The Digestive System
Transforms food into energy and removes waste
The teeth, enzymes, esophagus, stomach, small & large intestines, liver, rectum & Anus
The function of the digestive system is to take what your body needs from food and then removes the waste materials from the body.
Teeth chew and Saliva Glands in the Mouth produce enzymes which act on the food chemically, changing it to a soft state.
Muscles in the tongue move the foodstuff into the esophagus – a long tube which extends about ten inches and moves food from the back of the throat to the stomach.
In the Stomach, motion and gastric juices which are made of hydrochloric acid enzymes, break down the food chemically. The muscles of the stomach push the food into the small intestine.
In the small intestine, which is a tube of about 22 feet long and 1.5 inches in diameter, food is prepared to allow absorption.
Absorption is the passing through of vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, and fats – into the walls of the small intestine and into the blood. Organs outside the digestive tract help this process.
In the upper small intestine – bile, pancreatic fluid, and other juices from the small intestine combine with food.
In the lower small intestine, food continues to chemically break down until it reaches the end of the small intestine for absorption. It goes right to the liver – which blocks the flow of harmful substances/wastes and creates bile.
The remaining food is considered waste and is moved into the large intestine, a five-foot-long tube which is about four to five inches in diameter. Here – water and any remaining nutrients are absorbed into the blood.
The remainder becomes solid and is pushed into the rectum where it remains until ejected through the anus and out of the body.