Hire a tutor

How do the kidneys function to regulate water and solute balance in the body?

The kidneys regulate water and solute balance by filtering blood and adjusting urine output.

The kidneys play a crucial role in maintaining the body's water and solute balance. They filter blood and remove excess water, electrolytes, and waste products from the body. The kidneys also reabsorb necessary substances, such as glucose and amino acids, back into the bloodstream.

The process of regulating water and solute balance begins with the glomerular filtration in the kidneys. Blood enters the glomerulus, a network of tiny blood vessels, where it is filtered through a semipermeable membrane. Water, electrolytes, and waste products pass through the membrane and into the renal tubules, while larger molecules such as proteins and blood cells remain in the bloodstream.

The renal tubules then reabsorb necessary substances back into the bloodstream. This process is regulated by hormones such as aldosterone and antidiuretic hormone (ADH), which control the amount of water and electrolytes reabsorbed by the kidneys. For example, aldosterone increases the reabsorption of sodium ions, while ADH increases the reabsorption of water.

Finally, the kidneys adjust urine output to maintain water and solute balance. If the body is dehydrated, the kidneys will produce less urine to conserve water. If the body has excess water, the kidneys will produce more urine to eliminate the excess.

In summary, the kidneys play a vital role in regulating water and solute balance in the body. They filter blood, reabsorb necessary substances, and adjust urine output to maintain homeostasis.

Study and Practice for Free

Trusted by 100,000+ Students Worldwide

Achieve Top Grades in your Exams with our Free Resources.

Practice Questions, Study Notes, and Past Exam Papers for all Subjects!

Need help from an expert?

4.92/5 based on480 reviews

The world’s top online tutoring provider trusted by students, parents, and schools globally.

Related Biology a-level Answers

    Read All Answers