Hormones and the nervous system coordinate digestion and absorption. The presence of food, or the thought or smell of food, can cause a positive response from these systems. Factors that can inhibit digestion include stress, cold foods, and bacteria.
After foods are digested and nutrients are absorbed, they are transported to specific places throughout the body. Water-soluble nutrients leave the GI tract in the blood and travel via the portal vein, first to the liver and then to the heart. Unlike the vascular system for water-soluble nutrients, the lymphatic system has no pump for fat-soluble nutrients; instead, these nutrients eventually enter the vascular system, though they bypass the activity of the liver at first. see also Bioavailability; Eating Habits; Insulin; Nutrition.
Insel, Paul; Turner, Elaine; and Ross, Don (2004). Nutrition, 2nd edition. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett.
Wardlaw, Kessel (2002). Perspectives in Nutrition, 5th edition. Boston: McGraw-Hill.
Whitney, E. N., and Rolfes, S. R. Understanding Nutrition, 9th edition. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Was this article helpful?
Diabetes is a disease that affects the way your body uses food. Normally, your body converts sugars, starches and other foods into a form of sugar called glucose. Your body uses glucose for fuel. The cells receive the glucose through the bloodstream. They then use insulin a hormone made by the pancreas to absorb the glucose, convert it into energy, and either use it or store it for later use. Learn more...