46. The digestive system: liver and stomach. Sources of energy

Liver, the pancreas and the kidneys are the organs primarily engaged in the intermediary metabolism of the materials resorbed from the gasro – intestinal tract and in the excretion of metabolic waste products. Of these 3 organs the liver performs the most diverse func tions. It acts as the receiving depot and distributing center for the majority of the products of intestinal digestion and plays a major role in the intermediary metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, proteins and purines.

It controls the concentration of cholesterol esters in the blood and utilizes the sterol in the formation of bile acid. The liver takes in the regulation of the blood volume and in water metabolism and distribution. Its secretion, the bile, is necessary for fat diges tion.

The liver is a site for the formation of the proteins of the blood plasma, especially for fibrinogen, and also forms he—parin, also forms heparin, carbohydrate which prevents the clotting of the blood. It has important detoxicating functions and guards the organism against toxins of in testinal origin as well as other harmful substances. The liver in its detoxi—cating functions and manifold metabolic activities may well be ransidered the most important gland of the body.

The normal position of the empty human stomach is not hori zontal, as used to be thought before the development of rentgenology. This method of examination has revealed the stomach to be either somewhat J—shaped of comparable in outline to a reversed L. The majority of normal stomachs are J—shaped. In the J—shaped type the pylorus lies at a higher level than the lowest part of the greater curvature and the body of the stomach is nearly verti cal.

The stomach docs not empty itself by gravity, but through the contraction of its muscular wall like any other part of the diges tive tube, of which it is merely a segment.

Gastric motility shows great individual variation; in some types of stomach the wave travels very rapidly, completing its journey in from 10 to 15 seconds. In others the wave takes 30 seconds or go to pass from its origin to the pylorus. The slow waves are the more common.

Sources of energy

The fuels of the body are carbohydrates, fats and proteins. These are taken in the diet.

Carbohydrates are the principal source of energy in most diets. They are absorbed into the blood stream in the form of glu cose. Glucose not needed for immediate use is converted into glycogen and stored in the liver. When the blood sugar concentra tion goes down, the liver reconverts some of its stored glycogen into glucose.

Pats make up the second largest source of energy in most diets. They are stored in adipose tissue and round the principal internal organs. If excess carbohydrate is taken in, this can be converted into fat and stored. The stored fat is utilized when the liver is empty of glycogen.

Proteins are essential for the growth and rebuilding of tissue, but they can also be utilized as a source of energy. In some diets, such as the diet of the Eskimo, they form the main source of energy. Proteins are first broken down into amino acids. Then they are absorbed into the blood and pass round the body. Amino acids not used by the body are eventually excreted in the urine in the form of urea. Proteins, unlike—car—bohydrates and fats, cannot be stored for future use.

New words

fuels – топливо

principal source – основной источник

energy – энергия

glucose – глюкоза

glycogen – гликоген

stored – сохраненный

adipose – животный жир

amino acids – аминокислоты

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