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CHAPTER 6: DIGESTION AND NUTRITION

6.1 Organs and Organ Systems


o o Organs: groups of different tissues (acting together) specialized for particular functions. Example: stomach (complex organ). Outer structure epithelial tissue 3 layers of smooth muscle in different directions (to churn food with muscle contractions and relaxations) submucosa (loose connective tissue w/ blood/lymph vessels) innermost mucosa cells secreting gastric juices + mucus. Nerve cells regulate + synchronize contractions release partially digested material small intestine. Organ system: group of organs w/ related functions. Example: digestive system: esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, other organs (liver and pancreas). Interacting with each other. Example: digestive system + circulatory system (allows material transportation) + respiratory system (adequate gas exchange). Some organs classified for anatomy over function. Example: kidneys (excretory- waste removal in blood) + large intestine (digestive- concentrates + stores undigested matter, absorbs water + vitamins)

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Monitoring Organs 1895: first X-ray photograph: German physicist Wilhelm Roentgen. High energy electromagnetic waves pass through soft tissue (muscle), absorbed by denser bone. 1898: first X-rays of soft tissue (viewed without surgery): Walter Cannon developed stain w/ bismuth (nontoxic mineral opaque to X rays). Patient drank it, X rays unable to penetrate stained gastrointestinal organs = white image of organs. Today barium instead of bismuth. X Ray technology + computer technology. Example: computerized axial tomography (CAT) scan: X ray machine rotates around patient 100s of pictures from different angles. Images stored in computer w/ location and angle. Pictures reassembled thin cross-sectional views, organized for 3 d imaging. Organ viewed section by section. Accuracy: can detect 1 mm abrasions. Can distinguish between gases, liquids, solid tissues can identify tumours. Useful diagnostic tool head injuries (e.g. blood clots)

6.2 Importance of Digestion


1) INGESTION: heterotrophs take in organic compounds/nutrients 2) DIGESTION: the digestive system (coordinated, regulated by nervous and endocrine systems) breakdown of large, complex organic materials smaller components. E.g. gastrointestinal tract 3) ABSORPTION: transported by circulatory system cells supply energy, raw materials synthesis of essential chemical compounds growth, maintenance, tissue repair. E.g. oxygen + others digestive organs, absorbed foods tissues. 4) EGESTION: removal of wastes from the body. Digestive Enzymes Rate at which an enzyme functions best to break down complex molecules 2 factors: temperature, and pH -

Usually, temp + = energy + = enzyme activity + Most human enzymes: efficiency peaks at 37 degs, drops as more energy is added. * enzymes = proteins when w/ high temp, change shape denatured = no longer active Enzymes function best within certain pH ranges. E.g. Pepsin = low pH (acidic environment of stomach). Amylase = neutral pH (mouth), Trypsin = basic environments (small intestine) Digestion in Simpler Organisms Protozoa: digest meals inside food vacuoles in cells Amoeba: single celled: engulfs food w/ phagocytosis: extends pseudopods to engulf food, vacuole formed inside cell. Vacuoles fuse w/ lysosome: vesicles containing hydrolytic enzymes: use water molecules to break down food. Hydra: digestive sac (gastrovascular cavity) w/ single opening. Encloses part of external environment, allows food storage and digestion. Digestive enzymes released, break down larger food molecules. Smaller molecules engulfed by cells lining cavity. Digestion continues in cytoplasm. Wastes remain, expelled from same opening. Digestion in More Complex Organisms Digestive tracts/ alimentary canals long tubes with 2 openings (mouth, anus) Moves along 1 direction Specialized regions: breakdown + absorption: stepwise process Food ingested through mouth muscular pharynx esophagus stomach/crop (depends on species) Animals w/o teeth have muscular gizzard(designed to break down food particles) intestine hydrolytic enzymes complete chemical digestion nutrients absorbed across lining of intestine into blood circulatory system cells of the body undigested wastes removed through anus. -

6.3 Ingestion
Saliva watery fluid produced by salivary glands amylase enzymes breaks down starches (complex carbohydrates) simpler lubricates food to be swallowed, dissolves food particles, makes it possible to taste Flavour: food particles dissolved in solution penetrate cells of taste buds on tongue and cheeks. Different types of receptors: special geometry: permit I.D. of flavours. Nerve cells for tastes stimulated receptor sites filled by chemical compounds w/ complementary shape. Digestive tract of humans (6.5 m to 9 m long) stores and breaks down organic molecules simpler components.

