Talk With the Doc

Human body a highly complex system

Dr. James Surrell, Journal columnist

Our human body is truly an amazing creation. Today, let’s look at some interesting facts about our body cells, our bones, and our muscles.

• Human body cells — It is estimated that the human body has about 40 trillion cells. It is further estimated by various cellular biology experts that we have at least 200 different types of cells in our body. Different cells have different jobs to do, and each cell has a size and shape that is suited to its job. Each individual cell is very small, and our cells that do the same job combine together to form body tissue, such as our muscle tissue, our skin, or our bone tissue. Further, various groups of different types of these tissues make up the organs in our body, such as our heart, our liver, or lungs. Each of our organs has its own specific job to do, and all of our body organs work together to maintain our health and wellness. Further, a group of different organs working together to do a job in a body makes up what is referred to as a body system. Of course, the mission of all these many systems in our body is to keep us alive and healthy.

• Human body bones — The human skeleton is made up of 270  bones when we are born. It then decreases to a total of 206 bones by adulthood after some bones get fused together. The bone mass in the skeleton reaches maximum density around age 21. From am anatomy standpoint, our skeleton is divided into what is called our  axial skeleton and the appendicular skeleton. The axial skeleton is our more central skeleton and is made up of our vertebral column, the rib cage, the skull and other associated bones. The appendicular skeleton, which is attached to the axial skeleton, is made up of our shoulders and arms, and our pelvis and our legs.

Our skeleton performs six major life sustaining functions, including body support, body movement, protection, production of blood cells, storage of minerals, and endocrine regulation. Of course, our skeleton does require the same nutritional elements as the rest of the body. In addition, our bones also require additional amounts of calcium and phosphorus to support and maintain proper bone strength.  

• Human body muscles — Our muscles make up what is called our human muscular system. Of course, our muscular system is responsible for the movements of our human body. To provide proper function and external movement, our muscles are attached to the bones of our human skeletal system. Our muscles also provide critical internal body functions, with perhaps the most significant being that of our cardiovascular system. Be aware that there are about 700 named muscles in our human body. Of course, this represents a significant amount of our internal body tissue, and our muscles make up about one half of our body weight. Each of these muscles is a discrete organ constructed of skeletal muscle tissue, blood vessels, tendons, and nerves. Various specialized muscle tissue is also found in specific organs, such as our heart, our blood vessels, and in our digestive organs. In these organs, muscles serve to move healthy substances throughout our body, as well as to remove waste products from our body.

Here are your bottom line numbers for some human body trivia. We have about 40 trillion human body cells, about 200 different types of cells, 206 bones, and about 700 human body muscles. What a marvelous creation that grows from two half cells that join together at conception in the mother’s uterus.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Dr. Jim Surrell is the author of “The ABC’s For Success In All We Do” and the “SOS (Stop Only Sugar) Diet” books. Requests for health topics for this column are encouraged. Contact Dr. Surrell by email at