How many Cells are there in a Human Body?

How many Cells are there in a Human Body?

Humans are complex creatures with trillions of cells, each with its own specific structure and function.

Scientists have been struggling to estimate the actual number of cells present in an average human body. The most recent estimates suggest this number be around 30 trillion.

All these cells work together in harmony to perform all the basic functions without which it won’t be possible for you to survive. But do you know that your body does not only contain human cells?

Scientists have estimated that the amount of bacterial cells present in a human body exceeds the total number of human cells. Surprising, isn’t it?

How Many Different Types of Cells are in Your Body?

There are almost 200 different forms of cells present in the body. Some of its examples include:

  • Skin cells
  • Red blood cells
  • Neurons
  • Fat cells

Humans are complex, multicellular organisms and the cells inside their bodies are said to be “specialized”. This means that every type of cell has a special and a unique function for it.

Due to this reason, every one of the 200 different types of cells has its own functions due to its unique size, structure, function, shape, and different organelles.

Some of the examples of these cells include:

  • Cells present in the brain are longer in shape so that they are able to transmit the signals efficiently
  • Cells present in the heart have a higher number of mitochondria because they require a lot of energy
  • Cells present in the respiratory system have a duty of taking up oxygen and release carbon dioxide.

All these cells work together to help the human body run efficiently.

How many Cells are Present in the Human Body?

An average person is said to contain about 30 trillion human cells, as per a research. But this is, of course, a rough estimation. It is quite complicated to count human cells.

It is not as simple as figuring out the weight or size of a single cell and marking an estimate merely on the basis of volume.

How many Cells are there in a Human Body?

Each of these 200 types of cells possesses a specific size and weight. Within the body, some of these are packed in a dense manner whereas some are spread out.

In your body, there are cells that are continuously dying and at the same time, new ones are being made. In addition to this, the actual number of cells is said to vary from one person to another and depends on their height, age, health, weight, and environmental factors.

The best way to find out how many cells does a human body has is to find an estimate on the basis of an average person.

A recent study has used a man between the age of 20 to 30 years, with 70 kilograms of weight and a height of 170 centimeters as a reference.

Related: Red Man Syndrome- Causes, Treatment, and Prevention

In this study, the researchers used different tedious methods in order to determine the number of each type of cells. Up-to-date information was used in order to form a detailed list of densities and volumes in every organ of your body.

Once the scientists arrived at an estimate of different cell types, they added them all. The number they found was 30 trillion.

How many Bacterial Cells are in Your Body?

You may have heard that the bacterial cells in the human body tend to outnumber the human cells with a ratio of 10 to 1. The primary source of this ratio dates all the way back to 1970’s when a series of assumptions were used by the American microbiologists to calculate the total number of bacteria present inside the intestinal tract of a human.

Since then, the proposed 10:1 ratio has been proven wrong.

As per the new data, the number of bacterial cells present inside the human body is 38 trillion. Surprisingly, it is a lot closer to the estimated number of human cells i.e. 30 trillion.

So, even if it is true that there are more bacterial cells in your body as compared to the human cells, the difference is not that much as previously thought.

So, while there are likely more bacterial cells than human cells in your body at any given time, the difference isn’t as great as previously thought.

How many Blood Cells?

The human body comprises of three types of blood cells: red blood cells, platelets, and the white blood cells. The most abundant of the three are the red blood cells which account for almost 80 percent of all cells.

An adult human is said to have around 25 trillion RBCs in their body. Women tend to have a lower amount of RBCs compared to men. On the other hand, people living at high altitudes generally tend to have a higher RBC count.

How many Cells are there in a Human Body?

The total count of platelets and lymphocytes, a kind of white blood cells, has been found to be 147 million and 45 million, respectively.

How many Cells in Human Brain?

The human brain roughly consists of about 171 billion cells. This is particularly true for an average male brain. This figure is inclusive of 86 billion neurons which are cells that aid in the transmission of signals throughout the brain.

Your brain also consists of 85 billion other types of cells. These cells are known as the glial cells that help to protect the neurons and nourish them.

How many Cells does Your Body Produce Every Day?

It is quite difficult to know the exact number of cells that your body makes on any particular day. All 200 types of cells have different lifespans, which means that not each of them is produced at an equal rate.

It is better to look at the total number of red blood cells that are produced every day since these cells are one of the most abundant cell types in your body.

The average life span of a red blood cell is 120 days. After completing this time, these cells get removed from the blood with the help of macrophages located in the liver and spleen.

At the same time, the specialized stem cells keep replacing the dead red blood cells with the new ones at the same pace.

So, it has been calculated that an average body produced about 2 to 3 million red blood cells each second. This means that 173 to 259 billion red blood cells are produced in your body on a daily basis.

How many Cells in Your Body Die Every Day?

Most, if not all, cells in your body will gradually die and would require replacement. Luckily, a healthy human body is very much capable of maintaining a balance between the total number of cells that die and the number of cells produced.

For instance, as the body produces 173 to 259 billion red blood cells per day, almost the same amount of these cells are dying every day.

It is quite a challenge to figure out the exact number of cells that die in a human body. This is because every cell has a different lifespan as mentioned earlier. For example, the lifespan of a white blood cell is 13 days as compared to a red blood cell with 120 days worth of lifespan.


Nancy Walker

Nancy holds a Medicine degree and a Masters of Science MS in Infectious Disease and Global Health (MS-IDGH) from Tufts University. She worked as a lecturer for three years before she turned towards medical writing. Her area of interest are infectious diseases; causes, mechanism, diagnosis, treatments and prevention strategies. Most of her writings ensure an easy understanding of uncommon diseases.

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