What is the function of Digestive Juices?

Image Credit: 
Main Image: 

The digestion of food is an elaborate highly chemical process which starts from the mouth. There a many digestive juices that are secreted starting from the point you put your food in the mouth. The saliva has Ptyalin which helps in the beginning of the breaking down of the food ingested.  The function of the different digestive juices which are produced at various stages and different parts of the digestive system is to act on a specific food, for example the bile juice produced by the gall bladder in the liver will act on fats in the food ingested and break it down so it can be stored in a way that the body can use it when needed. Each juice is designed to breakdown carbohydrates, proteins, fats and help them assimilate.


What is digestive system made up of?

The digestive system comprise of digestive tract which is a series made up of hollow organs joined through a long and twisting tube starting from mouth to the anus along with the organs which help to break down and absorb the food. The digestive tract system comprise of esophagus, mouth, stomach, small intestine and large intestine or colon, rectum and anus. A lining called as mucosa is present inside these hollow organs. The mucosa of mouth, small intestine and stomach contain tiny glands that generate digestive juices for food digestion.


What are digestive juices?

The digestive system is composed of secretions that are largely responsible for breaking down of food. These are termed as digestive juices. Various digestive juices are produced by different organs. Saliva, intestinal juice, pancreatic juice, gastric juice, bile juice are some of the digestive juices which actively participate in the process of digestion. Each type of juice has different chemical compositions and they are actively involved in digestion process at various stages. These organs control the overall digestive system but produce digestive juices in small amounts at a time. But if need may arise depending upon the food intake they are capable of producing digestive juices in more quantity.


How does the digestive juices help in digestion?

The process of digestion starts from mouth via mechanical process involved in tearing down of food into minute pieces with the help of teeth and tongue. The salivary glands located in the mouth produce saliva which helps in this mechanical breaking down and digestion. Saliva is made up of mucus, electrolyte, water and some digestive enzymes like amylase that are good in digesting starch and sugar. In the stomach, gastric juices are produced that are colorless and are highly acidic in nature. These are produced by the gastric glands present inside the stomach. This gastric juice consists of pepsin and rennin that help in breaking of protein into tiny units. The half dissolved food then reaches duodenum where the digestive juices of two types are released. First is the pancreatic juice which is made up of varied digestive enzymes like amylase, lipase and tripsin. Also bile or gall juice is secreted in this part of digestive system. Bile is made up of salts that are known to emulsify fats so that they get absorbed by the linings of intestine. Both these juices are alkaline in nature and are opposite to gastric juice in properties due to which the balance in the entire digestive system is maintained. This helps in more absorption of nutrients. The intestines release a digestive fluid called as succus entericus that helps in completing the digestion by breaking down macromolecules of proteins and fats. Succus entericus also helps in absorption of vital nutrients.


What is the importance of digestive juices?

Digestive juices are the most important part of the whole digestive process as in their absence the digestion process cannot take place. These are very vital for breaking down of food so that the essential nutrients are absorbed and properly utilized by our body.


External References
Related Videos: 
See video
Related Images: