How does waste travel through the body?

Pathway of food through the digestive system

In adults, red bone marrow (hereafter referred to as bone marrow) is located mainly in the long, flat bones such as ribs, sternum, spine, skull, scapula and pelvis. The bone marrow contains the so-called hemoblasts or stem cells which, when mature, give rise to the three main types of blood cells:

For their formation the bone marrow needs mainly iron, vitamin B-12, folic acid and vitamin B-6. Hence the importance of including in the diet foods that contain and provide us with these nutrients.

When there is a loss of blood or there is a decrease in the production of red blood cells in the bone marrow, as occurs for example with certain diseases and during chemotherapy, these values decrease. This is known as anemia. If the decrease that occurs is slight, the person may notice a certain fatigue, but if the decrease is more pronounced, he/she may feel tired, dizzy and even have difficulty breathing. To recover from anemia it is very important to maintain a rich and sufficient diet, and to take foods that contain iron. In addition, the doctor will prescribe, if necessary, an iron supplement, erythropoietin injections and even a blood transfusion if necessary.

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Function of the small intestine

The digestive tract consists of the gastrointestinal tract, also called the digestive tract, and the liver, pancreas and gallbladder. The gastrointestinal tract is a series of hollow organs joined together in a long, twisted tube that runs from the mouth to the anus. The hollow organs that make up the gastrointestinal tract are the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine and anus. The liver, pancreas and gallbladder are the solid organs of the digestive tract.

The small intestine has three parts. The first part is called the duodenum. The jejunum is in the middle and the ileum is at the end. The large intestine includes the appendix, cecum, colon and rectum. The appendix is a finger-shaped pouch attached to the cecum. The cecum is the first part of the large intestine. The colon is next. The rectum is the end of the large intestine.

Bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract, also called intestinal flora or microbiota, help with digestion. Parts of the nervous and circulatory systems also help. Working together, the nerves, hormones, bacteria, blood, and organs of the digestive tract digest the food and liquids a person eats or drinks each day.

It is the first step of digestion

Once the food enters the mouth, in addition to the immense pleasure of tasting a tasty food, the digestive process also begins. This is when the teeth, tongue and saliva come into action. They are in charge of crushing and softening the food so that it is able to pass through the esophagus without choking – which is very welcome. In addition, the chemical decomposition of food begins thanks to an enzyme called amylase. The result of chewing is known as the alimentary bolus.

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From the pharynx, the food bolus reaches the esophagus. This is a 25-30 cm long duct connecting the pharynx and the stomach. Through this duct and, thanks to swallowing, the food bolus reaches the stomach. This is where the real party starts.

It is in the stomach that the magic happens. To begin with, the food bolus is subjected to the corrosive gastric juices that contain digestive enzymes. Glands in the mucosa of the stomach are responsible for producing these juices.

How the digestive tract works

The first step of the digestive process takes place before we even taste the food. Just by smelling a homemade apple pie or thinking about how delicious a ripe tomato is going to taste, we start salivating, and the digestive process begins preparing us for that first bite.

The digestive system is made up of the alimentary canal (also called the digestive tract) and other organs such as the liver and pancreas. The alimentary canal consists of a series of organs, including the esophagus, stomach and intestine, joined together in a long tube that runs from the mouth to the anus. The digestive tract of an adult person is about 30 feet (about 9 meters) long.

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Digestion begins in the mouth, long before food reaches the stomach. When we see, smell, taste or even imagine an appetizing food, our salivary glands, located in front of the ears, under the tongue and near the lower jaw, begin to make saliva.

From the throat, food descends down a muscular tube called the esophagus. Series of muscle contractions describing a wave-like motion, called peristalsis, push food down the esophagus into the stomach. People are usually unaware of the movements of the esophagus, stomach and intestine that take place as food passes through the digestive tract.