The Digestive System
The digestive system is the set of organs responsible for food processing in animals. It is responsible for transforming food so that it can be used by the body. Animals need external sources to maintain vital functions, unlike plants. It is then from food that energy and matter are obtained in the form of nutrients for different cellular activities.
Because nutrients need to get inside the cell, food is processed, cut, and divided into its molecular components, which then pass into the blood, which carries it to the rest of the body. This is possible thanks to the digestive system.
Animals can be herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores, depending on whether they feed on plants, animals, or both. Human beings are omnivores, although there are people who have a predilection for vegetables (vegetarians) or meat (Eskimos).
Fun Facts About Digestion
Stomach grumbling is when your stomach and small intestines are carrying out the digestive process. Normally the sound is muffled by the food. When your stomach is empty, it contracts and you may hear that rumbling sound.
You Can Eat Upside Down
Constricting muscles in your esophagus move your food through your system and while gravity helps, it is not essential. This process is called peristalsis.
Stomach Acid Could Digest YOU!
Fortunately, we have a thick layer of mucus that protects us from the highly corrosive hydrochloric acid otherwise known as stomach acid. Stomach acid alone would dissolve our insides.
Parts of the digestive system also known as the digestive tract
The digestive system is made up of the digestive tract and the accessory or attached glands. The digestive tract goes from the mouth to the anus and it is certainly a very long tube through which food travels by gravity and peristalsis.
Peristalsis is the effect that the muscles of the digestive tract produce when contracting. Imagine you have a flexible hose and want to run a marble through it. By closing your fist around the hose, just behind the marble, you can push it to the other end. The same thing happens along the digestive tract.
Mouth or oral cavity
The mouth or oral cavity extends from the lips to the pharynx. It contains the tongue, gums, teeth, and salivary duct holes. It is in this part where the first phase of digestion occurs: chewing and swallowing.
The pharynx is a tube through which air, food, and fluids enter. The tonsils and adenoids are located in the pharynx. The epiglottis is also obtained, a lamina behind the tongue that closes the larynx when we swallow.
The esophagus is a tube of fibers and muscle that is about 25 cm. It connects the pharynx to the stomach and is behind the windpipe at the top. It enters the abdomen through the diaphragm. Its function is to allow food to enter the stomach.
The stomach is a muscular organ, similar to a purse or fanny pack, that mixes food with gastric juice to form chyme. It is located on the left side of the abdomen, between the esophagus and the first part of the small intestine. People can store up to three liters of food.
Sphincters of the stomach
At the entrance and exit of the stomach, there are two muscular rings, called sphincters, that open and close regulating the transit of food.
The cardiac sphincter is opened to allow the food bolus to enter and is closed to prevent the reflux of the chyme. The pylorus is the sphincter at the end of the stomach, which opens to let chyme pass into the small intestine.
The small intestine is a tube of about 6 to 7 m, going from the stomach to the large intestine. It is made of three main zones: the duodenum, the jejunum, and the ileum.
The duodenum is just after the stomach and measures 25 cm. Pancreatic and bile juices are spilled into it. The jejunum continues to the duodenum and represents two-fifths of the small intestine. It continues with the ileum, which is the longest part and connects to the large intestine.
The inner part of the small intestine is especially rich in the surface. As a consequence, the area of contact with the intestinal content increases, and therefore absorption. This is due to the formation of folds and villi on a large scale, and the presence of cellular microvilli.
The large intestine is the last part of the digestive tract, approximately 1.5 m long. It can be divided into eight segments:
- The cecum
- The appendix
- The ascending colon
- The transverse colon
- The descending colon
- The sigmoid colon
- The rectum
- The anal canal
Glands attached to the digestive system
The accessory glands are structures that connect to the digestive tract and secrete their products there. There are three: the salivary glands, the liver, and the pancreas.
The main product of the salivary glands is saliva. There are three pairs of salivary glands: the parotid, sublingual, and submandibular glands.
Functions of saliva and salivary glands
- Cleaning and humidifying the mouth.
- Secretion of digestive enzymes such as amylase, and antibacterial enzymes, such as lysozyme.
- Dissolution of compounds and contribution to the sense of taste.
The liver is the largest glandular organ in the body, weighing approximately 1.5 kg. It is located on the right side of the abdomen, below the diaphragm.
The bile produced by the liver is stored in a pear-shaped sac called the gallbladder. A thin tube or duct comes out of the gallbladder to release bile into the duodenum.
The pancreas is an endocrine and exocrine gland. The endocrine cells of the pancreas (islets of Langerhans) produce the hormones insulin, somatostatin, and glucagon that it releases into the blood. Exocrine cells produce digestive enzymes that go to the duodenum.
Main pancreatic enzymes
- Trypsin: Acts in Proteins and polypeptides
- Pancreatic Lipase: Acts in Triglycerides
- Pancreatic Alpha-Amylase: Acts in Starch
- Phospholipase-A2: Acts in Phospholipids
Digestive system functions
The digestive system is in charge of:
- Digestion of food
- Hormone production
- Defense against pathogens
The main function of the digestive system is the digestion of food, that is, the processing of food to be assimilated by the body. To take advantage of the nutritional content of food, digestion consists of several stages: chewing, swallowing, chemical and enzymatic digestion, and absorption. Below, we explain each of these steps.
