The Digestive System

The Digestive System breaks down the food we eat into chemicals that the body can use. 

Digestive system is a group of organs that work together to break down the chemical components of food into small nutrients that can be absorbed by cells to create energy for the body.

Some of the organs involved in digestion are the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small and large intestines, gallbladder, pancreas and liver.

Food broken down by our digestive system is moved to every part of our body by our circulatory system.
Digestion involves...
  1. The mixing of food
  2. Its movement through the digestive tract
  3. The chemical breakdown of the large molecules of food into smaller molecules.
Watch this video about digestion    or this one or Learn more here
    Mouth - We chew our food with our mouth and our tongue is a muscle that works with saliva to form a ball that can be swallowed.
    The esophagus is simply a transportation tube from the mouth to the stomach.
    The stomach uses chemicals to try to make the food particles tinier. These chemicals are called gastric juices and they include hydrochloric acid and enzymes (chemicals that break down food). The food is moved around in the stomach and mixed with the chemicals for 3-4 hours. When the stomach is finished with it, the food is a creamlike liquid call chyme.
    The liver makes a chemical called bile, and it is stored in the gall bladder.
    When the gall bladder mixes bile with our food, it does an important job:
    breaking down the fat (from milk, butter, cheeses) into tiny droplets. This
    fat will supply us with much energy later.
    The pancreas also adds a digestive chemical as the food
    leaves the stomach. This digestive juice works on breaking down the carbohydrates
    (from breads, potatoes, pasta, etc.) and the proteins (from
    meats, eggs, peanut butter, etc.)
    The small intestine  is where the real digestion takes place. As the food passes through, it is mixed with the new chemicals, and is finally digested enough to be put to use by the body. Along the walls of the intestine are thousands of tiny fingers
    called villi. Blood vessels (capillaries) in the villi can absorb the tiny food molecules and send them off to the rest of our body through the blood.
    Large Intestine whatever the body cannot put to use is sent to the large intestine. Many plants, for example, contain cellulose, which cannot be digested.The big job of the large intestine is to remove water.

    The small intestine is the real hero of the digestive system.
    The small intestine is a tube that is about 18 feet long!

Interactive Organs Here!

Small Intestine  X-Ray Image from Thibodeau
X-ray image of a large intestine

Watch a cartoon about the Digestive System

Learn more about the Digestive Organs here

Interesting Stuff....
1.. For every 2 weeks, the human stomach produces a new layer of mucous   
lining, otherwise the stomach will digest itself.

2. The human liver performs 500 different functions.

3. Liver is the largest and heaviest internal organ of the body and weighs about 1.6 kilos.

4. The Liver is the only organ of the body, which has the capacity to regenerate itself completely even after being removed almost completely.

5. Liver cells take several years to replace themselves.

6. A healthy liver processes 720 liters of blood per day.

7. The human stomach contains about 35 million small digestive glands.

8. The human stomach produces about 2.5 liters of gastric juice everyday.

9. In an average person, it takes 8 seconds for food to travel down the food pipe, 3-5 hours in small intestine and 3-4 days in the large intestine.

10. The human body takes 6 hours to digest a high fat meal and takes 2 hours for a carbohydrate meal.


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