MS_ana'phy PUD | Human Digestive System | Stomach


THE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM The digestive system is made up of the digestive tract—a series of hollow organs joined in a long, twisting tube from the mouth to the anus—and other organs that help the body break down and absorb food (see figure). Organs that make up the digestive tract are the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine—also called the colon—rectum, and anus. Inside these hollow organs is a lining called the mucosa. In the mouth, stomach, and small intestine, the mucosa contains tiny glands that produce juices to help digest food. The digestive tract also contains a layer of smooth muscle that helps break down food and move it along the tract. Two “solid” digestive organs, the liver and the pancreas, produce digestive juices that reach the intestine through small tubes called ducts. The gallbladder stores the liver’s digestive juices until they are needed in the intestine. Parts of the nervous and circulatory systems also play major roles in the digestive system.

Digestion is the process by which food and drink are broken down into their smallest parts so the body can use them to build and nourish cells and to provide energy. ANATOMY OF THE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM The human digestive system can be classified into two basic sections, namely the upper gastrointestinal tract and the lower gastrointestinal tract. These two tracts are made up of different organs of the digestive system. In addition to the organs of the digestive system in the upper and lower gastrointestinal tracts, there are several other different organs that act as auxiliaries to the process of digestion. The auxiliary organs also help the human body to maintain good digestive health. A. Upper Gastrointestinal Tract The function of the upper gastrointestinal tract, is simplification of food into nutrients that can be assimilated by the lower gastrointestinal tract into the human body. The funny fact about the human digestive system is that the process of digestion actually starts, before the food has entered the digestive

tract. The four primary organs ear, nose, eyes and tongue, sense the presence of food and thereby alert other organs of the digestive system that begin the production of different digestive juices. Following are the organs of the digestive system that are involved in the breaking down of food. Mouth: The first organ that directly contributes to the digestion process is the mouth. The mouth, is further divided into three basics organs, namely the salivary glands, tongue and teeth. The salivary glands produce saliva that exits into the mouth. The saliva acts as a lubrication for the food products, when they are being chewed. Some of the micro-organisms, like fungi and bacteria, are killed by the saliva in the mouth itself, due to its disinfecting properties. Apart from producing saliva, the salivary glands also produces amylase, which is an enzyme that plays a very important role in breaking down starch into glucose. The next important part of the mouth is the tongue. The tongue is not just used for tasting delicious food. It also helps in chewing and swallowing, which is also known as deglutition. This process is basically, the physical simplification of food. Just like the tongue, the teeth are also responsible for physical breakage of food. The action of chewing breaks the food into smaller pieces and helps the rest of the digestive system to break down the food. Though, the teeth do not play an active role in the chemical simplification of food, chewing makes digestion easier for the other organs of the digestive system to break down the food and its nutrients. Pharynx and Esophagus: The next digestive organ is the pharynx, which lies behind the mouth or the buccal cavity. The pharynx prevents the food from entering the voice box or larynx. Instead, the pharynx diverts the food to the esophagus, a muscular tube that connects the mouth to the stomach. Though, the pharynx and esophagus are not directly related to the actual simplification of

food, their function of conveyance of food is extremely important among the organs of the digestive system in the order of the gastrointestinal tract. Stomach: The organ of the human body that conducts the mammoth task of breaking food is the stomach. The stomach is divided into four parts. The cardia is the receiver of food from the esophagus. This food is handed over to the curvature of the organ that is known as the fundus. The food is later transported to the corpus body, the central part of the stomach which contributes to the breakage of food. After the food has been simplified, it is transferred to the antrum which conveys it to the smaller intestine. Within the stomach, the food is broken down into simpler nutrients, like vitamins, carbohydrates, proteins etc. B. Lower Gastrointestinal Tract The lower gastrointestinal tract compromises two primary organs, namely, the intestines or the bowels and the anus. Among the digestive system organs and functions, the organs of the lower gastrointestinal tract help the body to assimilate the nutrients, which have been simplified by the upper gastrointestinal tract. Small Intestine: There are two primary intestines, namely the small intestine and the large intestine. The small intestine is further divided into three parts. The duodenum is the receiver of simplified food and is connected to the lower section of the stomach. Though, the duodenum is the shortest part of the intestines, a lot of chemical digestion takes place in it. The duodenum is also the place where the digestive juices that are generated by the pancreas and liver mix for further digestion. The second part of the small intestine is the jejunum. One of the most important functions of this organ is abrogation of nutrients. The jejunum is the mid-section of the smaller intestine and coveys the remainder of the food to the ileum. The ileum absorbs the nutrients that have been missed by the jejunum. Most of the vitamins are absorbed by the ileum.

