OUR GASTROINTESTINAL SYSTEM

Our gastrointestinal system is the one among the other wonderful creations of God. Our gastrointestinal system comprises of a lot of organs. It starts from the mouth and ends at the Rectum/Anus. In between these two, the organs that come are the Esophagus, Stomach, Small Intestine, and the Large Intestine. Organs like the liver and the pancreas mainly provide the support system for the successful completion of the digestion process. It’s this system that takes care of all the food that we eat and in the end, extracts the calories from the food ingested required for our activities and sustenance. All the food that we eat undergoes a process called digestion while passing through our gastrointestinal system. During the process of digestion, the food that we eat gets broken down into simpler components. The carbohydrates are broken down into its simplest form glucose; Protein is broken down into amino acids, and fats into fatty acids and glycerol. All the absorption and assimilation of these end-products including water, vitamins, and minerals happen during this process.

The first organ is the mouth. The mouth is the first part of the digestive system forms a very important organ and plays a very important role in initiating the process of digestion. The teeth help in breaking down the bigger food pieces into smaller ones thus helping in easy swallowing. The saliva in the mouth helps in lubrication and very minimally in initiating the breakdown of carbohydrates with the help of its enzyme salivary amylase. The food is then swallowed and it reaches the stomach through the food pipe called the esophagus. The esophagus has no role in the process of digestion but acts as the bridge in connecting the mouth to the stomach.

It’s the stomach where the actual process of digestion happens. The food which is now called the bolus) that’s received from the mouth after being broken down to smaller pieces is acted upon by the acid and the other enzymatic juices in the stomach. The acid in the stomach aids in creating a suitable pH for the enzymes to act on the food nutrients and also kills the harmful microorganisms (bacteria, germs, etc) if any present in the food. The stomach juices act on the carbohydrates, proteins, and the fats by large and break them into smaller units. It’s the carbohydrates and the proteins that are mainly targeted in the stomach. The enzymes like the amylases, Peptidases, and lipases act on carbohydrates, proteins, and fats respectively to break them down into simpler forms. The food stays here for a period of 2-3 hrs and is then sent to the small intestine.

The small intestine is a 23 inches long coiled organ, and it is here that the final stage of digestion and absorption of the nutrients takes place. It is divided into two parts the jejunum, and the ileum. In the small intestine, the further breakdown of the nutrients happens with the help of the digestive juices present. The liver and the pancreas also pour in their juices into the small intestine aiding in the digestion of proteins and fats and carbohydrates. The nutrients are finally broken down to their simplest form. Carbohydrates into glucose, Protein into amino acids, and lipids (fats) into fatty acids and glycerol. These simpler forms are now ready for absorption into the main bloodstream and this happens in the last part of the small intestine the ileum. Along with these nutrients, the absorption of vitamins and minerals also happens at this level. After all the absorption the remaining bolus is left with only water and fiber. It is now ready to be pushed into the last organ of the digestive system, the large intestine. In the large intestine, no digestion occurs, but only the absorption of water takes place. The completely digested and assimilated bulk is then sent to the last part of the large intestine the rectum, from where the evacuation happens in the form of feces/ stool through the anus.

The nutrients that are absorbed into the bloodstream through the intestinal linings are then further assimilated into various biochemical pathways in the million cells of our body to release the energy required for the functioning of the body.
All food items that we eat undergo the process of digestion in which food is broken down into simple components. Proteins are broken down into amino acids, carbohydrates into glucose, fats into fatty acids and glycerol. Water, minerals, vitamins too are absorbed this process is carried out by a series of hollow organs joined to form a twisted tube from the mouth to anus .this tube is called the digestive tract and includes organs like mouth, esophagus(food pipe), stomach, small intestine, large intestine, rectum, and anus. Two organs, liver and pancreas produce digestive juices that reach the food in intestines through small tubes called ducts. The gall bladder stores the liver’s juice until it is needed in the intestines.
The nutrients from food are absorbed through the lining of the intestines and enter the blood. The blood carries these nutrients to various cells of our body and enters the blood. The blood carries these nutrients to various cells of our body.