What is the difference between Mechanical and Chemical Digestion

Mechanical vs. Chemical Digestion

What is the difference between Mechanical and Chemical Digestion?

The digestive system of the human body is made up of empty organs connected to and by a twisted tube that goes from the mouth to the anus.

This at the same time is connected with several other organs that help the body to disintegrate food into particles and help absorb nutrients.

Organs such as the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, and anus play an important part in the digestion process.

Difference between Mechanical and Chemical Digestion

When we consume food, the body needs to break down the food into small molecules of nutrients so that the system absorbs the nutrients via veins to all the cells of the body.

The digestion process constitutes mechanical digestion and chemical digestion.

Mechanical digestion is the process that begins at the moment when food particles reach the mouth.

The teeth initiate mechanical digestion by grinding food known as chewing.

The process of chemical digestion begins when secreted saliva softens the food in a semi-solid club.

The enzymes in saliva help digest carbohydrates.

Difference-between-Mechanical-and-Chemical-Digestion

In this way, the food particles get smaller to be able to swallow them and chemically break the digestive tract.

When the food converted into the semi-solid dough is ready,

it is pushed into the throat and esophagus, a tube that connects the throat to the stomach.

Once the food reaches the stomach, it goes through a series of chemical and mechanical treatments.

Inside the stomach, the mechanical digestion called peristaltic contractions helps to mix the food club.

The chemical process mixes the bolus with the digestive juices released by the stomach cells.

The particles pass for hours of digestive processes going through several stages of chemical digestion.

Processed food moves to the rectum through the small intestine.

Then the food arrives fermented towards the large intestine through the intestinal flora.

This helps in the digestion of the small intestine.

For Further Reading

Four hormones that help in the digestive process

Gastrin: gastrin glands the secretion of hydrochloric acid and pepsinogen at the arrival of food into the stomach.

Secretin: emits secretions of sodium bicarbonate in the pancreas. Secretin helps control acidity.

Cholecystokinin: helps the secretion of digestive enzymes in the pancreas. It also helps when emptying bile. it takes place when the digestion process needs to manage fats.

Gastric inhibitory peptide: helps to reduce the mixing process. It also helps in the production of insulin.

In Summary: 

  • Mechanical digestion refers to the digestion process that breaks food into small particles.
  • Chemical digestion is the process where acids, bases and enzymes released into the digestive tract turn the food into a semi-solid mace.
  • The chemical digestion is more important than the mechanical one since in this way it is how we obtain our energy.

This is due to the fact that chemical digestion involves complex processes to execute.

Although both processes are very important for human digestion, chemical digestion is fairly more important.