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Ch 39: Digestive System Functions & Organs for the MCAT: Help and Review

About This Chapter

The digestive system chapter of this MCAT Help and Review course is the simplest way to master digestive system functions and organs. This chapter uses simple and fun videos that are about five minutes long, plus lesson quizzes and a chapter exam to ensure students learn the essentials of digestive system functions and organs.

Who's it for?

Anyone who needs help learning or mastering MCAT material will benefit from taking this course. You will be able to grasp the subject matter faster, retain critical knowledge longer and earn higher scores. You're in the right place if you:

  • Have fallen behind in understanding which organs are responsible for breaking down food and absorbing nutrients
  • Need an efficient way to learn about the digestive system
  • Learn best with engaging auditory and visual tools
  • Struggle with learning disabilities or learning differences, including autism and ADHD
  • Experience difficulty understanding your teachers
  • Missed class time and need to catch up
  • Can't access extra MCAT review resources at school

How it works:

  • Start at the beginning, or identify the topics that you need help with.
  • Watch and learn from fun videos, reviewing as needed.
  • Refer to the video transcripts to reinforce your learning.
  • Test your understanding of each lesson with short quizzes.
  • Submit questions to one of our instructors for personalized support if you need extra help.
  • Verify you're ready by completing the digestive system chapter exam.

Why it works:

  • Study Efficiently: Skip what you know, review what you don't.
  • Retain What You Learn: Engaging animations and real-life examples make topics easy to grasp.
  • Be Ready on Test Day: Use the digestive system chapter exam to be prepared.
  • Get Extra Support: Ask our subject-matter experts any digestive system question. They're here to help!
  • Study With Flexibility: Watch videos on any web-ready device.

Students will review:

In this chapter, you'll learn the answer to questions including:

  • What are the functions and structures of the upper and lower gastrointestinal tracts?
  • What is the anatomy and physiology of the mouth?
  • How do the throat and esophagus work?
  • What are the roles of saliva and epiglottal action?
  • What is the pharynx's function in swallowing?
  • What is the anatomy of the stomach?
  • How do the gallbladder and liver function?
  • What is the pancreas's role in digestion?
  • How are nutrients absorbed in the small intestine?
  • What is the anatomy of the large intestine?

14 Lessons in Chapter 39: Digestive System Functions & Organs for the MCAT: Help and Review
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Digestive System I: The Upper Gastrointestinal Tract

1. Digestive System I: The Upper Gastrointestinal Tract

Did you know that there are digestive enzymes in your saliva? It's true. As soon as you put a piece of food in your mouth, the digestive process begins. Join us with this first of two lessons about the human digestive system, where we'll follow food through the upper gastrointestinal tract from the mouth through the stomach.

Digestive System II: The Lower Gastrointestinal Tract

2. Digestive System II: The Lower Gastrointestinal Tract

The lower gastrointestinal tract is the part of the digestive system that is responsible for the last part of food digestion and the expulsion of waste from the body. In this lesson, we'll look at each part of the system and what functions each serves in the process of digestion.

Anatomy and Physiology of the Mouth

3. Anatomy and Physiology of the Mouth

The digestive system is a long tube that breaks food down both mechanically and chemically. In this lesson, you will learn about the mouth and how it begins the digestive process - with the help of the teeth and the enzyme called salivary amylase.

Anatomy of the Throat and Esophagus

4. Anatomy of the Throat and Esophagus

After food has been partially broken down in the mouth, it moves through the pharynx, or throat, and the esophagus. In this lesson, you will learn how food is swallowed and how it is propelled by peristalsis through the esophagus.

Physiology of the Stomach and Gastric Juices

5. Physiology of the Stomach and Gastric Juices

When food enters your stomach, it is mechanically broken down by a process called churning. In this lesson you will learn about this process and the chemical break down of proteins within the stomach by the enzyme pepsin.

Anatomy and Physiology of the Stomach and Autonomic Nervous System Controls

6. Anatomy and Physiology of the Stomach and Autonomic Nervous System Controls

In this lesson, you will learn how the unique anatomy of the stomach - including rugae, gastric pits and gastric glands - makes it a perfect organ for digestion. You will also learn how the autonomic nervous system controls digestion.

The Gallbladder & Liver: Function & Role in Digestion

7. The Gallbladder & Liver: Function & Role in Digestion

Bile is produced by the liver and stored in the gallbladder. In this lesson, you will learn about bile and its role in the breakdown of dietary fats. You will also learn how the hormones secretin and cholecystokinin help regulate these organs.

What Is the Pancreas? - Function, Enzymes & Role in Digestion

8. What Is the Pancreas? - Function, Enzymes & Role in Digestion

Your pancreas plays an important role in the digestion of food. In this lesson, you will learn about the enzymes found in pancreatic juice that allow your body to break down carbohydrates, proteins and fats.

Small Intestine: Nutrient Absorption and Role In Digestion

9. Small Intestine: Nutrient Absorption and Role In Digestion

The majority of digestion and absorption of nutrients takes place in the small intestine. In this lesson, you will learn about unique modifications within the walls of the small intestine, such as microvilli, villi, and circular folds. These structures increase absorption of nutrients.

Movement Through the Small Intestine: Peristalsis, Segmentation & Pendular Movement

10. Movement Through the Small Intestine: Peristalsis, Segmentation & Pendular Movement

The small intestine is an important organ for digestion and absorption of nutrients. In this lesson, you will learn about the enterogastric reflex. You will also learn how intestinal movements, such as peristalsis, segmentation, and pendular movement, improve digestion and absorption.

Anatomy and Physiology of the Large Intestine

11. Anatomy and Physiology of the Large Intestine

The large intestine is the made up of the cecum, colon, rectum and anal canal. In this lesson, you will learn about the anatomical features and basic functions of these large intestine segments.

Rectum, Functions of the Large Intestine & Water Absorption

12. Rectum, Functions of the Large Intestine & Water Absorption

The large intestine is the final processing area for digested food. In this lesson, you will learn how the large intestine removes water from undigested food and prepares for the elimination of feces through the anus.

Unsaturated Fatty Acid: Structure & Example

13. Unsaturated Fatty Acid: Structure & Example

What is a fatty acid? Why is it important whether it is saturated or unsaturated? Why are trans fats bad? In this article we explore these questions, introduce the structure of fatty acids and discuss unsaturated fatty acids with examples and illustrations.

Pharynx: Anatomy & Definition

14. Pharynx: Anatomy & Definition

The pharynx is an anatomical structure that functions in both respiration and digestion in the human body. In this lesson, we will investigate the anatomy and physiology of the pharynx to gain an understanding of its importance and how it works.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

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Other Chapters

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