Large Intestine: Like the small intestine, the large intestine is divided into three parts. The first organ of the large intestine is the cecum. The cecum is attached to the appendix and is also the connecting pouch between the small and the large intestines. The colon comes after the cecum and is responsible for the abrogation of water and salts from the digested foods. This is considered to be the last stage of digestion. The third part of the large intestine is the rectum, which acts as the connection between the intestines and anus. Anus: The anus is among the organs of the digestive system that does the job of ejecting the waste matter from the body. C. Auxiliary Organs The human body has some very important organs in the digestive system which can be classified as the auxiliary organs. Without these auxiliary organs, the process of digestion would become almost impossible. Gallbladder: The gallbladder is a very important organ that is responsible for the storage of bile that has been produced by the liver. Though, in spite of being an important part of the digestive process, the gallbladder is a non-vital organ, meaning that it is removed in case it gets infected. Liver: The liver is one of the most important organs of the human body, as it is also necessary for survival. The liver basically performs the task of producing digestive juices, biochemicals and also helps in protein synthesis. The liver is also responsible for detoxification of the food that comes in. The whole process of digestion requires about 24 to 72 hours and an average person's digestive tract, along with all the organs of the digestive system measures about 9 meters long.

SUMMARY OF THE ANATOMY OF THE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM Digestive System Organ Salivary Mouth/Oral Cavity salivary parotid, submandibular sublingual. The esophagus does not have any digestive role. It Oesophagus None just helps the food to be pushed down from the mouth down to the next organ, which is the stomach. Amylase glands -pieces. This provides greater surface area for the enzymes released by the salivary glands to break anddown carbohydrates in the food. secreted by the 3We chew food to break them down into smaller Secretions Function


This it does by the process of peristalsis. Gastric acid, pepsinThe muscles of the stomach churn the food and mix it (enzyme) and otherwith gastric juice and enzymes released into the digestive enzymes stomach. The gastric juice maintains the acidic pH, so that digestion in the stomach can take place. Pepsin breaks down proteins (into amino acids). The other enzymes, that is, gastric amylase and gastric

lipase, further breakdown carbohydrates and fats respectively. It is in the small intestine that digestion is completed Bile and pancreatic Small Intestine enzymes secreted by the and all the nutrients (present in their simplest form) are absorbed by blood through the walls of the small

intestine. Bile secreted by the pancreas emulsifies pancreas, fat, so that it can be absorbed. The pancreatic and intestinal enzymes. intestinal enzymes complete the final stage of digestion of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. The large intestine is mainly involved with the

Large Intestine/Colo None n

absorption of water and electrolytes from the undigested substance, that reaches it from the small intestine. It also stores this undigested material till it is ready to be excreted from the body through the rectum and the anus.




Here are some facts about the digestive system: • We produce almost one quart of saliva every day. • Saliva is 98% water and only 2% enzymes. • Length of the digestive tract is about 30 feet. • Food stays in the stomach for almost 2 to 3 hours. • The small intestine is almost 20 feet long. • Food takes almost 4 hours to travel through the small intestine. • The large intestine measures up to 5 feet in length. • We excrete solid waste material through the anus, when the sphincter muscles lining it, relax. • Liver and pancreas are not a part of the digestive tract but they help in digestion by secreting powerful enzymes.

PHYSIOLOGY OF DIGESTIVE SYSTEM Digestion involves mixing food with digestive juices, moving it through the digestive tract, and breaking down large molecules of food into smaller molecules. Digestion begins in the mouth, when you chew and swallow, and is completed in the small intestine. Movement of Food through the System

The large, hollow organs of the digestive tract contain a layer of muscle that enables their walls to move. The movement of organ walls can propel food and liquid through the system and also can mix the contents within each organ. Food moves from one organ to the next through muscle action called peristalsis. Peristalsis looks like an ocean wave traveling through the muscle. The muscle of the organ contracts to create a narrowing and then propels the narrowed portion slowly down the length of the organ. These waves of narrowing push the food and fluid in front of them through each hollow organ.

The first major muscle movement occurs when food or liquid is swallowed. Although you are able to start swallowing by choice, once the swallow begins, it becomes involuntary and proceeds under the control of the nerves.

