Anatomy and Physiology: Digestive System Overview

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What is the function of the digestive system?

To transform food into nutrients for cells

What is mastication?


What is propulsion in the digestive system?

Movement of food from one end of the digestive tract to the other

What does defecation refer to?

Excretion to rid the body of indigestible waste

What is the purpose of mixing in the digestive system?

Movement of food back and forth in the digestive tract, incorporating secretions into the food

Study Notes

Digestive System Overview

  • The digestive system's primary function is to break down ingested food into smaller molecules that can be absorbed and utilized by the body for energy, growth, and repair.

Mechanical Processes

  • Mastication: the process of chewing food in the mouth, which breaks down food into smaller pieces, increasing the surface area for enzymatic digestion.
  • Propulsion: the movement of food through the digestive system, facilitated by muscle contractions and relaxations.
  • Mixing: the combination of food with digestive enzymes and acids to facilitate chemical digestion.


  • Defecation: the process of eliminating waste products from the body through the anus.

Note: These notes focus on the key concepts related to the functions and processes of the digestive system.

Test your knowledge about the digestive system with this quiz covering the overview and elimination functions. Explore the processes involved in converting food to usable form and delivering nutrients to cells.

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