The digestive system
Tuesday, January 24, 2012 3:23 PM by Clouston
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The digestive system consists of different individual organs, beginning with the alimentary canal and ends with the anus. The actual digestion process starts at the mouth, where amylase, which is found in saliva, starts to break down carbohydrates in food, before it even leaves the mouth. The food then passes down the throat and moves down through the esophagus. After this process, it continues down the digestive tract into the stomach, which is located in the middle of the abdomen. The stomach will then store the food while all the time, mixing it with acids and enzymes, breaking it into much smaller digestible pieces. When it is empty, the adults stomach has a volume of only 1/5 of a cup, but can expand to hold more than 8 cups of food after a full meal has been eaten. The stomach empties into the small intestine, which will digest the food chemically so the body is able to absorb it into the bloodstream.
The liver, gallbladder and the pancreas all help with the aid of the digestion process, by producing enzymes and substances that travel by way of special ducts, directly into the small intestine. The small intestine is made up of three parts, which are the duodenum, the jejunum and the ileum. The inner wall of the small intestine is covered with microscopic fingerlike projections called villie, and the villi are where nutrients are absorbed into the body. Food and water will then enter the large intestine from the small intestine. The large intestine is made-up of three parts as well. The cecum, the colon and then the rectum which ends at the anus. The cecum and the colon are approximately 5 feet long, and the rectum is only about 5 inches long. As the food and water waste products move through the large intestine, the fluids and salts are absorbed in the ascending colon, more water is then removed from the waste materials in the transverse colon and the descending colon will then hold the resulting waste.
By the time the final digestion products get to the rectum, they have become formed solid waste, which we call feces. The feces are stored in the rectum, until the body is ready to eliminate it through the anus.
The digestion process is divided into two forms. The chemical digestion and the physical digestion. The physical digestion involves physically breaking down the food into smaller parts without chemicals changing it into different molecules. This is done with the chewing, tearing and shredding of the food with the teeth and mouth. The stomach muscles also help with this process. The chemical digestion process deals with the breaking down of the large molecules, like protein, starches and fats into smaller, more soluble molecules. Examples are breaking down of proteins into amino acids, starches into glucose and fates into fatty acids. It involves hydrolytic reacted catalyses by digestive enzymes. Enzymes are catalysts, which are produced in our bodies to help speed up some of our body’s reactions. Some parts of the...