8 Surprising Facts about the Digestive System
The digestive system has two main functions: to convert food into nutrients that our body will absorb and put to good use, and to rid the body of waste products that it doesn’t need. To complete this job the digestive system needs cooperation from a few different organs throughout the body, including the mouth, stomach, intestines, esophagus, liver, and gallbladder. Not many people are familiar with the complex process of digestion or truly realize how good health is crucial in maintaining proper digestion, and why many people turn to natural supplements to aid in digestion health.
AMP Floracel is a company that creates all natural and organic aloe vera based supplements to help alleviate symptoms and naturally treat digestive disorders. They understand the digestive system and realize the importance of good gut health.
Here are 8 surprising facts from AMP Floracel that you may not have known about the digestive system.
- Food doesn’t need gravity to get to the stomach. The muscles in your esophagus constrict and relax in a wavelike manner called peristalsis which pushes food down through the small canal and into the stomach.
- The stomach doesn’t do most of the digesting. While the stomach does play a vital role in mechanical digestion, it is a misconception that the stomach is the center of digestion. The stomach is actually involved in very little chemical digestion. Chemical digestion is the process that reduces food down to the size of molecules, which is necessary so that the nutrients can be absorbed into the blood stream. The small intestines are where most of the digestion and absorption of nutrients takes place. Those who suffer from digestive disorders may turn to natural, aloe-vera supplements that can coat not only their stomach lining, but also their intestines, naturally relieving their digestive disorder symptoms in both organs.
- The surface of the small intestines is huge. The surface of the large intestines is about 22 feet long and an inch in diameter. You would expect the small intestines to be about six feet, but it is actually closer to 2,700-square-feet or the size of a tennis court.
- More than 270,000 Americans develop cancer of the gastrointestinal tract every year. This includes cancers of the esophagus, stomach, colon, and rectum. The digestive system is home to more cancers and causes more cancer mortalities than any other organ system in the body.
- The stomach has to protect itself from itself. The cells along the inner wall of the stomach secrete about two liters of hydrochloric acid every day, which helps kill bacteria and aids digestion. The stomach protects itself from the corrosive acid by lining itself with a thick coating of mucus. The stomach produces a new coat of mucus every two weeks; however, some individual’s stomachs may not produce enough mucus, which is why over-the-counter natural alternatives can help aid in coating stomach lining and protecting the stomach from acid.
- Much of our knowledge about gastric physiology come from William Beaumont, an army surgeon, who observed the digestive process by inserting food into an unhealed gunshot wound in a French-Canadian trapper’s stomach.
- Most of the body’s serotonin, the major mood influencing hormone, is not secreted in the pituitary gland, but in the stomach lining.
- Pica is an eating disorder in which individuals who suffer from the condition develop a craving for non-nutritious substances such as paint, dirt, or chalk. This condition affects up to 30 percent of children. The cause is unknown, but possibly linked to subtle mineral deficiencies.