Q:

How does the digestive system maintain homeostasis?

A:

Quick Answer

The digestive system maintains homeostasis by creating the proper pH balance in the gastric environment. In addition, by maintaining the correct enzyme ratio, the digestive system nurtures beneficial bacteria that inhibit disease and produce biological substances the body needs such as vitamin K.

  Know More

Full Answer

Homeostasis is the balance the body maintains to continue to function properly. All the bodily systems, including the digestive system, contribute to homeostasis. The body maintains homeostasis using both positive and negative mechanisms. Negative feedback occurs when the body senses an imbalance, and the various systems work to counterbalance and restore proper equilibrium. Positive feedback happens when the body senses a change and works to enhance it.

The body's pH balance, its ratio of acid and alkaline, is an important part of overall homeostasis. In the mouth, saliva is only slightly acidic. However, the digestive system needs and maintains a highly acidic environment in which to rapidly break down food. Along with the regulation of the pH balance, the digestive system maintains microflora such as acidophilus and bifidobacterium that break down cancer-causing carcinogens and other infections. After it breaks down food through a complex conveyer-like system, the digestive system passes needed nutrients on to the circulatory system for absorption by the body.

Learn more about Organs

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What does the esophagus do in the digestive system?

    A:

    The esophagus is a long, muscular tube that connects an animal’s stomach to its mouth. Distinct from the windpipe, which transports air into and out of the lungs, the esophagus usually carries food and water from the mouth to the stomach. However, during vomiting, the esophagus carries stomach acids and undigested food from the stomach back out through the mouth. The esophagus is about 1 inch in diameter, and approximately 10 to 14 inches in length.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are the main organs of the digestive system?

    A:

    The digestive system involves the mouth, throat, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, pancreas, liver and gallbladder. The main organs involved in digestion include the esophagus, stomach, and the small and large intestines.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the function of the stomach in the digestive system?

    A:

    The stomach is the primary organ that breaks down food as it enters the digestive system. This organ receives food from the esophagus and eventually directs the partially digested food into the small intestine. It also helps kill harmful bacteria.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the main function of the digestive system?

    A:

    The main function of the digestive system is to convert food to energy and eliminate waste. The human digestive system is made up of several parts, including the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small and large intestines, pancreas, liver, gallbladder, rectum and anus.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore