Module 18: The Digestive System

Lesson 8: Chemical Digestion and Absorption: A Closer Look

Tiêu Hóa Hóa Học Và Hấp Thu: Chi Tiết

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Mỗi bài học (lesson) bao gồm 4 phần chính: Thuật ngữ, Luyện Đọc, Luyện Nghe, và Bàn Luận.
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Dưới đây là danh sách những thuật ngữ Y khoa của module The Digestive System.
Khái quát được số lượng thuật ngữ sẽ xuất hiện trong bài đọc và nghe sẽ giúp bạn thoải mái tiêu thụ nội dung hơn. Sau khi hoàn thành nội dung đọc và nghe, bạn hãy quay lại đây và luyện tập (practice) để quen dần các thuật ngữ này. Đừng ép bản thân phải nhớ các thuật ngữ này vội vì bạn sẽ gặp và ôn lại danh sách này trong những bài học (lesson) khác của cùng một module.

Medical Terminology: The Digestive System

passage of digested products from the intestinal lumen through mucosal cells and into the bloodstream or lacteals
accessory digestive organ
includes teeth, tongue, salivary glands, gallbladder, liver, and pancreas
accessory duct
(also, duct of Santorini) duct that runs from the pancreas into the duodenum
cluster of glandular epithelial cells in the pancreas that secretes pancreatic juice in the pancreas
alimentary canal
continuous muscular digestive tube that extends from the mouth to the anus
brush border enzyme that acts on proteins
anal canal
final segment of the large intestine
anal column
long fold of mucosa in the anal canal
anal sinus
recess between anal columns
(vermiform appendix) coiled tube attached to the cecum
ascending colon
first region of the colon
bacterial flora
bacteria in the large intestine
alkaline solution produced by the liver and important for the emulsification of lipids
bile canaliculus
small duct between hepatocytes that collects bile
main bile pigment, which is responsible for the brown color of feces
mid-portion of the stomach
mass of chewed food
brush border
fuzzy appearance of the small intestinal mucosa created by microvilli
(also, cardiac region) part of the stomach surrounding the cardiac orifice (esophageal hiatus)
pouch forming the beginning of the large intestine
bone-like tissue covering the root of a tooth
central vein
vein that receives blood from hepatic sinusoids
cephalic phase
(also, reflex phase) initial phase of gastric secretion that occurs before food enters the stomach
chemical digestion
enzymatic breakdown of food
chief cell
gastric gland cell that secretes pepsinogen
large lipid-transport compound made up of triglycerides, phospholipids, cholesterol, and proteins
soupy liquid created when food is mixed with digestive juices
circular fold
(also, plica circulare) deep fold in the mucosa and submucosa of the small intestine
part of the large intestine between the cecum and the rectum
common bile duct
structure formed by the union of the common hepatic duct and the gallbladder’s cystic duct
common hepatic duct
duct formed by the merger of the two hepatic ducts
portion of tooth visible superior to the gum line
(also, canine) pointed tooth used for tearing and shredding food
cystic duct
duct through which bile drains and enters the gallbladder
deciduous tooth
one of 20 “baby teeth”
elimination of undigested substances from the body in the form of feces
three-stage process of swallowing
bone-like tissue immediately deep to the enamel of the crown or cementum of the root of a tooth
set of teeth
pancreatic enzyme that digests DNA
descending colon
part of the colon between the transverse colon and the sigmoid colon
brush border enzyme that acts on proteins
duodenal gland
(also, Brunner’s gland) mucous-secreting gland in the duodenal submucosa
first part of the small intestine, which starts at the pyloric sphincter and ends at the jejunum
covering of the dentin of the crown of a tooth
enteroendocrine cell
gastric gland cell that releases hormones
enterohepatic circulation
recycling mechanism that conserves bile salts
intestinal brush-border enzyme that activates trypsinogen to trypsin
epiploic appendage
small sac of fat-filled visceral peritoneum attached to teniae coli
muscular tube that runs from the pharynx to the stomach
external anal sphincter
voluntary skeletal muscle sphincter in the anal canal
opening between the oral cavity and the oropharynx
semisolid waste product of digestion
gas in the intestine
dome-shaped region of the stomach above and to the left of the cardia
G cell
gastrin-secreting enteroendocrine cell
accessory digestive organ that stores and concentrates bile
gastric emptying
process by which mixing waves gradually cause the release of chyme into the duodenum
gastric gland
gland in the stomach mucosal epithelium that produces gastric juice
gastric phase
phase of gastric secretion that begins when food enters the stomach
gastric pit
narrow channel formed by the epithelial lining of the stomach mucosa
peptide hormone that stimulates secretion of hydrochloric acid and gut motility
gastrocolic reflex
propulsive movement in the colon activated by the presence of food in the stomach
gastroileal reflex
long reflex that increases the strength of segmentation in the ileum
haustral contraction
slow segmentation in the large intestine
