Structure and Function: The Digestive System

The digestive system consists of the digestive tract and its associated organs. The digestive tract is a tube about 7 m (24 ft) long through which food passes while it is broken down. The tract consists of the mouth and pharynx (throat), oesophagus, stomach, the small and large intestines, and the anus. The associated digestive organs include three pairs of salivary glands, the liver, the pancreas, and the gallbladder.

The peritoneum

This folded membrane covers and secures the digestive organs and also covers the inside of the abdominal wall.

One-way valve

The pyloric sphincter, which joins the stomach to the small intestine, is one of several one-way valves in the digestive tract.

From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.

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