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The human digestive system is responsible for breaking down the food we eat into smaller components for the body to easily absorb nutrients and discard waste. It consists of accessory organs for digestion including the tongue, salivary glands, pancreas, liver, gallbladder and the gastrointestinal tract.
See the fact file below for more information on the Digestive System or alternatively, you can download our 26-page Digestive System worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
Components and Process of Digestion
- The process of digestion has two types:
- Mechanical digestion, which physically breaks down food into smaller pieces through mastication or chewing.
- Chemical digestion, which involves the use of enzymes to break down food mass into molecules for the body to use as nutrients and then discarded as waste.
- The digestive system consists of the following parts: Mouth or oral cavity, pharynx, esophagus, stomach, gallbladder, liver, pancreas, small intestine, large intestine, rectum and anus.
- These organs are hollow with their inner walls lined with a mucous membrane that secretes digestive enzymes to aid digestion.
- Saliva in our mouth moistens food we eat to enable effective chewing and swallowing. It also contains enzymes useful for chemical digestion of starchy food.
- Aside from saliva, the teeth and tongue are also located in the mouth and help with chewing and grinding. Food then goes to the pharynx, which is located at the back of the throat. The epiglottis, a flap of tissue in our pharynx, closes during swallowing to prevent food from entering the trachea or larynx.
- After this process, muscles move in waves pushing the food down the esophagus, which is about 10 to 14 inches long and 1 inch in diameter.
- From the esophagus, food travels for about 7 seconds to the stomach. The stomach is a muscular sac-like organ. Its walls are lined with three layers of muscle. An adult stomach is relatively small when empty but can expand to hold up to 1.5 liters of food. The stomach secretes enzymes called proteases for breaking down protein.
- In addition to protease enzymes, the inner wall of the stomach releases hydrochloric acid to kill bacteria. It also creates a thick mucus lining to protect itself from the corrosive acid. The stomach has wave-like muscular contractions, called peristalsis, which cause rumblings. Stomach rumbling is louder with an empty stomach.
- To aid the process of digestion, the pancreas secretes a hormone called insulin. It also releases enzymes for digesting fats and proteins.
- Another accessory gland for digestion is the liver. The liver is the second-largest organ in the human body, next to the skin. It is responsible for the body’s metabolism. Moreover, the liver synthesizes protein and produces chemicals needed for digestion. Beneath the liver is the gallbladder, which serves as the storage of bile produced by the liver. Bile helps to digest fats in the small intestine.
- Enzymes continue to break down food in the small intestine. Much nutrient absorption takes place in this organ. In human adults, females have longer small intestines, with 7.1 m while males have 6.9 m.
- Carbohydrate-rich food stays in the stomach for 2 to 3 hours during digestion.
- Humans have 10,000 taste buds located on the tongue, the throat and the roof of the mouth.
- The liver is the only organ in the human body that can regenerate itself.
Digestive System Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Digestive System across 26 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Digestive System worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the human digestive system is responsible for breaking down the food we eat into smaller components for the body to easily absorb nutrients and discard waste. It consists of accessory organs for digestion including the tongue, salivary glands, pancreas, liver, gallbladder and the gastrointestinal tract.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Digestive System Facts
- Parts of the Digestive System
- Major Organs
- Function of the Digestive System
- Biological Terms
- Digestive Problems
- Famous Scientists
- Digestion Flowchart
- Digestive Dos
- About the Digestive System
- Body Systems
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Link will appear as The Digestive System Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, May 15, 2018
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.