At the end of the article, you will able to describe – what actually digestive system process is and how it proceeds (Digestive System Function, Parts) and what is the actual pathway. Let’s start discussing each and every step.
Digestive System Process
Digestive System Process – The human digestive system plays two important roles. One is to digest food and the second one is to absorb the food. Digestion refers to the process by which our body actually break down macromolecules into their constituents.
We have two types of Digestion System:
- Mechanical digestion and
- Chemical digestion.
Mechanical Digestion – Basically mechanical digesting refers to the process by which we break down large food particles into smaller food particles (Chewing of Food). This will increases the surface area on which the digestive enzymes can actually act on it. So, inside the oral cavity, we have mechanical digestion.
Chemical Digestion – Chemical digestion refers to the process by which our digestive proteolytic enzymes actually act on the macromolecule food molecules and break them down into their constituents. They cleave the bonds via the process of hydrolysis so inside or around the oral cavity.
Digestive System Function
Digestive System Function in Humans – Human beings take food through the mouth and digest it in specific organs for digestion. The undigested food is defecated. The food we take passes through a specific canal which begins with the buccal cavity and ends at the anus. This canal is called elementary canal or the digestive tract.
Digestive System Parts
The paths of the elementary canal are –
- Buccal cavity
- Esophagus (Food pipe)
- Large intestine
- Small intestine
- Rectum and Anus
The food gets digested gradually as it passes through the various parts of the track. Digestive juices secreted by the salivary glands, liver, and pancreas also aid digestion.
Mouth and the Buccal Cavity
Food intake in human beings is through the mouth. This process of taking food is called ingestion. Chewing food is very necessary for proper digestion as digestion process starts in the mouth itself.
What happens during chewing?
The large pieces of food we eat are mechanically broken down into small pieces. Teeth help us in doing so.
Action of Saliva
During chewing food mixes with saliva. The saliva is secreted from salivary glands located on the lower jaw between the tongue and teeth. Saliva converts the starch in the food into sugars and also softens the food.
The taste of food can be detected by the taste buds present on the tongue. The tongue is a fleshy muscular organ attached to the floor of the buccal cavity. It is free at the front and moves in all directions. Taste buds appear as small bumps on the tongue and have different regions which help us enjoy different tastes.
Esophagus or Food pipe
The swallowed food from the mouth passes on to the Esophagus. The epiglottis which is a flap-like structure behind the tongue directs the food into the Esophagus and prevents entry into the larynx. The peristaltic movements of the Esophagus help the food to move down the track till it reaches the stomach.
The stomach is a bag like structure with a thick wall. It is in the shape of a flattened u (letter) and is the widest part of the elementary canal. The food that enters the stomach is churned and mixes with the mucus. Hydrochloric acid and digestive juices secreted by the inner lining of the stomach. The acid helps to kill the bacteria present in the food. It also makes the medium in the stomach acidic. The digestive juice is secreted by the stomach break down proteins into simpler substances.
Then the food is emptied into the small intestine.
The small intestine is a highly coiled structure and is about 7.5 meters long. As soon as a small intestine receives food from the stomach, the digestive juices from liver and pancreas are mixed into it.
The liver is the largest gland in the human body and is situated on the upper side of the abdomen to the right. It is reddish-brown in color. It secretes bile which breaks down fats. Bile is stored in the gallbladder.
The pancreas is a leaf-shaped and cream-colored gland located just below the stomach. It secretes pancreatic juice which acts and breaks down carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. After this is completed, the partially digested food reaches the lower part of the small intestine where intestinal juices act upon the food and complete digestion of any remaining components in food.
The carbohydrates in the food break down into sugars like glucose, fats into fatty acids and glycerol and proteins into amino acids. The food consumed is digested and is now ready to be absorbed into the blood.
Absorption – Digestive System Function
Absorption of food takes place in the small intestine. The inner wall of the small intestine has finger-like projections called villi which have a network of pin blood vessels close to the surface. The villi’s increases the surface area of absorption and absorbs the digested food materials. The substances thus absorbed are transported through the bloodstream to different organs in the body and are used to build complex substances like proteins. This process is called assimilation.
In the cells, glucose breaks down into carbon dioxide and water with the help of oxygen and releases energy. The undigested and unabsorbed food enters the large intestine.
The large intestine is wider than small intestine and measures 1.5 m meters in length. Once the undigested food enters the large intestine it absorbs water, and some salts from it and passes the remaining waste into the rectum. Here it remains as a semi-solid fetus. The fecal matter is removed through the anus this is called egestion.
This is all about the basic of the digestive system process, Digestive System Function, Parts. If you really like by heart. Do share on Social Media to help others.