October 17, 2014
Dr. Liam Conner
Week 7 - Human Digestion Summary
“The digestive system is the organ system that is primarily responsible for digestion and the absorption of nutrients into the body” (Grovesnor & Smolin, 2012, p. 68). The path that food follows through the digestive system starts when your mouth chews your food, mixing it with the saliva in your mouth, it is called bolus. The bolus travel through the pharynx to your esophagus, which connects your pharynx to the stomach. The food passes through the sphincter to get into the stomach where the food mixes with high acidic stomach secretions which form a semi-liquid food mass called chime. Food is temporarily stored in the stomach. The liver, which makes bile and aids in digestion, the pancreas and gallbladder are also part of the digestive tract and each have their functions. The small intestine absorbs the nutrients from the food into your blood, and this is where most of the food digestion happens. The large intestine absorbs water, vitamins and minerals, and also helps to pass the waste from the food into the anal where it opens and leaves your body (Grovesnor & Smolin, 2012). Many things affect the amount of time it takes for foods to travel through the digestive tract. Diet, medications, gender, physical activity and your stress level can all affect the time it takes for your food to digest. To empty your stomach, it can take up to five hours.
Carbohydrates, fats and proteins all pass through the digestive system at different times, and get absorbed into the body to be able to be used for fuel or to help repair and build muscles, bones and organs. Carbohydrates and proteins start digesting in the mouth where the saliva starts to break them down. The carbohydrates are broken down into simple sugars, pass through the esophagus and stomach with very little digestion. In the small intestine the carbohydrates are broken down into the simplest sugar molecules and then absorbed through the intestinal wall into the bloodstream, where they…