How your digestive system works – Emma Bryce


How your digestive system works – Emma Bryce

Across the whole planet, humans eat on average between
one and 2.7 kilograms of food a day. That’s over 365 kilograms
a year per person, and more than 28,800 kilograms
over the course of a lifetime. And every last scrap makes its way
through the digestive system. Comprised of ten organs
covering nine meters, and containing
over 20 specialized cell types, this is one of the most diverse
and complicated systems in the human body. Its parts continuously work in unison
to fulfill a singular task: transforming the raw materials
of your food into the nutrients and energy
that keep you alive. Spanning the entire length of your torso, the digestive system
has four main components. First, there’s the gastrointestinal tract, a twisting channel
that transports your food and has an internal surface area
of between 30 and 40 square meters, enough to cover half a badminton court. Second, there’s the pancreas, gallbladder, and liver, a trio of organs that break down food
using an array of special juices. Third, the body’s enzymes, hormones, nerves, and blood all work together to break down food, modulate the digestive process, and deliver its final products. Finally, there’s the mesentery, a large stretch of tissue that supports and positions all your digestive organs
in the abdomen, enabling them to do their jobs. The digestive process begins
before food even hits your tongue. Anticipating a tasty morsel, glands in your mouth start
to pump out saliva. We produce about 1.5 liters
of this liquid each day. Once inside your mouth, chewing combines with the sloshing saliva to turn food into a moist lump
called the bolus. Enzymes present in the saliva
break down any starch. Then, your food finds itself at the rim of a 25-centimeter-long tube
called the esophagus, down which it must plunge
to reach the stomach. Nerves in the surrounding
esophageal tissue sense the bolus’s presence
and trigger peristalsis, a series of defined muscular contractions. That propels the food into the stomach, where it’s left at the mercy
of the muscular stomach walls, which bound the bolus,
breaking it into chunks. Hormones, secreted by cells in the lining,
trigger the release of acids and enzyme-rich juices
from the stomach wall that start to dissolve the food
and break down its proteins. These hormones also alert the pancreas, liver, and gallbladder to produce digestive juices and transfer bile, a yellowish-green
liquid that digests fat, in preparation for the next stage. After three hours inside the stomach, the once shapely bolus is now
a frothy liquid called chyme, and it’s ready to move into
the small intestine. The liver sends bile
to the gallbladder, which secretes it into the first portion of
the small intestine called the duodenum. Here, it dissolves the fats
floating in the slurry of chyme so they can be easily digested
by the pancreatic and intestinal juices that have leached onto the scene. These enzyme-rich juices break the fat
molecules down into fatty acids and glycerol for easier
absorption into the body. The enzymes also carry out
the final deconstruction of proteins into amino acids and carbohydrates into glucose. This happens in the
small intestine’s lower regions, the jejunum and ileum, which are coated in millions
of tiny projections called villi. These create a huge surface area
to maximize molecule absorption and transference into the blood stream. The blood takes them on the final
leg of their journey to feed the body’s organs and tissues. But it’s not over quite yet. Leftover fiber, water, and dead cells
sloughed off during digestion make it into the large intestine,
also known as the colon. The body drains out most of the remaining
fluid through the intestinal wall. What’s left is a soft mass called stool. The colon squeezes this byproduct
into a pouch called the rectum, where nerves sense it expanding and tell the body when
it’s time to expel the waste. The byproducts of digestion
exit through the anus and the food’s long journey, typically lasting between 30 and 40 hours, is finally complete.

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100 thoughts on “How your digestive system works – Emma Bryce”

  1. Abderrahmane Anser says:

    So, is there a GOD ?

  2. Fabien L'amour says:

    Or… How to do caca.

  3. Juicy Oreo says:


  4. Jared Eglinski says:

    No mention of the essential bacteria aiding you throughout the process.

  5. The Random Doritos! says:

    So when i weigh myself at night I am 2 kilograms heavier?

  6. Amritpal singh says:

    Your information is very good. No one should go through this problem, in fact, my brother had this problem, then we got him treated with a good Ayurveda center Whose name is Planet Ayurveda. If you have this type of problem or any other type of health problem. you should go to Planet Ayurveda.

