Circulatory system, system of organs that carries blood throughout the body. It consists chiefly of a pump (the heart) and a network of bloodvessels (arteries, veins, and capillaries). The circulatory system provides the body with essential food and oxygen while eliminating carbon dioxide and other wastes. In addition, as blood circulates, white blood cells help protect the body from disease by engulfing harmful invaders, and body temperature is regulated by absorbing heat from the cells' production of energy. Disease or injury may damage the circulatory system, possibly affecting blood flow. Arterioscleroisis, an accumulation of fatty deposits in the arteries, is one such condition. This disease may be associated with high blood pressure, which results from the heart's need to work harder, and may lead to complications such as heart attack, a stroke, or kidney failure.