Meaning of Digestive System

What is digestive system:

The digestive system is made up of a set of organs that are responsible for carrying out the digestion process. These organs make up a kind of long tube through which food travels to be processed and absorbed.

Through the digestive system, our body can transform the food we consume into simpler substances, that is, nutrients.

Nutrients are transported by the blood throughout the body, to be used and transformed into energy, which we need to carry out our daily activities.

Parts of the digestive system

Digestive system

The digestive system is made up of several organs in charge of transforming food into smaller particles, so that they can be used by the cells of the organism. From the mouth to the anus, the digestive tube measures eleven meters in length.


The digestion process begins in the mouth. The teeth grind the food we eat so that it can be transported through the pharynx, the esophagus, and finally into the stomach. The tongue, for its part, is a muscle that helps in chewing and transporting food to the esophagus.

In the mouth there are also salivary glands that generate saliva and allow food to be mixed and swallowed, that is, its passage through the pharynx and esophagus.


It is located behind the mouth, is tube-shaped, and connects to the nose, esophagus, and larynx. All the food we consume and the air we breathe pass through the pharynx, therefore, this organ is part of both the digestive system and the respiratory system.

However, in the pharynx is the epiglottis, a kind of valve that prevents food from being directed towards the respiratory tract.

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It is a conduit that measures 30 centimeters and communicates the pharynx with the stomach. Its structure is made up of muscles that allow its contraction and relaxation to transport food.


It is a muscular organ in which ingested food accumulates. The stomach makes a movement that allows mixing food with gastric juice. Its shape can vary depending on the amount of food eaten.

The stomach is made up of the cardia (where it connects to the esophagus), the fundus, the gastric body, the antrum, and the pylorus (where it joins the small intestine).

See also Digestion.


The liver is an organ that fulfills various functions such as filtering the blood, eliminating toxic substances from the body and producing bile, which allows the absorption of fats from food, among others.


The pancreas is the organ that produces the hormones needed to digest food and controls blood sugar levels. It is located behind the stomach.

Small intestine

The small intestine is a tube that measures approximately seven meters in length. Its main function is to incorporate proteins, vitamins, water, salt, carbohydrates and fats into the body through numerous villi found on the inside.

It begins in the duodenum, behind the pylorus, and ends in the ileum, where it joins the large intestine. It is composed of the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum.

In the small intestine, the process of digestion of food ends, which is broken down into simpler elements for the absorption of nutrients, which pass through the walls of the small intestine into the blood and are used by the cells.

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Large intestine

It is a tube where food and water that the body cannot digest accumulates. These substances form the feces that are expelled through the anus. It has a variable length, so it can measure between 120 or 160 centimeters. It starts from the ileocecal valve, cecum, colon, and rectum.


The anus is the final opening of the digestive system, it is made up of muscles called sphincters that control the defecation process.

Functions of the digestive system

The main function of the digestive system is the transport of food and its transformation into nutrients that will be absorbed through the digestive juices and the different processes carried out by the organs that make up this system.

Nutrients are transported through the blood, specifically, by cells. In this way they are absorbed and used for our well-being. Once the nutrients have been used to the maximum, the body eliminates waste or unusable substances from food, through feces.

See also Nutrition.