small pouch in the colon created by tonic contractions of teniae coli
hepatic artery
artery that supplies oxygenated blood to the liver
hepatic lobule
hexagonal-shaped structure composed of hepatocytes that radiate outward from a central vein
hepatic portal vein
vein that supplies deoxygenated nutrient-rich blood to the liver
hepatic sinusoid
blood capillaries between rows of hepatocytes that receive blood from the hepatic portal vein and the branches of the hepatic artery
hepatic vein
vein that drains into the inferior vena cava
major functional cells of the liver
hepatopancreatic ampulla
(also, ampulla of Vater) bulb-like point in the wall of the duodenum where the bile duct and main pancreatic duct unite
hepatopancreatic sphincter
(also, sphincter of Oddi) sphincter regulating the flow of bile and pancreatic juice into the duodenum
hydrochloric acid (HCl)
digestive acid secreted by parietal cells in the stomach
ileocecal sphincter
sphincter located where the small intestine joins with the large intestine
end of the small intestine between the jejunum and the large intestine
midline, chisel-shaped tooth used for cutting into food
taking food into the GI tract through the mouth
internal anal sphincter
involuntary smooth muscle sphincter in the anal canal
intestinal gland
(also, crypt of Lieberkühn) gland in the small intestinal mucosa that secretes intestinal juice
intestinal juice
mixture of water and mucus that helps absorb nutrients from chyme
intestinal phase
phase of gastric secretion that begins when chyme enters the intestine
intrinsic factor
glycoprotein required for vitamin B12 absorption in the small intestine
middle part of the small intestine between the duodenum and the ileum
labial frenulum
midline mucous membrane fold that attaches the inner surface of the lips to the gums
brush border enzyme that breaks down lactose into glucose and galactose
lymphatic capillary in the villi
large intestine
terminal portion of the alimentary canal
part of the pharynx that functions in respiration and digestion
left colic flexure
(also, splenic flexure) point where the transverse colon curves below the inferior end of the spleen
lingual frenulum
mucous membrane fold that attaches the bottom of the tongue to the floor of the mouth
lingual lipase
digestive enzyme from glands in the tongue that acts on triglycerides
lipoprotein lipase
enzyme that breaks down triglycerides in chylomicrons into fatty acids and monoglycerides
largest gland in the body whose main digestive function is the production of bile
lower esophageal sphincter
smooth muscle sphincter that regulates food movement from the esophagus to the stomach
main pancreatic duct
(also, duct of Wirsung) duct through which pancreatic juice drains from the pancreas
major duodenal papilla
point at which the hepatopancreatic ampulla opens into the duodenum
brush border enzyme that breaks down maltose and maltotriose into two and three molecules of glucose, respectively
mass movement
long, slow, peristaltic wave in the large intestine
mechanical digestion
chewing, mixing, and segmentation that prepares food for chemical digestion
mesentery of the appendix
tiny lipid-transport compound composed of bile salts and phospholipids with a fatty acid and monoacylglyceride core
small projection of the plasma membrane of the absorptive cells of the small intestinal mucosa
migrating motility complex
form of peristalsis in the small intestine
mixing wave
unique type of peristalsis that occurs in the stomach
tooth used for crushing and grinding food
hormone that initiates migrating motility complexes
movement of food through the GI tract
innermost lining of the alimentary canal
mucosal barrier
protective barrier that prevents gastric juice from destroying the stomach itself
mucous neck cell
gastric gland cell that secretes a uniquely acidic mucus
muscle (skeletal or smooth) layer of the alimentary canal wall
myenteric plexus
(plexus of Auerbach) major nerve supply to alimentary canal wall; controls motility
brush border enzyme that digests nucleotides
oral cavity
(also, buccal cavity) mouth
oral vestibule
part of the mouth bounded externally by the cheeks and lips, and internally by the gums and teeth
part of the pharynx continuous with the oral cavity that functions in respiration and digestion
palatoglossal arch
muscular fold that extends from the lateral side of the soft palate to the base of the tongue
palatopharyngeal arch
muscular fold that extends from the lateral side of the soft palate to the side of the pharynx
accessory digestive organ that secretes pancreatic juice
pancreatic amylase
enzyme secreted by the pancreas that completes the chemical digestion of carbohydrates in the small intestine
pancreatic juice
secretion of the pancreas containing digestive enzymes and bicarbonate
pancreatic lipase
enzyme secreted by the pancreas that participates in lipid digestion
pancreatic nuclease
enzyme secreted by the pancreas that participates in nucleic acid digestion
parietal cell
gastric gland cell that secretes hydrochloric acid and intrinsic factor
parotid gland
one of a pair of major salivary glands located inferior and anterior to the ears
