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Human Digestive System

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LED model of Digestive System

This model of Digestive system explains the journey of food through different parts of digestive system. Digestive system also includes various glands which aid it in the process of digestion.


The human digestive system consists of the gastrointestinal tract plus the accessory organs of digestion (the tongue, salivary glands, pancreas, liver, and gallbladder). Digestion involves the breakdown of food into smaller and smaller components, until they can be absorbed and assimilated into the body. The process of digestion has many stages. The first stage is the cephalic phase of digestion which begins with gastric secretions in response to the sight and smell of food. The next stage starts in the mouth.


Chewing, in which food is mixed with saliva, begins the mechanical process of digestion. This produces a bolus which can be swallowed down the esophagus to enter the stomach. Here it is mixed with gastric acid until it passes into the duodenum where it is mixed with a number of enzymesproduced by the pancreas. Saliva also contains a catalytic enzyme called amylase which starts to act on food in the mouth. Another digestive enzymecalled lingual lipase is secreted by some of the lingual papillae on the tongue and also from serous glands in the main salivary glands. Digestion is helped by the chewing of food carried out by the muscles of mastication, by the teeth, and also by the contractions of peristalsis, and segmentation. Gastric acid, and the production of mucus in the stomach, are essential for the continuation of digestion.


Peristalsis is the rhythmic contraction of muscles that begins in the esophagus and continues along the wall of the stomach and the rest of the gastrointestinal tract. This initially results in the production of chyme which when fully broken down in the small intestine is absorbed as chyle into the lymphatic system. Most of the digestion of food takes place in the small intestine. Water and some minerals are reabsorbed back into the blood in the colon of the large intestine. The waste products of digestion (feces) are defecated from the anus via the rectum.


Components

There are several organs and other components involved in the digestion of food. The organs known as the accessory digestive glands are the liver, gall bladder and pancreas. Other components include the mouth, salivary glands, tongue, teeth and epiglottis.
The largest structure of the digestive system is the gastrointestinal tract (GI tract). This starts at the mouth and ends at the anus, covering a distance of about nine metres.
The largest part of the GI tract is the colon or large intestine. Water is absorbed here and the remaining waste matter is stored prior to defecation.
Most of the digestion of food takes place in the small intestine.
A major digestive organ is the stomach. Within its mucosa are millions of embedded gastric glands. Their secretions are vital to the functioning of the organ.
There are many specialised cells of the GI tract. These include the various cells of the gastric glands, taste cells, pancreatic duct cells, enterocytes and microfold cells.
Some parts of the digestive system are also part of the excretory system, including the large intestine.
This video has been created by Khula Aasmaan with cooperation from Science park, Savitribai Phule Pune University for the benefit of students, parents and teachers. Let us watch the video for understanding the journey of food.

 

 

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