Digestive System Facts

Are you curious to know the amazing truths about the parts of alimentary canal? Come on, I have collected some for you. The organs facilitating digestion collectively form one of the different systems that work in coordination for the proper execution of various functions in the body. It consists of a long tube that runs from mouth and ends at anus. Various organs are found attached to it on the way, which include oral cavity, pharynx, esophagus, stomach, liver and pancreas. You might be having the basic knowledge of it, but the fantastic facts would still be unknown to you. Why not learn these now? Let’s go ahead! The basic facts and interesting digestive system facts have been dealt with separately.

  • Also known as fuel factory of the body, your digestive system is made up of 9 meter long tubes and pipes and over half a dozen associated organs.
  • The primary job of this structural entity is to breakdown complex food materials, like carbohydrates, proteins and lipids into smaller diffusible particles.
  • In the digestive system processes, carbohydrates, proteins and lipids are broken down into simple sugars, amino acids and fatty acids, respectively.
  • The mechanism for the separation of unwanted materials from food and flushing them out of the body can be termed as excretory system.
  • The finely broken down food particles are taken up into the circulatory system which circulates them throughout the body.
  • The food molecules, in the blood stream, are delivered to individual cells in the body for their nourishment. This food is also responsible for providing energy to different organs of muscular system that initiate movements while working in coordination with skeletal system.
  • Measuring two and a half centimeter in diameter (1 inch), your small intestine runs along the length of 22 feet, making more than two thirds of the total length of all the parts of digestive system.
  • The breadbasket in the ruminants, like cows, giraffe and deer, is made up of four chambers which help in the digestion of plant-based food. These animals are mistakenly said to have multiple stomachs, but that is not the case.
  • As many as 270,000 individuals in the USA fall victim to gastrointestinal cancer each year which affects the parts like rectum, colon, tummy and esophagus. More than half of such patients die due to the malady.
  • In is one of the worth noticing digestive system facts that the deaths caused by cancers in digestive system outnumber any other cancer mortalities.
  • It is with the help of endoscope that the doctors are able to examine organs and cavities inside the body of the patients.
  • Adolph Kussmaul, a German doctor, was the first person who looked inside the abdomen of a living individual with the help of endoscope in 1868. As his instrument was rigid, he used the technique of a sword swallower to guide it into the gut.
  • As an important digestive system function, about 2 liter of hydrochloric acid is secreted by cells in the inner wall of the breadbasket on daily basis, which not only aids in digestion of food but also helps in killing the disease causing bacteria. Hydrochloric acid (HCL) is a strong acid that is used to clean toilet bowls and remove rusts and scales from steel sheets and coils.
  • The American Family Physician journal published the results of a study related to peptic ulcer in 2007. It revealed that around 50 million Americans are affected by the malignancy each year, which is characterized by the presence of sores on the inner lining of stomach, small intestine or esophagus.
  • Helicobacter pylori is the bacterium that burrows into the mucosal lining of stomach, thus causing a condition known as peptic ulcer.
  • Warren and Marshal were awarded Nobel Prize in physiology in 2005 for their discovery of the causative agent of peptic ulcer.
  • The peristaltic movements in the tummy and small gut give rise to stomach rumblings, also called borborygmi. As there is nothing to muffle the sound, the borborygmi from the empty tract are usually louder.
  • The digestive system diseases affect all the parts of alimentary canal, from mouth to anus.

Interesting Digestive System Facts for Kids:

Do you want to refresh your mind with some amazing digestive system facts for kids? The facts, listed below, are useful for both for kids and adults.

  • Hundreds of pounds of food are digested in a human body each year.
  • It is peristaltic movement (wavelike motion created by constriction and relaxation of esophagus muscles) rather than the gravitational pull that is responsible for the engulfing of food bolus.
  • Do you know that you can engulf a morsel even while hanging upside down? It is because of the amazing action of peristalsis.
  • In the laundry detergents, there are found several different kinds of enzymes, including lipases, amylases and proteases. These enzymes digest the food substances attached to clothes in the form of stains.
  • The growls in the empty organs serve as a signal that your body needs food.
  • Here is one of the interesting digestive system facts! There is a thick coating of mucus to the interior of stomach that protects it from the action of corrosive acid, i.e. HCL.
  • Intestinal gas is produced by the action of bacteria on the undigested food particles and consists of hydrogen, hydrogen sulfide, methane and carbon dioxide. It, in turn, gives rise to the unpleasant condition of flatulence.
  • Applying the formula 2πrl, the surface area of small intestine comes out to be 5.75 square feet (2 x 3.14 x .04166 x 22), but actually it is about the size of a tennis court, i.e. 2,700 square feet! Do you know how this is possible? Well, it is because of the folds in the wall of intestine which are covered by villi and microvilli.
  • In some animals, like lungfishes, platypuses and seahorses, there is no stomach at all. So, after passing through esophagus, the food bolus, in these animals, goes straight to the small and then the large intestine.

About the Author

Posted by: M. Isaac / Senior writer

A graduate in biological sciences and a PhD scholar (NCBA&E University, Lahore), M. Isaac combines his vast experience with a keen and critical eye to create practical and inherently engaging content on the human body. His background as a researcher and instructor at a secondary school enables him to best understand the needs of the beginner level learners and the amateur readers and educate them about how their body works, and how they can adopt a healthier lifestyle.

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