Digestive System
SCI 241

Digestion is a process that all of our bodies go through on a daily basis. The process is the same for everyone. There are several factors that influence the amount of time it takes for food to pass through the digestive system. Diet alone affects the rate of digestion. The more fiber you consume the faster food will move through the body. Physical activity, caffeine and prescription drugs can also affect the rate of digestion. (NDDIC, 2013)

The digestive system consists of a very long digestive tube and a few key organs. Most wouldn’t think so but digestion begins in the mouth. Saliva, the teeth and the tongue are the first to come in contact with food. The chewed food then travels through the esophagus and into the stomach. The stomach is best described as a muscular bag which is located in the abdomen. It allows the food to mix with digestive juices including hydrochloric acid and pepsin, which helps break down protein. From the stomach the food is slowly emptied into the small intestines and digestion ends here. It is also here in the small intestines that the absorption of nutrients begins with assistance of the pancreas, the gallbladder and the liver. The pancreas produces digestive enzymes such as lipase that breaks down fats and pancreatic amylase which breaks down carbohydrates. It also produces proteases which break down proteins. The gallbladder stores bile which helps break down fats and the liver makes that bile. The liver also assists in processing the nutrients that are absorbed in the small intestines. Any material left after digestion and the small intestines is swept into the large intestine also known as the colon. During this final step the remaining matter is excreted out of the body through the rectum. (NDDIC, 2013)

Digestive issues seem to be common among many, especially here in the United States. As stated before there are a lot of things that affect the rate...