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General function: physical /chemical
breakdown of foodstuffs so it can be
absorbed into the bloodstream and used
by the cells/ tissues while it eliminates
non-digestible substances produced
during metabolism
 Digestion: process of changing foodstuffs
into usable substances
 Absorption: transfer of nutrients into the
blood stream
The digestive system’s major parts are the
mouth, pharynx, esophagus, stomach, small
intestine, and large intestine.
Digestion is the process of physically and
chemically breaking down food so that it can
be absorbed for use by the cells
Digestion begins in the mouth*
Saliva is the primary juice that gets digestion
 Involuntary
muscle contractions called
peristalsis move food down the esophagus
through the alimentary canal
This allows you to swallow food, without it food
would get stuck in your esophagus.*
 Bolus
is chewed food & saliva*
 During
swallowing, the soft palate and the
uvula move superiorly to close off the
nasopharynx, preventing food from entering
the nasal cavity. When this process fails, the
result is called nasal regurgitation.*
 The
digestive system involves the alimentary
canal (GI tract) and the accessory organs of
The alimentary canal extends from the mouth to
the anus.
Accessory organs are the teeth, tongue, salivary
glands, liver, gallbladder, and pancreas.
 During
swallowing the tongue
pushes food into the pharynx.
Contraction of the pharynx
pushes food into the esophagus.
 Involuntary muscle contractions
move food down the esophagus
into the stomach.
 In the stomach, food is mixed
and churned with gastric juices
to form a semi-liquid substance
called chyme. The hydrochloric
acid is what causes the burn
when you vomit.*
 The colon absorbs most of the
water from the chyme. The
remaining semi-solid material is
called feces.
 Feces pass through the colon
into the rectum by peristalsis,
then out of the body through
the anus.
Food Stays in stomach for 3-4 hours for physical and
chemical breakdown*
If you get car sick and need to ride on an empty stomach, and
you ate at 8:00am, What is the soonest you can ride in a car?
9am 10am 12pm 2pm
Stomach is located in the LUQ
Large Intestine: 5 feet/2 inches in diameter
Colon, rectum, and anus all serve as a passageway for fecal
 Appendix just there.
Small Intestine: Approximately 21 feet long/1 inch in
diameter- 80% of absorption occurs here
 Liver
 Secretes
bile that helps in digestion of fats*
 Detoxes alcohol, but is overworked by
Causes cirrhosis of liver, most life threatening of
digestive system.*
 largest
gland/solid organ of body;
 RUQ under diaphragm
 Secretes 1 liter of bile /24 hours
 Pancreas
Pear-shaped muscular sac under the liver
Produces digestive enzymes that empty into the
 Obstruction
icterus and jaundice
Chole/o = gallbladder
Cholecystitis: gallstones = cholesterol and bile
Cholecystectomy: removal of GB