Short functional anatomy of the digestive system

Short functional anatomy of the digestive system

Where goes the food after you swallow it? How is it built our digestive system? Briefly about our complicated micro-world.

What are the parts of the digestive system?

The system has its own separate anatomic parts with different physiological purposes inside which the food is moving the digestion is working. These are organs of digestion and absorption of food.

These are:

  • mouth
  • esophagus
  • stomach
  • duodenum
  • small intestine
  • colon

What are the parts of the digestive organs?

Digestion in different organs is carried out at a specific acidity for each authority with the participation of an important group of substances – enzymes. Enzymes are a result of the specific excretory glands. Their name is endocrine glands.

These are:

  • salivary glands:
  • stomach (parietal and mucus) glands
  • pancreas
  • liver and bile

What is the mechanism of digestion?

The smallest functional parts of the digestive system are enzymes and hormones. Enzymes are catalysts for chemical reactions, they are protein complexes of amino acid chains that promote rapid degradation of substances in an otherwise “less aggressive” chemical environment in the body. The production of enzymes is dependent on hormones. Hormones are carriers of signals that different cells interpreted differently.

Adoption and absorption of food going through a system of organs who transform and make it available to all cells in our body. The digestive system is a long tube with an average length of about 9 meters, which starts from the mouth passes through the middle of the body and ends with the anus.

To the digestive system affects also the additional glands – salivary, liver and pancreas (pancreas).

The digestive process

You eat with the mouth, bite with the teeth and chew up crushing the food. The enzyme amylase in saliva degrades complex carbohydrates in the feed to smaller molecules. Furthermore, throughout his life, a person produces about 10,000 liters of saliva.

From the mouth, the food enters the esophagus, through which reaches the stomach. The food stays in the stomach from 2 to 6 hours, according to its type. In the stomach, it is mixed with the digestive juices.

From the stomach, the food passes into the duodenum, where the action of pancreatic enzymes is to digest in small, easily digested molecules. Finally, the digested nutrients are ready to move from the small intestine into the blood and through it to reach every cell in our body.

For good digestion is the most important to have a healthy digestive system – healthy mucous membranes, a sufficient amount of digestive juices and enzymes as well as a sufficient amount of beneficial bacteria (probiotics).

The two essential probiotics which everybody needs to take are Probiotic Bifidus and Lactobacillus Acidophilus.

What absorbs the digestive system?

With the exception of the fiber, our digestive system will absorb the majority of compounds in our food. Basically, mammals can not digest fiber, making them a significant carrier of wastes out of our system. For the same reason fiber is an extremely important food group for patients who suffer from constipation. Compounds which the digestive system absorbs are:

Carbohydrates / starch and sugar

Amylases (the digestive enzymes) in saliva begin the process of digestion of carbohydrates. In addition, they are absorbed  soon are turned into glucose in the small intestine. This is the main way how to supply the body with energy.


Digestive enzymes (proteases) in the stomach begin degradation of the protein. The process ends in the small intestine and the protein makes its transformation into an amino acid. Among other things, it is also useful for restoration of tissue in the body.


Digestive juices produced by the liver and bile acids from the gallbladder begin the breakdown of fats. Then digestive enzymes (lipases) in the small intestine break them down into fatty acids and cholesterol. As a result, fats are absorbed and transported to different areas in the body.


The vitamins are absorbed in the intestine and transported to the liver or stored in the tissue.

Food gives us energy to live, to move, to work, to rejoice. The digestive system process the food we eat and through the circulatory system reaches every part of the body. In addition, a healthy adult accepts about 500-600 kg. food for a period of one year.

Does the stomach think?

Activation of the digestive system begins with the type of food and the conscious expectation of consuming it. The merit of this has the central nervous system, which generates impulses in the appetite center in the brain. Digestion depends on the two parts of the nervous system – central and peripheral. They influence each other, but indirectly. The chemical identification of the food is due to the “gut” and less to the brain.

The digestive nervous system consists of a network of nerve cells in the walls of each of its body. Thanks to its many receptors that brain deals with everything passing through the inside of the digestive system. Also, it is responsible for the smooth and seamlessly movement of food for the release of digestive hormones and enzymes. Between the main brain and gut brain, there is a process of completion and processing of information gathered by the sensors of the nervous system.

About Jane Peterson

Jane Peterson is a supportive nutrition and fitness coach and registered dietitian nutritionist known for her health advices and innovative ideas to inspire and motivate people to reach their goals. She has a passion for personal training and enjoys motivating people, using specific exercise programs and track their progression for success. As a parent herself, Jane Peterson knows what it means to have to work hard to keep a good shape during pregnancy and after having a baby. She is interested about improving the way children eat, pediatric nutrition and family meal planning. Jane has several years of personal and professional experience and is practicing as a freelance food and health writer. She works personally with a small number of hand picked clients, transforming their health and their physiques using her four key elements of wellness: lifestyle, exercise, nutrition and supplementation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *