How does the digestive system function work?

How does the digestive system function work?


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how our digestive system function works. The digestive system function is made up of
the alimentary canal (also called the digestive tract) and other organs, such as the liver
and pancreas. The alimentary canal is the long tube of organs — including the esophagus,
stomach, and intestines — that runs from the mouth to the anus. An adult’s digestive
tract is about 30 feet (about 9 meters) long. Digestion begins in the mouth, well before
food reaches the stomach. When we see, smell, taste, or even imagine a tasty meal, our salivary
glands in front of the ear, under the tongue, and near the lower jaw begin making saliva
(spit). As the teeth tear and chop the food, spit
moistens it for easy swallowing. A digestive enzyme in saliva called amylase (AH-meh-lace)
starts to break down some of the carbohydrates (starches and sugars) in the food even before
it leaves the mouth. Swallowing, done by muscle movements in the
tongue and mouth, moves the food into the throat, or pharynx. The pharynx is a passageway
for food and air. A soft flap of tissue called the epiglottis closes over the windpipe when
we swallow to prevent choking. From the throat, food travels down a muscular
tube in the chest called the esophagus. Waves of muscle contractions called peristalsis
force food down through the esophagus to the stomach. A person normally isn’t aware of
the movements of the esophagus, stomach, and intestine that take place as food passes through
the digestive tract. At the end of the esophagus, a muscular ring
or valve called a sphincter allows food to enter the stomach and then squeezes shut to
keep food or fluid from flowing back up into the esophagus. The stomach muscles churn and
mix the food with digestive juices that have acids and enzymes, breaking it into much smaller,
digestible pieces. An acidic environment is needed for the digestion that takes place
in the stomach. By the time food is ready to leave the stomach,
it has been processed into a thick liquid called chyme (kime). A walnut-sized muscular
valve at the outlet of the stomach called the pylorus keeps chyme in the stomach until
it reaches the right consistency to pass into the small intestine. Chyme is then squirted
down into the small intestine, where digestion of food continues so the body can absorb the
nutrients into the bloodstream. The small intestine is made up of three parts: -the duodenum, the C-shaped first part.
-the jejunum, the coiled midsection. -the ileum, the final section that leads into
the large intestine. The inner wall of the small intestine is covered
with millions of microscopic, finger-like projections called villi. The villi are the
vehicles through which nutrients can be absorbed into the blood. The blood then brings these
nutrients to the rest of the body. The liver (under the ribcage in the right
upper part of the abdomen), the gallbladder (hidden just below the liver), and the pancreas
(beneath the stomach) are not part of the alimentary canal, but these organs are essential
to digestion. The liver makes bile, which helps the body
absorb fat. Bile is stored in the gallbladder until it is needed. The pancreas makes enzymes
that help digest proteins, fats, and carbs. It also makes a substance that neutralizes
stomach acid. These enzymes and bile travel through special pathways (called ducts) into
the small intestine, where they help to break down food. The liver also helps process nutrients
in the bloodstream. From the small intestine, undigested food
(and some water) travels to the large intestine through a muscular ring or valve that prevents
food from returning to the small intestine. By the time food reaches the large intestine,
the work of absorbing nutrients is nearly finished. The large intestine’s main job is to remove
water from the undigested matter and form solid waste (poop) to be excreted. The large intestine has three parts: -The cecum is the beginning of the large intestine.
The appendix, a small, hollow, finger-like pouch, hangs at the end of the cecum. Doctors
believe the appendix is left over from a previous time in human evolution. It no longer appears
to be useful to the digestive process. -The colon extends from the cecum up the right
side of the abdomen, across the upper abdomen, and then down the left side of the abdomen,
finally connecting to the rectum. The colon has three parts: the ascending colon
and the transverse colon, which absorb fluids and salts; and the descending colon, which
holds the resulting waste. Bacteria in the colon help to digest the remaining food products. -The rectum is where feces are stored until
they leave the digestive system through the anus as a bowel movement. It takes hours for our bodies to fully digest
food. We hope you find this video helpful, like
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