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الحمد لله

<b>الحمد لله</b>

Monday, July 4, 2011

The digestive system (part 1)

When we talk about digestion, we think of the stomach, well most of us does. Did you know that the digestive system starts from outside the body and ends, well almost outside of the body. True enough, digestion starts at the point where food comes in contact with your hands (different story when you're using fork and spoon), the fingers release enzymes that assist digestion, isn't this just flabbergasting, the fingers, releasing digestive enzymes? Whoa. Eat with your hands, it helps digestion.

(1)mouth, (2)pharynx, (3)tongue, (4)esophagus, (5)pancreas, (6)gallbladder, (7)stomach, (8)duodenum, (9)ascending colon, (10) transverse and descending colon, (11)jejunum, (12)sigmoid colon, (13)ileum, (14)rectum, (15)anus.
The mouth
(1)parotid, (2)submandibluar and 

Okay then, the next step of digestion involves the mouth, teeth and all the saliva production. There are three salivary glands responsible of producing saliva: parotid, sublingual and submandibular. Saliva contains amylase(a digestive enzyme) which helps to soften food, assist chewing and a smooth swallow. The action of breaking down food in the mouth differs from the action involving the stomach and intestines, each part plays different roles as they produce vary enzymes.

**Reminder: It's important that we chew our food thoroughly for a better digestion in the stomach, as poorly chewed food takes a longer processing in the stomach and may burden it's function**

The pharynx
Also known as the throat, is a channel for both food and air, the epiglottis is a cartilage flap that helps to direct food into the esophagus and prevents it from entering the trachea,as the pharynx is divided into two channels which is the esophagus(for food) and the trachea(for air).

The esophagus
A long tube with a thick wall of circular muscle fibers, which runs from the pharynx towards the stomach, at its end is a sphincter muscle which controls food entrance into the stomach.
Food movements through out the digestive tract occurs with the help of peristalsis, muscle contractions that pushes food forward and prevents food from moving in reverse.

The stomach
An elastic sac at the end of the esophagus,that consists of serosa(membrane coating), layers of longitudinal, circular and oblique muscles, submucosa(loose connective tissue) and mucosa(inner membrane). The pouch where our consumption is dumped into. Where mucus, acid, digestive enzymes and hormones are produced to assist digestion. It all happens here. And note that in our stomach, HCI(hydrochloric acid) is secreted, meaning our stomach is made for endurance? MashaAllah..
When all of the foods are processed their next journey is the small intestines. But we'll get on that later. Now, back to the stomach and it's secretions.

  • Pepsin enzyme-Assist breakdown of proteins into smaller molecules(polypeptides & peptides).
  • Lipase enzyme-Breaks down fat into glycerol and fatty acids.
  • HCI-Kills bacteria and provides an environment suitable for well functioning stomach enzymes.
Digestive enzymes are protein molecules that hasten chemical reaction in the body, for without it metabolism and other bodily processes may take ages to complete.
Food digested lays for a while in the stomach for a few hours(approximately 4 hours or so), till it becomes all gooey and thoroughly mixed with the gastric juices,before it makes way into the duodenum, the first part of the small intestines.

The small intestine
It may be called small but the small intestines, which is divided in three sections (duodenum, jejunum and ileum) lays out to an approximate length of 6.5m, equivalent to 21 feet long. However, compared to the large intestine, it holds a much smaller diameter.

The duodenum receives secretion from the liver and pancreas, which aids digestion, and from there it's joined to jejunum, the next section of the small intestines and the last part is ileum which is joined to the colon.

Throughout the whole small intestine nutrients are digested and absorbed, loads of enzymes are secreted in the small intestines (lipase, pancreatic enzyme,amylase,  tripsin , chymotripsin, maltase, sucrase, lactase, peptidase, bile salts), all to ad digestion, this much of secretion just to break down the things we eat! So, eat wisely, meat takes much longer and harder on the digestive system, so cut down on it if you love your tummy and its associates(please do show them some love).

Here I end part 1. See you again in part 2. Goodnight all, thanks muchas for the read! Salam.

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