Function of the Digestive System

The digestive system is a series of hollow organs joined in a long tube from the mouth to the anus. The main function of the digestive system is to break down the food we eat into smaller parts so the body can use them for energy and cell nourishment.

What Is the Function of the Digestive System?

The primary function of the digestive system is to break down the food we eat into smaller parts so the body can use them to build and nourish cells and provide energy.
 
The digestive system is a series of hollow organs joined in a long, twisting tube from the mouth to the anus. Inside this tube is a lining called the mucosa. In the mouth, stomach, and small intestine, the mucosa contains tiny glands that produce juices to help digest food.
 
Two solid organs, the liver and the pancreas, produce digestive juices that reach the intestine through small tubes. In addition, parts of other organ systems (for instance, nerves and blood vessels) play a major role in the digestive system.
 
When we eat things like bread, meat, and vegetables, they are not in a form the body can use as nourishment. Our food and drink must be changed into smaller molecules of nutrients before they can be absorbed into the blood and carried to cells throughout the body. Digestion is the process by which food and drink are broken down into their smallest parts so that the body can use them.
 
(For more information on the function of the digestive system, see the full eMedTV article on the Digestive System.)
 

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