Human digestive system

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Digestive System Model Demonstrating Sequence and Length of Organs
Active transport requires energy. We welcome suggested improvements to any of our articles. A common fungal infection is candidiasis commonly known as thrush which affects the mucous membranes of the mouth. Click here to share your story. The large intestine includes the rectum and anal canal. As the embryo folds off, the endoderm is rolled in as the foregut and hindgut. Poor Digestion of Meat.

Introduction to Digestive System:

Digestive system

First, under the influence of photosynthesis made possible by ultraviolet rays from the Sun, a sterol compound from the liver dehydrocholesterol is converted to vitamin D 3. This supplies enough vitamin D 3 for human needs. In the absence of exposure to sunlight, dietary supplements become necessary. Eggs, liver, fortified bread, and milk are the main sources of vitamin D.

Deficiency of vitamin D occurs when there is lack of sunlight and inadequate vitamin D in the diet. It may also result from disease or after resection of the small intestine, which may cause malabsorption. In these circumstances softening of bone osteomalacia and rickets may occur. In the jejunum vitamin D is incorporated along with bile salts and fatty acids into the micelles, and, subsequently, as the provitamin D 1 , vitamin D is absorbed in the ileum and then passes into the circulation via the portal vein.

A specific bloodborne protein, an alpha-1—globulin, carries it to the liver, where the process of chemical change to the active hormone begins by hydroxylation to cholecalciferol.

The derivatives are conveyed from the liver to various tissues, including the skin, bone, and parathyroid glands. In the intestine vitamin D influences the permeability of the brush borders of the enterocytes to calcium. Vitamin D levels can influence hemoglobin production in the body.

For example, persons with low levels of vitamin D may develop anemia, and hemoglobin levels in these individuals can be increased by vitamin D supplements. Although the mechanism by which vitamin D influences hemoglobin production is unclear, research has suggested that it may protect the oxygen-carrying molecule via a protective anti-inflammatory action.

Vitamin D has also been shown to augment the production of red blood cells in the presence of erythropoietin, a hormone produced primarily in the kidneys that influences the rate of red cell production. We welcome suggested improvements to any of our articles. You can make it easier for us to review and, hopefully, publish your contribution by keeping a few points in mind.

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Calcium Calcium is required for the construction of bone; it forms part of the substance cementing together the walls of adjacent cells; and it is vital in the responsiveness to stimuli of muscle and nerve cells, which determines their excitability. Magnesium An average diet contains around mg of magnesium, of which two-thirds is absorbed.

Hematinics Hematinics are substances that are essential to the proper formation of the components of blood. Folic acid Folic acid pteroylglutamic acid is necessary for the synthesis of nucleic acids and for cell replication. Vitamin B 12 Vitamin B 12 , also called cobalamin because it contains cobalt, is essential to the formation of blood cells. Iron Iron is necessary for the synthesis of hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying compound of the red blood cells. Vitamin D Vitamin D is essentially a hormone and is available from two sources.

Page 20 of Next page Intestinal gas. Learn More in these related Britannica articles: A number of alterations, often causing more or less distress, occur in the physical condition and functions of the gastrointestinal tract during pregnancy.

As the embryo folds off, the endoderm is rolled in as the foregut and hindgut. Continued growth progressively closes both the midbody and the midgut. The esophagus remains as a simple, straight tube. The stomach grows faster on its dorsal side, thereby forming…. Loss of teeth, which is often seen in elderly people, is more apt to be the result of long-term neglect than a result of aging itself. The loss of teeth and incidence of oral disease increase with age, but, as programs of water….

In either event, pregnancy complicates their problems because the gastrointestinal disturbances that often…. Some brain cells may also participate as hunger receptors. This is especially true of cells in the lower parts of the brain such as the hypothalamus where some cells have been found to…. More About Human digestive system 5 references found in Britannica articles Assorted References embryological development In prenatal development: Digestive tube sensory reception In human sensory reception effects of aging In human aging: Digestive system pregnancy In pregnancy: Gastrointestinal tract In pregnancy: Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students.

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The omasum also acts as a type of pump, moving the food from the reticulorumen to the true stomach, the abomasum, where acid digestion takes place. The abomasum Unlike a ruminant's three forestomachs, the abomasum is a 'secretory stomach'. Hydrolysis breaks the proteins into smaller sub-units e. The small intestine The small intestine is an elongated tube running from the abomasum to the large intestine. In ruminants, the small intestine is about 20 times longer than the length of the animal - so a cow two metres in length would have a small intestine 40 metres long!

A large proportion of the digestion and absorption of nutrients and water occurs in the small intestine. Enzymes in the small intestine break nutrient molecules down into their building blocks.

Carbohydrates are broken down to simple sugars monosaccharides , fats into fatty acids and monoglycerides , nucleic acids into nucleotides and proteins into amino acids. Some of these enzymes are on the surfaces of intestinal cells, while others are secreted into the small intestine, primarily from the liver and pancreas. Partially digested food passes from the duodenum along the small intestine by way of peristaltic muscle contractions that start at the part where the abomasum is joined to the duodenum.

