storeroom for the white blood cells. There are always a certain amount of white blood cells in the blood ready to be used; the white blood cells in the bone marrow only get included in the circulatory system when there is a dangerous situation. For them, the blood is a mode of transportation through which they can move anywhere in the body. Microbes that have entered the body via the blood are destroyed along the way and those that entered the tissues are destroyed by the white blood cells as they stop in the tissues.
The Travel of White Blood Cells inside the Body
Thanks to the pumping of the heart, a white blood cell can arrive where its needed in a very short span of time: even the most distant region of the body can be reached in about one minute or so. A single white blood cell, over the course of his daily tour of duty, can easily travel throughout the body well over one thousand times.
White blood cells lose their ability to divide once they enter the bloodstream, despite the fact that they are equipped with a nucleus. Their purpose is not to divide but to fight foreign bodies from that moment on. Following entry into the bloodstream, their lifespan is three to four hours in the blood and about three to four days in tissues. (Ayten Sucu, Semra Bayar, Melahat Kupeli, High School Biology 2, MEB State Books, Istanbul 2000, p. 26) These warriors, created especially by Allah to protect the body, usually eliminate the dangerous situation within three to four days.
Why is the Lifetime of White Blood Cells Decreased in Situations of Serious Infections?
In situations of serious infection, the lifespan of white blood cells generally falls down to a couple of hours. Because these cells move rapidly towards the damaged or infected area, they carry out their duties there, and once they are done, they die in a short time as they are spent. But at the same time, production of new white blood cells continues in the bone marrow in order to eliminate the infection.
Why Do White Blood Cells Patrol inside the Body?
When there is no infection in the body, white blood cells are not idle. Even when they are not protecting the body against enemies, they have very important tasks to do. White blood cells patrol by controlling every one of the one hundred trillion cells in the several times every day. During this patrol, they detect sick and old cells and destroy them. Even white blood cells that are too sick or old to carry out their functions are destroyed by other white blood cells.
White blood cells, meaning lymphocytes, have very many different abilities, and are programmed to fight against anything that can be harmful to you since the first moment you begin to breathe. Even the lack of a single part of this flawless mechanism may cause you to die due to a very common disease.
“Allah brought you out of your mothers’ wombs knowing nothing at all, and gave you hearing, sight and hearts so that perhaps you would show thanks.” (Surat an-Nahl, 78)
“O man! what has deluded you in respect of your Noble Lord? He Who created you and formed you and proportioned you” (Surat al-Infitar, 6-8)