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Pepperoni Pizza Digestion

By: Brad Kwaterski


For: Mr. Schof
Human Bio 4th Hour
April 10, 2006

Manyprocessesoccurinthedigestionofjustasinglepieceofpepperonipizza.It
allbeginswhenthepizzaisingestedinthemouth.Mechanicaldigestionoccursfirstwith
thetonguemixingthefoodandtheteethbreakingapartthefood.Thisallowsfor
increasedsurfacearealateronindigestion.Thepizzaisalsomixedwithsaliva,which
containssalivaryamylase.Thesalivaryamylaseisthefirstpartofchemicaldigestion.It
startstobreakdownthecarbohydratesofthecrustintodisaccharides.Oncechewed
enoughtheballofpizza,orbolus,ispushedtothebackofthemouthbythetongueand
swallowedtowardsthepharynx.Fromherethepizzamovesdowntheesophagusin
peristalticwaves.Thesewavesbecomemoreinvoluntarytowardstheendofthe
esophaguswherethereismoresmoothmusclethanskeletal.Thepizzathenpasses
throughthecardioesphagealsphincterintothestomach.Thepresenceofthepizzacauses
anincreaseintheproductionofthehormonegastrin.Gastrinstimulatesthevarious
stomachglandstoproducemorepepsinogens,mucus,andhydrochloricacid.TheHCL
activatesthepepsinogensandcreatespepsin.Thestomachchurnthepizzawithitsrugae
andthepepsinbeginstobreakdownthepepperoniintolargepolypeptides.Thepizzais
eventuallychurnedintochymeandmovedtothelowerpyloricregionofthestomach.
Here3mlofchymeatatimeisspurtedthroughthepyloricsphincterintotheduodenum.
Variousbilesaltsandenzymesareaddedtobeginthemajorityofchemicaldigestion.
Whatevercarbohydratesfromthecrustandlactosefromthecheese,thesalivadidnt
begintobreakdown;thepancreaticamylasebreaksthemdownintodextrinsand
oligosaccharides.Thelargepolypeptidesfromthepepperoni,fromthestomach,are
mixedwiththepancreaticenzymes;trypsin,chymotrypsin,andcarboxypeptidase.These

aremadeintosmallpolypeptides,andsmallpeptides.Theunemulsifiedfatsfromthe
cheeseandpepperoniareemulsifiedbythebilesaltsandpancreaticlipase.Thesefatsare
thenattheirsmallestmolecularlevelofmonoglycerides,glycerol,andfattyacids,and
absorbed.
Thechymehasnowbeentransformedintothenextmolecularstatewithvarious
enzymesandanalkalinesolution.Itmovesthroughthesmallintestineacrossnumerous
villiandthecapillariesofthevilli.Next,thevariousenzymesthroughoutthesmall
intestinebreakdownthemoleculesevenmore.Thedextrinsandoligosaccharidesfrom
thecrustarereactedwithdextrinaseandglucoamylaseandformlactose,maltose,and
sucrose.Afinalreactionoccurswhenlactase,maltase,andsucraseareaddedand
galactose,glucose,andfructoseareformed.Thesearethenatthesmallestmolecular
levelandabsorbedthroughthecapillariesofthevilliandtransportedtotheliverviathe
hepaticportalvein.Backtothepepperoni,thesmallpolypeptidesandsmallpeptidesare
transformedintoaminoacidswithaminopeptidase,carboxypeptidase,anddipeptidase.
Theaminoacidsarethebuildingblocksandthereforeabsorbedbyenteringthe
capillariesofthevilli.
Soaquickrecap,thecrustandlactosefromthecheesewereturnedintogalactose,
glucose,andfructose.Thepepperoniwasturnedintoaminoacids,andthefatsturned
intomonoglycerides,glycerol,andfattyacids.Whateverwasnotabsorbedismovedon
tothebaseofthesmallintestinethroughtheileocecalvalve.Herethefecestravels
throughthelargeintestineandbasicallyallabsorptionisfinished.Onlywateris

removed.Thefecestravelsthroughtherectumandouttheanalsphincterandanus.
Pepperonipizzadigestionisfinished.