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Getting to Know Our Digestive System. How it works?


Human digestive system - Page 3 of 3
The small intestine, large intestine

<< First stop: the mouth << | << The pharynx, esophagus, stomach <<

Small intestine


Fifth stop: the small intestine, which is generally superior among all the digestive organs, the third area where both digestion and absorption take place. Because of our machine called the small intestine, usable food is finally ready for transport into all the cells of our body. It processes food amount by amount, using the pyloric sphincter as a gatekeeper between the stomach and the small intestine's premises. Villi and microvilli greatly increase the surface area for absorption, therefore making the small intestine highly efficient in its job. This is where the rest of protein digestion takes place, as well as fat emulsification when we eat fatty foods. More and more digestive enzymes enter the small intestine since ducts from the liver and pancreas open at specific areas within its domain. Through the villi, amino acids from protein digestion enter the capillary blood in the liver, while fatty acids and monoglycerides from fat absorption are then transferred to the systemic circulation. Now that we know a great deal about our small intestine, we might as well take care of it and not overuse it like eating a lot of food that is beyond what we should be eating. Remember, processing in the small intestine is amount by amount. Let's not get the “gatekeeper” tired!

Large intestine



Sixth stop: the large intestine, which is larger in diameter but shorter in length compared to the small intestine. It works by drying out the wet non-absorbable food by reabsorption of water and then getting rid of it in the form of stool. There are no villi in the large intestine, since most nutrient absorption has already taken place in the small intestine. But then, there are numerous “goblet cells” lining the large intestines which secrete mucus, making the passage of feces a lot faster. Any damage to these goblet cells will contribute to constipation.

Our digestive system is a machinery that works 24 hours a day, seven days a week, even when we sleep. It is amazing to think that our bodies are actually capable of doing work without any rest! Don't these organs deserve a little pampering? By the time we have understood the functions of our organs, we might as well start taking care of our digestive tract to it won't stop working for us earlier than expected!

<< First stop: the mouth <<
<< The pharynx, esophagus, stomach <<

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