What substances does the stomach digest
The tube is completely lined with a mucous membrane. The chemical and mechanical processes in this digestive system cause food to be converted into energy for our body.
The upper end of the tube: the mouth
Mechanical crushing begins with the teeth. The more you chew, the better the food will be chopped up. In addition, the saliva now mixes in, chemistry comes into play.
The saliva, which contains the enzyme amylase, cracks the first chemical compounds. Carbohydrates such as flour and sugar are roughly broken down with it. We produce around one and a half liters of this "mouthwash" every day.
The tongue helps with mechanical pre-digestion by repeatedly transporting the pulp between the teeth. The bumps on the tongue, the papillae, ensure that it works optimally. The tongue then transports the porridge in portions towards the esophagus.
So that the food does not end up in the "wrong" throat, there are two guards. One is the soft palate. It prevents anything from getting into the nasopharynx while swallowing.
The other watchdog is the larynx. When swallowing, it automatically closes the entrance to the windpipe like a valve cap. Anyone who tries to outsmart this automatism and dump a drink without swallowing runs the risk of choking on it. Hitting the "wrong" neck can be life threatening.
Give him a treat: the stomach
The pulp is carried down the esophagus in wave-like contractions. There is no willingness to help. It happens as a reflex. Once at the bottom, the access to the stomach opens.
Once the food is inside, the access is closed again. This is important because the acids in the stomach would otherwise attack the sensitive mucous membranes of the esophagus. Everyone has probably experienced acid regurgitation at some point.
If the food slips into the stomach, it does not spread out as an even layer on top, but rather sinks towards the middle like in a bowl. The last bite is always a little deepened in the middle.
As long as the stomach is empty, the muscle walls lie close together. If the stomach fills up, then it adapts depending on the amount. The gastric juice containing hydrochloric acid and enzymes now starts to digest protein.
The body produces around two liters of gastric juice every day. One wonders why the hydrochloric acid in gastric juice does not break down the lining of the stomach. Mistake, she does. Therefore, the mucous membrane in the stomach is constantly renewed.
If the porridge in the stomach is well mixed with the juices, the stomach begins to constrict in a ring. It also moves automatically in waves, even when it is empty.
The chyme stays there for between one and six hours. The duration depends on how fat the food is. If there is fatty stuff in the stomach, it can only perform the undulating movements slowly. Fat is just "heavy" in the stomach.
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