Swallowed food is pushed into the esophagus, which connects the throat above with the stomach below. At the junction of the esophagus and stomach, there is a ringlike muscle, called the lower esophageal sphincter, closing the passage between the two organs. As food approaches the closed sphincter, the sphincter relaxes and allows the food to pass through to the stomach. The stomach has three mechanical tasks. First, it stores the swallowed food and liquid. To do this, the muscle of the upper part of the stomach relaxes to accept large volumes of swallowed material. The second job is to mix up the food, liquid, and digestive juice produced by the stomach. The lower part of the stomach mixes these materials by its muscle action. The third task of the stomach is to empty its contents slowly into the small intestine. Several factors affect emptying of the stomach, including the kind of food and the degree of muscle action of the emptying stomach and the small intestine. Carbohydrates, for example, spend the least amount of time in the stomach, while protein stays in the stomach longer, and fats the longest. As the food dissolves into the juices from the pancreas, liver, and intestine, the contents of the intestine are mixed and pushed forward to allow further digestion.

Finally, the digested nutrients are absorbed through the intestinal walls and transported throughout the body. The waste products of this process include undigested parts of the food, known as fiber, and older cells that have been shed from the mucosa. These materials are pushed into the colon, where they remain until the feces are expelled by a bowel movement. Production of Digestive Juices The digestive glands that act first are in the mouth—the salivary glands. Saliva produced by these glands contains an enzyme that begins to digest the starch from food into smaller molecules. An enzyme is a substance that speeds up chemical reactions in the body. The next set of digestive glands is in the stomach lining. They produce stomach acid and an enzyme that digests protein. A thick mucus layer coats the mucosa and helps keep the acidic digestive juice from dissolving the tissue of the stomach itself. In most people, the stomach mucosa is able to resist the juice, although food and other tissues of the body cannot. After the stomach empties the food and juice mixture into the small intestine, the juices of two other digestive organs mix with the food. One of these organs, the pancreas, produces a juice that contains a wide array of enzymes to break down the carbohydrate, fat, and protein in food. Other enzymes that are active in the process come from glands in the wall of the intestine. The second organ, the liver, produces yet another digestive juice—bile. Bile is stored between meals in the gallbladder. At mealtime, it is squeezed out of the gallbladder, through the bile ducts, and into the intestine to mix with the fat in food. The bile acids dissolve fat into the watery contents of the intestine, much like detergents that dissolve grease from a frying pan. After fat is dissolved, it is digested by enzymes from the pancreas and the lining of the intestine.

Absorption and Transport of Nutrients Most digested molecules of food, as well as water and minerals, are absorbed through the small intestine. The mucosa of the small intestine contains many folds that are covered with tiny fingerlike projections called villi. In turn, the villi are covered with microscopic projections called microvilli. These structures create a vast surface area through which nutrients can be absorbed. Specialized cells allow absorbed materials to cross the mucosa into the blood, where they are carried off in the bloodstream to other parts of the body for storage or further chemical change. This part of the process varies with different types of nutrients. Carbohydrates. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005 recommend that 45 to 65 percent of total daily calories be from carbohydrates. Foods rich in carbohydrates include bread, potatoes, dried peas and beans, rice, pasta, fruits, and vegetables. Many of these foods contain both starch and fiber. The digestible carbohydrates—starch and sugar—are broken into simpler molecules by enzymes in the saliva, in juice produced by the pancreas, and in the lining of the small intestine. Starch is digested in two steps. First, an enzyme in the saliva and pancreatic juice breaks the starch into molecules called maltose. Then an enzyme in the lining of the small intestine splits the maltose into glucose molecules that can be absorbed into the blood. Glucose is carried through the bloodstream to the liver, where it is stored or used to provide energy for the work of the body. Sugars are digested in one step. An enzyme in the lining of the small intestine digests sucrose, also known as table sugar, into glucose and fructose, which are absorbed through the intestine into the blood. Milk contains another type of sugar, lactose, which is changed into absorbable molecules by another enzyme in the intestinal lining.

