The digestive system is composed of a set of organs that are responsible for carrying out the digestion process. These organs make up a kind of long tube where food travels to be processed and absorbed.
Through the digestive system our body can transform the food we consume into simpler substances, that is, nutrients.
Nutrients are transported by blood throughout the body, to be used and transformed into energy, which we need to perform our daily activities.
Parts of the digestive system
The digestive system is composed of several organs responsible for transforming food into smaller particles, so that they can be used by the body’s cells. From the mouth to the anus the digestive tract is eleven meters long.
In the mouth the digestion process begins. The teeth crush the food we eat so that they can be transported through the pharynx, the esophagus and eventually reach the stomach. The tongue, meanwhile, is a muscle that helps in chewing and transporting food to the esophagus.
In the mouth there are also salivary glands that generate saliva and allow mixing of food and swallowing, that is, its passage through the pharynx and esophagus.
It is located behind the mouth, is shaped like a tube and connects to the nose, esophagus and larynx. Through the pharynx pass all the food we consume and the air we breathe, therefore, this organ is part of both the digestive system and the respiratory system.
However, in the pharynx is the epiglottis, a kind of valve that prevents food from being directed to the airways.
It is a duct that measures 30 centimeters and communicates the pharynx with the stomach. Its structure is formed by muscles that allow its contraction and relaxation for the transport of food.
It is a muscular organ in which the ingested food accumulates. The stomach performs a movement that allows food to be mixed with gastric juice. Its form may vary depending on the amount of food eaten.
The stomach is composed of the heart (where it connects to the esophagus), the fundus or fundus, the gastric body, the antrum and the pylorus (where it joins the small intestine).
The liver is an organ that fulfills various functions such as filtering the blood, eliminating toxic substances from the body and producing bile, which allows the absorption of fats from food, among others.
The pancreas is the organ that produces the hormones necessary to digest food and controls blood sugar levels. It is located behind the stomach.
The small intestine is a tube that is approximately seven meters long. Its main function is to incorporate proteins, vitamins, water, salt, carbohydrates and fats into the body through numerous hairs that are inside.
It begins in the duodenum, behind the pylorus, and ends in the ileum, where it joins the large intestine. It is composed of the duodenum, the jejunum and the ileum.
In the small intestine the process of digestion of food ends, which are degraded into simpler elements for the absorption of nutrients, which pass through the walls of the small intestine to the blood and are used by the cells.
It is a tube where food and water accumulate that the body cannot digest. These substances form the feces that are expelled through the anus. It has a variable length, so it can measure between 120 or 160 centimeters. It starts from the ileocecal valve, the blind, the colon and the rectum.
The anus is the final opening of the digestive system, it is composed of muscles called sphincters that control the defecation process.
Functions of the digestive system
The main function of the digestive system is the transport of food and its transformation into nutrients that will be absorbed through the digestive juices and the different processes performed by the organs that make up this apparatus.
Nutrients are transported through the blood, specifically, by cells. In this way they are absorbed and used for our well-being. Once the nutrients have been used to the fullest, the body removes wastes or unusable substances from food, through feces.