When we put food into the mouth and chew it, the teeth and tongue perform a mechanical function by breaking and mixing the food with saliva and enzymes. Large pieces of food are minced and minced, facilitating the digestion process. The molecules dissolve in saliva and stimulate the sense of taste. The bolus is the combination of crushed and chewed food with saliva.
After chewing and forming the food bolus, the next step is to swallow it. The tongue pushes the bolus through the palate into the pharynx. Here, the epiglottis plays a critical role, since it prevents food from being diverted to the trachea and thus reaching the lungs, which would bring serious inconveniences. The esophagus is then responsible for transporting the food bolus to the stomach.
- Chemical and enzymatic digestion
It is carried out in the stomach and the small intestine. In the stomach, acidic gastric juice activates enzymes that begin to break down protein and fat. Then a liquid mass called chyme is formed.
In the duodenum, pancreatic juice, bile, and intestinal juice are secreted, with enzymes that help break down the chyme’s proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and nucleic acids.
This is how proteins are transformed into amino acids, carbohydrates into monosaccharides, fats into fatty acids and glycerol, and nucleic acids into nucleotides. The result is now a watery, milky-looking substance called chyle.
The process by which food molecules pass into the blood is called absorption. This takes place in the stomach, small intestine, and large intestine. Through the wall of the stomach, alcohol, water, salts, and some medications can be absorbed.
Most of the absorption of the products of digestion takes place in the enterocytes (intestinal cells) in the small intestine. This thanks to a large amount of contact surface, due to folds, villi, and microvilli.
The villi look like glove fingers projecting into the intestine. Microvilli are extensions of the plasma membrane of intestinal cells. The main function of the colon is the absorption, especially, of water.
The digestive system is also responsible for the elimination of what could not be processed during digestion. Defecation is carried out through the rectum and anus. The stool is what is leftover from food that was not absorbed from the digestive tract.
Exocrine and endocrine secretion
The organs and glands of the digestive system also have an exocrine and endocrine function. Substances that are discharged directly into the digestive tract, such as hydrochloric acid, saliva, and bile salts, are exocrine secretions.
Endocrine secretions are hormones that are poured into the bloodstream that have their effect on separate organs. Insulin and glucagon are hormones that are secreted by the pancreas, important in the regulation of glucose in the body.
Defense against microorganisms
The digestive tract passes through the body, connecting the outside with the inside of the body. For this reason, it also fulfills the function of defending ourselves against microorganisms or foreign agents, by:
- Gastric acid secretion
- The reflection of vomiting
- The gut microbiota: beneficial bacteria that live inside the tube
- The immune response and secretion of antibodies
Diseases of the digestive system
The diseases of the digestive system are usually of the following types:
- Infections. Product of the entrance to the intestine of bacteria or viruses, coming from the water or contaminated food. They can generate diarrhea, bloody stools, or rectal mucus, as well as severe intestinal pain.
- Parasites. Intestinal parasites are common in rural or poor populations and are transmitted through contaminated food or water. Many of them can then migrate to other regions of the body and perpetuate the cycle if there is not a correct elimination of feces.
- Indigestion. Food in poor condition or contaminated with toxic or harmful substances, generates an intestinal reaction very similar to allergic reactions, with colic and usually diarrhea.
- Gastritis and ulcers. The action of gastric juices and the constant consumption of irritants (alcohol, cigarette, citrus, etc.) can lead to redness and inflammation of the stomach lining (gastritis) and, in more severe cases, ulcers and internal sores.
- Cancer. Duodenum, colon, liver, or pancreas color are known and aggressive forms of malignant tumors associated with certain eating habits.
About the Scalar Light™ Digestive Enzyme Program
Do you find yourself becoming increasingly concerned about your body’s ability to metabolize food quickly and efficiently as you age? The Scalar Light™ Digestive Enzyme Program answers this specific need.
It’s perfectly understandable to have some anxiety about this. You may wonder if your body is absorbing the nutrients it should. Diet and exercise alone do not always produce the results we’re looking for.
The Digestive Enzyme program promotes digestion and proper metabolism of food for enhanced overall health while using your body’s natural ability to receive broadcasts of information from its environment.
Why are digestive enzymes important?
Digestive enzymes are proteins that regulate reactions in the body responsible for the digestion of food. They break down food and macronutrients such as carbohydrates, protein, and fats so that your body can easily utilize these essential fuels.
Breaking down these larger molecules is critical for energy, cell repair, growth, respiration, and other biological functions. Digestive enzymes are able to accelerate the metabolism of food without being consumed during these chemical reactions.
How does the Scalar Light™ instrument work?
The Scalar Light instrument informationally broadcasts the enzymes included in the Scalar Light Digestive Enzymes program. That is to say, the Scalar Light™ instrument picks up the light signature, or intelligence, of digestive enzymes. This is done by using a simple, magnified photograph of each of the enzymes we include in the program.
It is this “intelligence” that is broadcast to YOUR energy field. Once this broadcast of intelligence reaches YOU, it is your body that understands the instructions on an informational level and begins forming these enzymes.
All cells communicate with one another through light wave energy. Furthermore, Scalar Light™ assures perfect delivery of information so your body can do its job.
Your body begins to follow the instructions given, joining elements or proteins together in order to form the digestive enzymes, amino acids, and minerals your body needs for peak performance.
This serves to promote the digestion and proper metabolism of food. As a result, the Scalar Light™ Digestive Enzyme Program helps accelerate the digestion of food and enhance its absorption.
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