The digestive system

Historical representations of digestion

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What is the current model of digestion?

Chewing food grinds it up and moistens it. Amylase breaks down the complex carbohydrates. After travelling through the oesophagus, the bolus of food reaches the stomach, which churns it and mixes it with gastric juices. This churning motion and the enzymes in the stomach work together to produce a liquid that then goes down into the small intestine. Pancreatic juice and bile complete digestion enabling nutrients to be absorbed. Anything that has not been assimilated goes into the large intestine, where water is absorbed and dietary fibre ferments. Finally, waste materials are emptied away through the anus.

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