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Digestive System

Obtaining nutrients

Nutrition

Energy
Body cells need energy to run cell
processes.
Animals obtain chemical energy from
food. Energy is derived from breaking
chemical bonds.
Food energy is measured in units called
calories.

Food labeling
A typical label for
packaged food lists
calories and major
nutrients.
While the
information is
incomplete, it does
help people make
some important
choices.

Lipids
Lipids are fats, oils, and
waxes.
Lipids are energy
dense, containing 9
calories per gram.
Lipids are used for
storing energy, making
cell membranes, and
synthesizing steroid
hormones.

Many lipids are made up


of fatty acids and
glycerine.

Carbohydrates
Sugars and starch are
the carbohydrates that
humans can digest.
Fiber is indigestible
carbohydrates, such as
cellulose and inulin.
Glucose is needed by all
body cells as energy.
Nerve cells must have
glucose to operate.

Starch is made up of glucose.

Sometimes my students describe sugars


or starch as fatty, or tell me that sugar
has lots of fat in it. Look at the diagrams
of starch, sugar, and fat in your notes.
Are they right or not?

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Proteins
Amino acids from
digested proteins are
used by cells to build all
the proteins that our
body needs.
Humans need a balance
of the 20 amino acids,
which can be obtained
from animal proteins, or
by blending plant
protein sources.

Proteins are made up of


amino acids.

Since there are 20 different amino acids,


and hundreds or thousands of amino
acids in a single protein, there are
billions of possible combinations and
therefore many, many different,
distinctive proteins. Weve learned about
some already. Name some proteins weve
learned about. (Hint: Meat is a source,
not a protein.)

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Macromolecule summary
Polymers
Complex
Carbohydrates
(i.e. starch)
Proteins
Lipids (Fats,
waxes, oils, and
steroids)

Monomers

Roles

Glucose and other Broken apart to get energy to


simple sugars
make ATP.

Amino acids

Used to make our own


enzymes and other body
proteins.

Used for cellular energy and


Fatty acid chains,
energy storage; used to make
glycerine (except
cell membranes, steroid
steroids)
hormones.

Minerals
Sodium, potassium,
zinc, iron, calcium,
copper, and selenium
are among the minerals
that humans need.
Most minerals can be
found in whole grains,
fruits, vegetables, nuts,
and meats. Highly
processed foods may
be deficient.

Major Minerals
Mineral

Major roles

Natural sources

Calcium

Bone and tooth formation; muscle


and nerve function.

Dairy products, leafy greens, dry


beans.

Iron

Used to make hemoglobin and


myoglobin.

Red meats, eggs, nuts, whole grains,


leafy greens.

Zinc

Component of certain enzymes,


required for growth.

Meats, whole grains, nuts, legumes.

Phosphorous

Bone and tooth formation; pH of


body fluids, phospholipids.

Dairy products, grains.

Potassium

Maintains pH of body fluids; used in


action potentials.

Many fruits and vegetables, meats,


milk.

Sodium

Maintains pH of body fluids; used in


action potentials.

Table salt, meats.

Selenium

Used by the immune system.

Nuts, esp. Brazil nuts; many fruits


and vegetables.

Vitamins
Vitamins play many
different roles in
metabolism.
We do not obtain
energy from vitamins;
however, some vitamins
are necessary to run
energy-related
processes in cells.

Major Vitamins
Vitamins

Major roles

Vitamin A (fat
soluble

Natural sources

Used to make visual pigments;


maintains epithelial tissues; needed
for normal growth.
B complex vitamins Used in cellular respiration to
(water soluble)
metabolize sugars and other carbon
compounds.
Vitamin C (water
Used in collagen synthesis, possible
soluble)
role in immune function.

Orange and yellow fruits and


vegetables, egg yolk, dairy
products.
Whole grains, legumes, many
fruits and vegetables. B12 comes

Vitamin D (fat
soluble)

Bone growth, calcium absorption,


possible role in immune function.

Eggs, dairy products. Sunlight on


skin oils creates Vitamin D.

Vitamin E (fat
soluble)

Antioxidant, reduces cellular


damage.

Nuts, whole grains, leafy


vegetables.

Vitamin K

Plays a role in blood clotting.

Produced by intestinal bacteria.

from animal sources.


Fresh fruits and vegetables.

Antioxidants
Free-radicals are
released by cell
damage and many cell
processes.
Anti-oxidants, such as
Vitamins C and E, and
many plant pigments,
combine with free
radicals and reduce
their effects, which
slows cell aging.

