Your digestive tract is composed of essentially a long hollow tube that extends from your mouth to anus and a few organs – the stomach, liver, gall bladder and pancreas. After you eat food, the chewed up particles pass into your stomach where digestive enzymes and hydrochloric acid begin the digestive process.
As the digested bolus of food passes out of the stomach, enzymes created from the pancreas act upon it. Some pancreatic enzymes help you digest fat; others help with carbohydrate digestion. The gall bladder also secretes its own digestive juices to digest fat and the liver does the same thing.
Your Digestive Tract is a Food Processing Plant
Nutrients are absorbed starting from your mouth and extending all the way down the digestive tract, with most of the nutrients absorbed before they arrive in the large intestine. The primary purpose of the digestive tract is to act as a food processing plant, carefully selecting all the nutrients out of the bolus and then allowing them to be sent via the circulation to the parts of your body that need them.
What Happens in Your GI Tract is Related to Your Bowel Movements
Your digestive system moves the food down through the intestinal tract with waves of motion called peristalsis. Generally when there’s enough food in a bolus, it will be enough to stimulate peristalsis. How many of these peristaltic waves you have is related to the number of bowel movements you have.
And the number of bowel movements you have in a day is related to your health. Less than two per day is considered constipation; more than 4 per day is considered diarrhea. How you process food is also related to your weight. Some health experts believe that the average person is carrying an extra 15 pounds of weight from stool stuck in the body!
Types of Digestive Supplements
Many problems can occur along the intestinal tract. If you eat a food that causes gas, the gas can slow down digestion, give you a ‘stomachache’, and eventually cause you to pass gas. However, foods shouldn’t be causing gas, bloating or other symptoms. Foods should be eaten and enjoyed and then digested properly.
When this happens, many people turn to vitamins and supplements for the digestive system. Herbal supplements also can be quite beneficial because herbs contain natural substances that decrease gas, bloating and other symptoms. Some digestive supplements help support this organ and assist in normalizing the bowel movement number each day.
This type of benefit can bring increased energy, clearer skin, and greater vitality and increase the feeling of wellness.
Often digestive supplements will provide enzymes and hydrochloric acid to assist your body in making sure it has everything it needs for the digestion process.
For example, when someone has food allergies, it usually means that the proteins in food are not digested properly and are leaking into the blood circulation. By increasing the enzymes and hydrochloric acid in the form of digestive supplements, then the food can be digested properly.
Another type of digestive system supplement is probiotics. These capsules are filled with anywhere from 1 billion to 30 billion colony units per capsule of bacteria that normally live in your intestine. These bacteria contribute to creating some vitamins, digesting food even more thoroughly, and giving the stool enough bulk to have easy bowel movements.
Your digestive system is now thought to be a big link to your immune system. Allowing it to function in its most optimal state can only help you stay healthy. Consider whether or not you may benefit from this type of supplement and give them a trial. It could be the missing link to your health in many ways.