Structure And Functions Of The Digestive System

1725 Words Nov 24th, 2015 7 Pages
Task 1
Structure and functions of main and associated organs of the digestive system

The digestive system is one of the body’s largest systems (about 8-10 metres long) and it is made up of a series of organs and glands. Its processes include: food ingestion, enzyme secretion, digestion, absorption and defecation. Its organs form the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

Main digestive organs:
Mouth (oral cavity):
Beginning of the GI tract, “the roof of the mouth forms the hard palate, which leads into the soft palate. The floor is covered by the tongue” (Canadian Cancer Society, 2015). It also contains the teeth and the salivary glands. A mucous membrane consisting of stratified squamous epithelium lines and protects inside of the mouth.
Functions:
Both mechanical and chemical digestion begin in the mouth.
The tongue and teeth mechanically break food into smaller pieces through process of mastication, salivary enzymes in the saliva begin the process of chemical digestion.

Pharynx (throat):
A Muscular tube which connects the posterior end of the oral and nasal cavities to the oesophagus and larynx. It consist of three parts: nasopharynx, oropharynx and laryngopharynx. Because of its dual functions, pharynx consists of a flap of connective tissue called the epiglottis which acts as a switch allowing food passage into the oesophagus.

Oesophagus:
A fibromuscular tube about 25cm long, extends from the pharynx to the stomach and its mucous lining secretes a thick mucus that…
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