Biology GCSE (Unit 2) Part 5: Homeostasis

These are Revision Card Notes for Triple Award Science, AQA. I am doing 6 sets of revision Cards each on a different topic in Biology Unit 2. (Cells, Plants, Food Chains and Cycles, Enzymes and Digestion, Homeostasis and Cell division and inheritance).

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: Elizabeth
  • Created on: 22-11-11 19:53


The conditions inside the body must be controlled within narrow limits. This is called homeostasis. These conditions include water content, ion content, body temperature and blood glucose concentration.

The thermoregulatory centre is the part of the brain that monitors and controls body temperature. The pancreas meanwhile monitors and controls blood glucose concentration. It produces a hormone called insulin that reduces blood glucose levels. Diabetes is a disease which can be caused by insufficient insulin.

1 of 7

Removing Waste Products

Waste products must be removed from the body. If they are not, they will increase in concentration and may interfere with chemical reactions or damage cells. Waste products that must be removed include carbon dioxide and urea.

Waste Product  Why is it produced? How is it removed?

Carbon Dioxide It is a product of Areobic Respiration Through the Lungs when we breath out.

Urea is produced in the liver when excess amino acids are broken down,the kidneys remove it from the blood and make urine, which is stored in the bladder temporarily.

Water enters the body through food and drink. It is also a product of aerobic respiration in cells. If the amount of water in the body is wrong, cells can be damaged because too much water enters or leaves them. 

2 of 7

The Pancreas and Insulin

The pancreas monitors and controls the concentration of glucose in the blood. It produces a hormone called Insulin. Insulin causes glucose to move from the blood into cells. It lowers the blood glucose concentration if it has become too high. This can happen after eating a meal that is rich in carbohydrates (for example, sweets, potatoes, bread, rice or pasta).

3 of 7


Diabetes is a disease where the concentration of glucose in the blood is not controlled properly by the body. In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas does not produce enough insulin. This can lead to high levels of glucose in the blood, which can be fatal.

Treatments for diabetics:

*Careful monitoring of food intake, with particular care taken over carbohydrates - which are digested into glucose.
*Injecting insulin into the blood before meals. The extra insulin causes glucose to be taken up by the liver and other tissues. Cells get the glucose they need for respiration, and the blood glucose concentration stays normal.

4 of 7

Temperature Regulation

Human enzymes work best at 37ºC, so the body’s temperature is controlled. A part of the brain called the thermoregulatory centre monitors and controls body temperature. It gathers information as nerve impulses from temperature receptors in:
*The Brain - these are sensitive to the temperature of the blood flowing there
*The Skin - these are sensitive to skin temperature

Sweating is one way to help cool the body. We sweat more in hot conditions, so more water is lost from the body. This water must be replaced through food or drink to maintain the balance of water in the body.

Ions such as sodium ions and chloride ions are also lost when we sweat. They must be replaced through food and drink. If the body’s ion content is wrong, cells can be damaged.

5 of 7

Temperature Regulation - Higher

If you become too hot or too cold, there are several ways in which your temperature can be controlled. They involve sweating, shivering, skin capillaries and hairs.

When we get too hot:

*Sweat glands in the skin release more sweat. This evaporates, removing heat energy from the skin.
*Blood vessels leading to the skin capillaries become wider - they dilate - allowing more blood to flow through the skin, and more heat to be lost.

When we get too cold:
*Muscles contract rapidly - we shiver. These contractions need energy from respiration, and some of this is released as heat.
*Blood vessels leading to the skin capillaries become narrower - they constrict - letting less blood flow through the skin and conserving heat in the body.

6 of 7

Temperature Regulation - Higher

The hairs on the skin help to control body temperature. They lie flat when we are warm, and rise when we are cold. The hairs trap air above skin insulating against heat loss.

A- Hair muscles pull hairs on end, B- Erect hairs trap air, C- Blood flow in capillaries decreases. D- Hair muscles relax so heat can escape, E- Sweat secreted by sweat glands, cools skin by evaporation, F- Blood flow in capillaries increases.

7 of 7


No comments have yet been made

Similar Biology resources:

See all Biology resources »See all Homeostasis resources »