pectinate line
horizontal line that runs like a ring, perpendicular to the inferior margins of the anal sinuses
inactive form of pepsin
muscular contractions and relaxations that propel food through the GI tract
permanent tooth
one of 32 adult teeth
brush border enzyme that digests nucleotides
porta hepatis
“gateway to the liver” where the hepatic artery and hepatic portal vein enter the liver
portal triad
bile duct, hepatic artery branch, and hepatic portal vein branch
(also, bicuspid) transitional tooth used for mastication, crushing, and grinding food
voluntary process of swallowing and the involuntary process of peristalsis that moves food through the digestive tract
pulp cavity
deepest portion of a tooth, containing nerve endings and blood vessels
pyloric antrum
wider, more superior part of the pylorus
pyloric canal
narrow, more inferior part of the pylorus
pyloric sphincter
sphincter that controls stomach emptying
lower, funnel-shaped part of the stomach that is continuous with the duodenum
rectal valve
one of three transverse folds in the rectum where feces is separated from flatus
part of the large intestine between the sigmoid colon and anal canal
reticuloendothelial cell
(also, Kupffer cell) phagocyte in hepatic sinusoids that filters out material from venous blood from the alimentary canal
located posterior to the peritoneum
pancreatic enzyme that digests RNA
right colic flexure
(also, hepatic flexure) point, at the inferior surface of the liver, where the ascending colon turns abruptly to the left
portion of a tooth embedded in the alveolar processes beneath the gum line
fold of alimentary canal mucosa and submucosa in the empty stomach and other organs
saccharolytic fermentation
anaerobic decomposition of carbohydrates
aqueous solution of proteins and ions secreted into the mouth by the salivary glands
salivary amylase
digestive enzyme in saliva that acts on starch
salivary gland
an exocrine gland that secretes a digestive fluid called saliva
secretion of saliva
alternating contractions and relaxations of non-adjacent segments of the intestine that move food forward and backward, breaking it apart and mixing it with digestive juices
outermost layer of the alimentary canal wall present in regions within the abdominal cavity
sigmoid colon
end portion of the colon, which terminates at the rectum
small intestine
section of the alimentary canal where most digestion and absorption occurs
soft palate
posterior region of the bottom portion of the nasal cavity that consists of skeletal muscle
alimentary canal organ that contributes to chemical and mechanical digestion of food from the esophagus before releasing it, as chyme, to the small intestine
sublingual gland
one of a pair of major salivary glands located beneath the tongue
submandibular gland
one of a pair of major salivary glands located in the floor of the mouth
layer of dense connective tissue in the alimentary canal wall that binds the overlying mucosa to the underlying muscularis
submucosal plexus
(plexus of Meissner) nerve supply that regulates activity of glands and smooth muscle
brush border enzyme that breaks down sucrose into glucose and fructose
tenia coli
one of three smooth muscle bands that make up the longitudinal muscle layer of the muscularis in all of the large intestine except the terminal end
accessory digestive organ of the mouth, the bulk of which is composed of skeletal muscle
transverse colon
part of the colon between the ascending colon and the descending colon
upper esophageal sphincter
skeletal muscle sphincter that regulates food movement from the pharynx to the esophagus
Valsalva’s maneuver
voluntary contraction of the diaphragm and abdominal wall muscles and closing of the glottis, which increases intra-abdominal pressure and facilitates defecation
projection of the mucosa of the small intestine
voluntary phase
initial phase of deglutition, in which the bolus moves from the mouth to the oropharynx
breakdown product of starch
brush border enzyme that acts on α-dextrins
Nội dung này đang được cập nhật.
Dưới đây là các bài văn nằm ở bên trái. Ở bên phải là các bài luyện tập (practice) để đánh giá khả năng đọc hiểu của bạn. Sẽ khó khăn trong thời gian đầu nếu vốn từ vựng của bạn còn hạn chế, đặc biệt là từ vựng Y khoa. Hãy kiên nhẫn và đọc nhiều nhất có kể, lượng kiến thức tích tụ dần sẽ giúp bạn đọc thoải mái hơn.
As you have learned, the process of mechanical digestion is relatively simple. It involves the physical breakdown of food but does not alter its chemical makeup. Chemical digestion, on the other hand, is a complex process that reduces food into its chemical building blocks, which are then absorbed to nourish the cells of the body (Figure 1). In this section, you will look more closely at the processes of chemical digestion and absorption.
Large food molecules (for example, proteins, lipids, nucleic acids, and starches) must be broken down into subunits that are small enough to be absorbed by the lining of the alimentary canal. This is accomplished by enzymes through hydrolysis. The many enzymes involved in chemical digestion are summarized in Table 1.

