Digestive System Part 1

Digestive System Part 1

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  • We're going to follow rice through its journey through the digestive system.
  • First, the food will enter the mouth. That's this thing.
  • This is the digestive system. Currently, we're at the very beginning -- the mouth.
  • This is what the food looks like now. In the mouth, the teeth chomp down on the food to increase its surface area and make it easier to swallow. This is mechanical digestion. Additionally, the tongue will form the food into a ball called bolus to make it easy to swallow. Saliva and amylase produced by the salivary glands located behind your jaw break down the food through chemical digestion. Specifically, the amylase breaks down complex carbohydrates into monosaccharides and disaccharides.
  • We've now reached the esophagus. The esophagus connects the mouth to the stomach. To do this, a series of muscular contractions called peristalsis push the food down efficiently. Also, when food is being swallowed, the epiglottis closes the opening to the trachea so that food does not go down the same tube air would go down.
  • This is the stomach. (We'll have to imagine a little bit.) Here, many enzymes will help break down food such as pepsin and hydrochloric acid (both of which are made in the stomach) - this is chemical digestion. The stomach will also squeeze and churn - this part is mechanical digestion. The food, now a pulpy mix called chyme will depart for the small intestine.
  • But before we move on to the small intestine, let's look at the liver and pancreas!
  • Liver (dark burgundy): The liver is responsible for producing important digestive enzymes such as bile which helps break down fats among many other uses.
  • Pancreas (light magenta): The pancreas, like the liver, produces digestive enzymes like pancreatic amylase, trypsin and chymotrypsin the break down proteins, aminopeptidase and dipeptidases which break down peptides into amino acids, disaccharidases, lactase, sucrase, and maltase.
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