- According to a study, the enteric nervous system, also known as the "second brain," regulates digestion, gut motility, and immune response and can operate independently of the central nervous system. (1)
- In healthy adults, the rectum can hold up to 1 liter of feces and acts as a temporary holding area for feces before they are eliminated. (2)
Why is the digestive system crucial? The digestive system of a person is a complicated system. And, to be perfectly honest, there are times when it seems even more perplexing than that. After all, there are so many various components, processes, and activities occurring within the system that it can seem nearly impossible to keep track of everything at once. However, confusion starts to disappear fairly quickly once you are aware of a few basic facts about your digestive system. Check out these 11 fun facts about your digestive system that you might not know before.
11 Fun Facts About Your Digestive System
Here are some interesting facts about the digestive system to help you understand how things function.
1. Your digestive system is longer than a school bus!
Your digestive system is impressively long! It would be about 30 feet (9 meters) long if stretched out. This indicates that your digestive system is longer than a school bus.
2. The lining of your stomach is continuously regenerating.
To protect it from being harmed by digestive juices, the stomach lining is changed every few days. One of the body's tissues that regenerates the fastest is the stomach lining, where new cells replace the old ones every three to four days. This is significant because the stomach's digestive juices are extremely acidic, and the stomach lining would be harmed without this ongoing renewal.
3.Your liver produces bile to break down fats.
Bile, one of the body's largest organs, is produced by the liver and aids in the small intestine's ability to break down fats. The gallbladder stores bile before releasing it into the small intestine. Bile is composed of water, electrolytes, cholesterol, and other substances.
4. The small intestine absorbs most nutrients.
Most nutrient absorption occurs in the small intestine. In the small intestine, nutrients from the food we eat are digested and absorbed into the bloodstream, where they are carried to the rest of the body.
5. The large intestine is home to trillions of helpful bacteria.
Trillions of beneficial bacteria reside in the large intestine and aid in digestion. These microbes, collectively referred to as the gut microbiome, aid in the breakdown of complex carbohydrates and the production of some vitamins that our bodies are unable to produce on their own.
6. Your digestive system has its own "brain."
The enteric nervous system, or "brain," of the digestive system. This neuronal network regulates the digestive system and is independent of the central nervous system, so even if your brain were removed, your digestive system would continue to work. This is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating fun facts about the digestive system.
7. The esophagus uses peristalsis to move food to the stomach.
Peristalsis, or rhythmic contractions of the esophagus, is how food is pushed down into the stomach. Peristalsis is a series of muscular contractions that resemble waves and move food through the digestive system.
8. The rectum can hold up to 1 liter of feces.
Here's another interesting fact about the digestive system. Before feeling the urge to urinate, the rectum can hold up to 1 liter of feces. Feces are temporarily stored in the rectum, the last part of the large intestine, before being expelled.
9. The pancreas produces enzymes and hormones for digestion.
The pancreas secretes hormones and digestive enzymes that assist in controlling blood sugar levels. The pancreas' digestive enzymes aid in the small intestine's breakdown of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Insulin and glucagon, two hormones that control blood sugar levels, are also produced by the pancreas.
10. Chewing food is the start of the digestive process.
The digestive process begins when you chew your food. Chewing aids in reducing the size of food and starts the breakdown of carbohydrates in the mouth.
11. Your digestive system and immune system are closely connected.
The immune system and the digestive system are inextricably linked. The majority of the immune cells in the body, which aid in defense against dangerous bacteria and viruses, are found in the gut. The balance of bacteria in the gut microbiome is also regulated by some immune cells.
You now know some entertaining and fascinating facts about the digestive system! Even though we might not always give our digestive system much thought, it is vital to our general health and wellbeing. We sincerely hope you enjoyed reading about the fun facts of the digestive system.
Enjoy reading? Check out this related article: Top 5 Functions of Enzymes That You Should Know
If you're looking to supplement your diet with a digestive enzyme supplement, consider checking out Nano Singapore Shop! The Digestive Wellness Formula is a popular option that can help you meet your dietary needs and experience the associated health benefits.
- Mayer EA, Gutierrez EJ, Martinez C, et al. The enteric nervous system. Physiology & Behavior. 2015; 44(1): 20-28. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2014.05.012 https://www.nature.com/articles/nrgastro.2016.107
- Shafik A, Mostafa RM, Shafik I, Ei-Sibai O, Shafik AA. Functional activity of the rectum: A conduit organ or a storage organ or both? World J Gastroenterol. 2006 Jul 28;12(28):4549-52. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v12.i28.4549. PMID: 16874870; PMCID: PMC4125645. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4125645/
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