A. Carbohydrate Digestion

The average American diet is about 50 percent carbohydrates, which may be classified according to the number of monomers they contain of simple sugars (monosaccharides and disaccharides) and/or complex sugars (polysaccharides). Glucose, galactose, and fructose are the three monosaccharides that are commonly consumed and are readily absorbed. Your digestive system is also able to break down the disaccharide sucrose (regular table sugar: glucose + fructose), lactose (milk sugar: glucose + galactose), and maltose (grain sugar: glucose + glucose), and the polysaccharides glycogen and starch (chains of monosaccharides). Your bodies do not produce enzymes that can break down most fibrous polysaccharides, such as cellulose. While indigestible polysaccharides do not provide any nutritional value, they do provide dietary fiber, which helps propel food through the alimentary canal.

The chemical digestion of starches begins in the mouth and has been reviewed above.

In the small intestine, pancreatic amylase does the ‘heavy lifting’ for starch and carbohydrate digestion (Figure 2). After amylases break down starch into smaller fragments, the brush border enzyme α-dextrinase starts working on α-dextrin, breaking off one glucose unit at a time. Three brush border enzymes hydrolyze sucrose, lactose, and maltose into monosaccharides. Sucrase splits sucrose into one molecule of fructose and one molecule of glucose; maltase breaks down maltose and maltotriose into two and three glucose molecules, respectively; and lactase breaks down lactose into one molecule of glucose and one molecule of galactose. Insufficient lactase can lead to lactose intolerance.

B. Protein Digestion

Proteins are polymers composed of amino acids linked by peptide bonds to form long chains. Digestion reduces them to their constituent amino acids. You usually consume about 15 to 20 percent of your total calorie intake as protein.

The digestion of protein starts in the stomach, where HCl and pepsin break proteins into smaller polypeptides, which then travel to the small intestine (Figure 3). Chemical digestion in the small intestine is continued by pancreatic enzymes, including chymotrypsin and trypsin, each of which act on specific bonds in amino acid sequences. At the same time, the cells of the brush border secrete enzymes such as aminopeptidase and dipeptidase, which further break down peptide chains. This results in molecules small enough to enter the bloodstream (Figure 4).

