The Function and Mechanics of the Digestive System

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The Function and Mechanics of the Digestive System
SCI/241

The Function and Mechanics of the Digestive System
My 4 year old daughter asked me, “Mommy, how does food go to my stomach?” It is really weird the questions children ask but I had to explain. In this paper I will explain the function and mechanics of the digestive system. The body's method of taking the food we eat and breaking it down to obtain vital nutrients that will allow us to live and be healthy is digestion. According to "Wikipedia.com" (2013), “Digestion is a form of catabolism: a breakdown of large food molecules to smaller ones, it  is the mechanical and chemical breakdown of food into smaller components that are more easily absorbed into a blood stream” (Digestion). Digestion time varies between individuals and between men and women. After you eat, it takes about six to eight hours for food to pass through your stomach and small intestine. Food then enters your large intestine (colon) for further digestion, absorption of water and, finally, elimination of undigested food (Picco, M.D., 2012). The point when food enters the mouth, digestion of the food starts by the action of  mastication, a form of mechanical digestion where the teeth allow the chewing of food to aid in the digestive process and the wetting contact of saliva  ("Wikipedia.com", 2013). Saliva, a liquid secreted by the salivary glands, contains salivary amylase, an enzyme which starts the digestion of starch in the food. After undergoing mastication and starch digestion, the food will be in the form of a small, round slurry mass called a bolus. It will then travel down the esophagus, the portion of gastrointestinal tract that reaches from the pharynx, and into the stomach, the organ in the digestive tract that mixes food and secretes gastric juice, by the action of peristalsis, this process can be 2 to 6 hours. Gastric juice in the stomach starts protein digestion. Gastric juice mainly contains hydrochloric...
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