The Digestive System

Essay by Anonymous UserCollege, UndergraduateA+, May 2008

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You are enjoying a chicken fried steak sandwich and a bag of Doritos potato chips with a glass of sweet tea for lunch. After finishing lunch, you start doing work around the house completely forgetting about the sandwich and chips you just ate. But don't worry it is still in your stomach. Your digestive system started working before you took that first bite of the sandwich or chip. The digestive system will be busy for the next few hours or even days working on the chewed up lunch. This process is called digestion, which allows your body to get the nutrients and energy it needs from the food you ate. Below is a diagram that shows all the parts that are involved in breaking down food in the digestive system. (Cleveland Clinic Health System, n.d) Parts of the Digestive System The parotid salivary gland produces saliva to dissolve food particles so that they can be tasted.

The pharynx connects your mouth with your esophagus. (Basmajian, J.V., Grant's Method of Anatomy, 1980) The esophagus carries food and liquids from the throat the stomach for digestion. The liver cleanses the blood and processes nutrional molecules that are distributed to the tissues. The stomach has several functions which include secreting acids and enzymes which mixes food with secretions to begin digestion of proteins. The gall bladder stores bile and introduces the small intestine. The pancreas is about 6 inches long and shaped like a flat pear. (eMedTV, n.d.) The transverse colon is the second half of the large intestine that puts the waste into feces. The small intestine finishes the process of digestion, absorbs the nutrients, and passes the residue onto the large intestine. The descending colon is the last part of the large intestine. The ascending colon absorbs fluids and...