Chapter 16 – Digestion and Absorption

Food is one of the basic requirements of all living organisms. The major components of our food are carbohydrates, proteins and fats.

Vitamins and minerals are also required in small quantities. Food provides energy and organic materials for growth and repair of tissues.

The water we take in, plays an important role in metabolic processes and also prevents dehydration of the body. Biomacromolecules in food cannot be utilised by our body in their original form.

They have to be broken down and converted into simple substances in the digestive system.

This process of conversion of complex food substances to simple absorbable forms is called digestion and is carried out by our digestive system by mechanical and biochemical methods. General organisation of the human digestive system is shown in the Figure.

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