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Digestive System

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Mouth Here, food is mechanically broken down by the teeth thereby increasing the surface area. Food is shaped in to a bolus. Salivary glands There are three of these. They produce saliva, which acts as a lubricant. Saliva also contains the enzyme amylase which breaks down starch into glucose. Oesophagus This connects the pharynx to the stomach and is also called the gullet. Its purpose it to move the bolus of food down to the stomach by peristalsis. Mucus is also produced which acts as a lubricant and helps protect against escaped stomach acid. ...read more.


Gastric juice includes water, hydrochloric acid, mucus and pepsin. Pepsin breaks down protein. Small intestine Most food is digested here. It is 7 metres long. It consists of the duodenum, jejunum and ileum. Food is broken down using enzymes produced by the pancreas and bile from the liver and gall bladder. Most nutrient absorption occurs here with the aid of finger-like villi on the walls. The villi greatly increase the surface area for absorption. Liver This acts as a chemical factory. In terms of digestion, it produces bile which is secreted in to the small intestine to help digest fat. ...read more.


The digestive enzymes include lipase, which breaks down fat, trypsin and carboxypeptidase, which break down protein molecules, and amylase, which breaks down carbohydrate. The large intestine This is also known as the colon. It connects the small intestine to the rectum. This has no role in digestion but helps to helps process material arriving from the small intestine. It helps absorb the remaining water and turn undigested food into faeces. Rectum This connects the colon to the anus. This receives faeces and stores it until it needs to be eliminated. Anus This is the last part of the digestive tract. It consists of a ring of muscles and two anal sphincters which allow the faeces out. ...read more.

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