by remuskoh
Last updated 8 years ago

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Before starting this project, the only knowledge I had about the digestive system was what I learnt in Primary School. At that time, I thought that my understanding of the topic was quite deep, and thought that Secondary Two digestive system would be a breeze. Little did I know that what i am learning in Secondary Two is worlds apart from what i learnt in Primary School. The ones I've learnt previously were just the surface of the whole topic. We used to call it that gullet, but now there is a even scientific name for it - the oesophagus. The way food is being digested chemically and mechanically is also quite new for me. It is more than chewing and swallowing in the digestion of food. Enzymes, food molecules are being introduced to us. The part I find it harder to remember is the enzymes and which food molecules it breaks down. For example, lipase breaks down fats molecules in food to glycerol and fatty acids. I also found a link in the enzyme’s name and the molecule it breaks down. Lipase – Lipids, Protease – Proteins, Maltase – Maltose, Amylase – Amylone and Carbohydrase – Carbohydrates. Knowing that, it makes remembering the enzymes easier, however the end products of it still needs more time. Learning the topic made me realize that gobbling down my food is not good for my body. It makes my stomach work more and leaving more nutrients unabsorbed due to the large size of the molecules. I am more concerned about my eating habits nowadays. I usually eat fast and rush off to do my own things, not knowing that in the long run, I am actually causing damage to my body. I also learnt not to neglect signals sent by my jejunum as once the digestive juices are released, when it has nothing to digest, it would start digesting my organs, causing them to hurt. The other thing I’ve learn is the various parts of the small intestine. Mainly, duodenum, jejunum and ilium. It is interesting that jejunum is derived from the word jejune, meaning hungry in ancient English. Duodenum is where most of the chemical digestion is done. Ironically, it is also the smallest part of the whole small intestine. Ilium is where most of the absorbtion takes place. Peristalsis is another interesting thing I’ve learnt from this project. I watched a few videos online just to get a better understanding of it. I feel that out body is a magical thing. We have so many different processes to take care of even the minor details. Peristalsis may seem unimportant, but without it food would go directly down to our stomach and there will be little or no mechanical digestion in the stomach. However, I find that there is one part that is useless up till today - the appendix. Apparantly there is no evidence of use for it, but it gives us problems like appendicitis. I believe one day, scientists would find a use for it as all parts of our body should be useful in one way or another.

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Peristalsis: The process of wavelike muscle contractions of the alimentary tract that moves food alongChurning: Moving with or producing or produced by vigorous agitation.Jejune: Insubstantial: lacking in nutritive valueBacteria: Organisms important as pathogens and for biochemical propertiesColon: The part of the large intestine between the cecum and the rectumPancreas: A large elongated exocrine gland located behind the stomachBolus: A small round soft mass (as of chewed food) Chyme: A semiliquid mass of partially digested food


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