The processes going on in the Gastric System
I know that everybody loves eating. And eating is essential for the survival too! But do you know? How you eat Food and how is it digested in your body? I know most of you do not know about this. Do you know anything about digestive system? In this article you will get to know about The processes going on in the Gastric System. So, let’s begin!
What is Digestive System?
Digestive System is known with many names like Gastric system, gastrointestinal tract as well as digestive tract. The digestive system is a system in human body which helps in the digestion of food eaten by the human. This digestion starts from mouth and ends at anus.
Why digestion is important?
The Gastric System is very significant for a human body, as the food that he enters is large enough to be digested. In this regard it is require to be broken down into smaller pieces. Apart from that the digestion provides with the nutrients likes carbohydrates, fats and lipids, proteins, vitamins, mineral ions, fiber and water, to the body as our body needs it. Polysaccharides are the largest molecule, then come disaccharides and then monosaccharide.
- Proteins are broken down into Amino Acids.
- Fats breaks down into glycerol and fatty acids.
- Carbohydrates are broken down into sugars. In other words Starch into sucrose.
However there are some enzymes present in the human body that helps in the breaking down of food.
What are Enzymes?
Another part of Gastric System is Enzyme. Enzymes are the biological catalyst that are proteins in nature, which speed up the rate of reaction by lowering down the activation energy. There are two types of enzymes:
- Anabolic enzymes: reaction concerned with the building up of large molecules from many small molecules.
- Catabolic Enzymes: Reactions that are concerned with the breaking down of large molecules into smaller molecules.
There are some important enzymes in the body:
- Starch breaks down by enzyme Amylase into Maltose.
- Lipids breaks down by enzyme Lipase into Glycerol and 3 fatty Acids.
- Proteins breaks down by enzyme Protease into Amino Acids.
- Sucrose breaks down by enzyme Fructose and Glucose.
- Lactose breaks down by enzyme Lactose into Galactose and Glucose.
- Maltose breaks down by enzyme Maltase into Glucose.
Monosaccharide are Glucose, Galactose and Fructose. Disaccharide are maltose, sucrose, and lactose. While polysaccharide are starch, cellulose and glycogen.
The digestion starts from the mouth. Let’s have a look what happens inside it.
The first part of Gastric System is mouth. The mouth performs mechanical digestion. Inside the mouth Tongue, teeth and salivary Glands are present. The tongue rolls up the food into bolus. The teeth performs mechanical digestion that cut the food into smaller pieces. While the Salivary Glands perform chemical digestion, leaving the saliva which breaks the starch in the food into maltose.
There are 32 teeth in an adult human being.
- Four incisors at the front: cuts down food.
- Two canine: tear the meat.
- Four premolars: grinding the food.
- Six molars: grinding the food.
The structure of teeth comprises of three layers.
- Enamel: it is a layer made up of calcium carbonate and helps protect the tooth.
- Dentine: it is a fibrous layer that makes up the structure of teeth. It is coated with enamel.
- Pulp Cavity: it is the inner most layer containing nerve fibers and blood vessels.
Inside the mouth a disease may occur while digestion. It is known as Dental Carries. What happens is that, whenever food particles are left on teeth, bacteria respires there to produce acid which react with enamel which is eroded forming a cavity. Whenever anything touches the tip of dentine in the cavity, pain is felt.
The next step is swallowing. When the bolus is formed and lubricated, it is then pushed by the tongue at the back of the mouth where the epiglottis is depressed covering the trachea, causing the food to move down into Esophagus.
Esophagus is a muscular tube that connects the mouth with the stomach so the bolus can move. In the Gastric System from the esophagus till the rectum the organs are lined with smooth muscles which are circular and longitudinal muscles. Once the food is swallowed, it moves throughout the digestive system by the process of peristalsis. Peristalsis is a rhythmic contraction of both circular and longitudinal muscles, that propels the bolus ahead.
- Circular muscles: Circular Muscles pushes the bolus ahead. It shortens the diameter of lumen.
- Longitudinal Muscles: Longitudinal Muscles pushes the bolus ahead and shortens the length of esophagus.
Another part of the Gastric System is Stomach. The food enter from the cardiac sphinster muscles and leave the stomach through Pyloric Sphinster. Most of the digestion occurs in the stomach.
The stomach is covered with the lining of mucus. As proteins are broken down into polypeptides by the enzyme pepsin. Stomach itself is made up of protein. The reason behind the lining of mucus covering the cells of stomach is the prevention of stomach being digested by enzyme pepsin. If there will be no lining of mucus enzyme pepsin will break down stomach cells into polypeptides and there will be no more stomach.
The Gastric System comprises of Small Intestine. The absorption take place in intestines. The small intestine is divided into three portions duodenum, jejunum, ielium. In the Duodenum the bile juice and pancreatic juice is released which starts the digestion, which is completed by the time food reaches jejunum. The digested food is then absorbed in the Ielium.
Bile Juice: Bile is an alkaline solution that would neutralize chime. It is produces in the liver and stored in gallbladders.
Pancreatic Juice: It is an alkaline solution that makes the condition of the small intestine alkaline and contains different enzymes.
In the Ielium absorption takes place with the help of microvilli. The lumen of the Ielium has finger like projections known as villi that increases the surface area for absorption. On the surface of the villi there are microscopic finger like projections known as microvilli that further increases the surface area for absorption. The microvilli are supplied by the network of blood capillaries which absorbs glucose, fructose, galactose and amino acids and sending them towards the liver. While fatty acids and glycerol are absorbed in the lacteals and transported to the liver as fatty acids and glycerol are insoluble in blood. The microvilli are only one cell thick which decreases the diffusion distance so that food substances can be transported faster.
The large intestine absorb water and mineral salts into blood stream. Fiber is needed so the walls of the large intestines do not get stuck together. Fiber gives bulk to the food preventing constipation. Inflammation in the large intestine causes diarrhea.
At last the food passes through the rectum and anus after digestion.
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