Digestion And Its Effects On Food Essay

845 Words Mar 30th, 2016 4 Pages
Digestion can be described as food being broken down into its most basic and simple components so that we can absorb the nutrients to give us energy and nutrition. Digestion occurs in what is known as the gastrointestinal (GI) tract which consists of the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine (colon), and other important organs such as salivary glands, the liver, pancreas, and gallbladder.
Digestion first occurs with food entering the mouth. Food is usually comprised of three macronutrients: carbohydrates, fats (lipids), and proteins. In the mouth mechanical digestion via the grinding of food between teeth and movement of the tongue help mix the food with fluid excreted by salivary glands in the mouth known as saliva. Saliva helps makes the food moist and easier to digest and sallow. More importantly saliva helps start the chemical digestion of food in the mouth because it contains various enzymes which help catalyze and speed up the breakdown of the macronutrients into their simpler components. Carbohydrates are broken down via the enzyme salivary amylase. More specifically, amylase breaks down starch (a polysaccharide) which is made up of amylose and amylopectin into smaller starch units known as disaccharides and monosaccharides. Very few fats are broken down from the enzymes in saliva known as lingual lipase. Lastly, there are very few proteases (enzymes that break down proteins) in saliva, as such proteins start their chemical digestion in the…

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