Women's Tips

12 amazing facts about your digestive system


A few more reasons to switch to proper nutrition.

In the intestines live trillions of bacteria that interact with all organs of the body. In recent years, scientists have become clear what effect the intestines have on our well-being. It turns out that the digestive system is responsible for the health of many organs - from the skin to the kidneys. And it seems that the whole thing in bacteria.

1. The intestines can spoil the skin.

Rash, dryness, peeling affects the skin and spoil the appearance. But at the same time they indicate problems with the digestive system. Like many other organs, the skin can react to intestinal problems, and a rash is the most common reaction.

The fact is that eczema, redness and rash are the immune response to what has happened in our intestines. Most often, certain foods cause such an allergic response. It is enough to exclude them from the diet, so that the rash is gone.

But on acne, contrary to popular belief, the diet has almost no effect.

2. The intestine affects the brain

It seems that the brain does not depend on the intestines. But in fact, these organs interact Amazing interactions between the brain and intestinal microbes. .

  • Intestinal cells produce the hormone serotonin, which affects many processes, and is best known as the mood hormone.
  • Intestinal microflora is involved in the production of cytokines - these are proteins of the immune system, which also affect the brain.
  • Microbes in the intestines produce substances that affect the blood-brain barrier. Roughly speaking, it is a filter between the brain and the circulatory system, which protects the brain from everything harmful in the blood.

Studies are being conducted on how intestinal microbes affect the nervous system. This is a complex process that has not yet been fully studied, but it is already clearly clear that in order to have a clear head, you need a healthy intestine. While scientists are looking for how to use this connection for health, we can think about ourselves and still start eating fresh vegetable salads every day so that the intestines work better.

3. The intestine affects the immune system

Every day a huge amount of foreign proteins and pathogens, substances that can cause diseases, enter the intestines every day. Therefore, the intestine has adapted itself to neutralize these same substances. Immunobiology: The System in Health and Disease. as fast as possible. Including for this, microflora lives in it.

A significant part of the immune system is actually in the intestine, so the work of the digestive tract affects the whole body.

A poorly functioning intestine can lead to asthma, migraines, allergies and even autoimmune diseases (these are diseases in which immune system cells attack their own body).

4. The intestine affects the kidneys.

The kidneys and the large intestine help regulate the water-salt balance in the body. The kidneys also cleanse the body of water-soluble toxins that could get into the blood from the intestines or as a result of the vital activity of bacteria in our gastrointestinal tract.

Therefore, if the intestinal mucosa is damaged, it can harm the kidneys. This happens, for example, after taking some antibiotics, due to diseases like irritable bowel syndrome. When the mucosa works poorly, the amount of harmful substances that enter the blood from the intestines grows. The Gut Microbiome, Kidney Disease, and Targeted Interventions. therefore, the immune response is enhanced. All this leads to a systemic inflammatory process, which affects even the kidneys up to the development of chronic renal failure Trust Your Gut Bacteria. .

5. The intestine affects the health of the liver.

Like the kidneys, the liver is responsible for cleaning the body. All that entered the blood from the intestines, will be in the liver.

All substances, including hormones, toxins, medicines and decomposition products, pass through the liver in order to get into the intestines along with the bile, where they are easier to remove. Changes in the normal functioning of the intestines and in the integrity of the intestinal lining can lead to chronic liver disease Liver Disease and the Gut Microbiome. and even changes in its structure, such as fibrosis, in which the normal tissue of an organ is replaced by inactive connective tissue.

6. Our weight depends on the intestines.

It is clear that weight depends on what we eat. But also from bacteria in the intestine, perhaps, too. In order for us to gain weight, we need more nutrients. Food for these substances is shared by the intestines. Depending on which bacteria is more in it, it can process more or less food eaten Do gut bacteria inhibit weight loss? . Therefore, you need to feed not only yourself, but also bacteria.

How to help your intestines

The beneficial bacteria discussed above are probiotics. They live in our intestines themselves in sufficient quantities. But in order for them to work well, they need to be “fed up.” The nutrient medium for these bacteria is prebiotics, products with plant fibers, thanks to which the microbiome remains healthy.

To get both, you don’t have to put drugs on drugs. It is necessary to adjust the diet according to very simple principles:

  • Eat more fresh vegetables.
  • Snack natural yogurt and kefir.
  • To love fermented snacks: sauerkraut or kimchi.
  • And all this - instead of sugar and refined carbohydrates, which is, for example, in wheat bread.

1. Food does not need gravity to reach the stomach

When you eat something, the food does not just fall through the esophagus into the stomach: the muscles of the esophagus contract and relax - these wavelike contractions are called peristalsis, so the food is pushed down through the small canal to the stomach. Thanks to peristalsis, even if you eat, hanging upside down, food will be able to get into the stomach.