C. Lipid Digestion

A healthy diet limits lipid intake to 35 percent of total calorie intake. The most common dietary lipids are triglycerides, which are made up of a glycerol molecule bound to three fatty acid chains. Small amounts of dietary cholesterol and phospholipids are also consumed.

The three lipases responsible for lipid digestion are lingual lipase, gastric lipase, and pancreatic lipase. However, because the pancreas is the only consequential source of lipase, virtually all lipid digestion occurs in the small intestine. Pancreatic lipase breaks down each triglyceride into two free fatty acids and a monoglyceride. The fatty acids include both short-chain (less than 10 to 12 carbons) and long-chain fatty acids.

D. Nucleic Acid Digestion

The nucleic acids DNA and RNA are found in most of the foods you eat. Two types of pancreatic nuclease are responsible for their digestion: deoxyribonuclease, which digests DNA, and ribonuclease, which digests RNA. The nucleotides produced by this digestion are further broken down by two intestinal brush border enzymes (nucleosidase and phosphatase) into pentoses, phosphates, and nitrogenous bases, which can be absorbed through the alimentary canal wall. The large food molecules that must be broken down into subunits are summarized Table 2.
The mechanical and digestive processes have one goal: to convert food into molecules small enough to be absorbed by the epithelial cells of the intestinal villi. The absorptive capacity of the alimentary canal is almost endless. Each day, the alimentary canal processes up to 10 liters of food, liquids, and GI secretions, yet less than one liter enters the large intestine. Almost all ingested food, 80 percent of electrolytes, and 90 percent of water are absorbed in the small intestine. Although the entire small intestine is involved in the absorption of water and lipids, most absorption of carbohydrates and proteins occurs in the jejunum. Notably, bile salts and vitamin B12 are absorbed in the terminal ileum. By the time chyme passes from the ileum into the large intestine, it is essentially indigestible food residue (mainly plant fibers like cellulose), some water, and millions of bacteria (Figure 5).

Absorption can occur through five mechanisms: (1) active transport, (2) passive diffusion, (3) facilitated diffusion, (4) co-transport (or secondary active transport), and (5) endocytosis. As you will recall from Chapter 3, active transport refers to the movement of a substance across a cell membrane going from an area of lower concentration to an area of higher concentration (up the concentration gradient). In this type of transport, proteins within the cell membrane act as “pumps,” using cellular energy (ATP) to move the substance. Passive diffusion refers to the movement of substances from an area of higher concentration to an area of lower concentration, while facilitated diffusion refers to the movement of substances from an area of higher to an area of lower concentration using a carrier protein in the cell membrane. Co-transport uses the movement of one molecule through the membrane from higher to lower concentration to power the movement of another from lower to higher. Finally, endocytosis is a transportation process in which the cell membrane engulfs material. It requires energy, generally in the form of ATP.

Because the cell’s plasma membrane is made up of hydrophobic phospholipids, water-soluble nutrients must use transport molecules embedded in the membrane to enter cells. Moreover, substances cannot pass between the epithelial cells of the intestinal mucosa because these cells are bound together by tight junctions. Thus, substances can only enter blood capillaries by passing through the apical surfaces of epithelial cells and into the interstitial fluid. Water-soluble nutrients enter the capillary blood in the villi and travel to the liver via the hepatic portal vein.

In contrast to the water-soluble nutrients, lipid-soluble nutrients can diffuse through the plasma membrane. Once inside the cell, they are packaged for transport via the base of the cell and then enter the lacteals of the villi to be transported by lymphatic vessels to the systemic circulation via the thoracic duct. The absorption of most nutrients through the mucosa of the intestinal villi requires active transport fueled by ATP. The routes of absorption for each food category are summarized in Table 3.

