Digestion and Absorption Class 11 Notes - Chapter 16

Food is an important component for sustenance and growth for any living organism. Humans have evolved specialized systems that can convert food into energy and disperse the same to all cells in the body. The human digestive system is a series of interconnected organs that span from the mouth and ends at the anus.

What are Digestion and Absorption?

Digestion is the process of breaking large, insoluble food molecules into smaller molecules for absorption into the bloodstream.  Digestion begins in the mouth and continues as food travels through the small intestine.

Absorption is the process of assimilating substances into the cells or across the tissues and organs through the process of diffusion or osmosis.  Absorption occurs in the small intestine.

Also Read: Human Digestive System

The Alimentary Canal

Human Digestive System

 

The alimentary canal is the entire passage along which the ingested food is broken down into its constituents and are absorbed for use by the body. When all the components of the gastrointestinal tract are stretched out, end to end, it roughly measures 30 feet or about 9 meters. The components are as follows:

  1. Oral cavity (Also called the buccal cavity)
  2. Pharynx (plural: pharynges)
  3. Oesophagus
  4. Stomach
  5. Small intestine
  6. Large intestine
  7. Rectum
  8. Anus

Also Refer: Diagram Of Digestive System

Accessory Organs of the Digestive System

Besides the organs in the gastrointestinal tract, there are additional organs and glands that are not directly a part of the digestive system but they provide crucial functions that aid digestion absorption or break down of food. These are termed as the accessory organs of the digestive system.

Note: They are the accessory organs of the digestive system but not the part of the digestive tract.

  1. Liver.
  2. Tongue.
  3. Pancreas.
  4. Gallbladder.
  5. Salivary glands.

Also Read: Alimentary Canal

Important Question on Digestion and Absorption

  1. State the functions of the liver.
  2. Describe the function of the Villi.
  3. State the components of the digestive tract.
  4. What is the meaning of the term “thecodont”?
  5. Explain the role of pancreatic juice in the process of digestion.

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