Digestive System Digestion

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Digestive System



  • Types
    • Mechanical (physical)
      • Chew
      • Tear
      • Grind
      • Mash
      • Mix
    • Chemical
      • Enzymatic reactions to improve digestion of
        • Carbohydrates
        • Proteins
        • Lipids

Digestive System Organization

  • Gastrointestinal (Gl) tract
    • Tube within a tube
    • Direct link/path between organs
    • Structures
      • Mouth
      • Pharynx
      • Esophagus
      • Stomach
      • Small intestine
      • Large Intestine
      • Rectum


  • Teeth mechanically break down food into small pieces. Tongue mixes food with saliva (contains amylase, which helps break down starch).
  • Epiglottis is a flap-like structure at the back of the throat that closes over the trachea preventing food from entering it. It is located in the Pharynx.


  • Approximately 20 cm long.
  • Functions include:
  • Secrete mucus
  • Moves food from the throat to the stomach using muscle movement called peristalsis
  • If acid from the stomach gets in here that’s heartburn.
  • Mouth, Pharynx and Esophagus Video


  • J-shaped muscular bag that stores the food you eat, breaks it down into tiny pieces.
  • Mixes food with Digestive Juices that contain enzymes to break down Proteins and Lipids.
  • Acid (HCl) in the stomach Kills Bacteria.
  • Food found in the stomach is called Chyme.

Small Intestine

  • Small intestines are roughly 7 meters long
  • Lining of intestine walls has finger-like projections called villi, to increase surface area.
  • The villi are covered in microvilli which further increases surface area for absorption.
  • Crash Course Review

Small Intestine

  • Nutrients from the food pass into the bloodstream through the small intestine walls.
  • Absorbs:
    • 80% ingested water
    • Vitamins
    • Minerals
    • Carbohydrates
    • Proteins
    • Lipids
    • Secretes digestive enzymes

Large Intestine

  • About 1.5 meters long
  • Accepts what small intestines don’t absorb
  • Rectum (short term storage which holds feces before it is expelled).

Large Intestine

  • Functions
    • Absorbs more water
    • Concentrate wastes

Accessory Organs The Glands

  • Not part of the path of food, but play a critical role.


  • Directly affects digestion by producing bile
    • Bile helps digest fat
    • filters out toxins and waste including drugs and alcohol and poisons.

Gall Bladder

  • Stores bile from the liver, releases it into the small intestine.
  • Fatty diets can cause gallstones


  • Produces digestive enzymes to digest fats, carbohydrates and proteins
  • Regulates blood sugar by producing insulin
  • Web Page Reinforcement Video
  • Now it's...

On a sheet of paper, write the name of each colored organ:

  • Green:
  • Red:
  • Pink:
  • Brown:
  • Purple:
  • Green:
  • Yellow:

How’d you do?

  • Green: Esophagus
  • Red: Stomach
  • Pink: Small Intestine
  • Brown: Large Intestine
  • Purple: Liver
  • Green: Gall Bladder
  • Yellow: Pancreas
  • Great Job!

References and Links

  • Your Digestive System and How It Works
  • The Real Deal on the Digestive System
  • Pancreas: Introduction and Index
  • Your Gross and Cool Body - Digestive System
  • Laurentian Regional High School Data Base
  • - you must know the Username and Password

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