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7 things you never knew about your digestive system

  1. Did you know it is because of peristalsis – the wave-like contractions in your oesophagus – that even if you were hanging upside down, the food would still reach your stomach!
  2. Some laundry detergents contain classes of enzymes which are present in your digestive system!
  3. Did you know some animals have stomachs with multiple compartments? Cows, deer, giraffes have four compartments, not four stomachs which is a common misconception. While some have four compartments, other animals like the platypus have no stomach, for them the food goes from their oesophagus straight to their intestines; seahorses and lungfish are included.
  4. Did you know the first endoscope was used in the early 1800’s developed by Philipp Bozzini, a German physician?
  5. The stomach secretes approximately half a gallon (2 litres) of hydrochloric acid every day to kill bacteria and aid digestion. Hydrochloric acid is the stuff used in some cleaning products to remove rust from metal. The stomach protects itself using a thick mucus coating, which is replaced approximately every two weeks otherwise the stomach would digest itself – amazing!!
  6. Borborygmi – stomach rumblings are simply a result of peristalsis in the stomach and small intestine. This is due to normal digestion processes as food, fluid and gases pass through your digestive tract. When the digestive tract is empty they are louder because there is nothing to muffle the sound!
  7. Did you know the digestive tract is sterile before birth? Once born, babies acquire the much needed friendly bacteria from the mother and the environment in the days after birth.
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