A. Carbohydrate Absorption

All carbohydrates are absorbed in the form of monosaccharides. The small intestine is highly efficient at this, absorbing monosaccharides at an estimated rate of 120 grams per hour. All normally digested dietary carbohydrates are absorbed; indigestible fibers are eliminated in the feces. The monosaccharides glucose and galactose are transported into the epithelial cells by common protein carriers via secondary active transport (that is, co-transport with sodium ions). The monosaccharides leave these cells via facilitated diffusion and enter the capillaries through intercellular clefts. The monosaccharide fructose (which is in fruit) is absorbed and transported by facilitated diffusion alone. The monosaccharides combine with the transport proteins immediately after the disaccharides are broken down.

B. Protein Absorption

Active transport mechanisms, primarily in the duodenum and jejunum, absorb most proteins as their breakdown products, amino acids. Almost all (95 to 98 percent) protein is digested and absorbed in the small intestine. The type of carrier that transports an amino acid varies. Most carriers are linked to the active transport of sodium. Short chains of two amino acids (dipeptides) or three amino acids (tripeptides) are also transported actively. However, after they enter the absorptive epithelial cells, they are broken down into their amino acids before leaving the cell and entering the capillary blood via diffusion.

C. Lipid Absorption

About 95 percent of lipids are absorbed in the small intestine. Bile salts not only speed up lipid digestion, they are also essential to the absorption of the end products of lipid digestion. Short-chain fatty acids are relatively water soluble and can enter the absorptive cells (enterocytes) directly. The small size of short-chain fatty acids enables them to be absorbed by enterocytes via simple diffusion, and then take the same path as monosaccharides and amino acids into the blood capillary of a villus.

The large and hydrophobic long-chain fatty acids and monoacylglycerides are not so easily suspended in the watery intestinal chyme. However, bile salts and lecithin resolve this issue by enclosing them in a micelle, which is a tiny sphere with polar (hydrophilic) ends facing the watery environment and hydrophobic tails turned to the interior, creating a receptive environment for the long-chain fatty acids. The core also includes cholesterol and fat-soluble vitamins. Without micelles, lipids would sit on the surface of chyme and never come in contact with the absorptive surfaces of the epithelial cells. Micelles can easily squeeze between microvilli and get very near the luminal cell surface. At this point, lipid substances exit the micelle and are absorbed via simple diffusion.

The free fatty acids and monoacylglycerides that enter the epithelial cells are reincorporated into triglycerides. The triglycerides are mixed with phospholipids and cholesterol, and surrounded with a protein coat. This new complex, called a chylomicron, is a water-soluble lipoprotein. After being processed by the Golgi apparatus, chylomicrons are released from the cell (Figure 6). Too big to pass through the basement membranes of blood capillaries, chylomicrons instead enter the large pores of lacteals. The lacteals come together to form the lymphatic vessels. The chylomicrons are transported in the lymphatic vessels and empty through the thoracic duct into the subclavian vein of the circulatory system. Once in the bloodstream, the enzyme lipoprotein lipase breaks down the triglycerides of the chylomicrons into free fatty acids and glycerol. These breakdown products then pass through capillary walls to be used for energy by cells or stored in adipose tissue as fat. Liver cells combine the remaining chylomicron remnants with proteins, forming lipoproteins that transport cholesterol in the blood.

D. Nucleic Acid Absorption

The products of nucleic acid digestion—pentose sugars, nitrogenous bases, and phosphate ions—are transported by carriers across the villus epithelium via active transport. These products then enter the bloodstream.

E. Mineral Absorption

The electrolytes absorbed by the small intestine are from both GI secretions and ingested foods. Since electrolytes dissociate into ions in water, most are absorbed via active transport throughout the entire small intestine. During absorption, co-transport mechanisms result in the accumulation of sodium ions inside the cells, whereas anti-port mechanisms reduce the potassium ion concentration inside the cells. To restore the sodium-potassium gradient across the cell membrane, a sodium-potassium pump requiring ATP pumps sodium out and potassium in.

In general, all minerals that enter the intestine are absorbed, whether you need them or not. Iron and calcium are exceptions; they are absorbed in the duodenum in amounts that meet the body’s current requirements, as follows:

Iron—The ionic iron needed for the production of hemoglobin is absorbed into mucosal cells via active transport. Once inside mucosal cells, ionic iron binds to the protein ferritin, creating iron-ferritin complexes that store iron until needed. When the body has enough iron, most of the stored iron is lost when worn-out epithelial cells slough off. When the body needs iron because, for example, it is lost during acute or chronic bleeding, there is increased uptake of iron from the intestine and accelerated release of iron into the bloodstream. Since females experience significant iron loss during menstruation, they have around four times as many iron transport proteins in their intestinal epithelial cells as do males.

