Major Functions In Digestive System

Major Functions In Digestive System

The digestive system is more important than what most people believe it to be. There are many functions performed by the digestive system, and some of the major functions are as follows:

Ingestion: This is the intake of food through the mouth. 

Digestion: This is the breakdown of food by digestive juices and enzymes. The breakdown starts in the mouth itself when one starts chewing the food. Chewing, aided by saliva, makes the large pieces of food into a soft mass. This soft mass is called the bolus.

Then the bolus passes through the esophagus into the stomach. The stomach secretes powerful acids and enzymes which break down the food further. This broken down food is called chyme. 

The chyme is then passed into the duodenum of the small intestine. Further digestion takes place in the duodenum. The pancreas secretes more enzymes for digestion into the duodenum. The liver also secretes bile, which helps in the digestion of fat. 

Absorption: The nutrients in the chyme are absorbed by the bloodstream from the small intestine, namely the jejunum and ileum. The small intestine has tiny finger-like folds called the villi. This provides a vast surface for the absorption of nutrients. 

Elimination: The products which cannot be absorbed by the blood are then passed on into the large intestine. This is the waste that will eventually be eliminated out of the body. The large intestine processes the waste so that it can be sent out of the body easily. Then the waste is sent to the rectum. The rectum holds the stool until it is time for elimination. When the time is right the anus receives it and opens the anal sphincters for ejection.

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Major Functions In Digestive System