Duodenum The liver and pancreas both secrete materials through ducts into the duodenum. The bicarbonate neutralises acid from the stomach, which would otherwise inactivate many of the duodenum's digestive enzymes. The villi in the jejunum are much longer than in the duodenum or ileum. The epithelial cells which line these villi possess even larger numbers of microvilli, known collectively as the brush border. The combination of villi and microvilli increases the surface area of the small intestine, increasing the chance of a food particle encountering a digestive enzyme and being absorbed across the epithelium and into the blood stream.

Nutrients can cross the intestine wall by either passive or active transport. In passive transport molecules diffuse into the intestinal cells down a concentration gradient i. The sugar xylose enters the blood by passive transport. Active transport requires energy. Amino acides, small peptides, vitamins, and most glucose are moved across the intestine lining by active transport. Ileum The ileum's main function is absorption of vitamin B 12, bile salts and whatever nutrients that were not absorbed by the jejunum.

At the point where the ileum joins the large intestine there is a valve, called the ileocaecal valve, which prevents materials flowing back into the small intestine. The caecum The caecum is a pouch connected to the large intestine and the ileum. It is separated from the ileum by the ileocaecal valve, and is considered to be the beginning of the large intestine.

In herbivores the caecum is greatly enlarged and serves as a storage organ that permits bacteria and other microbes time to further digest cellulose. Partially digested food enters the caecum through the ileoacecal valve, which is normally closed. The valve occasionally opens to allow food material in.

As there is only one opening to the caecum, digesta must move in and out to the caecum through the same opening. Horses, rabbits, rodents and other herbivores use cellulose and other fermentable plant material in much the same way as ruminants. However, as they only have a single stomach compartment, fermentation and digestion of cellulose primarily occurs in the large intestine and cecum.

Digestive tract anatomy of hindgut fermenters. The stomach and small intestine of hindgut fermenters are similar in form and function to other non-ruminant herbivores. Food passes down the oesophagus and into the stomach which does much the same job as the ruminant abomasums. However, monogastric species do not regurgitate their cud so all mastication occurs when food is taken into the mouth. Acid and enzymatic digestion begins in the stomach, and then partially digested food moves from the stomach into the small intestine where further breakdown and absorption of nutrients occurs.

Like the ruminant system, the small intestine empties its contents into the caecum through the ileocecal orifice. The rumen underpins much of our agricultural industry. Without this stomach chamber, cows and other ruminants would be much less efficient at turning grass into milk, meat and wool.

A cow's rumen has a capacity of up to 95 litres and contains billions of bacteria and other microbes. These microbes produce the enzymes that digest cellulose into sugars and fatty acids for their hosts to use. A less desirable by-product is the potent greenhouse gas, methane: Cow's digestive tract, viewed from left side. Image from Nickel et al. Relative size of ruminant stomach chambers.

Section through cow's stomach, viewed from the front. Note the highly folded wall of the omasum. Cow's stomach viewed from the right-hand side. The large intestine In addition to the caecum the large intestine is made up of the ascending colon, transverse colon, sigmoid colon, rectum, and anus. Much of the large intestine comprises the colon, which is shorter in length but larger in diameter than the small intestine. The colon is involved in the active transport of sodium, and absorption of water by osmosis, from the digested material that it contains.

It also provides an environment for bacteria to grow and reproduce. These symbiotic bacteria produce important vitamins such as vitamin K, thiamine , and riboflavin , required by the animal for proper growth and health. Finally, the large intestine eliminates wastes. Mycotoxins and rumen function. Image courtesy of Lance McLeay. They found that at least some of the mycotoxins they tested disrupted muscle contractions in the rumen and reticulum.

This disruption was sometimes severe and lasted up to 12 hours. They concluded that "severe disruption of digestion may occur in animals grazing endophyte-infected pasture" McLeay et al. The endophytic fungi also produce another set of compounts - the ergots similar to adrenalin that increase body temperature, induce heat stress, and cause marked effects on contractions of the rumen and reticulum as shown in the above image.

This mycotoxin may cause scours diarrhoea in affected animals. Ruminant animals range in size from kg i. Smaller animals have higher energy requirements per unit of body weight. The small body size means that their small guts would not be able to cope with the high retention times and throughput of a ruminant digestive system. In comparison, large nonruminants such as giraffes and elephants have comparatively lower energy requirements than ruminants per unit of body weight.

Therefore, they are able to extract enough energy from plants without the need for rumination. These non-ruminant herbivores have a somewhat different digestive anatomy. The three forestomach chambers are absent, replaced with a single secretory stomach, and plant material is fermented in the caecum and large intestine. This process is known as hindgut fermentation.

Humans, horse, dogs and rabbits all have monogastric digestion — they have a single stomach chamber. Animals with monogastric digestion are still able to digest some of the cellulose in their diet, by way of symbiotic gut bacteria. However, their ability to extract energy from cellulose digestion is less efficient than in ruminants.

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