Digestive System

Quick Facts
· The large intestine is nine feet long.
· The small intestine sucks up most of the moisture before it passes it down to the large intestine.
· The esophagus is a simple tube between the mouth and the stomach.
· The stomach is lined with many muscles.
· The stomach is lined with muscles so that it can act like a food processor and break the food down.
· Digestion starts as soon as a piece of food enters your mouth.
· Digestion time depends on the type of food.
· Saliva is actually made up of chemicals that break down food.
· When you swallow a piece of gum it takes 2 hours to digest.
· The liver produces salts so the gallbladder can make bile.

Fun Facts
Did you know?
· That when you say your stomach is upset it is actually is your small intestines, never your stomach.
· That in a lifetime you eat as much as 6 ELEPHANTS!
· If you ate 5 pounds of salt you would die.
The small intestine is eighteen to twenty three feet long (7 meters) in the average adult!
· An esophagus is about 10 inches (25 centimeters) long.
· The large intestine is 9 feet long in the average adult.
· The gallbladder makes bile.
· Any leftovers from the digestive track like spare water are absorbed threw the large intestine and back into the blood.

Our Defense:
The purpose of your digestive system is to digest food so your cells can get energy to keep you living and to dispose of the waste that your body does not require. The main parts of your digestive system are: mouth, teeth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, pancreas, spleen, rectum and anus.

The functions of the digestive system start in the mouth where your teeth and saliva break down food. Then your tongue transfers food down your esophagus (in other words swallow). The esophagus (a long tube) then transfers the food and liquids to the stomach. The stomach tosses food around so it is well digested to enter the small intestine. After the food has exited your stomach it enters the first part of your small intestine, the duodenum. The duodenum is like a container. It stores food until the second part of your small intestine (the jejunum) is empty.

From stopping food to enter the jejunum there is something called a sphincter. A sphincter is a layer of smooth muscle. When the jejunum is empty the sphincters open. The jejunum is the second part of the small intestine. Its job is to collect nutrients. The jejunum has a smooth covering called villi’s. Villi’s are sort of like carpet but they have to pick up nutrients. After the villi’s collect nutrients they take it to the cells because your cells need nutrients to keep you living.

There is also a sphincter before food enters the third part of the digestive system, the ileum. The ileum transfers the waste to the large intestine. Then after leaving the large intestine it passes through the rectum and exits the anus.

Other parts of your digestive system are the gallbladder, pancreas and the spleen. The spleen is a blood reservoir and you can live without your spleen. The pancreas releases insulin (to control blood sugars) and digestive enzymes to digest fat, protein and carbohydrate. The gallbladder is an active storage shed, which absorbs mineral salts, and water received from the liver and converts it into thick mucus called bile. Bile is to be released whenever food is near to the stomach.