Organs playing some role in digestion: the breaking down of food into smaller components that can be up-taken and used as source of energy or stucture.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

19
votes
1answer
22k views

Why is coffee a laxative?

How does caffeine (or any additional agents) act as a laxative when ingested? I'm interested in the metabolic/signaling pathway.
6
votes
3answers
170 views

Why are diabetic people often overweight?

I was looking at diabetes the other day, and I noticed something strange. Lower amounts of lipase are a symptom of diabetes, as is overweightness. However, since lipase is the enzyme that breaks down ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Do animals get sick from eating dirty food or eating off the floor?

Humans have very strict tradition of hygiene, such as washing hands before eating, using utensils, and in general keeping as much distance between food and dirt as possible. At the same time, most ...
3
votes
2answers
306 views

By what mechanism does coeliac disease cause excess fat in the feces?

Wikipedia states that “Severe coeliac disease leads to the characteristic symptoms of pale, loose and greasy stool (steatorrhoea)”. However thumbing through the causes and the pathophysiology it did ...
1
vote
1answer
564 views

Why do antacids have a special importance when taking lactulose?

“Before taking lactulose, tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially antacids, antibiotics including neomycin (Mycifradin), and other ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

What part of food gives the blood red color?

Roughly, what I know is, when we eat food it goes into our: Stomach > Small Intestine > Large Intestine > Rectum. So, it just moves through a digestive pipe. What I don't understand is, what part of ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Why do antibiotics have a special importance when taking lactulose?

“Before taking lactulose, tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially antacids, antibiotics including neomycin (Mycifradin), and other ...
2
votes
2answers
98 views

E. coli, risk of infection?

There has been a warning about E. coli contaminated water in South Florida. Now I'm wondering are there empirical data or historic cases which show a correlation between E.coli levels in tap water and ...
3
votes
1answer
113 views

Would non-human carnivores be able to survive on farmed foods?

Certain creatures that are considered carnivores are non-obligate carnivores and are technically omnivores (such as wolves/dogs). How different is the potential digestive ability of these species ...
2
votes
1answer
521 views

Can animals use the nitrogen in chitin to build proteins?

Fungi and insects contain chitin, which is about 6% nitrogen. Can an animal - like me - make use of this as a nitrogen source to build proteins? Are there any animals that can do this? Are there ...
2
votes
0answers
39 views

How is the appropriately-stratified gut microbiome acquired in organisms performing horizontal transmission?

I am studying horizontal transmission of primary symbionts in insect reproduction. This reminded me of an earlier question I had asked, in which I learned that humans analogously acquired their ...
1
vote
1answer
187 views

What is the energy balance of cooking?

If I cook some food, I get apparently several energetic advantages: thermal : the temperature of the food is closer or superior to the temperature of my body or internal organs, so I do not have to ...
2
votes
1answer
98 views

Colloids in digestion

I am looking for examples of colloids involved in digestion for a cross-curricular (bio-chem-physics) lesson plan. Although I have found references implicating colloids in both lipid and protein ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

What influences the timing of human bowel movements in the morning?

I'm trying to understand if the timing of human bowel movements in the morning is associated with the circadian rhythm, and can thus be used to make predictions about the circadian rhythm. What ...
6
votes
1answer
147 views

Cooking with sawdust

In a book about post-war Japan (Embracing Defeat, Dower) the author mentions a process for making sawdust at least partially edible, so it could be used in recipes in a 1:4 ratio with flour for ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Why Do Ruminants Require A Multi-Compartment Stomach To Digest Food?

Cows, camels, sheep, goats, etc being ruminants must chew their food repeatedly by regurgitating their food from their first stomach compartment and chewing their 'cud'. This then finer chewed ...
2
votes
1answer
368 views

Do foods with preservatives become less toxic in the gut?

Do foods with preservatives stay digestible for longer in the gut by not rotting as much (producing less toxins)?
6
votes
2answers
175 views

Do omnivore mammals vary food preferences based on dietary needs?

I'm wandering if mammals that can eat many different kinds of food (omnivores) vary their preference for food not only based on the availability, but also based on dietary needs? I'm looking at this ...
4
votes
2answers
61 views

Is there a circadian component to hunger?

I'm wondering what produces the feeling of hunger in humans. Checking Wikipedia revealed that leptin and ghrelin are two hormones involved. I've also read that the digestive system produces its own ...
8
votes
1answer
262 views

What are the biochemical processes occurring when food spoils?

Let's assume for a minute that microbes themselves and their direct toxic products (i.e. endotoxins) aren't toxic to humans. Let's also discount any innate immune responses the body mounts against the ...
3
votes
1answer
124 views

Where are -HCl supplements absorbed in the human digestive system?

I see that quite a lot of drugs and dietary supplements sold in the USA have -HCl(hydrochloride) added to their name. For example pyridoxine hydrochloride for Vitamin B6. I'm interested in knowing ...
4
votes
1answer
185 views

Negative feedback in the fructose metabolism in liver

What happens in liver when large amount of fructose is consumed? I vaguely remember my biochemistry lecturer telling us that the enzymes that process fructose in the liver does not have negative ...
11
votes
3answers
136 views

How do baby animals that primarily subsist on cellulose get their initial gut flora?

In the case of mammals like giraffes and koalas, is that bacteria common on the plants they eat so when a baby starts to try to stick something besides its mother's milk in its mouth, it can't digest ...
5
votes
1answer
192 views

What is an simple way to burn glucose for visible effect?

I want to make a partially working model of the digestive system that could digest complex carbohydrates. My ultimate goal is to be able to cut up some bread, put it into the model, operate it, and ...
2
votes
2answers
219 views

How might I break down bread into glucose in a model of the human digestive system?

I need to make a model of the digestive system. It would be really nice to actually show it in action, such as by breaking down bread into glucose or something similar. Is this feasible with a small ...
8
votes
1answer
138 views

Is it the sphincter that flexes when a human pushes a bowel movement?

Of course the sphincter muscle is at the exit point. To use a toothpaste tube analogy, if I want to squeeze out some toothpaste, it does me little to no good to jostle the nozzle; I need to squeeze ...
12
votes
2answers
181 views

Why is the microbial ecosystem of the gut so susceptible to disruption by pathogens?

From all accounts, it seems as if the Escherichia, Enterobacter, etc. that live and thrive in the human gut are pretty well entrenched. I know that these microbial populations are often analyzed as ...