Digestion – Class 11 | Chapter – 16 | Biology Short Notes Series PDF

Digestion: It refers to the breakdown of food into smaller components that can be absorbed into the bloodstream. It is divided into two types – the mechanical digestion of food that occurs in the mouth when it is physically broken up into smaller pieces and the chemical digestion that occurs in the gastrointestinal tract when the food is broken down into small molecules by digestive enzymes.

Why it is important?

It is an important process that breaks down the proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals into simpler forms so that it can be absorbed easily into the body cells. During this process, proteins are converted into amino acids, carbohydrates are converted into simple sugars and fats are broken down into fatty acids and glycerol.

Many digestive enzymes and hormones act on food, at various stages during the process of digestion. The whole process occurs in a sequential manner.

Mechanism of Digestion

The process can be divided into different stages:

  • Oral cavity
  • Stomach
  • Small intestine
  • Large intestine

It includes a complex combination of mechanical and chemical processes. Some of the activities in the process include ingestion and propulsion of food, mechanical or physical, chemical, absorption, and defecation.

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By Team Learning Mantras