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The chemical process of digestion begins during chewing as food mixes with saliva, produced by the salivary glands ( [link] ). Saliva contains mucus that moistens food and buffers the pH of the food. Saliva also contains lysozyme, which has antibacterial action. It also contains an enzyme called salivary amylase    that begins the process of converting starches in the food into a disaccharide called maltose. Another enzyme called lipase is produced by cells in the tongue to break down fats. The chewing and wetting action provided by the teeth and saliva prepare the food into a mass called the bolus    for swallowing. The tongue helps in swallowing—moving the bolus from the mouth into the pharynx. The pharynx opens to two passageways: the esophagus and the trachea. The esophagus leads to the stomach and the trachea leads to the lungs. The epiglottis is a flap of tissue that covers the tracheal opening during swallowing to prevent food from entering the lungs.

Illustration A shows the parts of the human oral cavity. The tongue rests in the lower part of the mouth. The flap that hangs from the back of the mouth is the uvula. The airway behind the uvula, called the pharynx, extends up to the back of the nasal cavity and down to the esophagus, which begins in the neck. Illustration B shows the two salivary glands, which are located beneath the tongue, the sublingual and the submandibular. A third salivary gland, the parotid, is located just in front of the ear.
(a) Digestion of food begins in the mouth. (b) Food is masticated by teeth and moistened by saliva secreted from the salivary glands. Enzymes in the saliva begin to digest starches and fats. With the help of the tongue, the resulting bolus is moved into the esophagus by swallowing. (credit: modification of work by Mariana Ruiz Villareal)

Esophagus

The esophagus is a tubular organ that connects the mouth to the stomach. The chewed and softened food passes through the esophagus after being swallowed. The smooth muscles of the esophagus undergo peristalsis that pushes the food toward the stomach. The peristaltic wave is unidirectional—it moves food from the mouth the stomach, and reverse movement is not possible, except in the case of the vomit reflex. The peristaltic movement of the esophagus is an involuntary reflex; it takes place in response to the act of swallowing.

Ring-like muscles called sphincters form valves in the digestive system. The gastro-esophageal sphincter (or cardiac sphincter) is located at the stomach end of the esophagus. In response to swallowing and the pressure exerted by the bolus of food, this sphincter opens, and the bolus enters the stomach. When there is no swallowing action, this sphincter is shut and prevents the contents of the stomach from traveling up the esophagus. Acid reflux or “heartburn” occurs when the acidic digestive juices escape into the esophagus.

Stomach

A large part of protein digestion occurs in the stomach ( [link] ). The stomach    is a saclike organ that secretes gastric digestive juices.

Protein digestion is carried out by an enzyme called pepsin    in the stomach chamber. The highly acidic environment kills many microorganisms in the food and, combined with the action of the enzyme pepsin, results in the catabolism of protein in the food. Chemical digestion is facilitated by the churning action of the stomach caused by contraction and relaxation of smooth muscles. The partially digested food and gastric juice mixture is called chyme    . Gastric emptying occurs within two to six hours after a meal. Only a small amount of chyme is released into the small intestine at a time. The movement of chyme from the stomach into the small intestine is regulated by hormones, stomach distension and muscular reflexes that influence the pyloric sphincter.

Questions & Answers

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Abdul Reply
What is oppunity cost
Kudzanayi Reply
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Osei
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Kudzanayi
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swedy
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Gcina
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Amoako Reply
yh
Osei
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Amoako
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Osei
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Amoako
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George Reply
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Adwoa Reply
answer
Asamoah
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Aakash
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swedy
1. To solve economic problems. 2. To predict economic event. 3. It also offer intellectual training to students.
samuel
How price elasticity can affect the markets of certain goods
Rhoda Reply
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Easter Reply
what is labour
Arthur Reply
Mental and physical ability of human being is considered as labour.
JEYARAM
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KEMAWOR
is all human effort both physical and mental abilities to work
Asamoah
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Okeoghene Reply
What is economics
Bright Reply
economics is a science which studies human behaviour as a relationship between ends, scarce means which have alternative uses.
prince
Why is scarcity a mind problem in economics
Alima Reply
because of the problem of allocation of resources
Osola
unequalled distribution of resources
Agyen
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Alima
scarcity is a mind problem due to circumstances like when a particular product is demand in a high rate at the market.
Saihou
scarcity defines limited in supply relative to the demand them. so scarcity is a mind problem in economics because wants are unlimited while resources are also limited.
prince
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rashid
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zahid
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Samiullah
Identify the different sectors in the economy
Moses Reply
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Moses
economic is study of human behaviour according to how they satisfie their numerous want
Osola
Economics is a science which studies human behaviour as a relationship between ends and scares resources.
JEYARAM
economic is study of human behaviour according to how they satisfie their numerous want
Amar
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Adugbire Reply
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Nadhin
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vivek
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Asamoah
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samuel
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Weness Reply
no relationship
Awuah
When there is economic growth, there is increased opportunity in employment. When there is no economic growth mean there is recession causing a decline or downsizing in employment opportunities.
Teescou
unemployment or employment determined by the level of economic growth
Osola
Difference between extinct and extici spicies
Amanpreet Reply
in a comparison of the stages of meiosis to the stage of mitosis, which stages are unique to meiosis and which stages have the same event in botg meiosis and mitosis
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Source:  OpenStax, University of georgia concepts of biology. OpenStax CNX. May 28, 2013 Download for free at https://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11526/1.2
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