12 amazing facts about your digestive system
The digestive system has two main functions: transformation of food nutrients needed by the body, and rid the body of waste. The proper functioning of the digestive system interacts with a number of various organs throughout the body - oral, stomach, intestine, liver and gall bladder. Before you 12 facts about the digestive system that may surprise you.
1. Food not need gravity to reach the stomach
When you eat something, the food is not just fall through the esophagus into the stomach esophagus muscles contract and relax - the wavelike contractions called peristalsis, so the food is pushed through a small channel down to the stomach. Due peristalsis, even if you have, hanging upside down, the food can get into the stomach.
2. Laxatives receive signals from the digestive system
Laxatives often contain several different classes of enzymes, including protease, amylase and lipase. The human digestive system also contains these enzymes.
The digestive system uses these types of enzymes to dissolve the food: proteases break down proteins, amylase - carbohydrates and lipases - fat. For example, your saliva contains amylase and lipase, and your stomach and small intestine using a protease.
3. Most of the food is not digested in the stomach
It is believed that the stomach is the center of the digestive system. This body does play a big role in the "mechanical digestion" - it takes a large amount of food and mixes it with gastric juice, physically breaking down food into components and transforming it into a thick paste called chyme.
But the stomach takes a rather small part in the chemical decomposition - the process, reduces food to the size of molecules, which is necessary for getting nutrients into the bloodstream. Most of the process of digestion and nutrient absorption occur in the small intestine is approximately two thirds the length of the gastrointestinal tract. After further destruction chyme powerful enzymes, small intestine absorbs nutrients and directs them into the bloodstream.
4. The area of the surface of the small intestine is enormous
The length of the small intestine is approximately seven meters and width - about 2, 5 cm in diameter. On the basis of these measurements can be solved, the surface area of the small intestine is about 0, 6 m². In fact, its area - about 250 m2, which is comparable to the area of a tennis court.
The small intestine has three characteristics that increase its surface area. intestinal walls have folds, and also contain structures called villi - fingerlike projections absorbing fabric. Moreover, the villi are covered with microscopic projections - microvilli. All these features allow the small intestine to digest food better.
5. The stomachs of animals are different
The stomach is an integral part of the digestive system, but it looks different animals in different ways. Some animals have stomachs with multiple compartments: cows and other ruminant animals - giraffes, deer and cattle - Four-chamber stomachs that helps them to digest plant food.
And in some species of animals, such as sea horses, platypuses, and lungfish, the stomach is not at all, and the food comes directly from the esophagus to the rectum.
6. Intestinal gases unpleasant smell due to bacteria
Intestinal gases are a combination of air and absorbed gases emerging through fermentation of bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. The digestive system can not absorb only certain components of the food - some substances simply fall into the large intestine, where they begin to work the whole bands of intestinal bacteria, releasing different gases, including carbon dioxide, hydrogen, methane and hydrogen sulfide.
7. The digestive system is prone to cancer
Each year, more than 270-thousand Americans are turning to hospitals, their diagnosis - cancer of the gastrointestinal tract, including cancer of the esophagus, stomach, colon and rectum. About half of these cases lead to death. In the year 2009 claimed nearly 52,000 people in the US from colorectal cancer, this is the largest number of deaths from cancer except lung cancer.
8. A sword-swallower helped scientists to look into the stomach
The endoscope - an instrument used for the study of organs and cavities within the body. German physician Philipp Bozzini in the early 1800s developed a primitive version of an endoscope, called laytleyter designed to test a number of areas of the body, including the ear, nasal cavity and urethra.
Half a century later, the French surgeon Jean Antoine Desormes developed another tool for the study of the urinary tract and bladder, which he called "an endoscope."
In 1868, the year the German physician Adolf Kussmaul used an endoscope to the first time to look inside a living human stomach. Unlike today's endoscopes, Kussmaul tool is not flexible, so that it was difficult to manage. Therefore Kassmaul used sword-swallower experience capable of easily swallow sword length of about 47-cm and a width of 1, 3 cm - such size instrument was developed by him.
9. A man with a hole in the abdomen to help physicians in the study of digestion
In 1822, the year a hunter accidentally shot a 19-year-old man named Alexis St. Martin. Army surgeon William Beaumont cured stricken, leaving, however, the opening in the abdominal cavity, which is called a fistula. This fistula allowed Beaumont to examine the stomach completely new way. Over the next decade Beaumont conducted 238 experiments on Saint-Martin, some of them suggested the introduction of food directly into the patient's stomach. Beaumont has made a number of important conclusions from their work, for example, that can affect digestion fever, and that digestion - is more than just a grind food in the stomach to digest the need hydrochloric acid.
10. The stomach must protect themselves from themselves as
cells along the inner wall of the stomach to secrete approximately two liters of hydrochloric acid on a daily basis, which helps to kill bacteria and aids in digestion. Outside the body, hydrochloric acid is typically used in a variety of means for removing rust and oxide scale from steel surfaces, and is also found in some detergents, including cleaners for toilets.
To protect yourself from the caustic acid, the stomach walls are covered with a thick layer of mucus, but this can not be mucus to protect the stomach for an indefinite period, so that the stomach every two weeks "update" this layer.
11. The doctors treated ulcers wrong for nearly a century
Peptic ulcer - is sores on the mucosa of the stomach, esophagus or the small intestine. According to research of 2007, from the disease each year is shown at 50 million people in the US alone.
Doctors have long believed that the causes of peptic ulcer disease are stress and spicy foods. This explanation made sense, because patients often complained of acute pain just after taking spicy food, so for nearly 100 years, doctors prescribed a course of treatment in the form of rest and light diet.
In 1982, Australian scientists Barry Marshall and Robin Warren discovered that ulcer occurs due to the bacteria Helicobacter Pylori, intruding in the gastric mucosa. Thanks to this discovery, doctors have come up with the best treatment for ulcers - antibiotics. This discovery brought Marshall and Warren, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2005, the year.
12. Rumbling in the stomach may go off at any time, not only when a person is hungry
The so-called stomach rumble - this is the result of peristalsis of the stomach and small intestine. In other words, this is evidence of the normal digestion of food, which occurs when food, liquids and gases pass through your digestive tract. When the digestive system is empty, the sound louder, because there is nothing that could muffle it.
But why do muscles contract, if the digestive tract is nothing?
After the contents of the stomach into the small intestine, digestive system sends signals to the brain, and he responds by saying the digestive muscles to begin the process of peristalsis. Muscle contraction needed to remain in the stomach not excessive eating - as a result and is distributed "false" signal that the body needs food.