2. Laxatives take signals from the digestive system

Laxatives often contain several different classes of enzymes, including proteases, amylases and lipases. The human digestive system also contains these enzymes.

The digestive system uses these types of enzymes to dissolve food: proteases break down proteins, amylases - carbohydrates, and lipases - fats. For example, your saliva contains amylases and lipases, and your stomach and small intestines use proteases.

3. Most food is not digested in the stomach.

It is believed that the stomach is the center of the digestive system. This organ really plays a big role in "mechanical digestion" - it takes a large amount of food and mixes it with gastric juice, physically splitting food into components and turning it into a thick paste called chyme.

But the stomach takes a fairly small part in chemical decomposition - a process that reduces food to the size of molecules, which is necessary for nutrients to enter the bloodstream.

Most of the process of digestion and absorption of nutrients occurs in the small intestine, which is about two-thirds of the length of the gastrointestinal tract. After further destruction of the chyme by powerful enzymes, the small intestine absorbs nutrients and sends them to the bloodstream.

4. The surface area of ​​the small intestine is huge.

The length of the small intestine is about seven meters, and the width is about 2.5 cm in diameter. Based on these measurements, it can be determined that the surface area of ​​the small intestine is about 0.6 m². In fact, its area is about 250 m2, which is comparable to the area of ​​a tennis court.

The small intestine has three features that increase its surface area. The walls of the intestine have folds, and also contain structures called fibers - finger-shaped projections of absorbing tissue. Moreover, the villi are covered with microscopic protrusions - microvilli. All these features allow the small intestine to better digest food.

5. The stomachs of animals are different.

The stomach is an integral part of the digestive system, but in different animals it looks different. Some animals have stomachs with several compartments: cows and other ruminants — giraffes, deer, and cattle — have four-chambered stomachs, which helps them digest plant foods.

And in some species of animals, for example, seahorses, lungfish and platypuses, there is no stomach at all, and food directly flows from the esophagus into the rectum.

6. Intestinal gases smell unpleasant due to bacteria

Intestinal gases are a combination of absorbed air and gases that appear by fermenting bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. The digestive system cannot absorb only certain components of the food - some substances simply enter the large intestine, where entire hordes of intestinal bacteria begin to work, releasing various gases, including carbon dioxide, hydrogen, methane and hydrogen sulfide.

7. Digestive system prone to cancer.

Each year, more than 270 thousand Americans go to hospitals, and their diagnosis is gastrointestinal cancer, including cancer of the esophagus, stomach, large intestine, and direct intestine. About half of these cases lead to death. In 2009, almost 52 thousand people died from colorectal cancer in the United States, the largest number of deaths from cancer, excluding lung cancer.

8. Scammers helped scientists to look into the stomach

An endoscope is a tool used to study the organs and cavities inside the body. In the early 1800s, the German physician Philip Bozzini developed a primitive version of the endoscope, called a light-liter, designed to test a number of areas of the body, including the ear, nose, and urethra.

Half a century later, French surgeon Antoine Jean Desormaux developed another tool for studying the urinary tract and bladder, which he called the "endoscope."

In 1868, the German physician Adolf Kussmaul used an endoscope to look inside a living person's stomach for the first time. Unlike today's endoscopes, Kussmaul’s instrument was not flexible, so it was difficult to manage them. Therefore, Kassmaul used the experience of the sage-eaters, which are capable of easily swallowing a sword about 47 cm long and 1.3 cm wide — that was the size of the device he developed.

9. A man with a hole in his stomach helped doctors in the study of digestion

In 1822, a hunter accidentally shot a 19-year-old man named Alexis Saint-Martin. Army surgeon William Beaumont cured the victim, leaving, however, a hole in the abdominal cavity, which is called a fistula. This fistula allowed Beaumont to explore the stomach in a completely new way.

Over the next decade, Beaumont conducted 238 experiments on St. Maarten, some of which involved the introduction of food directly into the patient's stomach. Beaumont made a number of important conclusions from his work, for example, that fever can affect digestion, and that digestion is more than just grinding food in the stomach, hydrochloric acid is required for digestion.

10. The stomach must protect itself from itself.

Cells along the inner wall of the stomach secrete about two liters of hydrochloric acid daily, which helps kill bacteria and promotes digestion. Outside the body, hydrochloric acid is commonly used in various products to remove rust and scale from steel surfaces, and is also found in some detergents, including toilet cleaners.

To protect itself from caustic acid, the walls of the stomach are covered with a thick layer of mucus, but this mucus cannot protect the stomach indefinitely, so that every two weeks the stomach "renews" this layer.

