The human stomach stores, breaks down and sanitizes ingested food prior to its entering the intestines for digestion and absorption. It allows humans to eat far more at once than they could actually process through their intestines. It is also very important for certain types of digestion, particularly the digestion of proteins that stomach acids and enzymes affect strongly.Know More
The stomach is a very stretchy organ able to expand up to a gallon in capacity in some people, although the stomach works much better and is more comfortable at half that capacity. The stomach typically stores digested food for one or two hours before beginning to move it into the small intestine. During this time, it releases a substance called gastric juice, which is a mixture of mucus, hydrochloric acid and enzymes. This substance kills many of the bacteria in the food and helps break down various components in the food.
Of course, the stomach itself is made of protein substances, so if unprotected, the gastric juice would break down the stomach as well. To compensate, the stomach generates a thick coating of mucus with enzyme inhibitors and bicarbonate to break down stomach acid. Once the food is released from the stomach, it first travels to the duodenum where it is mixed thoroughly with bicarbonate to neutralize any remaining stomach acid.Learn more about Organs
Villi are microscopic, slender, hair-like projections that line the small intestine to facilitate food absorption, explains Encyclopædia Britannica. Villi number between 6,000 and 25,000 per square inch of the small intestine, with greater densities near the beginning of the organ closer to the stomach. Villi are also found in the placenta surrounding a fetus in the womb.Full Answer >
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 >
Food digestion and nutrient absorption take place primarily in the small intestine, according to eMedicineHealth. Nutrient absorption is facilitated by villi and microvilli, fingerlike projections from the intestinal wall that serve to increase the surface area of the intestine so that nutrients can be fully absorbed.Full Answer >
The main function of the gullet, otherwise known as the esophagus, is to transfer food and drinks from the mouth to begin digestion in the stomach, according to University of Maryland Medical Center. The muscles of the esophagus squeeze food and drinks down involuntarily.Full Answer >