The digestive system

The stages of digestion

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Transforming food

Why is food transformed into nutrients?

Pieces of food must be quite small to pass through the intestinal wall so that the body’s cells can used them. Part of the role of digestion is to reduce food into these tiny elements, called nutrients.

Vitamins, minerals and some simple carbohydrates are already small enough to pass through the intestinal wall without being transformed.

Other nutrients are more complex and must be transformed. Lipids, for example, are transformed into fatty acids.

Proteins are transformed into small peptides and amino acids.

Finally, complex carbohydrates, such as starch, are transformed into simple carbohydrates, such as glucose.

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