Digestive system

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Nutritional Science

The Digestive System and the absorptive process, including digestive enzyme and transport mechanisms for each nutrients.

7/10/2011

The Digestive System
The humandigestive system is a complex series of organs and glands that processes food. In order to use the food we eat, our body has to break the food down into smaller molecules that it can process.
Most of thedigestive organs are tube-like and contain the food as it makes its way through the body. The digestive system is essentially a long, twisting tube that runs from the mouth to the anus, plus a few otherorgans that produce or store digestive chemicals.

The Digestive Process

The start of the process
The mouth: The digestive process begins in the mouth. Food is partly broken down by the processof chewing and by the chemical action of salivary enzymes (these enzymes are produced by the salivary glands and break down starches into smaller molecules).

On the way to the stomach: theesophagus - After being chewed and swallowed, the food enters the esophagus. The esophagus is a long tube that runs from the mouth to the stomach. It uses rhythmic, wave-like muscle movements to force foodfrom the throat into the stomach. This muscle movement gives us the ability to eat or drink even when we're upside-down.

In the stomach - The stomach is a large, sack-like organ that transforms thefood into a very strong acid called gastric acid. Food in the stomach that is partly digested and mixed with stomach acids is called chyme.

In the small intestine - After being in the stomach, foodenters the duodenum, the first part of the small intestine. It then enters the jejunum and then the ileum (the final part of the small intestine). In the small intestine, bile (produced in the liverand stored in the gall bladder), pancreatic enzymes, and other digestive enzymes produced by the inner wall of the small intestine help in the breakdown of food.

In the large intestine - After...
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