The surface area of the gastric intestinal tract has been likened to the size of one to two tennis courts (!!) That is if you were to lay it open on its side and take into account all of the cellular matter that's involved
This incredible digestive system of ours is essentially a tube that runs from the mouth, down the esophagus, through the stomach, small intestines, large intestine until it reaches the other end. All in all, it's about 20 -30 feet long, if considered as a hose
I've advanced to my second class, on my journey to study holistic nutrition, and for the next eight weeks, I'll be learning all about the digestive system. I thought it might be fun to share some fun and interesting tidbits
(ps: I'm forever in awe of how wonderfully we're made)
Technically, the digestive tract isn't inside the body, but outside. It's considered to be a canal that lets food in and waste out, but the food has to pass through the digestive wall (in the form of nutrients) to get into the body proper.
The digestive system is home to more cancers, and causes more cancer deaths each year, than any other organ system in the body.
Most people think the stomach is the center of digestion, and it IS as far as mechanical digestion goes (it churns food and mixes it with gastric juices, to physically break it up and turn it into a thick paste called chyme)
But when it comes to chemical digestion, it's the small intestines do the heavy lifting. Absorbing the nutrients and passing them into our bloodstream
Cells in the stomach's inner wall secrete a half-gallon of hydrochloric acid every day (that's a lot!). To protect itself from all of this acid, the lining of the stomach has a thick coating of mucus. But even the best mucus can't buffer these juices indefinitely, so the stomach has to make a brand new coat of mucus every two weeks.
Bacteria in the digestive tract aren't present in a fetus. Instead, babies acquire them from their mother and the environment during birth and also in their first days of life
Pretty cool stuff!