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Digestion, Absorption and Metabolism. Presented by Janice Hermann, PhD, RD/LD OCES Adult and Older Adult Nutrition Specialist. What Is Digestion. Process whereby the body breaks down food into absorbable nutrients. Digestive tract is a long tube surrounded by muscles.

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digestion absorption and metabolism

Digestion, Absorption and Metabolism

Presented by

Janice Hermann, PhD, RD/LD

OCES Adult and Older Adult Nutrition Specialist

what is digestion
What Is Digestion
  • Process whereby the body breaks down food into absorbable nutrients.
  • Digestive tract is a long tube surrounded by muscles.
  • The muscles alternate contracting and relaxing pushing food along.
mouth
Mouth
  • Teeth grind food to reduce the size.
  • Saliva released to help moisten food.
  • Some carbohydrate digestion begins.
  • Tongue pushes food to the back of the mouth to start swallowing reflex.
  • Food passes through the esophagus and enters stomach.
stomach
Stomach
  • Distended pouch. Strong circular muscles at each end control food entering and leaving.
  • Mixes food by muscular contractions causing food to break up further.
  • Secretes hydrochloric acid:
    • Begins protein digestion.
    • Kills microorganisms in food.
  • Nutrients not absorbed except water and alcohol.
small intestine
Small Intestine
  • Most digestion and absorption occurs in small intestine.
  • Bile released to emulsify (break up) fat.
  • Pancreatic enzymes released to digest carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
  • Final digestive enzymes in intestinal lining break down carbohydrates, proteins and fats into absorbable units.
final digestion products
Final Digestion Products
  • Final digestion products absorbed by cells lining small intestine.
    • Carbohydrates:
      • Monosaccharides
    • Proteins:
      • Amino acids
      • Chains of 2 or 3 amino acids
    • Fats:
      • Fatty acids
      • Glycerol
      • Monoglycerides
    • Vitamins, minerals, water and some larger fat-like compounds such as cholesterol are not broken down before they are absorbed.
absorption
Absorption
  • Water-soluble nutrients and short fatty acids released directly into the bloodstream.
  • Longer fatty acids, fat-soluble vitamins, and fat-like compounds such as cholesterol are not water-soluble.
    • Triglycerides reform in intestinal wall.
    • Packaged into a chylomicron and released into lymphatic system.
indigestible matter
Indigestible Matter
  • After digestion and absorption of nutrients, indigestible matter, such as fiber moves into the large intestine.
  • Indigestible matter is compacted by removing water.
  • Little nutrient absorption occurs in large intestine.
metabolism
Metabolism
  • Chemical reactions that occur in the body:
    • Building and maintaining body tissues
    • Regulating body functions
    • Supplying energy
  • For metabolism to occur the body needs:
    • Water
    • Energy
    • Oxygen
    • Nutrients
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