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Mechanically breaks up food particles, liquifies the food & begins chemical digestion of protein & fat

Gastric Glands

Regenerative cells divide rapidly to produce new cells that migrate upwards towards surface.Chief cells secrete chymosin & lipase in infancy & pepsinogen throughout life


Secrete peptide hormone, gastrin, which is released into bloodstream and increases secretory activity of gastric glands.

Gastric juice

secreted in sm. amounts at sight or smell of food—parasympathetic response that ensures some gastric juice will be present in stomach when food arrives.

Gastric Motility

Swallowing center signals stomach to relax
Arriving food stretches the stomach activating a receptive-relaxation response


Induced by excessive stretching of stomach, psychological stimuli or chemical irritants (bacterial toxins)

Pancreas, Liver and Gallbladder

All release important secretions into small intestine to continue digestion

Pancreatic amylase

"backup" enzyme for salivary amylase.
carbohydrate-digesting enzyme
breaks down starches into maltose


Stores bile between meals
Concentrates bile by reabsorbing water (concentrates bile 20 fold).
Releases bile into small intestine.


Passage of substances e.g., digested foods, water, salts, and vitamins) through intestinal mucosa into blood or lymph.

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