Moral of the story: eat


colorful food

No, Skittles dont count as


colorful food!

The monomers of
proteins:
1.
2.
3.
4.

Simple sugars
Lipids
Amino acids
Depends on the
protein

Humans obtain energy


from:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Carbohydrates
Vitamins
Minerals
Antioxidants
All of these

Mom says carrots make you see


better. Any reason why this might be
true?
1. No, but they do
contain antioxidants.
2. Yes. Beta carotenes
in carrots are
converted to Vitamin
A.
3. No, its just an old
folk belief.

Which nutrients are anti-aging


because they prevent free-radical
damage?
1.
2.
3.
4.

Lipids
Minerals
Antioxidants
B-vitamins

Which vitamin can you


overdose on?
1.
2.
3.
4.

B vitamins
Vitamin C
Vitamin A
None you cant
overdose on
vitamins.

Trick question: what ingredient in


energy drinks actually gives you
energy?
What would be incorrect about a label
that said, calorie-free energy drink?

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Digestion

Two-way digestion
Simple animals have a
single digestive pouch
with a single opening.
Food enters through
the opening, waste
leaves through the
same opening.
These organisms must
finish digesting before
eating again.

One-way digestion
More complex animals
have one-way digestion.
Food enters one
opening and waste
leaves from another.
Animals with one-way
systems can eat any
time, which is an
advantage.

Mechanical digestion
In humans, mechanical
digestion takes place in the
mouth.
Human incisors and
canines are adapted for
tearing food, while molars
are adapted for grinding
food.
Saliva, which contains
enzymes, mixes with food.

Stomach
Acid digestion occurs in
the stomach.
Gastrin, a hormone,
stimulates acid release.
Pepsin, an enzyme that
breaks up proteins,
requires an acidic
environment to become
active.

Stomach problems
Stomach ulcers cause
pain when the stomach
is empty. These are
bacterial infections that
create ulcerations.
Acid reflux is often due
to weakness in the
sphincter muscle at the
top of the stomach.

Duodenum
Alkaline digestion takes
place in the upper small
intestine, the duodenum.
Enzymes from the
pancreas require an
alkaline environment to
be active.

Pancreas and Liver


Pancreas releases
pancreatic juice,
containing bicarbonate,
lipases, proteases, and
amylase.
The liver makes bile,
which emulsifies fats.
Bile is made from
cholesterol, which is
made in the liver.

Small intestine
The walls of the small
intestine are lined with
millions of microvilli.
This is the site of
nutrient absorption.
Small intestines also
produce many digestive
enzymes to break large
polymers completely
down into monomers.

Villi and microvilli

Digestion and pH
Location

pH

Enzymes

Molecules digested

Mouth

neutral

Amylase

Starch

Stomach

acidic

Pepsin (a peptidase)

Small intestine

Basic to neutral

Mixture of amylase,
peptidases, lipases

Initial protein
digestion
Digestion of starches,
final breakdown of
proteins, digestion of
lipids.

Large intestine
Water from digested food
is absorbed in the large
intestine.
Bacteria present in the
large intestine feed on
unabsorbed nutrients, and
produce several vitamins.
Fecal material is formed
from fiber and other
undigested material.

Most digestion occurs in:


1.
2.
3.
4.

The mouth
The stomach
The small intestines
The large intestines

Digestion of starches begins in


the:
1.
2.
3.
4.

Mouth
Stomach
Small intestine
Large intestine

Why do we have
microvilli?
1. To protect the
intestinal lining.
2. To vastly increase
the intestines
surface area.
3. To block acids
coming from the
stomach.

Does a colon need


cleaned?
Products like these raise
worry in people who
believe their colon is
dirty. These are laxatives
that are unnecessary, or
even harmful.
Cleansing products can
disrupt bowel function and
do not cure any real
illnesses. A diet high in
fiber is a healthier option.

Hormones and digestion


Many hormones produced by the digestive system
itself are responsible for appetite and digestion.
Gastrin in the stomach, produced when food is present,
signals release of acid.
Secretin signals the release of sodium bicarbonate by
the pancreas.
Ghrelin and Leptin, recently discovered, control
appetite. Changes in these hormones cause overeating,
because people with too little of these hormones dont
realize theyre full.

Hormones

NOVA Science Now video: Hormones and Obesit


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