11. Doctors treated peptic ulcer disease for nearly a century.

A peptic ulcer is an ulcer on the mucous membrane of the stomach, esophagus or small intestine. According to a 2007 survey, this disease occurs every year in 50 million people in the United States alone.

Doctors have long believed that the causes of peptic ulcer are stress and spicy foods. This explanation made sense, because patients often complained of sharp pains just after eating spicy foods, so for almost 100 years, doctors prescribed a course of treatment in the form of rest and a light diet.

In 1982, Australian scientists Barry Marshall and Robin Warren discovered that the ulcer was caused by the bacterium Helicobacter Pylori, which invades the stomach lining. Thanks to this discovery, doctors have come up with the best ulcer treatment - antibiotics.

This discovery brought Marshall and Warren the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in 2005.

12. Rumbling in the stomach can be heard at any time, and not only when a person is hungry

The so-called gastric rumble is the result of peristalsis of the stomach and small intestine. In other words, this is evidence of the normal digestion of food that occurs when food, liquids and gases pass through your gastrointestinal tract. When the digestive tract is empty, the sound is louder, because there is nothing that could stifle it.

But why are the muscles contracting if there is nothing in the digestive tract?

After the contents of the stomach enter the small intestine, the digestive system sends signals to the brain, and it reacts, telling the digestive muscles to begin the process of peristalsis. Muscle contractions are needed to ensure that there is no excess food left in the stomach - as a result, a “false” signal is heard that the body needs food.

Amazing truth

The colonization of the intestine by bacteria begins exactly from the moment of birth, more precisely, from the moment the child passes through the birth canal. Bacteria living in this body have a common name - “intestinal microbiome”. Recently, scientists from all over the world have been studying it very closely for one simple reason - this very microbiome has the ability to influence the entire body.

Those who suddenly became concerned about the constant rash, dryness, peeling, the appearance of eczema, should carefully reconsider their diet. Such external manifestations are a consequence of what is happening inside the processes.

And often so the intestine signals the problem - food allergies. Try to exclude allergenic products from the menu, and in many cases it will help to say goodbye to trouble.

In our body, everything is interconnected. Intestinal microbiome is an important barrier to the entry of harmful substances from the blood into the brain. In addition, 95% of serotonin - the hormone of happiness, is located in the intestine, because it is produced by the cells of the latter. And the mood and well-being of a person largely depends on serotonin.

The liver and intestines are two filters of our body. This fact is known to all. Harmful toxins, metabolic products of the metabolism, hormones get first into the liver, and then move on along the digestive tract, from where it is much easier to get them out.

If the intestinal mucosa is damaged, it can lead to serious liver diseases and even disruption of its structure. In this case, the usual fabric is replaced by a non-functioning connective.

A diet in which infrequent guests are vegetables and fruits not only leads to constipation, but also the appearance of excess weight. This is explained by the fact that fiber is necessary for normal peristalsis and bowel cleansing. Therefore, a balanced diet is an important component of the proper functioning of the internal organs, and a beautiful body.

No wonder supporters of proper nutrition periodically arrange themselves unloading and cleaning days. In the intestine is the largest accumulation of lymphatic tissue, which produces lymphocytes responsible for fighting viruses entering the body.

And in order for the immune response to be strong, the organ must work properly.

Need recharge

To good bacteria was enough, you need to periodically replenish their stocks. It is especially important to do this after antibiotic therapy. You can do this by using:

  • dairy products,
  • sauerkraut, broccoli, cauliflower,
  • legumes.

Scientists confirm that we know too little about the capabilities of our intestines. After all, many problems can be avoided by identifying their cause in time. Be healthy!

4. And to hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are one of those diseases from which our intestines most often suffer. It is an inflammation of the veins and arteries in closely located areas.

Although it is embarrassing to talk about this, it is very important to start treating this disease in time. It is best to consult a doctor and eat more fiber.

5. Watch out for colon cancer.

Crayfish intestinal - one of the most common diseases in several countries. Like any other cancer, this disease is characterized by the growth of malignant cells. There are a lot of pathogenic bacteria and waste in this body, so it’s easier for cancer to develop there. It is comforting that this type of disease is easy to detect.

The first thing to ask your doctor is whether you have hidden blood in your feces. This is a very simple and painless procedure that will help make the correct diagnosis.

6. Do not fool yourself

В последние годы стало модным проводить специальное очищение толстого кишечника. Следует относиться к этому с осторожностью. Это лечение может быть достаточно агрессивным.

Лучше всего очищать кишечник натуральным способом, употребляя в пищу много клетчатки.

7. Внимательно относись к раздраженному кишечнику

Синдром раздраженного кишечника — это очень распространенное заболевание, особенно среди женщин. Ему обычно сопутствует диарея, вздутие живота и запоры. These symptoms can last for several months, so at their first manifestation it is very important to immediately consult with your doctor.