10 more facts about the digestive system

  1. The human liver performs approximately 500 different functions – it cleans blood, produces bile, stores energy in the form of sugar called glycogen, makes cholesterol, of which, some is needed, although generally cholesterol gets a bad press! The liver also helps with blood clotting.
  2. Did you know the liver is the only organ that is capable of regenerating itself completely after being almost completely removed?
  3. On average its takes 8 seconds for food to travel down the food pipe to the stomach, after 2 hours or so, it passes through to the small intestine and takes 3-5 hours to move to the large intestine where it is processed for 3-4 days. However in people with IBS for example these times can be massively different.
  4. On average the human stomach has a capacity of 2 Litres.
  5. In a human body, the small intestine is approximately 21 feet long, and the large intestine is 6 feet long. So why is the small intestine longer than the large intestine? Simply the “small and large” is reference to the diameter of the intestine – not the length.
  6. The liver is the largest internal organ, weighing approximately 1.6 kilos (3.5lbs).
  7. There are approximately 35 million small digestive glands in the human stomach!
  8. Liver cells take several years to replace themselves – look after your liver. You can do so by not drinking to excess, take regular exercise and be in control of your weight.
  9. Did you know the human body takes approximately 6 hours to digest a high fat meal and 2 hours for a carbohydrate meal in a normally functioning digestive system?
  10. Within the colon, a typical person has in excess of 400 different species of bacteria.
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