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A. Function:
 Begins the digestive process
 Amylase in saliva breaks down starches (complex carbohydrates)
 Increases the surface area of food to be more easily digested
B. Type of Digestion
 Chemical digestion – saliva = amylase (also known as ptyalin)
that changes starches to simple sugars
 Saliva is a digestive enzyme
 Mechanical digestion – teeth break apart food. Proteins and
fats only undergo mechanical digestion.
- incisors (front teeth) bite into food
- molars – grind and crush food
- canines – shred food
 Connects to the esophagus
A. Function
 To carry food from the mouth to the stomach
 Slippery mucus helps the food go down the esophagus
 Peristalis (a wave like motion) moves the food down to the
Type of Digestion
 Some mechanical from the peristalsis motion
 Connects the mouth to the stomach
A. Function
 As food enters the stomach, gastric juice is released
 Gastric juice contains pepsin, hydrochloric acid and mucus
 Pepsin is an enzyme
 HCl activates the pepsin which breaks down proteins
 Carbohydrates and fats are broken down by the muscular
contractions BUT not by chemicals secreted in the stomach.
 Mucus protects the walls of the stomach
 Chyme – the food is converted into a thick, milk shake-like
liquid in the stomach
 Pyloric sphincter – the opening to the small intestine
Types of Digestion
 Mechanical – stomach muscles
 Chemical – HCl acid + pepsin = gastric juice
 Esophagus to the small intestine
Small Intestine
A. Function
 2.5 cm in diameter and 6 meters long
 food moves through the intestine by peristalsis
 most digestion takes place here
 intestinal enzymes digest fats, carbohydrates, proteins
 most digestion takes place in the first 30 cm of the small
 digestive helper organs secrete enzymes into the small
- liver
- gall bladder
- pancreas
Villi (finger like projections) help increase the absorption
of nutrients into the bloodstream
Type of Digestion
- Chemical – digestive juices from the live, gall bladder
and pancreas
- Mechanical – perstalsis moves the food
Stomach to the large intestine
Large Intestine
A. Function
 Indigested food, water, mucus, bile salts, and scraped-off
intestinal cells go into the large intestine
 Bacteria feed on the leftovers and make certain vitamins (
Vitamin K and the B complex vitamins)
 Water and minerals are absorbed back into the body
 6.5 cm wide and 1.5 meters long
 materials not absorbed in the large intestine become solid
waste (feces)
 rectum stores waste
 appendix is located on the large intestine
 fiber helps keep the waste moving through the large
intestine (no constipation)
Type of Digestion
 Mechanical – peristalsis
 Chemical – bacteria breaks down the leftover food
What it connects to
 Connects to the small intestine
Pancreas (digestive helper)
A. Function
 Produces enzymes that are released into the small intestine
that digest fats, carbohydrates and proteins
 Secretes 1.5 liters of juice a day
 Juice is basic
 Breaks fats down into fatty acids and glycerol
 Breaks complex carbohydrates into simple sugars
 Breaks proteins into amino acids
 Producs insulin to control the sugar level in the body
Type of Digestion
 Aids in chemical digestion in the small intestine
Where is it Located?
 Between the stomach the small intestine
Liver (digestive helper)
A. Function
 Aids in digestion by producing bile that is stored in the gall
 Produces bile that is used secreted into the small intestine
to digest fats
 The bile breaks fats down into fat droplets
 Largest and heaviest organ
Type of Digestion
 Aids in chemical digestion in the small intestine by producing
Where is it Located?
 Located to the right of the stomach
 Connected to the gall bladder which secretes bile into the
small intestine
Gall Bladder (digestive helper)
A. Function
 Stores bile that is manufactured in the liver
 The gall bladder releases bile into the small intestine to
break down fats
Bile breaks down fats into large fat droplets so juices from
the small intestine and enzymes from the pancreas mix more
easily with the fat
Fats are eventually broken down into fatty acids and
Bile is a yellowish-greenish liquid
Type of digestion
 Aids in chemical digestion in the small intestine
Where is it Located?
 Between the liver and the small intestine