Stomach Amazing facts

30 Amazing and Interesting Facts about Stomach | Amazing Facts 4U 

  1. Stomach is found in left upper part of the belly. The stomach is about 12 inches long and is 6 inches wide at its widest point.
  2. An adult stomach can hold around 1.5 liters of food/drink. However amazingly it can expand to hold as much as 4 liters of food at a time.
  3. Once swallowed, the food travels down through the esophagus to the stomach, taking about 7 seconds to get there.
  4. One of the most amazing fact is that human stomach is fully expendable. After the stomach is removed, a person can survive.
  5. It is a myth that the stomach is responsible for digesting food all the food. Only partial digestion takes place in stomach acting upon food already softened by salivary amylase . The rest of digestion is carried out by our small intestine.
  6. Food stays in the stomach for around two to five hours.
  7. Once a stomach is totally removed , a process called Total Gastrectomy, the surgeons attach the esophagus to the small intestine directly. So, whatever you consume goes to the small intestine, where it gets digested. Only this time, the small intestine needs to work really hard to digest.
  8. Stomach is the first defense against harmful microbes that enter our body with the food. Acid in the stomach tries to eliminate those microbes.
  9. The most amazing thing is that the stomach produces industrial grade concentrated hydrochloric acid which can eat through bones and metals. In fact if put on our palm , it can really burn through.
  10. Inside our stomach is a layer of mucus membrane layer known as the mucosa. This mucosa has two types of cells , the parietal cells and goblet cells. The goblet cells are the ones that produce very large quantities of mucus, which covers the entire mucosa. This mucus is immune to acidic corrosion and hence, the stomach itself remains immune to the corrosive acid.
  11. The mucus that actually protects our stomach gets replaced every 2 weeks. Thus every 2 weeks, the stomach wears a new mucus dress.
  12. Amazingly the parietal cells are the ones that produce about 3 liters of hydrochloric acid each day.
  13. Stomach also produces two other types of cells , the G Cells and the Gastric Chief Cells which produce proenzymes . Proenzymes are actually enzymes in inactive state which doesn’t harm the stomach wall.
  14. Inactive proenzymes become active only after entering the stomach cavity giving rise to enzymes which are corrosive enough to damage stomach wall but are protected by mucus lining.
  15. Now since the enzymes are in active state, they are pretty much corrosive and capable of damaging the stomach. But again, the mucus lining saves the day!
  16. The hydrochloric acid in the stomach helps to break down food into smaller pieces for the enzymes to act efficiently. The acid also activates the proenzymes. Enzymes can work optimally under the ideal pH level 2 maintained by the hydrochloric acid.
  17. When the acid and enzyme laced food enters the small intestine from the stomach, the small intestine gets exposed to the corrosive acid with no mucus protection. Protection is provided by HCO3 , a bicarbonate alkaline from pancreas which converts acidic environment to alkaline one preventing corrosion of intestine.
  18. The main proenzyme known as the pepsinogen released by stomach cells is activated into the enzyme known as pepsin by HCL. Pepsin breaks down the big protein molecules. This is chemical digestion.
  19. Due to mechanical action of the stomach , the food is mechanically churned around and converted into smaller pieces producing thick paste called chyme which is gradually released into the small intestine through pyloric sphincter.
  20. Peptic ulcers are painful sores on the lining of stomach affecting about 50 million Americans each year. Stress and spicy foods were believed to be culprits for almost 100 years but in 1982 Australian researchers Barry Marshall and Robin Warren found that the real culprit behind ulcers is the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, which burrows into the stomach’s mucosal lining. Now peptic ulcers are managed better.
  21. Laundry detergents often contain several different classes of enzymes, including proteases, amylases and lipases. The human digestive system also employs these types of enzymes to break down food. Proteases break down proteins, amylases break down carbohydrates and lipases break down fats. Our saliva contains both amylases and lipases, and our stomach and small intestine has proteases.
  22. Stomach also blushes when we blush because adrenaline released by the body dilates blood vessels including that of stomach. As the blood supply increases , our stomach lining appears red.
  23. We often hear our stomachs rumble (called borborygmi) which is normal. The sounds are generated by a unidirectional wave like movement called peristalsis in the esophagus , stomach and the small intestine which pushes the food down.
  24. Every time we drink carbonated water or eat some food, some air goes right into the stomach. Burping is the easiest way of getting rid of this air.
  25. If you turn upside down while eating or after eating, the food will never fall out of your stomach back into esophagus and then out of your mouth. In fact gravity has no role to play here. This is prevented by because the wave like movement takes place only in one direction, i.e. from esophagus to stomach and from stomach further down in small intestine.
  26. It is a very popular myth that thin people have smaller stomachs than big people, but it isn’t true.The stomach is really the same size in everyone. What changes is the food thermostat i.e. the point where your stomach feels full.
  27. The type of food you eat does matter in how hungry you still feel afterward. Foods high in sugars are digested very quickly, making you feel hungry faster, while foods high in protein and fats digest much slower, allowing you to go longer before feeling hungry.
  28. Some animals have stomachs with multiple compartments . Cows and other “ruminants” including giraffes, deer and cattle have four-chambered stomachs, which help them digest their plant based food.
  29. Some animals including seahorses, lungfishes and platypuses have no stomach. Their food goes from the esophagus straight to the intestines.
  30. A starfish can turn its stomach inside out.

 By Amazing Facts 4U Team

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