Teeth physical digestion incisors: 8 chisel shaped teeth at front: for cutting canine teeth: sharp, dagger-shaped, for tearing premolars: broad, flattened teeth, for grinding molars: broader, flattened cusps, for crushing wisdom teeth: 16-20 years of age. Often must be removed. 2 divisions: root and crown. Enamel crown (covers tooth w/ calcium compounds hardest substance in body). Inside Dentin (bonelike substance), part of root structure. Encases: pulp cavity (containing nerves and blood vessels) Tooth decay: bacteria living off nutrients that cling to teeth. Harmful microbes corrosive acids that erode tooths structure. Infections can spread to periodontal membrane anchors teeth to jawbone. Periodontal tissue can be destroyed, teeth loosen. Esophagus -

Food mouth stomach Bolus of food stretches walls, activates smooth muscles peristalsis (involuntary rhythmic contractions): moves food along gastrointestinal tract. Only times voluntary swallowing and egestion

6.4 The Stomach and Digestion


Stomach: site of food storage, initial protein digestion Sphincters: constrictor muscles, surround a tubelike structure: regulate food going in and out Example: Cardiac sphincter contractions/relaxations - opening to the stomach near heart Example: Pyloric Sphincter: movement of foods and stomach acids to small intestine J-shaped stomach: numerous ridges (expansion) can store 1.5L of food. Millions of cells line inner wall, secreting stomach fluids gastric fluids/gastric juice digestion. 1) Mucus: protective coating: protein produced by layer of epithelial cells (mucus membrane) 2) Hydrochloric Acid (HCl): kills harmful substances in food, converts 3) Pepsinogen (moves through cell membrane and mucous lining) into active form Pepsin (protein digesting enzyme) breaks long amino acid chains shorter chains (polypeptides) pH range: usually 2-3, but possibly: 1.0. High acidity allows HCl to kill pathogens + pepsin to break proteins. Alkaline mucus layer protects stomach lining.

Ulcers

Peptic ulcer (lesion): from destruction of the cell membrane by HCl and pepsin after protective mucous lining breaks down. Under thin layer of cells = rich capillary network. Acids irritate cells of stomach lining = increase in blood flow and acid secretions = more tissue burned = allergic reaction stronger = eventually blood vessels breakdown. Most linked to Heliobacter pylori bacterium. Other factors: diet, stress. Dr. Barry Marshall: Australian physician changed minds. Before: believed microbes unable to live in stomach. H. pylori can survive in harsh environment, only powerful antibiotics can kill. Research in U.S.: attempting to connect it with stomach cancer. Now: simple breath test for presence of H. pylori Frontiers of Technology: Ulcers and Lasers 1960: American physicist: Theodore Maiman: 1 laser. Medical applications: remove damaged tissues (stomach ulcers). Laser beam thinner than most scalpels, can seal small blood vessels. Reduces need for surgery. Endoscope : instrument fitted with light-emitting glass fibre positioned inside patients body. Can be used to view inside body. Tiny forceps, fitted in, extracts small pieces of tissue for biopsy.
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6.5 The Small Intestine and Pancreas


Most digestion small intestine: 7 m long, 2.5 cm diameter. Length related to diet. Example: meats easy to digest (carnivores short small intestines), plants longer (herbivores longer small intestines), omnivores (intermediate length) Large intestine: 1.5 m length, 7.6 cm diameter 1) Duodenum: first 25 30 cm. Majority of digestion 2) Jejunum: digestion + absorption 3) Ileum: mainly absorption Differentiated by cell shape Partially digested foods small intestine, soaked in HCl and Pepsin Acids entering chemical prosecretin secretin absorbed into bloodstream pancreas signals release of solution w/ bicarbonate ions (HCO3-) small intestine neutralize HCl in gastric fluid, raise pH 2.5 -> 9.0 Basic pH inactivates pepsin = small intestine protected. Pancreatic secretions enzymes for breakdown of 3 major component of foods

Protein Digestion protein digesting enzyme, trypsinogen from pancreas small intestine enzyme enterokinase converts trypsin breaks down long chain polypeptides shorter chain peptides. Second group, erepsins from pancreas/small intestine break bond between short chain peptides individual amino acids. Carbohydrate digestion amylase enzymes, continues digestion intermediate-size chains disaccharides. Small intestine disaccharide enzymes, disaccharidases monosaccharides Lipid digestion pancreas lipases: break down lipids. 2 types: 1) pancreatic lipase: most common, fats fatty acids + glycerol. 2) Phospholipase phospholipids Absorption: mostly in small, not large. Villi (long fingerlike tubes) increase SA (10fold increase). Cells of lining of each villus have microvilli (fine, threadlike extensions of membrane, further increase SA). Each villus capillary network, intertwining with lymph vessels lacteals (transport materials). Some nutrients absorbed diffusion, others actively transported. Carbohydrates + amino acids capillary networks. Fats lacteals.

