8 interesting things about the human digestive system

The total length of the human digestive system can be more than 92m or swallowing is not really as simple as you think.

1. The digestive system in humans is quite long


The length of the entire gastrointestinal digestive system is about 92m. The digestive system is responsible for breaking down food so that the body absorbs important nutrients. The food is mechanically separated through chewing and enzymes to turn into molecules that can be absorbed and transported through the blood. The structure of the digestive system in humans includes familiar organs such as mouth, esophagus, stomach, liver, gallbladder, biliary tract, small intestine, and large intestine.

2. You secrete a lot of saliva


Usually, about 1 liter of saliva is secreted every day. The production of saliva through the salivary glands is the first step in the digestive process. Saliva is made up primarily of water, but also contains other substances and is often stimulated secreted when you think or smell food.

3. Swallowing is a complicated activity


It takes 2 - 5 seconds for food to go down the esophagus and into the stomach. After chewing, the food will turn into a bolus. Swallowing is a complex process in which the bolus moves into the throat. At the same time, the larynx is closed and the esophagus expands to receive the food. The boluses will then move down the esophagus through peristalsis.

4. The stomach produces hydrochloric acid

Hydrochloric acid is actually similar to what masons use to clean bricks. However, the stomach is covered with a thick layer of mucus to protect against acid and enzyme pepsin. The mixing motion of the stomach combined with the acid and the protein breakdown of pepsin will turn the food bolus into a liquid called a chyme slowly entering the small intestine. This process may take about 2-3 hours.

5. Many things happen in the small intestine

The small intestine is the place where most nutrients are absorbed from food. In particular, the process of breaking down food is carried out to separate food into molecular components that can be absorbed into the blood.

6. Fiber is good for health


Fiber is what remains after all other parts of the food are digested. When the small intestine has finished digesting food and absorbing nutrients, it will push the undigested parts of the food - fiber into the large intestine. Fiber is classified into two categories: soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Fiber is used to soften feces and is good food for your digestive system.

7. Human gastrointestinal bacteria are very rich

The human digestive system is home to more than 500 different species of bacteria. At birth, there are no bacteria in the digestive system. However, bacteria will gradually form and grow in the first 1 month of life. Most beneficial bacteria reside in the large intestine but they are also present everywhere in the gastrointestinal tract in smaller quantities. When the bacterial ecosystem is in a unified and balanced state, your body will be healthy and avoid digestive diseases.

8. The body has a second brain


The activity of the digestive system is controlled by the enteric nervous system (ENS). This system is made up of a large number of nerve cells and is regulated by the same neurotransmitter, including serotonin found in the brain. This similarity makes the small intestine nervous system also called the "second brain". The brain and the digestive system work very closely together. This may be the reason when you feel anxious or stressed, you will have a feeling of discomfort in your abdomen, hunger or even diarrhea.

By: Kelly Jonas

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