Human Body Systems

FREE resources for teaching your students about human body systems

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Inside-Out Anatomy: The Digestive System

When we last left Timmy, he was playing in his backyard pretending to be his favorite animal, a chameleon. Oh yeah, and he also ate a butterfly! We followed the path that the ingested butterfly took down Timmy's upper gastrointestinal tract, from his mouth, to his pharynx , down his esophagus, and through his stomach.

Now let's continue on our journey through Timmy's digestive system as we follow the path that the food takes through the lower gastrointestinal tract. We know that liquefied food and gastric juice is released by the pyloric sphincter a little at a time from the stomach into the duodenum , which is the first section of small intestine where digesting food enters from the stomach.

A lot of people think that this food is now digested into products that can be absorbed into the bloodstream, but that's not the case at all, because full digestion of the food still requires a lot more work.

As soon as the liquefied food and gastric juice enters the duodenum, the acid and partially digested food stimulates the pancreas to secrete bicarbonate, water, and many different digestive enzymes, which flow into the duodenum to mix with the gastric juice.

You may remember that bicarbonate is a base and that bases neutralize acids. So when the bicarbonate secreted by the pancreas mixes with the gastric juice, it neutralizes the acid. Meanwhile, digestive enzymes are secreted from the liver and pancreas as zymogens , which, you may remember, are inactive precursors of enzymes that require a change to be activated.

These zymogens are activated by other enzymes in the duodenum and then start breaking carbohydrates into smaller sugars, and also breaking proteins into peptides and amino acids. Once the carbohydrate chains have been broken down into monosaccharides, they can be transported across the luminal membrane and into the epithelial cells of the small intestine.

Likewise, proteins and peptides can't be absorbed by the small intestine. But once they are broken down into their component amino acids, these are easily transported into the epithelial cells.

However, fats are a little more complicated. You see, fats, which are also called lipids , are hydrophobic. They repel water and clump together with other lipids, because when they clump together they have less interaction with the water.

This means that they are insoluble. They won't go into solution and they aren't available for soluble digestive enzymes to break them down. Fortunately, our liver produces bile salts , which coat the lipids and keep them separated into tiny droplets that don't clump together.

These tiny, coated droplets give the digestive enzymes enough surface area to gain access to the lipids and break them down. One such digestive enzyme is lipase , which is an enzyme that breaks lipids down into monoglycerides and fatty acids. These monoglycerides and fatty acids can then be absorbed by the small intestine. Although the liver produces bile, it is stored in the gall bladder, which then releases it into the duodenum when digestion is taking place.

The small intestine can be broken down into three parts. We've already talked about the first part, the duodenum, which is the very first section of small intestine where the pancreas, liver, and gall bladder add their digestive enzymes, water, and bicarbonate to the digesting food. Following the duodenum are the jejunum and then the ileum.

These sections are specialized for the absorption of monosaccharides, amino acids, monoglycerides, fatty acids, and water. The epithelium is structured into large folds that increase surface area and absorption. Get access risk-free for 30 days, just create an account. And sticking out from the folds are finger-like projections, called villi , that further increase surface area and absorption. Even the epithelial cells of the villi themselves are covered with tiny finger-like projections called microvilli, which, again, further increase surface area and absorption.

Digesting food is moved through the small intestine by a process called peristalsis , which is the slow, rhythmic contraction of the smooth muscle in the intestinal wall. Peristalsis moves digested food through the small intestine, where most of the nutrients and water are absorbed, before it enters the large intestine. The large intestine , or colon, functions mainly to reabsorb most of the water that wasn't reabsorbed by the small intestine.

Again, peristalsis moves what is left of the food through the large intestine, and finally into the rectum , which is the last part of the large intestine, where feces are stored before they are eliminated through the anus.

The duodenum is the first section of small intestine where digesting food enters from the stomach. Contrary to popular belief, most digestion occurs in the small intestine, and not the stomach. Not only does the duodenum receive digesting food from the stomach, but it also receives water, bicarbonate, and digestive enzymes from the pancreas.

It receives bile from the gall bladder and a host of digestive enzymes from the liver. As the food is moved through the small intestine by peristalsis , carbohydrates are broken down into monosaccharides, proteins are broken down into amino acids, and lipids are broken down into fatty acids and monoglycerides.

The monosaccharides, amino acids, fatty acids, and monoglycerides are then transported into the epithelial cells of the jejunum and ileum, which are the absorptive portions of the small intestine. The absorptive surface of the small intestine is arranged into large folds that increase surface area and absorption. Sticking out from the folds are finger-like projections, called villi , that further increase surface area and absorption.

Following the small intestine is the large intestine , or colon, which functions primarily to reabsorb most of the water that wasn't reabsorbed by the small intestine. Again, peristalsis moves what is left of the food through the large intestine and finally into the rectum , which is the last part of the large intestine where feces are stored before they are eliminated through the anus. To unlock this lesson you must be a Study. Did you know… We have over college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1, colleges and universities.

