The Digestive Process Begins

Chapter 11 Section 2

Functions of the Digestive System
The digestive system breaks down food into molecules the

body can use. Molecules are then absorbed into the blood and carried throughout the body. Wastes are then eliminated from the body. Digestion- the process by which your body breaks down food into small nutrient molecules Mechanical digestion- begins in the mouth Chemical digestion- chemicals produced by the body break foods into their smaller chemical building blocks Absorption- the process by which nutrient molecules pass through the wall of your digestive system into your blood

The Mouth
 Saliva- fluid released when your

mouth waters that is important to both mechanical and chemical digestion in the mouth  Mechanical Digestion- begins in the mouth, performed by the teeth  Incisors- center teeth with sharp edges that cut food into small pieces  Canines- sharp, pointy teeth that tear and slash food into smaller pieces  Molars- large teeth used for crushing and grinding

Chemical Digestion
Chemical digestion begins in the mouth Chemical digestion- the breakdown of complex

molecules into simpler ones Chemical digestion is accomplished by enzymes Enzyme- protein that speeds up chemical reactions in the body Each enzyme has a specific shape that enables it to break down specific molecules

The Esophagus
 Epiglottis- flap of tissue that

seals off your windpipe, preventing the food from entering  Esophagus- a muscular tube lined with mucus that connects the mouth to the stomach  Mucus- thick, slippery substance produced by the body  Peristalsis- contractions of smooth muscles push food toward the stomach  Vomiting- reverse peristalsis cause by harmful materials or bacteria in the body

The Stomach
 Stomach- a J-shaped,

muscular pouch located in the abdomen  Most mechanical digestion occurs in the stomach  Churning motion of the stomach squeezes food  Chemical digestion occurs as the churning of the stomach mixes food with digestive juices containing enzymes  Pepsin- enzyme that chemically digests proteins in food, breaking them down into amino acids

•Hydrochloric acid- kills many bacteria swallowed with food in the stomach •Mucus coating the stomach protects it from HCl •Proteins are chemically digested into shorter chains of amino acids

 List the functions of the digestive system.

To break down the food into molecules that can be used by the body; to absorb the food molecules into the blood; to eliminate wastes from the body  Explain how the structure of incisors relates to their function. • Incisors have sharp edges that cut food  Describe peristalsis and explain its function in the digestive system. • Peristalsis consists of involuntary waves of muscle contractions that help push food through the digestive system  What is the function of pepsin? • Pepsin is an enzyme in the digestive juice produced in the stomach; it breaks down proteins into shorter chains of amino acids  If you stomach could no longer produce acid, how do you think that would affect digestion? • Without acid, pepsin cannot function properly, and therefore protein digestion couldn’t take place in the stomach

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