Introduction to the Digestive System

Posted On Apr 25 2010 by

The lymphoid tissue collects the lymph and the lymph vessels transport fluid, other than blood, that is found in the spaces between cells and tissues until it passes into the blood system. Bile ducts from the gall bladder that are attached to the liver and two to three pancreatic ducts enter the small intestine by a common papilla at the caudal end (closest to the rear) of the duodenum. The pancreas is a very important organ in the process of digesting food and it is attached to each side of the duodenal loop and lies between the two arms.

The powerful muscles of the gizzard churn and mix the mass of food and dirt. When the churning is complete, the glands in the walls of the gizzard add enzymes to the thick paste, which helps chemically breakdown the organic matter. By peristalsis, the mixture is sent to the intestine where friendly bacteria continue chemical breakdown. This releases carbohydrates, protein, fat, and various vitamins and minerals for absorption into the body. The small intestine also produces enzymes that plays part in the digestive process of reducing the complex food compounds eaten to the simple compounds or building blocks that can be absorbed across the intestinal wall for transport to the organ or location where either they will be further processed, stored or used.

The Large Intestine/Bowel, or Colon

Large, complex molecules of proteins, polysaccharides, and lipids must be reduced to simpler particles before they can be absorbed by the digestive epithelial cells. Different organs play specific roles in the digestive process. The animal diet needs carbohydrates, protein, and fat, as well as vitamins and inorganic components for nutritional balance. The digestive system ingests and digests food, absorbs released nutrients, and excretes food components that are indigestible. The six activities involved in this process are ingestion, motility, mechanical digestion, chemical digestion, absorption, and defecation.

155 23.2 Digestive System Processes and Regulation

The earlier stages of digestion include passage of food through the esophagus, stomach, and small intestine. As the food travels though these parts of the body, it is broken down by various enzymes into usable nutrients, which are then absorbed across the small intestinal walls into the blood stream. Digestion does not end in the small intestine however, digesta must move onto the next portion of the digestive system to for completion. When the pyloric sphincter valve opens, chyme enters the duodenum where it mixes with digestive enzymes from the pancreas and bile juice from the liver and then passes through the small intestine, in which digestion continues. When the chyme is fully digested, it is absorbed into the blood.

The gallbladder is used to store and recycle excess bile from the small intestine so that it can be reused for the digestion of subsequent meals. The liver is a roughly triangular accessory organ of the digestive system located to the right of the stomach, just inferior to the diaphragm and superior to the small intestine. The liver weighs about 3 pounds and is the second largest organ in the body. The stomach is a muscular sac that is located on the left side of the abdominal cavity, just inferior to the diaphragm.

The villi have the function of providing a vastly increased surface area for the more efficient absorption of the nutrients. The efficiency of the absorption is influenced by the surface area available for the nutrients to move through i.e. the more villi the better the absorption.

It can lead to jaundice, and is identified by the presence of elevated bilirubin level that is mainly conjugated. Cystic fibrosis is a chronic, inherited illness where the production of abnormally thick mucous blocks the duct or passageways in the pancreas and prevents the digestive fluids from entering the intestines, making it difficult for the person with the disorder to digest protein and fats, which cause important nutrients to pass through without being digested. People with this disorder take supplements and digestive enzymes to help manage their digestive problems. Disorders of the pancreas, liver, and gallbladder affect the ability to produce enzymes and acids that aid in digestion.

These waves also play a role in mixing food with digestive juices. Peristalsis is so powerful that foods and liquids you swallow enter your stomach even if you are standing on your head. The digestive system uses mechanical and chemical activities to break food down into absorbable substances during its journey through the digestive system. Table 1 provides an overview of the basic functions of the digestive organs. Peristalsis is a series of wave-like muscle contractions that moves food to different processing stations in the digestive tract.

These glands produce a number of juices or enzymes that are used in the digestion or breaking down of food into its constituent nutrients. The mucous membrane is raised into folds and between these folds are numerous simple tubular glands that produce hydrochloric acid as well as lymphoid tissue. The oesophagus is wide and is capable of being significantly stretched. It connects the mouth region to the crop in close association with the trachea. The crop is a large dilation of the oesophagus located just prior to where the oesophagus enters the thoracic cavity.

the body's process of eliminating indigestible

Last Updated on: September 26th, 2019 at 8:58 pm, by

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