Gastrointestinal Tract

Digestive digestion is the process of breaking down food to make it easier for the body to absorb and assimilate its constituent components. When consumed by some species, these tiny chemicals are absorbed into the bloodstream via the small intestine and circulatory system. Digestion is a type of catabolism that is commonly separated into two phases based on how food is broken down: mechanical digestion and chemical digestion. Mechanical digestion is the more common type of digestion.

The phrase mechanical digestion refers to the physical breakdown of big chunks of food into smaller fragments that may be accessible by digestive enzymes once they have been physically broken down. During chemical digestion, enzymes break down food into tiny molecules that may be used by the body. Meal enters the mouth and mechanical digestion of the food begins as a result of the action of mastication, which is a type of mechanical digestion, and the wetting contact between saliva and food.

Saliva, a clear liquid generated by the salivary glands, contains salivary amylase, an enzyme that initiates the digestion of starch in food by breaking down the starch in the diet. Food will be in the shape of a tiny, circular slurry mass termed a bolus after it has gone through the processes of mastication and starch digestion. Because of the movement of peristalsis, it will pass down the esophagus and into the stomach. The production of gastric juice in the stomach initiates protein digestion.

Hydrochloric acid and pepsin are the primary components of gastric juice. Because these two compounds have the potential to damage the stomach wall, mucus is released by the stomach, forming a sticky coating that functions as a protective barrier against the harmful effects of the chemicals on the stomach wall. Protein digestion takes place at the same time that mechanical mixing takes place, which is caused by waves of muscle contractions that move up and down the stomach’s wall as they pass through it. This permits the quantity of food to be further mixed with the digestive enzymes as a result of the process.

The thick liquid that results after a period of time (usually 1–2 hours in humans, 4–6 hours in dogs, and 3–4 hours in house cats) is referred to as chyme. Following opening of the pyloric sphincter valve (which allows chyme to pass into the duodenum, where it is mixed with digestive enzymes from the pancreas and bile juice from the liver) and passage through the small intestine, where digestion proceeds, As soon as the chyme is completely digested, it gets absorbed into the bloodstream.

The small intestine is responsible for 95 percent of the absorption of nutrients. In the colon (large intestine), where the pH is somewhat acidic (5.6 to 6.9), water and minerals are reabsorbed back into the bloodstream. Biotin and vitamin K (K2MK7), which are created by bacteria in the colon and absorbed into the bloodstream, are two vitamins that are taken into the bloodstream through the colon. During feces, waste material is expelled from the rectum (rectal cavity).

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