The human digestive system is a complex system that breaks down food into essential nutrients that the body can absorb and use.
This procedure involves several organs and glands that work together to ensure food is digested and absorbed properly.
It even works as a route for digestion; ingestion breaks down, assimilation of water and food, and even removal of the body’s waste products.
So, in this article, we will now discuss some amazing facts about the digestive system of humans.
Interesting Human Digestive System Facts:
The series of organs of the human digestive system
The human digestive system is a network of various types of organs that perform various types of operations for the digestion of food. It starts with the oral cavity, where the salivary glands’ function breaks down the food particles.
Then these particles move down the esophagus and become the subject of the action of various types of enzymes secreted by multiple organs, such as the liver, stomach, pancreas, large intestine, and the large intestine.
The human digestive system doesn’t need gravity.
The human digestive system doesn’t need gravity to move food down the esophagus. The muscles of this part move food down to the stomach.
This means humans can even eat upside down; however, it is important to beware of choking.
Also, the human stomach isn’t the main source of digesting food. Though the mechanical digestion procedure occurs in the stomach, most of the work is completed by the small intestine.
The stomach of humans
The human stomach must protect itself from acid erosion by providing a protective mucus layer.
This can keep the hydrochloric acid present in the stomach and helps digest foods while protecting the stomach from breaking down.
Moreover, the human stomach can produce a new layer of mucus at an interval of two weeks to protect itself, while it creates half a gallon of hydrochloric acid per day.
The human stomach is like a muscular sac.
The stomach of a human is a unique kind of muscular sac that is present on the left side of the abdomen. This organ breaks down the food into a specific mixture called chyme.
This stomach even secretes enzymes and hydrochloric acid that help by breaking down proteins.
The human stomach can even stretch to accommodate large amounts of meals and can hold almost 2.5 liters of food.
Use of different types of enzymes
The human digestive system uses various enzymes to break down different foodstuffs. Amylases can target and break down carbohydrates, whereas Proteases can break down proteins. Also, Lipases act on the fat components to break them down successfully.
You will be amazed to know that some laundry detergents use the same enzymes the human body uses to break down different types of foods to break down stains.
The primitive endoscope
Doctor Adolph Kussmaul used a primitive endoscope to look inside the stomach of a living person for the first time.
He needed to use a sword swallower to swallow that primitive tool as it was rigid, but he could get the first look at the stomach.
The digestive system is associated with cancer in more people and can result in more mortalities than any other body system.
Stomachs vary a lot between species. Animals like cows have a four-chambered stomachs, while platypuses and seahorses don’t have stomachs at all.
The human stomach makes sounds.
According to Borborygmi, the human stomach makes sounds when it rumbles. It may happen when a person is hungry or even if he is not hungry at all.
They may sound loudest when a person’s an empty stomach, as peristaltic waves usually move through the intestines.
Also, a food bolus usually takes 2 to 5 seconds to travel down the human esophagus to the stomach.
Some other human organs are accessories to the human digestive system. The pancreas and liver produce various materials to help in the overall digestive procedure, including proteases and bile.
Humans pass gas due to fermentation.
When humans pass gas, it is related to fermentation in the large intestine.
Usually, bacteria work on the remaining food material and try to digest it, eventually reaching the large intestine. As those bacteria work, they release gases like hydrogen sulfide and methane.
Also, burps are produced to release an extra amount of air that the human body intakes from smoking, drinking carbonated beverages, or even eating too fast.
An average person can produce around 32 ounces of saliva each day
Saliva is produced by the human salivary glands, which are located in the oral cavity. This human saliva contains important salivary enzymes, amylase, that help break down food particles.
There are usually two pairs of salivary glands, such as the submandibular glands on the oral cavity’s floor and the parotid glands in the inside part of the cheeks.
The brain is the controller of the digestive system
The human brain is the central controller of the human digestive system. Thus, conditions like stress can affect digestion and metabolism rate.
When the stomach gets full, the nerve fibers in the stomach wall’s lining give signals to the brain and provide a feeling of fullness. However, the opposite process happens when the stomach is empty.
The human digestive system has a pancreas.
The pancreas is a gland-like organ that is located behind the stomach. It usually produces essential digestive enzymes that can break down proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Also, this pancreas produces insulin, a vital hormone regulating blood sugar levels.
The largest organ in the human digestive system
The organ known as the liver is the largest in the body. This organ is present on the right side of the abdomen.
This organ can perform several important functions, such as bile production, which is important for the digestion and absorption of fats.
This organ called the liver, also plays a role in metabolism, detoxification, and even storing minerals and vitamins.
The small intestine is very long.
The organ known as the small intestine is not actually small. If you can stretch this narrow tube-like organ out, it might cover space that has a size similar to a tennis court or maybe almost 20 feet in length.
The reason is this organ has folded in its walls, called villi and microvilli. The surface area of the small intestine is almost 250 sq meters.
Villi helps in absorption.
The small intestine is the organ where most of the nutrients from food are absorbed into the bloodstream.
The walls of this organ are lined with finger-like villi, which can increase the surface area for absorption.
Also, this small intestine can receive secretions from the liver and pancreas that can help digestion.
When the stomach sends its contents to the intestines, it sends a signal to the brain. So, the brain can activate the digestive muscles to initiate contractions to ensure no food particles remain in the stomach.
The stomach produces around 3 liters of gastric juices
The human stomach produces acids and enzymes to help the digestive process.
Different cells located in the lining of the stomach secret different types of food particles and help those particles to turn into a liquid form.
Bloating is a common symptom that is related to the human digestive system. It is an occurrence that happens after the ingestion of a full meal.
The human stomach can hold almost 4 liters of food particles and may bloat around four times the average size after ingesting a large meal.
The human digestive system takes longer to digest fat
The human body needs almost 2 hours to digest a meal high in carbohydrate content, but it takes around 6 hours to digest a meal with high-fat content. Thus, a balanced diet ensures a healthy weight and lifestyle to prevent digestive issues.
Though many people think that ulcers in the intestine or stomach are caused due to eating spicy food, however, this issue can also be caused due to stress. These ulcers are caused by a bacterium called Helicobacter Pylori.
Epiglottis helps by keeping food out of the air tract
The epiglottis has a thin flap-like structure that mainly covers the windpipe.
When a human swallows food, it covers the windpipe and prevents food particles from entering the lungs. However, choking occurs when food particles enter the windpipe and block the airway.
After the completion of the digestion procedure, the leftover thing is called fiber. Fiber-rich food is good for the human body, as it helps soften the stool and prevent constipation.
The large intestine
The large intestine or colon is almost 5 feet long and connects the small intestine to the rectum. The main function of this body part is to absorb electrolytes and water from the remaining ingestible food matter.
This organ is home to many bacteria that help break down undigested food and produce vitamins.
So, the human digestive system is an intricate and complex system responsible for breaking down food into nutrients that the body can absorb.
This system involves several glands and organs that work together to digest food effectively.
At the end of this article, we learned about 18 really amazing facts about the human digestive system. These facts clearly show us this interesting part of our bodies. If you want to collect some more amazing facts, you may visit our website.
I’m a former teacher with a background in child development and a passion for creating engaging and educational activities for children. I strongly understand child development and know how to create activities to help children learn and grow. Spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, and volunteering in my community.