Fiber is undigestible and moves through the digestive tract without being broken down by enzymes. Many foods contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber dissolves easily in water and takes on a soft, gel-like texture in the intestines. Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, passes essentially unchanged through the intestines. Protein. Foods such as meat, eggs, and beans consist of giant molecules of protein that must be digested by enzymes before they can be used to build and repair body tissues. An enzyme in the juice of the stomach starts the digestion of swallowed protein. Then in the small intestine, several enzymes from the pancreatic juice and the lining of the intestine complete the breakdown of huge protein molecules into small molecules called amino acids. These small molecules can be absorbed through the small intestine into the blood and then be carried to all parts of the body to build the walls and other parts of cells. Fats. Fat molecules are a rich source of energy for the body. The first step in digestion of a fat such as butter is to dissolve it into the watery content of the intestine. The bile acids produced by the liver dissolve fat into tiny droplets and allow pancreatic and intestinal enzymes to break the large fat molecules into smaller ones. Some of these small molecules are fatty acids and cholesterol. The bile acids combine with the fatty acids and cholesterol and help these molecules move into the cells of the mucosa. In these cells the small molecules are formed back into large ones, most of which pass into vessels called lymphatics near the intestine. These small vessels carry the reformed fat to the veins of the chest, and the blood carries the fat to storage depots in different parts of the body. Vitamins. Another vital part of food that is absorbed through the small intestine are vitamins. The two types of vitamins are classified by the fluid in which they can be dissolved: water-soluble vitamins (all the B vitamins and vitamin C) and fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E, and K). Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in

the liver and fatty tissue of the body, whereas water-soluble vitamins are not easily stored and excess amounts are flushed out in the urine. Water and salt. Most of the material absorbed through the small intestine is water in which salt is dissolved. The salt and water come from the food and liquid you swallow and the juices secreted by the many digestive glands. How is the digestive process controlled? Hormone Regulators The major hormones that control the functions of the digestive system are produced and released by cells in the mucosa of the stomach and small intestine. These hormones are released into the blood of the digestive tract, travel back to the heart and through the arteries, and return to the digestive system where they stimulate digestive juices and cause organ movement. The main hormones that control digestion are gastrin, secretin, and cholecystokinin (CCK): • Gastrin causes the stomach to produce an acid for dissolving and digesting some foods. Gastrin is also necessary for normal cell growth in the lining of the stomach, small intestine, and colon. • Secretin causes the pancreas to send out a digestive juice that is rich in bicarbonate. The bicarbonate helps neutralize the acidic stomach contents as they enter the small intestine. Secretin also stimulates the stomach to produce pepsin, an enzyme that digests protein, and stimulates the liver to produce bile. • CCK causes the pancreas to produce the enzymes of pancreatic juice, and causes the gallbladder to empty. It also promotes normal cell growth of the pancreas.

Additional hormones in the digestive system regulate appetite: • • Ghrelin is produced in the stomach and upper intestine in the absence of food in the digestive system and stimulates appetite. Peptide YY is produced in the digestive tract in response to a meal in the system and inhibits appetite. Both of these hormones work on the brain to help regulate the intake of food for energy. Researchers are studying other hormones that may play a part in inhibiting appetite, including glucagon-like peptide-1 (GPL-1), oxyntomodulin (+ ), and pancreatic polypeptide. Nerve Regulators Two types of nerves help control the action of the digestive system. Extrinsic, or outside, nerves come to the digestive organs from the brain or the spinal cord. They release two chemicals, acetylcholine and adrenaline. Acetylcholine causes the muscle layer of the digestive organs to squeeze with more force and increase the “push” of food and juice through the digestive tract. It also causes the stomach and pancreas to produce more digestive juice. Adrenaline has the opposite effect. It relaxes the muscle of the stomach and intestine and decreases the flow of blood to these organs, slowing or stopping digestion. The intrinsic, or inside, nerves make up a very dense network embedded in the walls of the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and colon. The intrinsic nerves are triggered to act when the walls of the hollow organs are stretched by food. They release many different substances that speed up or delay the movement of food and the production of juices by the digestive organs.

Together, nerves, hormones, the blood, and the organs of the digestive system conduct the complex tasks of digesting and absorbing nutrients from the foods and liquids you consume each day.

SUMMARY OF THE PHYSIOLOGY OF DIGESTIVE SYSTEM The Digestive Process: The start of the process - the mouth: The digestive process begins in the mouth. Food is partly broken down by the process of 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: the esophagus - 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 (called peristalsis) to force food from 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 churns the food and bathes it in a very strong acid (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, food enters 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 liver and 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 passing through the small intestine, food passes into the large intestine. In the large intestine, some of the water and electrolytes (chemicals like sodium) are removed from the food. Many microbes (bacteria like Bacteroides, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Escherichia coli, and Klebsiella) in the large intestine help in the digestion process. The first part of the large intestine is called the cecum (the appendix is connected to the cecum). Food then travels upward in the ascending colon. The food travels across the abdomen in the transverse colon, goes back down the other side of the body in the descending colon, and then through the sigmoid colon. The end of the process - Solid waste is then stored in the rectum until it is excreted via the anus.

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