Human Nutrition- Digestion & Absorption Report – Article Example

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Part 1:OverviewDigestion in the body of a human being is a very important function. This is because it involves the mechanical breakdown of food consumed and the absorption of the different nutrients contained in it to provide energy and protection as well as ensure proper growth and development of an individual. It’s through digestion and absorption of various meals that we expect to get what we need to grow and protect our bodies against diseases. Digestion starts at the point when food is put into the mouth through the stomach where its various nutrients are absorbed to the blood system while wastes are eliminated through various processes.

Digestion and absorption is supported by the anatomy structures, the physiological process and provision of various secretions in form of enzymes (Mackenzie 2001). Anatomy of digestion and absorptionAnatomy is described as the skeletal parts of the body that support the digestion and absorption of food nutrients. The digestive and absorption skeletal parts include the mouth, the pharynx, the esophagus, the cardiac opening, the stomach and the intestines. The mouth is composed of the tongue and the teeth which play a very initial role of breaking the food received into simpler units for further digestion and absorption.

The salivary glands are also found in the mouth and they are important in secreting saliva that is used for digestion. Once the food has been digested, it’s then sent through the funnel-shaped opening called the pharynx which is part of the mouth (Wooldridge 2009). The food then goes through the esophagus which is a very elastic muscular opening and that connects with the stomach. Through the contraction and relaxation of the cardiac muscles, food is allowed to move through the stomach.

The stomach is known to hold and facilitate further breaking of food. This process is supported by the breaking and relaxation of stomach muscular fibers. Finally, the intestines are known to play the final work of digesting and absorbing food nutrients and excreting the waste through the duodenum (Robbins and Burgess 2002). The physiological process of digestion and absorptionUnlike the anatomy of digestion and absorption, the physiological process is characterized by the functioning of various parts of the digestive system in order to help the process of preparing various food nutrients for use by body cells.

The physiological process of the digestion and absorption in human beings entails six activities which include ingestion, mechanical digestion, chemical digestion, movements, absorption and elimination (Mackenzie 2001). Secretions in digestion and absorptionFor appropriate digestion and absorption to take place, all involved body functions must be supportive of the process. However, important in digestion, is the production of various juices also referred to as solvents for dissolving food particles.

At the mouth for instance, the saliva glands are stimulated to produce saliva to aid the breaking down of food particles into small particles. The saliva contains an enzyme that accelerates the chemical activities in the body. In the stomach, the digestive glands also produce the gastric juices and enzymes that contain hydrochloric acid (HCI), which is very important in digestion. The three main enzymes contained in the gastric juices secreted in the stomach include pepsin, lipase and rennin by Salyers and Whitt (2002).

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