  7. Sachin pathak voice says:

    Others human system plz

  8. mcgrady tracy says:


  9. Alberto Gonzales Z. says:

    Another wonder of God's creation.

  10. Darkness Light says:

    Thank You!

  11. •Sweet Milk• says:

    Who else is Watching this at school?


  12. shahul abdulla says:

    God Created this

  13. Fernanda N says:

    How about a video on antibiotics and probiotics?
    Thank you.

  14. Swagata Debnath says:

    Nice explanations

  15. Tlahuicole XIII says:


  16. Terry Colbert says:

    Metric! Ugh!

  17. Tom Meyers says:

    It all starts with an EBT care and two big ole eyes……"hmmmm eva thing looks so tasty"

  18. DJ THE SHOOTER says:

    I need a smart person to explain how the digestive system evolved? And where did food come from? Language? How did we leave "ape-hood" to become humans when apes are still here?

  19. Nicholas Charles says:

    Thank you for using metric 😃

  20. •Sweet Milk• says:

    Necesito para colegio

    ¿Quién más habla español e inglés aquí?

  21. osama samy says:

    Greatness of God

  22. Kvng Slum says:

    3 hours ?, bruh mine takes 3 min 🤦🏿‍♂️🤦🏿‍♂️

  23. abia qazi says:

    Thanks it was soo helpful video 😊 😊 😊

  24. abia qazi says:

    I want a video about all the teeths and their functions and shape
    Also more information about enzyme, ☺️

  25. mike watters says:

    I swallowed a 1 dollar note. I told my doctor i feel fine but to to me to phone him if there is any change.

  26. Nash khan says:

    Anyone here bcuz they have their test tomorrow??

  27. MB RND Nutrition Skills For Life says:

    Socio-economic and Political changes can improve/break the vicious cycle of malnutrition with specific nutrition and health intervention.
    Click here for further information:

  28. Mary Kim says:

    And people claim that this happened by accident😂….design is always tied to purpose. There is nothing that is designed that doesn’t have a purpose. Purpose comes first then design follows…. it begins in the mind…it is proof that there is a Designer. How can a “system” be made by chance?” All components work “together” for a goal…. even a child knows this…

  29. Oussama Sethoum says:

    Amazing video <3 we love you Ted-ed

  30. Chris P Bacon says:

    And we do this even without thinking about it

  31. Roderick Torres says:

    Pounds please

  32. Beth Leffel says:

    three-hundred-sixty-five kilograms of food per year? thats technology

  33. Jim Tuvik says:

    No mention of the all important bacteria in this system that we require to survive…after all it is titled "how your digestive system works" …….what an oversight

  34. Celia Cordhitta says:

    I was waiting about the gut bacteria

  35. cheese chisel says:

    very good

  36. Ruben Jr Guzman says:

    Next respiratory system

  37. Nabil Sudarso says:


  38. M. NewYork says:

    Keep up the good work 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

  39. Brian Robison says:

    Every time he says juices…

  40. Faze FozeF4ze says:

    Yes, now i can learn science now.

  41. Zhuang Jasmine says:

    Watching this video makes life easier

  42. Mod Gamer says:

    This is video is really helpful for me so if my science teacher ask me i can answer her

  43. SFG bros says:

    Ted Ed it's like our digestive system is like alive to me

  44. Jaya Samhita Venki says:


  45. Nxght says:


  46. Larry Putra says:

    30 to 40 hours ? what ? impossible

  47. BERAZ qq says:

    very nice video

  48. RayZ FuisionZ says:

    Very AWESOME boo

  49. 김선저 says:


  50. Biology Music Videos says:

    Well-presented, informative video! Check out the BIOL-O-GEE R.A.P. animated music video for a quick summary of the digestive system

  51. Annaliza Gadaingan says:

    I watch a digestive system and already memorize it and our teacher asked what is digestive process i got the clap
    (me: ohhh dont touch me im a genious) hahaha

  52. Bernice Teow Jia Wen Teow says:

    Very interesting

  53. Jeetesh Chhiboo says:

    Spell oesophagus right buddy

  54. thesupagamer199 says:

    posted on my birthday!