6.6 The Liver and Gall Bladder


Liver fluid bile, containing bile salts speed up fat digestion. Empty stomach bile stored, concentrated in gall bladder. Fats in the small intestine hormone cholecystokinin (CCK) released carried in blood to gall bladder triggers gall bladder bile salts small intestine break down large flat globules into smaller droplets = physical digestion. Prepares fat for chemical digestion increasing surface area for fat-digesting enzymes (E.g. Pancreatic Lipase) Liver and Gall Bladder Problems 1) Cholesterol (insoluble component of bile, binding agent for salt crystals in bile). Crystals precipitate larger crystals = gallstones, can block bile duct, impair fat digestion, cause considerable pain. 2) Jaundice: bile contains pigments. Liver breaks down hemoglobin (red blood cells) products stored in gall bladder for removal (brown feces). Any obstruction of bile duct, accelerated destruction of red blood cells turns skins and other tissues yellow. 3) Cirrhosis: Liver stores glycogen, vitamins A, B12, C, can detoxify substances. Harmful chemicals soluble dissolved in blood urine. E.g. alcohol, broken into usable materials and wastes. Alcohol can destroy liver tissue. Damaged liver cells replaced with tissue/fat (cant carry out duties)

6.7 Absorption of Materials


Stomach absorbs some water, specific vitamins, some medicines, alcohol Food large intestine = chemical digestion complete Colon (largest segment of large intestine): stores wastes, reabsorbs water w/ some inorganic salts, minerals, vitamins. Large intestine bacteria, e.g. E. coli, essential to life, uses waste materials vitamins B and K Cellulose (long chain carbohydrate, plant cell walls) large intestine, undigested. Cannot be broken down, 1 function Bulk. Wastes build up + receptors in wall of intestine central nervous system prompts bowel movement removal of potentially toxic wastes from body. Less cellulose (roughage or fibre) wastes + toxins remain in body longer. Cancer of colon related to diet. E.g. processed, highly refined foods Fibre medical reports may reduce cholesterol levels (can be debated). Provides balanced diet. (see 6.5)

6.9 Homeostasis and Control Systems


Homeostasis: bodys ability to adjust and maintain a constant balance to a fluctuating internal and external environment. Greek words: homoiosis (similar/like) stasis (standing still).

E.g. Best internal temperature: 37 C, 0.1% blood sugar level, 7.35 blood pH. External environments change: air temperatures, foods, different demands on body from sports, etc. System of active balance has constant monitoring/feedback and special receptors sense info about blood sugar, body temperature, oxygen levels. E.g. homeostasis disrupted monitor sends signal to coordinating centre (brain) where normal limits are set info to appropriate regulator balance. E.g. Regulator adjustments: increase in heart rate during exercise, release of glucose (liver) to restore blood sugar levels. E.g. Regulation of blood sugar level. Chemical reactions ensure sugar concentration in blood appropriate level Relationship: insulin / glucagon. Increase in blood sugar level chemical receptors cause pancreas hormone insulin cells of liver and muscles (more permeable to glucose) liver excess glucose (not stored) glycogen (stored). Decrease in blood sugar level pancreas hormone glucagon conversion glycogen glucose body uses for immediate needs.

Homeostatic Control of Digestion Homeostatic controls before food is absorbed. Exerted by nervous and hormonal systems + nerves in stomach wall. Gastric secretions are produced before food in the stomach (when seeing food) + swallowing motions produce gastric juices. Hormones: e.g. secretin: released when acids small intestine with food absorbed in blood pancreas initiates release of substances raise pH of small intestine. e.g. Gastrin: (digestive hormone from stomach stimulates release of gastric juices to digest proteins): when partially digested proteins stomach. Also controlled: speed of digestive system processing food. Food stomach: nerves in stomach wall cause muscle contractions + secretion of gastric fluids. Large meal receptors more forceful stomach contractions + faster emptying. Fatty meal small intestine digestive hormone (enterogasterone) slows peristaltic movements = more time for fat digestion + absorption.