Food Digestion Essay

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Name: Student Number: 1) Describe the process of food digestion within the gastrointestinal tract. In your answer, make sure to address the following questions: (19 marks total) a) Where does chemical digestion begin? What is the first enzyme to access food that is ingested? What macromolecule does this enzyme digest? Where is this enzyme produced/secreted? (4 marks) Both chemical and mechanical digestion begins in the mouth as food materials are broken down into more absorbable units. Food material is transported down the gastrointestinal tract though muscle contractions, a process known as peristalsis. An enzyme known as Amylase, whose main function is to break down carbohydrates, is produced in the salivary glands and pancreas…show more content…
The migrating motor complex takes food remnants and bacteria away from the upper gastrointestinal tract and into the large intestines. This begins in between meals when a series of contractions occur in the stomach passing gradually from section to section. The two remaining patterns of motility can occur during and following a meal. Peristalsis involves circular muscles that contract in order to move food materials down the intestinal tract. Peristalsis pushes food to the receiving segment in a progressive wave that allows the bolus to travel. Finally, in segmental contractions segments of the small intestine will contract and relax randomly or at certain intervals. Its purpose is to churn the content of the intestines allowing them to remain in contact with the absorbing…show more content…
The ENS can therefore work independently of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system to sustain digestive motility. However, the ENS will work with parasympathetic nervous system to prepare the digestive system for food, like in the case of hunger. These reflexes are called Long Reflexes, where sensory information is sent to the nervous system and feedback is sent through autonomic neurons. In regards to the role of the central nervous system on gastrointestinal activities, antagonistic control encompasses excitation of the gastrointestinal tract by the parasynthetic division and inhibition by the sympathetic nervous
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