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Human Digestion Summary Essay

717 words - 3 pages

The digestive system provides two major functions, digestion and absorption. Foods must be digested in order for their nutrients to be absorbed. Saliva glands begin the digestive process at the sight and smell of food. After food enters the mouth and is moisten by saliva and chewed by the teeth, it transforms into bolus. Once the bolus leaves the mouth, it moves to the pharynx where it can be swallowed. The bolus then moves from the pharynx in to the esophagus, which connects the pharynx to the stomach. Once the bolus reaches the stomach it is mixed with acid secretions to transform the bolus into chime, which is a semiliquid food mass. Food is partially digested in the stomach, and chime ...view middle of the document...

Carbohydrates: Carbs begin to digest in the mouth, where enzymes in saliva start breaking complex molecules down into simpler sugars. Chewed-up carbs then pass through the esophagus and stomach with little additional digestion. Proteins: Protein is found in meat, eggs, dairy products and beans, and is used by the body to build muscle and organs. Protein molecules are quite large. Chewing helps break proteins down into smaller particles for digestion. Chemical protein digestion starts in the stomach, where enzymes start to soften the protein molecules. Fats: Fats and oils do not easily dissolve into the watery digestive juices of the intestinal tract. Bile, produced by the liver and stored in the gallbladder, can attach to molecules of both water and fat. Bile breaks up conglomerations of fat in the digestive tract into smaller emulsified particles, where lipase, a fat-digesting enzyme, can break it down. The broken down fat particles -- fatty acids and cholesterol -- are absorbed through the intestinal walls into the bloodstream, where they accumulate in the chest veins and are then carried to fat-deposit areas throughout the body...

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