Calcium—Blood levels of ionic calcium determine the absorption of dietary calcium. When blood levels of ionic calcium drop, parathyroid hormone (PTH) secreted by the parathyroid glands stimulates the release of calcium ions from bone matrices and increases the reabsorption of calcium by the kidneys. PTH also upregulates the activation of vitamin D in the kidney, which then facilitates intestinal calcium ion absorption.

F. Vitamin Absorption

The small intestine absorbs the vitamins that occur naturally in food and supplements. Fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) are absorbed along with dietary lipids in micelles via simple diffusion. This is why you are advised to eat some fatty foods when you take fat-soluble vitamin supplements. Most water-soluble vitamins (including most B vitamins and vitamin C) also are absorbed by simple diffusion. An exception is vitamin B12, which is a very large molecule. Intrinsic factor secreted in the stomach binds to vitamin B12, preventing its digestion and creating a complex that binds to mucosal receptors in the terminal ileum, where it is taken up by endocytosis.

G. Water Absorption

Each day, about nine liters of fluid enter the small intestine. About 2.3 liters are ingested in foods and beverages, and the rest is from GI secretions. About 90 percent of this water is absorbed in the small intestine. Water absorption is driven by the concentration gradient of the water: The concentration of water is higher in chyme than it is in epithelial cells. Thus, water moves down its concentration gradient from the chyme into cells. As noted earlier, much of the remaining water is then absorbed in the colon.

OpenStax. (2022). Anatomy and Physiology 2e. Rice University. Retrieved June 15, 2023. ISBN-13: 978-1-711494-06-7 (Hardcover) ISBN-13: 978-1-711494-05-0 (Paperback) ISBN-13: 978-1-951693-42-8 (Digital). License: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0). Access for free at

This diagram identifies the functions of mechanical and chemical digestion and absorption at each organ. Next to each organ, a callout identifies which steps of digestion take place in that particular organ.

Digestion begins in the mouth and continues as food travels through the small intestine. Most absorption occurs in the small intestine.

Enzyme CategoryEnzyme NameSourceSubstrateProduct
Salivary EnzymesLingual lipaseLingual glandsTriglyceridesFree fatty acids, and mono- and diglycerides
Salivary EnzymesSalivary amylaseSalivary glandsPolysaccharidesDisaccharides and trisaccharides
Gastric enzymesGastric lipaseChief cellsTriglyceridesFatty acids and monoacylglycerides
Gastric enzymesPepsin*Chief cellsProteinsPeptides
Brush border enzymesα-DextrinaseSmall intestineα-DextrinsGlucose
Brush border enzymesEnteropeptidaseSmall intestineTrypsinogenTrypsin
Brush border enzymesLactaseSmall intestineLactoseGlucose and galactose
Brush border enzymesMaltaseSmall intestineMaltoseGlucose
Brush border enzymesNucleosidases and phosphatasesSmall intestineNucleotidesPhosphates, nitrogenous bases, and pentoses
Brush border enzymesPeptidasesSmall intestineAminopeptidase: amino acids at the amino end of peptidesDipeptidase: dipeptidesAminopeptidase: amino acids and peptidesDipeptidase: amino acids
Brush border enzymesSucraseSmall intestineSucroseGlucose and fructose
Pancreatic enzymesCarboxy-peptidase*Pancreatic acinar cellsAmino acids at the carboxyl end of peptidesAmino acids and peptides
Pancreatic enzymesChymotrypsin*Pancreatic acinar cellsProteinsPeptides
Pancreatic enzymesElastase*Pancreatic acinar cellsProteinsPeptides
Pancreatic enzymesNucleasesPancreatic acinar cellsRibonuclease: ribonucleic acidsDeoxyribonuclease: deoxyribonucleic acidsNucleotides
Pancreatic enzymesPancreatic amylasePancreatic acinar cellsPolysaccharides (starches)α-Dextrins, disaccharides (maltose), trisaccharides (maltotriose)
Pancreatic enzymesPancreatic lipasePancreatic acinar cellsTriglycerides that have been emulsified by bile saltsFatty acids and monoacylglycerides
Pancreatic enzymesTrypsin*Pancreatic acinar cellsProteinsPeptides

*These enzymes have been activated by other substances.

