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Human Digestive System – Anatomy, Functions and Diseases

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Human Digestive System is comprised of the gastrointestinal system and different organs that help the body separate and assimilate food. The human digestive system is a long, winding cylinder that beginnings at the mouth and go through the pharynx, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine rectum, and anus.

The human digestive system separates food into supplements like starches, fats, and proteins. They can then be absorbed in the circulatory system so the body can involve them for energy, development, and fixing. Unused materials are disposed of as defecation. Different organs that structure some portion of the human digestive system, are the pancreas, liver, and gallbladder.

Human Digestive System

The digestive system of humans is comprised of various organs which work together. Food is digested and essential nutrients are absorbed in the body via blood. Energy is generated via digesting food. The digestive system contains various organs like the alimentary canal and digestive glands. The gastrointestinal tract includes various parts: Mouth, Oesophagus, Stomach, Small intestine and Large intestine, Rectum, and anus.

Digestion is an essential process that helps a living organism to obtain energy from various sources. The complex food is converted into simple food and nutrients which later on are absorbed in the body and provides energy to the living organism. This process is known as digestion

Human Digestive System Diagram

Human Digestive System


Parts of the Human Digestive System

The digestion system includes various organs which work together to digest the food. Following are the various organs involved in the human digestive system are: 


The mouth is the initial segment of the intestinal system. It is adjusted to get food by ingestion, break it into little particles by rumination, and blend it in with spit. The lips, cheeks, and sense of taste structure the limits. The oral cavity contains the teeth and tongue and gets the discharges from the salivary organs.


Food begins to travel through your GI tract when you eat. At the point when you swallow, your tongue drives the food into your throat. A little fold of tissue called the epiglottis, folds over your windpipe to forestall gagging and the food passes into your throat.


The tongue controls food in the mouth and is utilized in discourse. The surface is covered with papillae that give grating and contain the taste buds. At the point when somebody eats, the teeth bite food into tiny pieces. Organs in the cheeks and under the tongue produce spit that covers the food, making it simpler to be bitten and gulped. Spit likewise contains proteins that begin to process the carbs in food.



The human mouth has three fundamental sorts of teeth: incisors, canines, premolars, and molars. Teeth are like bones, however, they are significantly more grounded. 

Function of Teeth

  • Eat a solid eating regimen wealthy in protein, leafy foods, calcium, and entire grains.
  • Limit eating and drinking between feasts.
  • Limit sweet food varieties and refreshments.
  • Clean your teeth and tongue two times per day with fluoride toothpaste, and floss one time per day.

Salivary Gland

The primary capability of spit are:

  • Helps in processing
  • Helps to bite and gulp.
  • Greasing up impact: saturates within the mouth and makes smoother discourse.
  • Dissolvable impact: breaks down food and permits the tongue to taste food.


Pharynx is a y-shaped fibromuscular tube attached at the mouth end terminal. It connects the mouth and esophagus. Pharynx helps in passaging of crushed food from the mouth to the esophagus. Pharynx also plays a crucial role in the respiratory system


Oesophagus is the long muscular tube, also known as the food pipe. Oesophagus connects with the pharynx. Chewed food is passed from the food pipe to the stomach. The moment of food in the food pipe is known as peristalsis.


The stomach is a solid organ situated on the left half of the upper mid-region (abdominal region). The stomach gets chewed food from the food pipe. As the food arrives at the end of the esophagus, it enters the stomach through a valve called the Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES).

The stomach secretes various enzymes that digest food. The pyloric sphincter is a solid valve that opens to permit food to pass from the stomach to the small intestine. The stomach wall produces gastric juice (hydrochloric corrosive and digestive enzymes) that digests proteins.

  • Mucous: Mucous is produced by the mucous membranes. Mucous helps the stomach layer by protecting it from an acidic environment. 
  • Digestive Enzymes: Various digestive enzymes are released in the stomach to digest food by converting complex food into simpler ones.
  • Hydrochloric Acid: HCl is released in the stomach. HCl helps in breaking the food.

Small Intestine

The small intestine is the thing long (10 feet) tube. The small intestine acquires most of the abdominal area. Villi are present on the inner surface of the small intestine which increases the absorption via increasing the surface area.

It is called little since it is around 3.5cm in width, yet giving heaps of region to absorption is around 5m long. A large portion of the substance processing of proteins, fats, and starches is finished in the small digestive system.

Large  Intestine 

The coating of the digestive organ retains water, mineral salts, and nutrients. Undigested fiber is blended in with bodily fluid and microscopic organisms — which halfway separate the fiber — to support the cells of the digestive organ wall thus assisting with keeping the internal organ solid. Fecal matter is formed and put away in the last organ of the digestive organ (the rectum) prior to being dropped off the body through the rear end.


The lower end of your internal organ, the rectum, stores stool until it pushes stool out of your butt during defecation.

The rectum is the last stop before the fecal matter is discharged out of the human body through the butt-centric trench. The electrolytes, for example, sodium, potassium, and chloride are ingested and the unpalatable food fixings are deteriorated by anaerobic microorganisms, like the colon. The stool is thickened by the retention of water and blended in with bodily fluid.

Gastric Glands 

The gastric organs are cylinder-like, expanded structures that are available at the internal coating of the stomach. These organs are the fundamental secretory unit of the stomach-related system and are made out of different cell parts which carry out specific roles.

Regulation of the Human Digestive System 

Your hormones and nerves cooperate to assist with controlling the stomach-related process. Signals stream inside your GI lot and this way and that from your GI parcel to your mind.


Cells covering your stomach and small digestive system make and deliver chemicals that control how your stomach-related system functions. These chemicals let your body know when to make stomach-related squeezes and convey messages to your mind that you are eager or full. Your pancreas likewise makes chemicals that mean quite a bit to process.


The human body has nerves that associate with the central nervous system — cerebrum and spinal cord— to the stomach-related system and control a few stomach-related capabilities. For instance, when you see or smell food, your mind conveys a message that makes your salivary organs “make your mouth water” to set you up to eat.

Importance of the Human Digestive System

Absorption is significant for separating the food into supplements, which the body utilizes for energy, development, and cell fix. Food and drink should be changed into more modest particles of supplements before the blood retains them and conveys them to cells all through the body. The body separates supplements from food and drinks into starches, protein, fats, and nutrients.

Functions of the Human Digestive System

  • The human digestive system performs 2 main functions i.e., Digestion and Absorption
    • Digestion is crucial for breaking complex food particles into smaller particles.
    • These smaller particles are absorbed via the body which helps in cell repair, produces energy, and also helps in cell growth

For more information read: Digestion and Absorption

Disorders of the Human Digestive System

Following are the various disorders related to the human digestive system those are:

  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Indigestion
  • Diarrhea

For more information read: Disorders of the Human Digestive System

FAQs on Human Digestive System

Q1: Why is digestion important?


Digestion is an important life process. It provides important nutrients to the body which help the body with growth, energy, and cell repair.

Q2: What is physical digestion?


The mechanical breaking of food into small particles is known as physical digestion.

Q3: How long is the small intestine?


The small intestine is the largest tube in the digestive system. It is approximately 22 feet long.

Q4: Which organ produces bile?


Liver cells produce bile, which secretes into the common bile duct, and later it is stored in the gallbladder.

Last Updated : 05 Jul, 2023
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