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Introduction to nutrition/the digestive system


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What is the digestive system?
The digestive system derives both energy and raw materials from food
What does the digestive system do?
The digestive system (and all digestive systems) break down the complex molecules of food into simpler molecules that can be absorbed and used
List the four "nutritional types"
1. Herbivores: eat only plants
2. Carnivores: eat only animals with some species specializing on certain body parts
3. Ominvores: eat plant or animal; highly variable diets
4. Decomposers: consume detris
What is detris?
Remains of plant or animals broken down into smaller fragments by the action of microorganisims
What does food provide to organisms?
What part of the brain controls appetiete?
The hypothalamus
What is malnourishment?
A defficiency in one or more essential nutrients.
What kinds of malnourishment are there?
Protein, mineral or vitamin
What percent of the world's population does malnourishment effect?
At least 10%
What are symptoms of protein defficiency (kwashiorkor)?
Lethragy, severe animia, change in hair color, "pot-belly"
Do animals store amino acids between feedings?
Name several inorganic ions that animals requre for a variety of structures and functions
Calcuim, sulfer, soduim, chloride, potassium, zinc
Which of those inorganic ions are needed in small amounts?
What are the two broad groups that vitamins fall into?
Water-soluble: precursor of a particular coenzyme i.e. folic acid, vitamin c

Fat-soluble: includes vitamins A,D,K,E, and have diverse roles
What chemical processes are involved in digestion?
Splitting bonds between the building blocks of macromolecules and lipids
Name four specific enzymes and list their functions
1. Protease: works on proteins
2. Glycosidases: work on polysaccharides
3. Lipases: work on lipids
4. Nucleases: works on nucleic acids (RNA, DNA)
Name four functions of the digestive system.
1. Movement-agitating food in specialized areas and pushing it through the system
2. Secretion-break down of lubricants, enzymes and detergents
3. Digestion-break down of large molecules into their component building blocks
4. Absorption-taking up small molecules into their cells or circulation
Name two advantages of having a 2-ended digestive tract:
1. Animals can process food more efficiently with a two ended tract
2. reminants of the food, with bacteria that inhabit the tract form the feces

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