Digestive System: Mouth to Esophagus and Stomach

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29 Questions

Which one of these is a function of the salivary glands in the mouth?

To blend fluids with food and liquids to ease swallowing

Which part of the digestive system controls the movement of food from the esophagus into the stomach?

Lower esophageal sphincter

Which organ is responsible for the withdrawal of water from the digestive tract?

Large intestine (colon)

What is the name of the semi-liquid mass formed in the stomach after the digestion process begins?


Which sphincter muscle opens into the small intestine from the stomach?

Pyloric sphincter

Which of the following processes involves both circular and longitudinal muscles to push intestinal contents along?


What is the function of sodium bicarbonate in the digestive system?

Neutralizes acidic chyme

Which organ stores bile until it is needed in the digestive process?


What is the primary function of an emulsifier like bile in the digestive system?

Breaks down fats

Which digestive secretion protects the intestinal wall?

Intestinal juice

Where does most fat breakdown occur in the digestive system?

Small intestine

Which organ secretes pancreatic juice in the digestive system?


Which part of the small intestine is responsible for the secretion of intestinal juices?


What type of nutrients are prepared for transport in the bloodstream?

Water-soluble nutrients and smaller products of fat digestion

Which cells in the small intestine regulate nutrient absorption based on the body's needs?

Villi cells

What system bypasses the liver initially when transporting larger fats and fat-soluble vitamins?

Lymphatic system

Which part of the body is responsible for delivering oxygen and nutrients, as well as removing carbon dioxide and wastes?


Which cells in the small intestine are responsible for mucus secretion?

Goblet cells

What is the main characteristic of diarrhea?

Frequent watery stools

Which of these is NOT a common cause of constipation?

A specific disease

Where does bacterial fermentation causing intestinal gas primarily occur?

Large intestine

Which condition is NOT associated with frequent diarrhea?

Gastroesophageal reflux

Which lifestyle factor can help prevent constipation?

Adequate fluid intake

Which of these is NOT a harmful practice for treating constipation?

Regular physical activity

What is a recommended strategy to prevent constipation?

Drinking plenty of fluids

Which activity can help reduce belching?

Chewing thoroughly

What is a recommended strategy for managing intestinal gas?

Limiting bothersome foods

What is a recommended lifestyle change for people with ulcers?

Refraining from smoking cigarettes

What is a recommended medication strategy for people with ulcers?

Taking medication as prescribed by a physician

Study Notes

Digestive Secretions and Their Major Actions

  • Salivary glands produce saliva that eases swallowing and breaks down carbohydrates
  • Gastric glands produce gastric juice that mixes with food, uncoils proteins, and breaks down proteins
  • Pancreas produces pancreatic juice that neutralizes acidic gastric juices and breaks down carbohydrates, fats, and proteins
  • Liver produces bile that emulsifies fat for enzyme breakdown, stored in the gallbladder, and released into the small intestine
  • Intestinal glands produce intestinal juice that breaks down carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, and protects the intestinal wall

Digestive Process

  • Mouth: chewing breaks up food, mixed with saliva that eases swallowing
  • Esophagus: bolus passes through the pharynx, controlled by two sphincter muscles
  • Stomach: chyme is formed, and the pyloric sphincter opens into the small intestine
  • Small intestine: pancreatic juice and bile mix with chyme, and enzymes break down nutrients
  • Large intestine (colon): water is withdrawn, and the ileocecal valve controls movement

Intestinal Cells and Absorption

  • Villi: regulate nutrient absorption, with microvilli that recognize and act on different nutrients
  • Microvilli: enzymes and "pumps" that recognize and act on different nutrients
  • Crypts: secrete intestinal juices
  • Goblet cells: secrete mucus

Nutrient Transport

  • Bloodstream: absorbs water-soluble nutrients and smaller fat digestion products
  • Lymphatic system: absorbs larger fats and fat-soluble vitamins, forming chylomicrons that bypass the liver initially

Liver and Circulatory Systems

  • Liver: receives nutrients from the digestive tract, regulates nutrient absorption
  • Circulatory system: heart pumps blood, delivers oxygen and nutrients, and removes waste products
  • Blood flow: specially routed for the digestive system

Digestive Disorders and Conditions

  • Diarrhea: frequent watery stools, often due to IBS, colitis, and celiac disease
  • Constipation: often due to lifestyle, medications, and preventable by diet and lifestyle choices
  • Gastroesophageal reflux: stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, commonly known as heartburn
  • Hemorrhoids, diverticulosis, and laxatives: harmful practices and colonic irrigation
  • Gas: mainly caused by bacterial fermentation of sugars, fiber, and starch in the large intestine

Test your knowledge on the process of digestion starting from the mouth, including chewing, taste sensations, saliva, and the passage through the pharynx. Learn about the movement of food from the mouth to the esophagus and stomach, including the roles of sphincter muscles, bolus, and chyme.

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