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The Digestive System

Ch 35-1 NWRC BIO 30

Video on Digestion

The esophagus is the first part of the digestive tract.. Approximately 10 inches in length, it consists of three tissue layers consistent with the rest of the gut.The muscles of peristalsis begin propelling the food bolus through the esophagus into the stomach.


What stops food going the wrong way!

The swallowing reflex is activated by the pushing of food to the back of the throat food is swallowed into the esophagus. The epiglottis covers the trachea so food doesnt go the wrong way

The Stomach Very acidic environment (enzyme) pepsin breaks down proteins

The Stomach
The stomach is a C-shaped pouch that receives the food bolus from the esophagus. It aids both in mechanical and chemical digestion. Acting like a churn, the stomach mixes the food with gastric acid and breaks down the food into a milky substance known as chyme. The acid reduces the pH of the stomach, in the process allowing activation of an enzyme called pepsin. This starts the chemical digestive process.

The Stomach

Small intestine
The majority of digestion occurs in the small intestine. This compartment has three distinct portions, each of which is highly specialized for different digestive functions. VIDEO

The small Intestine

The small intestine is the longest portion of the digestive tract - it is more than 6-7 meters long and is located within the middle of the abdomen. It has three sections, the duodenum, jejunum and ileum Digestion of fats, proteins and carbohydrates contained in the foods you consume, is completed within the small intestine.

The Small Intestine

The lining of the small intestine secretes a hormone called secretin, which stimulates the pancreas to produce digestive enzymes.

The pancreas
Digestive enzymes are released from the pancreas to enable the degradation process. Bile is released from the gall bladder and mixes with the chyme to aid in fat digestion and absorption.

The Liver

The Liver
The liver is the largest glandular organ of the body. It weighs about 3 lb (1.36 kg). It is reddish brown in color and is divided into four lobes of unequal size and shape. The liver lies on the right side of the abdominal cavity beneath the diaphragm.

The Liver
Some of the functions are: to produce substances that break down fats, convert glucose to glycogen, produce urea (the main substance of urine), make certain amino acids (the building blocks of proteins), filter harmful substances from the blood (such as alcohol), storage of vitamins and minerals) and maintain a proper level or glucose in the blood.

The Gall Bladder

The gallbladder is about 10-12 cm long in humans and appears dark green because of its contents (bile), rather than its tissue. It is connected to the liver and the duodenum (small intestine)

The Gall Bladder

The gallbladder stores about 50ml of bile which is released when food containing fat enters the digestive tract.

The Gall Bladder

The bile, produced in the liver, emulsifies fats and neutralizes acids in partly digested food. After being stored in the gallbladder, the bile becomes more concentrated than when it left the liver, increasing its potency and intensifying its effect on fats. Most digestion occurs in the duodenum

The Large Intestine

The large intestine (the colon) has several major components. The cecum is the entrance to the right side of the colon. There is a circular muscle, or sphincter, that separates the small intestine from the large intestine. The sphincter protects the small intestine from the concentrated bacteria of the large intestine. Following the cecum, the ascending colon rises up and leads into the transverse colon. From there, the descending colon dives back down on the left side of the abdomen into the sigmoid colon and rectum. Waste is finally eliminated through the anus.

1. Digestion begins in mouth, continues in stomach and ends in small intestine Each type of molecule is broken down into its simplest part thorough the use of enzymes.

2. Mechanical digestion such as chewing grinds food into smaller particles Chemical digestion by acids and enzymes changes food chemically such as breaking proteins down into amino acids

3. the 3 main functions are to A. ingest food B. break it down C. eliminate what cannot be digested

4. The villi increase the surface area so that more nutrients can be absorbed, if the lining was smooth fewer nutrients would be absorbed

Extra Review
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