The Human Digestive Process

Topics: Digestion, Digestive system, Liver Pages: 3 (956 words) Published: June 18, 2013
Digestion is the process in which the body breaks down food into particles that can be used for nourishment. The stomach is not the only organ involved in the digestion process. A series of organs comprise the human digestive tract, including the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestines, liver and large intestine. Each organ in the digestive tract plays an integral part in the digestive process.

The food enters the mouth, where it is masticated and prepped for digestion. The mouth is comprised of multiple features that contribute to the beginning process of digestion. These features include the lips, cheeks, roof of the mouth, floor of the mouth, gums, teeth, tongue, and salivary glands (Human Digestive System). The lips, cheeks, roof of the mouth, and floor of the mouth are primarily used for containment of food. The gums secure the teeth. The teeth are used to cut and grind food. The tongue moves the food around in the mouth, and the salivary glands secrete a digestive fluid. Once the mastication process has been completed, the food is swallowed and it enters the esophagus.

The esophagus transports liquids and food from the back of the throat to the stomach. The esophagus is the simplest of the organs in the digestive track. It is comprised of two types of muscles: striated muscle and smooth distal muscles. This organ is bound by the upper and lower sphincters. During swallowing the muscles relax moving the larynx forward and assisting in the routing of food (The Esophagus). After the food passes through the esophagus, it transitions into the stomach where absorption of food begins.

The stomach breaks down food both physically and chemically creating smaller pieces. It does this through muscular movement and hydrochloric acid. The acid also destroys bacteria and other dangerous pathogens. It also changes pepsinogen, which is produced by cells lining the stomach, into pepsin. Pepsin is used to break down protein and turns it in to peptide chains. These...
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