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When eating a ham and cheese sandwich, what are the steps taken with regard to digesting the sandwich?
Weegy: Before you even take a bite of ham and cheese sandwich , your nose smells it and signals the brain, which sends word to the nerves controlling your mouth's salivary (spit) glands. [ Once the glands have their cue, they get busy secreting juices, making your mouth water. When you bite into the sandwich, the salivary glands get even more excited and secrete more saliva, making the food moister and easier to swallow.Before the sandwich even leaves your mouth, an enzyme in your saliva called amylase begins to break down the carbohydrates in the bread. When you swallow, the sandwich pieces slide down your pharynx, also known as the throat. They then come to a fork in the road: One pathway is the esophagus, which leads to the stomach, and the other follows the trachea, which leads to the lungs. Of course, the correct path is through the esophagus, but sometimes food can take a careless detour. So when we say something went down the "wrong pipe," it means it went through the trachea, usually because you were breathing or laughing when you swallowed. Not to worry, this rarely happens - the act of swallowing closes the epiglottis, a flexible flap over the trachea. So the sandwich pieces will normally slide into the esophagus through the upper esophageal sphincter, a ring-shaped muscle that opens only when food is swallowed. Once the sandwich is in the esophagus, involuntary muscle contractions - or peristalses - push it toward the stomach. At the end of the esophagus, the lower esophageal sphincter lets the food into the stomach. It opens and then quickly closes to keep the food from escaping back into the esophagus. Ever had heartburn? This occurs when this sphincter isn't working properly and stomach acid manages to splash into the esophagus. If this happens chronically, you might have Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, or GERD. In the stomach, the food begins its preparation for the small intestine. Glands in the stomach secrete acid, enzymes and a mucous that ... (More)
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Expert Answered
Asked 9/6/2012 7:26:02 PM
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What role does HCL play with regard to protein digestion and bacteria?
Weegy: Hydrochloric acid (HCl) , which is strong enough to burn a hole through a carpet, is one of the stomach's secretions. It helps to soften food and kill any germs it may contain. [ The HCl in the stomach is so strong, in fact, that it would digest the stomach itself if it were not for another secretion: mucus. This thick, gooey liquid helps protect the delicate cells in the stomach's lining and also moistens food. The cells in the stomach's lining still wear out, however, and are constantly being replaced. The entire lining of the stomach is replaced every three days. The stomach also secretes a substance called pepsinogen. This secretion reacts with the strong HCl in the stomach to produce the protein-digesting enzyme pepsin. This enzyme separates proteins into intermediate products of digestion, called peptone and proteose. It accomplishes this depolymerization through a process known as hydrolysis Read more: ] (More)
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Expert Answered
Asked 9/6/2012 7:46:52 PM
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What are the roles of the small and large intestines?
Weegy: small intestine: where most food products are absorbed. helps to break down food, and absorbs nutrients into the bloodstream large intestine: absorbs water and processes waste material anus: excretes solid waste from the bod (More)
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Expert Answered
Updated 9/7/2012 4:42:56 AM
1 Answer/Comment
The small intestine is the primary site for the digestion and absorption of food. the large intestine mainly functions to absorb excess water and electrolytes from undigested food particles.

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Added 9/7/2012 4:42:56 AM
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