First before going on, a summary of what we have covered so far.
Our purpose in this series is to explain fully what happens to the food you eat, how it energizes your body through absorption, and how it does it.
- Mouth: As you chew and swallow, your tongue pushes food into your throat. A small piece of tissue called the epiglottis covers your windpipe. The epiglottis prevents choking.
- Esophagus: Food travels down a hollow tube called the esophagus. At the bottom, your esophageal sphincter relaxes to let food pass to your stomach. (A sphincter is a ring-shaped muscle that tightens and loosens.)
- Stomach: Your stomach creates digestive juices and breaks down food. It holds food until it is ready to empty into your small intestine.
- Gastric Juice: The stomach wall produces gastric juice (hydrochloric acid and enzymes) that digests proteins. The stomach is like a concrete mixer, churning and mixing food with gastric to form chyme – a thick, soupy liquid that is in turn moved down into the duodenum and small intestine. The main function of the stomach is to break down food particles to be further ingested. That is where we are now.
Where is it? It connects the lower part of the stomach (pylorus) (a valve much like the ____ above on the ______, that opens and closes to allow food and necessary juices into the duodenum, which is “c” shaped tube at the top end of the small intestine.
What is the function of the duodenum in the digestive process?
- Duodenum Functions: The duodenum continues the process of digestion of food that begins in the stomach. Its main function is to receive the chyme which is a combination of partially digested food and stomach acid.
Iron and calcium are absorbed in the duodenum. Other nutrients absorbed are Vitamin A and B1, amino acids, fatty acids, monoglycerides, and phosphorus.
It has been said that the duodenum is the mixing pot of the small intestine. Duodenum receives chyme from the stomach, which is a mixture of food products and acid, through a controlled valve between the stomach and the duodenum called the pylorus.
Other functions of the duodenum
The duodenum is shaped like a large “C” and within the curve of the C is embraced the pancreas. Here, pancreatic enzymes enter the duodenum as well, releasing enzymes to break down the products from the stomach, and bicarbonate to neutralize the acid from the stomach before reaching the jejunum, which is the upper section of the small intestine. Here the liver introduces bile which allows for the breakdown and absorption of fat from food products. There are other digestive actions here as well, made possible by the enzymes and intestinal juices that are secreted by the intestinal wall and fluids which come from the gallbladder, liver, and pancreas. Viewing the close proximity of all of these organs they are literally touching each other in the center of the torso.
How long does food stay in the duodenum?
This is where most of the nutrient absorption takes place. Food can spend between 2 to 6 hours in your small intestine. The duodenum is the first and shortest segment of the small intestine. It receives partially digested food (known as chyme) from the stomach and plays a vital role in the chemical digestion of chyme in preparation for absorption in the small intestine.
Summary of digestive action: stomach to the small intestine
At the same time that protein is being digested in the stomach, mechanical churning occurs through the action of peristalsi, waves of muscular contractions that move along the stomach wall. This allows the mass of food to further mix with the digestive enzymes. Gastric lipase secreted by the chief cells in the the gastric mucosa of the stomach, which is an acidic lipase Lipase is a digestive enzyme or digestive juice. Mostly created to break down fats to some degree though is not as efficient as pancreatic lipase.
The pylorus is located at the lowest section of the stomach which attaches to the duodenum via the pyloric canal, which contains countless glands which secrete digestive enzymes including gastrin. After an hour or two, a thick semi-liquid called chyme is produced. When the pyloric sphincter, or valve opens, chyme enters the duodenum where it mixes further with digestive enzymes from the pancreas, and then passes into and through the small intestine, where digestion continues.
Next, we discuss the pancreas, liver, and spleen, and what they do in this process.
I am trying to describe this trip deep down the body’s geographical south, and each major organ’s contribution to the digestive process. Maybe these articles can be edited thoroughly one day by a real doctor and compiled into a small book that could aid in understanding this all-important process. Next up are the liver, spleen, and pancreas and their functions.
Note that there are many supplements created to assist in the difficulty one may be having with any of these functions.
Did You Ever Consider Having Your Own Private Label?
As you can see, there are many types of things that can go wrong with the function of any of these organs. There are supplements to fix that condition. So call us and see if there is a private label that you can make and have with a product you create.