Introduction The gastrointestinal (GI) tract begins with the mouth, leads to the esophagus, and extends through the stomach, small intestine (including duodenum, jejunum, and ileum), and large intestine (divided into cecum and colon), to end at the anus. In addition, the GI tract includes three accessory organs: liver, gallbladder, and pancreas. The liver produces bile, a fluid containing molecules (bile acids) that help the digestion of lipids, and, via numerous canaliculi forming the biliary system, secretes it into the gallbladder, where it is stored and concentrated. Upon eating, bile is discharged into the small intestine. The pancreas is a dual-function gland, working as both an endocrine and an exocrine gland. The exocrine pancreas secretes pancreatic juice containing bicarbonate and several enzymes, including trypsin, chymotrypsin, lipase, and pancreatic amylase, into the small intestine. Both the liver and the pancreas aid in the digestive process.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)