Gut Facts


1. The average person produces two pints of saliva every day. This is equal to two cans of soda!

2. The amount of saliva you produce increases when you throw up to protect your teeth from the acid in you stomach that comes up with any food in your stomach.

3. The muscles in your esophagus act like a giant wave. This is what moves food and liquid down to your stomach. This wave action is known as peristalsis. The stomach, though, is not the center of digestion, but it does churn food and mixes it with gastric juices breaking up food bits and turning it into a thick paste called chyme.

4. The second part of your small intestine is called the jejunum. Try saying that fast, five times!

5. Enzymes in your digestive system are what separates food into different nutrients that your body needs.

6. The gut-brain axis is the close bond that exists between the digestive system and your brain. Emotions, including stress and brain disorders effect how your body digests food.

7. Your body can move your food through the digestive system even while you are standing on your head! It is not connected to gravity because it works with muscles.

8. You know that laundry detergents contain enzymes to remove stains in clothing. Some of those enzymes are the same as those found in your digestive system!

9. Your small intestine is about 22-23 feet long, while your large intestine (colon) is only about 5 feet in length. The small intestine is where most of the digestion and absorption of nutrients occurs and then passes them into the blood stream for your body to utilize. There are three parts to the small intestine: the first is the duodenum, the second is the jejunum, and the third section is the ileum.

10. Why does it smell unpleasant when you pass gas? That’s because it is produced by fermented bacteria and then mixed with air.

11. Stomach “growling” is called borborygmic and happens all the time, but it sounds louder when your stomach is empty and there is no food to muffle the sound.

12. Your stomach has the ability to stretch and hold up to four pounds of food at one time!!

13. Did you know aerobic exercise is the best type of exercise to keep your digestive tract in shape?

14. When you are born, you don’t have any healthy bacteria you system needs to digest food.

15. Gastric distress can be caused by only slightly more than one cup of a carbonated beverage.

16. Ever wonder why you burp? It is to release extra air you swallow if you eat too fast, drink carbonated beverages, or smoke.

17. Hiccups can be caused by a change in temperature that happens suddenly. The longest attack of constant hiccups lasted for 68 years!

© Lois Fink 2019