Welcome to a tour of the digestive system, one of many systems that makes up each of our bodies.
The Digestive System has one function, which is to break down the food you eat so your body can use it for energy.
The first step of the digestive system begins in the head, specifically in the mouth. See that brownie? It is about to begin a journey that will leave it all mashed up. That brownie will be chewed by your teeth, with assistance from saliva. Move your tongue to the roof of your mouth and back down again. There is a salivary gland under your tongue, and two in the esophagus. The saliva from these glands help break down the starch in the brownie and prepare the brownie so you can swallow it.
From the mouth, the brownie continues on its path to the stomach by traveling through the esophagus, which is a tube that leads directly to the stomach. This tube is one of the most complicated muscular reflexes that your body performs. As the brownie slides down the esophagus chute – whee – there are panels that protect you from choking. Wow, it took just a few minutes for that brownie to reach the stomach!
Now the brownie lands in the stomach where it resumes being churned and churned, and in the process acid will be produced that assists with the digestion. Leaving the stomach, it is just a short trip to the small intestine but it could take a full meal about three hours to reach this area.
The small intestine gets a helping hand from the pancreas and the liver. The pancreas secretes enzymes, and the liver secretes bile, which is stored in the gall bladder. These enzymes and bile help to further break down the brownie into ever smaller particles, with the bile focusing on fats.These really tiny particles of brownie break free out of the small intestine and enter the blood stream, providing energy and nutrition for your body. Of course, I am not so sure that brownies really provide much nutrition! This area might be called the small intestine, but if you could stretch yourself out 5 times high, your intestines would run from the top of your head all the way down to the bottom of your feet, and remember we are talking about 5 times your height!
It turns out that not all of the brownie gets digested in the stomach and small intestine. A teeny tiny portion of the brownie is still undigested, and that portion moves along from the small intestine to the large intestine. In this area, also known as the colon, waste products and small amounts of water and minerals are stored.
By this point, most of the brownie will have been digested. Whatever remains leaves your body through the anus and that waste material is known as feces. The anus is the major way our body disposes of its waste. It takes about 12 hours for food to complete its journey from your mouth to your anus.
This image is a link that will take you to a web site where you can interactively explore the digestive system.
And this is the bibliography of all the images used in this presentation, as well as the two publications that provided the facts.
Bibliography<br />FACTS<br />Specialties and Systems: Gastroenterologists–The Digestive System, Code Blue Student Guide Booklet, 2003 interact<br />A Tour Through The Digestive System, a school report by Laurie Sax<br />IMAGES<br />Full System – http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/imagepages/8710.htm<br />Question Mark – image from a photo of a M.I.T. building interior, Cambridge, MA, taken by Mrs Bartels<br />Brownie image – http://www.flickr.com/photos/fiikus/2396377686/<br />Mouth – http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2007/08/01/health/adam/8880Mouthanatomy.html<br />Esophagus – http://www.sts.org/sections/patientinformation/esophageal/barretts/<br />Small Intestine – http://www.integris-health.com/INTEGRIS/en-US/Specialties/A-F/Digestive/Technology/doubleBalloonMore.htm<br />Pancreas – http://www.vivo.colostate.edu/hbooks/pathphys/digestion/pancreas/anatomy.html<br />Liver – http://vrai-group.epfl.ch/page7706.html<br />The Digestive System – http://www.burtonschools.org/JMA/new_page_13.htm<br />Anus – http://220.127.116.11/library/healthguide/en-us/support/topic.asp?hwid=tp12580<br />Interactive Tour – http://www.uofmchildrenshospital.org/misc/movie/bodybasics/digestive_system.htm<br />