How Your Digestive System Works

The digestive system is one of 11 major human body systems. The digestive system is a group of organs that work together to convert food into energy and basic nutrients that feed the entire body; it’s the foundation of good health.

The colon - is a long, thick tube that is five-feet long; it wraps around the border of the small intestine. The colon function is the final stage of the digestive process. Once your food leave your small intestine, they enter your large intestine. At this point, most of the nutrient absorption has happened, but water, fat soluble vitamins and minerals can be absorbed in the colon as well.

Spleen - The spleen is a brown, flat, oval-shaped lymphatic organ that filters and stores blood to protect the body from infections and blood loss. The spleen oversees cleaning impurities from the blood, destroying old red blood cells and storing blood in case of emergency, such as an injury.

Liver - The liver is the second largest organ in the body, and it has many different functions. But the main function of the liver in digestion is the production of bile and its release into the small intestine. The liver makes and secretes bile, which helps enzymes in the body break down fats into fatty acids. The liver also cleanses and purifies the blood that is coming from the small intestine.

Gallbladder - The gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped organ that is used to store and recycle excess bile from the small intestine so it can be reused for the digestion of future meals. The gallbladder sits just under the liver and stores bile that is made in the liver, which then travels to the gallbladder through a channel called the cystic duct. The gallbladder stores bile between meals, and when we eat, the gallbladder squeezes bile through the bile ducts, which connect the gallbladder and liver to the small intestine.

Pancreas – The pancreas is a spongy, tube-shaped organ that is about six-inches long. It secretes digestive enzymes into the small intestine, and this completes the chemical digestion of foods. Pancreatic juice is capable of digesting lipids, carbohydrates (creating energy), proteins (creating amino acids for building) and nucleic acids. Insulin is one of the hormones made by the pancreas; insulin controls the amount of sugar in the blood. Both enzymes and hormones are needed to keep the body and digestive system working properly.

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