The digestive system processes ingested food and fluids. The organs of the digestive system include the oral cavity, tongue, teeth, salivary glands, pharynx, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, and large intestine.

The functions of the digestive system include:

  • Ingestion of food and fluid
  • Physical breakdown of incoming food
  • Moving contents through the digestive tract
  • Secretion of digestive enzymes, liver products, hydrochloric acid, sodium bicarbonate
  • Digestion of macronutrients into micronutrients
  • Absorption of micronutrients into the body
  • Elimination of waste

This system includes the mouth, the esophagus in the chest, the liver and stomach in the upper abdomen, the small and large intestines in the lower abdomen, and the anus and rectum in the pelvis.

Figure 1: The digestive system.