How does the Stomach Function?

What exactly happens in our stomachs
when we eat? Even before we have taken the first bite of a meal, the brain sends
impulses to the stomach. These impulses start the production of secretions in
the stomach and the upper part of the stomach, which acts as a reservoir,
expands. The food passes into the stomach through the cardia at the stomach
entrance. This is a muscle that acts like a valve, closing the top of the stomach.
The top part of the stomach, the fundus, is where food and the air that we swallow
with every bite is collected. This is where the stomach volume starts to adapt.
The fundus is an extremely adaptable structure. The more food goes into the
stomach, the more it actively expands. In the middle part of the stomach, called
the body, gastric juice is produced and mixed with the mass of chewed food. The
main component of gastric juice is gastric acid. This eliminates bacteria in
the food and also helps to prepare the food for the following stages of
digestion. The muscular contractions of the stomach wall churn the food mass and
mix it with gastric juice. Three contractions per minute move the food
mass back and forth. After a certain time, the contents of the stomach are
adequately broken down and mixed and are passed in small quantities into the
intestine via the pylorus. As the stomach empties, it gradually returns
to its previous size. Bayer – Science For A Better Life


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