Digestion is one of the longest process taking place in the human body. The process of digestion involves several steps as well as the organs. It starts with the mouth and ends at the anus. The track is also referred to as alimentary canal. The organs involved in the alimentary canal are mouth, oesophagus, stomach, small intestine and large intestine. Small intestine is one among them and plays a major role. Let us explore the importance of small intestine in digestion of food.
The small intestine is the longest organ of the digestive tract. The small intestine has millions of tiny finger-like projections called villi. These villi increase the surface area for more efficient food absorption. Within these villi, many blood vessels are present that absorb the digested food and carry it to the bloodstream. From the bloodstream, the absorbed food is delivered to each and every cell of the body.
Absorption of food by small intestine
The digested food is absorbed into the blood in the human body by the small intestine. The digested food passes through the walls of the small intestine and then into our bloodstream. Here the digested food is broken down into vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates and fats. These all nutrients are reached to different cells and tissues by means of blood.
Enzyme present in small intestine
Trypsin: Trypsin is a pancreatic enzyme. Trypsin has a key role in the small intestine. Trypsin is an enzyme that helps us digest protein. In the small intestine, the enzyme breaks down into proteins, and continues the process of digestion that began in the stomach.
Small intestine in Herbivore
The animals which feed on plants, leaves, fruits and other natural products for their food are called herbivores. Example: cow, goat, etc. The animals which feed on other animals for their food are called carnivores. Example: Lion, Cat, etc. Herbivores feed only on plants hence they need longer small intestine to digest the cellulose present in plants. Carnivores feed on other animals and the food gets digested easily as compared to herbivore. Hence small intestine in herbivores longer than in carnivores.