How Digestion Works Part 2

The thick paste then takes the form of a thin watery liquid so that it can be sent thru the bloodstream to the liver. The liver synthesizes the nutrient rich blood and also decides the distribution of nutrients to the body and what can be stored for energy conversion later. The liver converts Hemoglobin into a component of bile and controls its release in the body. It stores glucose as glycogen and converts proteins to amino acids. Thus nutrient processing is one of the major functions of the liver. The food that we digest should be nutrient rich for the liver to function well and body to stay healthy.

Improper diet can make the food difficult for the body to digest. This leads to accumulation of a layer of incompletely digested food on the walls of the intestine, providing for bad bacteria, fungi and parasites to prosper.

The indigestible residue left after the breakage in the small intestine is passed on to the large intestine. The large intestine is coiled up around the small intestine and is bulkier. Its approximately 5 feet long and 3-4 inches thick. It’s divided into 3 parts, known as the Cecum, the colon and the rectum. The large intestine ferments cellulose, undigested carbohydrates and synthesizes various vitamins with the bacterial flora present in it. These bacteria also produce certain vitamins like Vitamin K, for absorption by the body.

The colon in the large intestine absorbs the water from the waste, pushing the solid waste product into the rectum for storage. This waste, also known as feces, is expelled from the body through the Anus. The large intestine also houses a tiny closed tube known as the appendix, which can be a cause of worry and needs to be removed if infected.

Digestion is one of the most complex processes undertaken by the body. Many components and elements play a vital role in its functioning. One of them is the pH level which facilitates the process when we digest food. The acidity or alkalinity of the solutions is measured in pH levels. Acidic solutions have a pH less than seven and greater than seven are termed as alkaline solutions. The saliva in the mouth regulates the pH level in the digestive tract, which is around 6.8. Since digestive enzymes are sensitive to pH, they would not function effectively a low-pH environment, like that of the stomach. Thus the acidic pH of the stomach aids the breakdown of carbohydrates, helps in altering protein for digestion in small intestine and eliminating pathogens. It destroys the bacteria that provokes gas and bloating. The pH levels in the small intestine are mildly alkaline to propel absorption.

Digestion, apart from providing energy for nourishment, defense and renewal, also throws out the bodily toxins. Improper functioning of the digestive system can create various types of problems. It can start from simple problems like indigestion, constipation, heartburn, gas, bloating and aggravate to serious diseases like food allergies, colitis, ulcers, jaundice, Cirrhosis, Cancer, Hepatitis etc. Ineffective absorption of food can lead to nutrient deficient problems like anemia. Thus, improper nourishment is not only a result of unhealthy food but also the consequence of irregular and fast chewing, less absorption of nutrients and assimilation of unwanted food particles. Nutrition is also considered a factor in cardiovascular diseases and hypertension.

Thus, the food we digest keeps us going and improves our well being. Failure or malfunction of the system would lead to an unhealthy body and hordes of bodily complications. So ensure that the digestive system is functioning properly and the food eaten is easy for the system to break, absorb and distribute.

Some Tips for Better Digestion »