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What happens to cells in our bodies when they die? © Getty Images

What happens to cells in our bodies when they die?

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There are 2 main types of cell death: apoptosis (programmed cell death) & necrosis (due to lack of blood flow, ischaemia). But where do these dead cells go?

Asked by: Phil Hibbs, Birmingham

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Cells on the surface of our bodies or in the lining of our gut are sloughed off and discarded. Those inside our bodies are scavenged by phagocytes - white blood cells that ingest other cells.

The energy from the dead cells is partly recycled to make other white cells.

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Authors

luis villazon
Luis VillazonQ&A expert

Luis trained as a zoologist, but now works as a science and technology educator. In his spare time he builds 3D-printed robots, in the hope that he will be spared when the revolution inevitably comes.

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