  55. Ludwina Mathias says:

    Emma should be a rapper

  56. Beatbox Bully says:

    I wish I didn’t have to go to school so I could watch these videos

  57. MUJEEB RAHMAN MT says:

    Still atheism exists … !!!! ???

  58. Eric Space says:

    Like 👍 your video

  59. Atifaah Patel says:

    30-40 hours?!?!

  60. Deogratius Wambura says:

    Hey u4qyty

  61. Upasana Pradhan says:

    Good morning

  62. RIZADON the RAT says:

    I literally learned more from this video then I did in a week with my grade 11 science teacher lol.

  63. LPL Mark says:

    If you eat corn like crazy, your body will stop digesting it into poop, which means you can keep eating the same food again and again.

  64. JustinHit says:

    I like the part where he poops

  65. Chiller Fx says:

    So basically what we poop today is what we ate last Sunday? I thought my poops are fresh AF!

  66. Alex Osawamick says:

    Hi random people

  67. I HopE_05 says:

    Helped alot.. tnx

  68. Li Justin says:

    So, where do the proteins break down? The stomach or lower part of the small intestine?

  69. Aleksandra Rubini says:

    Easy, understandable

  70. burnt chickain nugget says:


  71. Haku Son says:

    This helps a lot

  72. Artri00 says:

    God is amazing

  73. Angel Centeno says:

    Nice video

  74. Will Blkly says:

    Why is there no reference to the human gut microbiome – trillions of bacteria and fungi that inhabit our gastrointestinal tract, and have a major influence on our metabolism, body weight, immune system, appetite and mood?

  75. Graphics Spot says:

    Can’t understand atheists.who created this? Big Bang?

  76. Burnt Chicken Nugget says:

    Anyone else eating while watching this?

  77. farin toosi says:

    Me: Watching while eating… next day: going to school Teacher: OKAY CLASS WERE LEARNING ABOUT THE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM! Me: nah I already learned it from YouTube 😎

  78. Jen _29 says:

    clear, concise and helpful

  79. Saranjeet Singh says:

    much better than the way my study notes explain me !

  80. Wahyu & Darryl says:

    My biology teacher used this in our class today as a reference, even though i'm in a non English speaking country

  81. Mikey Xu says:

    Stop speaking runditorian

  82. Mikey Xu says:

    Stop speaking runditorian

  83. Draw with Isaak says:

    If you are reading this comment then I hope you have a better future and life and there is a goal I am seeking it I know this doesn't happen in one day but I am trying to become a successful YouTuber plzzz subscribe to help me so I have a better future, and have a wonderful day

  84. eventlesstew says:

    Stools are poop!

  85. Claire says:

    What causes gastroparesis? And how do I resolve it?

  86. MasterSticky Gaming says:

    This is way funnier then copying facts from the smart board.I never even review them,but this I will always remembee

  87. jaafar makhlouki says:

    Allah the almighty said in Quran:

    "Do they [then] wait for anything except that the angels should come to them or your Lord should come or that there come some of the signs of your Lord? The Day that some of the signs of your Lord will come no soul will benefit from its faith as long as it had not believed before or had earned through its faith some good. Say, Wait. Indeed, we [also] are waiting."
    (QS. Al-An'aam 6: Verse 158)

  88. Stanislav Miller says:

    Ted-Ed is the best

  89. a gardevoir says:

    mispeld oesophagus

  90. Weyz says:

    so poop is a solid and a liquid mixed together??!?

  91. James Sweeney says:

    Bout to take a stool

  92. Jas mail says:

    vidio ini sangat membantu lebih mudah untuk dimengerti

  93. pari Kaur says:

    Nice vid

  94. BraunDesign says:

    1 000 000$ Production! Thank You TED-Ed

  95. BAD BILLY says:

    2:26 – muscular stomach walls beat down food? Um – ok… (thats not how it works)

  96. javiercarlos rodriguez says:

    this video was easy to digest

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