Carbohydrates are broken down into their monomers in a series of steps.

The digestion of protein begins in the stomach and is completed in the small intestine.

Proteins are successively broken down into their amino acid components.

CarbohydratesMonosaccharides: glucose, galactose, and fructose
ProteinsSingle amino acids, dipeptides, and tripeptides
TriglyceridesMonoacylglycerides, glycerol, and free fatty acids
Nucleic acidsPentose sugars, phosphates, and nitrogenous bases

Absorption is a complex process, in which nutrients from digested food are harvested.

FoodBreakdown productsAbsorption mechanismEntry to bloodstreamDestination
CarbohydratesGlucoseCo-transport with sodium ionsCapillary blood in villiLiver via hepatic portal vein
CarbohydratesGalactoseCo-transport with sodium ionsCapillary blood in villiLiver via hepatic portal vein
CarbohydratesFructoseFacilitated diffusionCapillary blood in villiLiver via hepatic portal vein
ProteinAmino acidsCo-transport with sodium ionsCapillary blood in villiLiver via hepatic portal vein
LipidsLong-chain fatty acidsDiffusion into intestinal cells, where they are combined with proteins to create chylomicronsLacteals of villiSystemic circulation via lymph entering thoracic duct
LipidsMonoacylglyceridesDiffusion into intestinal cells, where they are combined with proteins to create chylomicronsLacteals of villiSystemic circulation via lymph entering thoracic duct
LipidsShort-chain fatty acidsSimple diffusionCapillary blood in villiLiver via hepatic portal vein
LipidsGlycerolSimple diffusionCapillary blood in villiLiver via hepatic portal vein
Nucleic AcidsNucleic acid digestion productsActive transport via membrane carriersCapillary blood in villiLiver via hepatic portal vein

Unlike amino acids and simple sugars, lipids are transformed as they are absorbed through epithelial cells.

Nội dung này đang được cập nhật.
Dưới đây là video và các luyện tập (practice) của bài này. Nghe là một kĩ năng khó, đặc biệt là khi chúng ta chưa quen nội dung và chưa có nhạy cảm ngôn ngữ. Nhưng cứ đi thật chậm và đừng bỏ cuộc.
Xem video và cảm nhận nội dung bài. Bạn có thể thả trôi, cảm nhận dòng chảy ngôn ngữ và không nhất thiết phải hiểu toàn bộ bài. Bên dưới là script để bạn khái quát nội dụng và tra từ mới.
  1. The small intestine is the site of most chemical digestion and almost all absorption.
  2. Chemical digestion breaks large food molecules down into their chemical building blocks, which can then be absorbed through the intestinal wall and into the general circulation.
  3. Intestinal brush border enzymes and pancreatic enzymes are responsible for the majority of chemical digestion.
  4. The breakdown of fat also requires bile.
  5. Most nutrients are absorbed by transport mechanisms at the apical surface of enterocytes.
  6. Exceptions include lipids, fat-soluble vitamins, and most water-soluble vitamins.
  7. With the help of bile salts and lecithin, the dietary fats are emulsified to form micelles, which can carry the fat particles to the surface of the enterocytes.
  8. There, the micelles release their fats to diffuse across the cell membrane.
  9. The fats are then reassembled into triglycerides and mixed with other lipids and proteins into chylomicrons that can pass into lacteals.
  10. Other absorbed monomers travel from blood capillaries in the villus to the hepatic portal vein and then to the liver.
Bật video, nghe và điền từ vào chỗ trống.
Dưới đây là phần bàn luận. Bạn có thể tự do đặt câu hỏi, bổ sung kiến thức, và chia sẻ trải nghiệm của mình.
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