Digestion

Topics: Digestion, Stomach, Digestive system Pages: 3 (1103 words) Published: August 15, 2013
The digestive system is a group of organs working together to convert food into energy and basic nutrients to feed the entire body. Food passes through a long tube inside the body known as the alimentary canal or the gastrointestinal tract (GI tract). The alimentary canal is made up of the oral cavity, pharynx, esophagus, stomach, small intestines, and large intestines. In addition to the alimentary canal, there are several important accessory organs that help your body to digest food but do not have food pass through them. Accessory organs of the digestive system include the teeth, tongue, salivary glands, liver, gallbladder, and pancreas. To achieve the goal of providing energy and nutrients to the body, six major functions take place in the digestive system ingestion, Secretion, mixing and movement, digestion, absorption and excretion.

There are two kinds of organs that make up the digestive tract are the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine also called the colon - rectum, and anus all of which are hollow. Inside these hollow organs is a lining called the mucosa. In the mouth, stomach, and small intestine, the mucosa contains tiny glands that produce juices to help digest food. The digestive tract also contains a layer of smooth muscle that helps break down food and move it along the tract. There’re two “solid” digestive organs, the liver and the pancreas, both of which produce digestive juices (bile and insulin) that reach the intestine through small tubes called ducts. The gallbladder stores the liver's digestive juices (bile) until they are needed in the intestine. Parts of the nervous and circulatory systems also play major roles in the digestive system.

Digestion is important because when you eat foods such as bread, meat, and vegetables they are not in a form that the body can use as nourishment. Food and drink must be changed into smaller molecules of nutrients before they can be absorbed into the blood and carried to cells...
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