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Digestive System

absorption nutrients that come from the food pass through channels in the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream
anaerobic bacteria bacteria that do not live or grow in the presence of oxygen.
anus the opening at the end of the alimentary canal through which solid waste matter leaves the body.
appendix a tube-shaped sac attached to and opening into the lower end of the large intestine
bile a bitter greenish-brown alkaline fluid that aids digestion and is secreted by the liver and stored in the gallbladder.
capillary any of the fine branching blood vessels that form a network between the arterioles and venules.
cardiac sphincter the valve between the distal end of the esophagus and the stomach
chemical digestion the process in which chemicals in the body separate large food molecules into smaller ones so they can pass through the wall of the intestine
digestive enzyme enzymes that break down polymeric macromolecules into their smaller building blocks, in order to facilitate their absorption by the body.
digestive tract The series of organs in the digestive system through which food passes, nutrients are absorbed, and waste is eliminated.
duodenum the first part of the small intestine immediately beyond the stomach, leading to the jejunum.
emulsification The breakdown of fat globules in the duodenum into tiny droplets
epiglottis a flap of cartilage at the root of the tongue, which is depressed during swallowing to cover the opening of the windpipe.
esophagus the part of the alimentary canal that connects the throat to the stomach; the gullet.
gall bladder the small sac-shaped organ beneath the liver, in which bile is stored after secretion by the liver and before release into the intestine.
gastric juice a thin, clear, virtually colorless acidic fluid secreted by the stomach glands and active in promoting digestion.
hydrochloric acid (HCl) Acid secreted by the stomach to break down food.
insulin a hormone produced in the pancreas by the islets of Langerhans that regulates the amount of glucose in the blood. The lack of insulin causes a form of diabetes.
intestinal juice a fluid that is secreted in small quantity in the small intestine, is highly variable in constitution, and contains especially various enzymes
lacteals the lymphatic vessels of the small intestine that absorb digested fats.
large intestine (colon) The colon absorbs water from wastes
lipase a pancreatic enzyme that catalyzes the breakdown of fats to fatty acids and glycerol or other alcohols.
liver a large lobed glandular organ in the abdomen of vertebrates, involved in many metabolic processes.
maltase an enzyme, present in saliva and pancreatic juice, that catalyzes the breakdown of maltose and similar sugars to form glucose.
microvillus each of a large number of minute projections from the surface of some cells.
nuclease an enzyme that cleaves the chains of nucleotides in nucleic acids into smaller units.
pancreas a large gland behind the stomach that secretes digestive enzymes into the duodenum. Embedded in the pancreas are the islets of Langerhans, which secrete into the blood the hormones insulin and glucagon.
pancreatic amylase a digestive enzyme. It allows the digestion of starch and slow-burning carbohydrates.
pancreatic juice the clear alkaline digestive fluid secreted by the pancreas.
pepsin the chief digestive enzyme in the stomach, which breaks down proteins into polypeptides.
pepsinogen a substance that is secreted by the stomach wall and converted into the enzyme pepsin by gastric acid.
peptidase an enzyme that breaks down peptides into amino acids.
peristalsis the involuntary constriction and relaxation of the muscles of the intestine or another canal, creating wavelike movements that push the contents of the canal forward.
pH Shows how acidic or basic a chemical is where 7 is neutral.
pharynx the membrane-lined cavity behind the nose and mouth, connecting them to the esophagus.
physical digestion Physical digestion involves breaking food down into smaller pieces without making any chemical changes
protease an enzyme that breaks down proteins and peptides.
pyloric sphincter a band of smooth muscle at the junction between the pylorus of the stomach and the duodenum of the small intestine.
rectum the final section of the large intestine, terminating at the anus.
salivary amylase An amylase present in saliva that catalyzes the hydrolysis of starch into maltose and dextrin
salivary gland any of various glands that discharge a fluid secretion and especially saliva into the mouth
salivary juice/saliva watery liquid secreted into the mouth by glands, providing lubrication for chewing and swallowing, and aiding digestion.
small intestine the part of the intestine that runs between the stomach and the large intestine; the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum collectively.
sodium bicarbonate a soluble white powder used in fire extinguishers and effervescent drinks and as a leavening agent in baking.
stomach the internal organ in which the major part of the digestion of food occurs
swallowing cause or allow to pass down the throat
trypsin a digestive enzyme that breaks down proteins in the small intestine. It is secreted by the pancreas in an inactive form, trypsinogen.
villus any of numerous minute elongated projections set closely together on a surface, typically increasing its surface area for the absorption of substances, in particular
Created by: curquhar