What are the major digestive glands associated with the human digestive system?

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    What are the major digestive glands associated with the human digestive system? Explain their functions.



    The major digestive glands are:

    • Salivary Gland
    • Pancreas
    • Gastric Gland
    • Liver
    • Intestinal Gland

    The functions are:

    • Salivary gland: it secretes saliva which contains ptyalin, an enzyme that breaks starch (polysaccharide)into maltose (disaccharide).
    • Gastric gland: it secretes gastric juice which contains HCl (hydrochloric acid) which softens food, kills bacteria present in food due to acidic nature, stops the action of saliva, provides acidic environment for the enzymes present in gastric juice to act.,
    • Liver: it secretes bile which helps to: emulsifies fat, helps in fat absorption, provides alkaline medium Firstly to neutralize the acid from the stomach and secondly to activate the pancreatic juices to act on food.
    • Pancreas: it secretes pancreatic juice which contains trypsin, amylase, lipase. Trypsin helps in the breakdown of proteins, peptones, peptides into an amino acid. Amylase helps in the breakdown of starch into maltose. Lipase helps in the breakdown of fat into fatty acids and glycerol.
    • Intestinal glands: it secretes intestinal juice (succus entericus) which contains an enzyme that helps in the breakdown of carbohydrates, proteins, fats.
    john Smith

    The human digestive system involves the breakdown and absorption of nutrients from the food we eat. There are several major digestive glands that play crucial roles in this process. These glands secrete various digestive enzymes and substances to facilitate the digestion of food. The major digestive glands are:

    1. Salivary Glands: The salivary glands are located in and around the mouth. They produce saliva, which contains enzymes like amylase that initiate the digestion of carbohydrates. Saliva also helps to moisten food, making it easier to chew and swallow. The enzymes in saliva begin breaking down starches into simpler sugars, preparing the food for further digestion in the stomach and small intestine.

    2. Gastric Glands: Located in the stomach lining, gastric glands secrete gastric juice, which includes hydrochloric acid and enzymes such as pepsinogen. Hydrochloric acid creates an acidic environment in the stomach, which is essential for the activation of pepsinogen into pepsin. Pepsin is a protease enzyme that breaks down proteins into smaller peptides, a crucial step in protein digestion.

    3. Liver: The liver is a large organ located in the upper right abdomen. Although not a gland in the traditional sense, it plays a vital role in digestion. The liver produces bile, which is stored in the gallbladder. Bile contains bile salts that emulsify fats, breaking them down into smaller droplets, which increases the surface area for the action of fat-digesting enzymes. Bile also helps in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) in the small intestine.

    4. Gallbladder: The gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped organ located just below the liver. It stores and concentrates bile produced by the liver. When fatty foods are ingested, the gallbladder contracts and releases bile into the small intestine through the common bile duct to aid in fat digestion.

    5. Pancreas: The pancreas is both an exocrine and endocrine gland located behind the stomach. As an exocrine gland, it secretes pancreatic juice into the small intestine. Pancreatic juice contains enzymes such as lipase (for fat digestion), proteases (for protein digestion), and amylase (for carbohydrate digestion). These enzymes help break down the complex nutrients into simpler forms that can be absorbed by the small intestine.

    Overall, the major digestive glands work together to break down food into its basic components (such as sugars, amino acids, and fatty acids) that can be absorbed through the lining of the small intestine. The absorption of these nutrients into the bloodstream allows the body to use them for energy, growth, and various physiological functions.

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