Origin: a Latin derivative
meaning "Gift of the Earth."
The digestive system is how the body retrieves and absorbs nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, from the food we eat. The mouth, esophagus, stomach, small and large intestines, and rectum make up the continuous chain of muscular, hollow organs referred to as the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, which is a subdivision of the digestive system. Accessory organs and body parts like the pancreas, liver, gallbladder, tongue, salivary glands, and teeth are also members of the digestive system. The tongue and teeth are involved in the first stage of digestion, the mechanical breakdown of food into smaller pieces. An enzyme in saliva called salivary amylase initiates the digestion of starch (found in potatoes, corn, and grains) in your mouth. The pancreas, liver, and gallbladder release enzymes that are used to digest the remaining carbohydrates, proteins, and fats further as they travel through the GI tract.
Healthy function of the digestive system can be influenced by lifestyle, environmental, and heritable factors. Read through the articles listed below to learn what research has to say about ways you can support the healthy function of your digestive system.
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