• The digestive System

    Posted on December 6, 2012 by in Digestion

    the digestive systemThe digestive system is made up of a complex series of tubes and accessory organs that have the primary function of converting the food and drink we consume into its constituent chemicals. It is these that the body relies on to build and nourish cell and provide energy.

    The energy the digestive system generates is in contrast to the amount of energy it uses, which makes its requirements for nutrients far greater than any other body system.

    The process of digestion may be divided into 4 sections

    1. Ingestion: Placing foods into the moth

    2. Breakdown of foods: Chewing foods mixes them with enzyme-rich salvia, which initiates the breakdown process. After swallowing the food passes through the oesophagus into the stomach where hydrochloric acid and enzymes continue to break it down until it reaches a semi-liquid consistency. This process can take between forty-five minutes and four hours.

    2. Absorption: Broken-down food leaving the stomach is known as chyme and proceeds into the small intestine. Here the chyme combines with intestinal juice which contains enzymes from the pancreas and bile released by the gallbladder (bile being responsible for the emulsification of fats). Additionally bicarbonate is present to neutralize the stomach acid. The remains from this process pass into the large intestine, which also assists in nutrient and water absorption.

    4. Excretion: undigested materials are moved through the large intestine and expelled from the body.

    Dysfunction in the digestive system can occur on any level and with this in mind it is important to eat the right wholefoods and take supplements that meet the digestive systems nutritional needs, which correct imbalances and restore function to the digestive system on all levels.

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