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Explore over 4, video courses. Find a degree that fits your goals. The Lower Gastrointestinal Tract The lower gastrointestinal tract is the part of the digestive system that is responsible for the last part of food digestion and the expulsion of waste from the body.

In this lesson, we'll look at each part of the system and what functions each serves in the process of digestion. Try it risk-free for 30 days. An error occurred trying to load this video. Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

You must create an account to continue watching. Register to view this lesson Are you a student or a teacher? I am a student I am a teacher. What teachers are saying about Study. Are you still watching? Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds. Add to Add to Add to. Want to watch this again later? The Upper Gastrointestinal Tract. Anatomy and Physiology of the Large Intestine. What is the Small Intestine? Anatomy of the Heart: Blood Flow and Parts.

Movement Through the Small Intestine: Physiology of the Stomach and Gastric Juices. Nutrient Absorption and Role In Digestion. Lipids Digestion and Absorption. What Is the Pancreas? Carbohydrate Digestion and Absorption: Regulation of Blood Pressure: Protein Digestion and Absorption Process. Passive Transport in Cells: Muscle Origin and Insertion: Life, Physical and Chemical. Practice and Study Guide. The lower gastrointestinal tract is the part of the digestive system that is responsible for the last part of food digestion and the expulsion of waste from the body.

The Lower Gastrointestinal Tract When we last left Timmy, he was playing in his backyard pretending to be his favorite animal, a chameleon. The audio is poor or missing. Video is unrelated to the product. Please fill out the copyright form to register a complaint. Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features: Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Read reviews that mention heather learn manley funny learning informative child pearl merrin pictures systems educational jokes age colorful robbie teaches boring school teach.

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. I've been stewing on this review for at least a week - somewhere between stars. The topic is excellent. As a family physician, I'm always on the look out for great books that explain medical topics well to children.

I loved the language and technical approach to discussing the digestive system in a children's book. It kept my daughter almost 8 engaged and excited. However, the writing was somewhat forced and I found the use of the apple icons and other reading "helpers" very distracting and not in keeping with the overall theme and focus of the book. Interestingly, my daughter who always wants to finish every last page of a book and re-read books, has NOT asked to re-read this book and did not want to read anything beyond the initial story which surprised me I did talk her into listening to some of the jokes, but not all of them made sense even to her father and I Great topic, decent execution.

Didn't quite measure up to what I had hoped. One person found this helpful 2 people found this helpful. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. I bought this book and others in the series to teach our 12 year old son and 6 year old grandson about some of the systems of the human body at what I thought would be their level.

Both of the boys love being read to, so I thought that would be a good way to read the book with them for the first time.

I would improve the book by including a phonetic spelling of various body parts, like peristalsis, especially the ones most people have either never heard or or wouldn't know how to pronounce. Whether it would be at the beginning of the book or the first time you come across these words. It was frustrating to me to not know how to pronounce several of the words and it took away from the reading of the book, to look up how to pronounce these words when we tried to read the book together.

I especially lost the interest of my grandson while doing this and our son wasn't very far behind him. There may be something to help with pronounciation at the end of the book, but we haven't made it that far yet.

In fact, we haven't been able to get the boys to be willing to sit down and finish the book once. I'm sure this is a really great series and maybe an older child will enjoy the book better that our boys or maybe a child with a better interest in the human body. Personally, I think the books are beneficial to children learning about the human body systems and I haven't given up on the possibility of reading it with our children. I love the Human Body Detective book series!

Not only are they interesting and exciting stories that the kids like to listen to, they are jam packed with information and facts. My 3 year old loves to listen to them and learns much more than I thought she would. In the Lucky Escape, the little girls travel through their baby brother's digestive system to retrieve the penny that he swallowed. It is an exciting book but is not scary so any child can listen to it.

It is also quite funny! My children laughed and laughed when the girls ran into some gas bubbles in the intestines. After the story, there is more information about the digestive system, information about healthy eating, a glossary, and some jokes.

This book is full of so much information that most adults will learn a lot too. I admit, I must have forgotten that the human adult intestines uncoiled are 25 feet long. I highly recommend these book!

My students enjoyed this book! One person found this helpful. This is somewhat of an unique book. Through illustrations and other means of emphasis,the reader fill in the blanks. The illustrations are good. It is definitely a different approach to reading than most. It also teaches about the body in a fun, unique way. Aids in identifying objects and words. It is an advanced elementary reader. Merrin and Pearl take a trip through Robbie's digestive system. You have to hold your nose at the end of the trip!

Ages 4 to 10, its too grouse for older readers. See all 33 reviews. Most recent customer reviews. Published on July 5, Fun and learning wrapped up in one cover!

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