Digestive System Study Guide What is the Digestive System? *The Digestive System is a series of organs that converts food into nutrients that are absorbed into the body and removes waste. Parts of the Digestive System and their function: Mouth – inside the mouth the salivary glands secrete saliva and begin to break down the starches in food. The teeth tear, rip and break down meat and plants to ease in the digestion process. Esophagus – muscular contractions carry the food to the stomach. Digestion becomes involuntary when it enters the esophagus. Stomach – The stomach breaks down food and kills harmful bacteria. Small Intestines – 20 ft. long organ where the majority of absorption of nutrients occurs. Liver – The liver preforms several important functions. 1st it creates glycogen from sugars and carbohydrates to give the body energy. 2nd it converts proteins into new proteins needed by the blood stream. 3 rd The liver acts as a filter and breaks down unwanted chemicals and removes them as waste. Large Intestines – 5ft long and is also called the colon. Water is reabsorbed into the body and feces (waste) is formed. The medical specialty is called gastroenterology. The type of doctor you would see is a gastroenterologist. The word gastroenterology is made up of a combination of three ancient Greek words gastros (stomach), enteron (intestine) and logos (reason).