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Natural Health Charts: Digestive System
The human body consists of eight basic body systems (i.e., cardiovascular, circulatory, endocrine, muscular, nervous, reproductive, sensory and skeletal systems), and six systems of detoxification (i.e., the immune, lymphatic, digestive, urinary, respiratory and integumentary systems). The eight health factors can be used to prevent and treat nearly any infection, illness and disease, by achieving and maintaining a general state of homeostasis for all body systems. Certain amounts of additional nutrients, foods, herbs, chemicals, body chemicals, phytochemicals and/or other natural substances can also be used to build and rebuild, strengthen, repair, detoxify and heal each individual body system, based on its own functions and requirements.

Female Reproductive System
Immune System
Lymphatic System
Digestive System
Urinary System
Respiratory System
Integumentary System
Cardiovascular System
Circulatory System
Endocrine System
Male Reproductive System
Muscular System
Nervous System
Sensory Organs (Hearing)
Sensory Organs (Vision)
Skeletal System

Digestive System

The digestive system consists of the mouth, saliva, salivary glands, tongue, throat, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, pyloric sphincter valve, liver, gallbladder, bile duct, duodenum, small and large intestines, appendix, gastrointestinal (GI) tract, rectum and anus. The digestive system is necessary for the digestion of foods, absorption and metabolism of nutrients. Having less than two to three bowel movements in a day is a sign that digestive organs may be clogged, which can also clog or depress other organs and body systems.

Digestion begins in the mouth, with the chewing of food. Salivary glands secrete saliva, which contains an enzyme called amylase for the digestion of starches. Once food is swallowed, it moves through the esophagus into the stomach, where hydrochloric acid, sodium bicarbonate and the enzymes lipase, pepsin and protease are produced for the digestion of proteins. When the pyloric sphincter valve opens, the resulting liquid (i.e., 'chyme') enters the duodenum, where it mixes with enzymes (such as amylase, lipase, protease, and trypsin) produced by the pancreas. The pancreas and liver then work together to convert saturated fats and excess calories into cholesterol. The liver converts cholesterol into bile, digestive hormones and other body chemicals, and carotene into vitamin A (in the form of retinol). The liver also produces Glucose Intolerance Factor (GTF) for blood sugar regulation, plays a role in detoxification, filtering and cleansing the blood, and hormone regulation. Bile emulsifies fats to allow absorption, neutralizes chyme, and excretes waste products such as bilin and bile acids. Bile is stored in the gallbladder, where it is released to the small intestine via the bile duct. Remaining chyme passes through the small intestine, which produces enzymes such as lipase, maltase and sucrase, for the digestion of fats and sugars. Roughly 95% of nutrient absorption occurs in the small intestine. Once the chyme is fully digested, it is absorbed into the blood. The appendix houses beneficial microbes (i.e., 'probiotics'), which produce nutrients that are absorbed into the bloodstream. Next, what remains of food and chyme leaves the small intestine, and enters the colon through the cecum of the large intestine. The colon produces amylase for the digestion of starches, protease for the digestion of proteins, and helps to manage and eliminate toxins, feces and harmful microbes from the body via defecation. Further digestion occurs in the colon via fermentation of the food remains by probiotics. Not only do probiotics produce nutrients such as complex saccharides, vitamin A, all B vitamins (including vitamin B12) and vitamin K, but they also improve immunity, nutrient absorption, digestion and metabolism. Water and nutrients are absorbed into the blood from what remains of food, chyme, and nutrients produced by probiotics in the colon. Harmful microbes, toxins, and food remains that cannot go through the villi, such as cellulose and other indigestible dietary fibers, become hard, concentrated feces, which is stored in the rectum of the large intestine. Stored feces is eliminated from the body via contraction and relaxation of the anus during defecation, and exiting feces is regulated by the anal sphincter.

Nutrients: Carbohydrates, unsaturated fats, cholesterol, protein, amino acids (GABA, alanine, arginine, aspartic acid, carnatine, citrulline, cysteine, glutamic acid, glutamine, glutathione, glycine, histidine, lysine, methionine, orthinine, phenylalanine, serine, taurine, threonine, tryptophan, tyrosine, valine), enzymes, DHA, EPA, GLA, VA, VB Complex, VC, VD, VE, VK, VP, calcium, chloride, choline, chromium, cobalt, coenzyme Q10, copper, fluoride, inositol, iodine, iron, lecithin, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, phosphorus, potassium, probiotics, selenium, silicon, sodium, sulfur, vanadium, water, zinc
Foods: alfalfa, apple cider vinegar, apples, beans, carrots, flax seed, fruits, grains, grasses, honey, sprouts, veggies; green and yellow foods; raw foods
Herbs: aloe, brier rose (hips, flowers, leaves), geranium, horsetail, lavender, lemongrass, mullein, oregano, peppermint, primrose, raspberry (leaf, fruit), rosemary, sage
Body Chemicals: DHEA, HGH, PGE1, SOD, bile, dopamine, glucosamine, hydrochloric acid, lipoic acid, melatonin, serotonin, thyroxine
Phytochemicals: carotene, chlorophyll, isoflavones, phytic acid, quercetin, rutin
Other: RNA; glycerin; citric, malic and tartaric acids; oxygenation; sunlight

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