The Interesting, Complex Digestive System Essay

1825 words - 8 pages

The human digestive system is a bodily process made up of many systems, organs and substances that break down food both physically and chemically for use by the body. But what exactly is human digestion and what happens to food as it moves through the digestive system? “…[digestion] is a group of organs working together to convert food into energy and basic nutrients to feed the entire body” (Tim Taylor). There are three major bodily mechanisms that contribute to the process of digestion. The first mechanism is the breakdown of food, the second mechanism is the process of extracting nutrients from food, and the third mechanism is excretion, or the body’s natural waste system. Each mechanism uses specific bodily organs and chemical compounds to assist in the digestion process. Organs such as the mouth, tongue, throat, liver, esophagus, gallbladder, pancreas, small and large intestines, rectum and anus are all key to the digestive process. These organs and mechanisms come together to convert the food humans eat into energy and nutrients that the body uses to sustain life, and to get rid of unnecessary waste that could be harmful to the body. Although the removal of waste from the human body can be an awkward subject to discuss it is an important part of the digestive system because if left in the body this waste would eventually poison us. The digestive system is interesting, complex and truly important to our daily lives. Without the digestive system energy and nutrients vital to the body could never reach body cells and a person wouldn't be able to do all the things they like to do, such as study, play sports, and hang out with friends.
The body uses various organs and chemicals to break down food. The breakdown of food helps the body in many ways by helping it to gain the nutrition needed for day to day activities and functions. The main organs used in the process of breaking down food are the mouth, stomach, esophagus, small intestine, and pancreas. They actively work to break down food and make those compounds available to the rest of the body. The digestive system begins in the mouth; the teeth have a more important function than just displaying a beautiful smile. A person uses their canine and front teeth to tear a bite off a piece of food, and then they use their molars to chew it until it is small enough to swallow. Humans are omnivores, so their variously shaped teeth can break apart many different kinds of food. When a piece of food is chewed enzymes are then activated in the mouth to break it down, those enzymes help the food to be broken down enough to enter the throat. Also saliva helps to break food down and make it mushy so the body can absorb nutrients. The tongue helps push the food into the throat area. Once in the throat it enters a swallowing tube that transfers the food to the esophagus. After being swallowed, on the way to the stomach food enters the esophagus, which forces the food into the stomach by using wave...

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