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Hormones, Mechanical and Chemical Digestion, Exocrine and Endocrine Function

1. Define the role of hormones in the digestive tract.

2. Compare and contrast mechanical and chemical digestion.

3. Describe the exocrine and endocrine function of the pancreas.

Solution Preview

Hormones in the digestive tract modulate many functions, the basics of which control release of specific enzymes for digestion, satiety (how full we feel) and motility (movement of the gastrointestinal tract). Let's look at some examples, as there are too many for me to cover in full otherwise.

The hormone cholecystokinin (CCK), is released when proteins and fats are detected in the stomach. CCK release triggers the release of pancreatic enzymes into the small intestines. This is necessary because it is feasible for pancreatic enzymes to digest and damage the gut itself in the absence of anything else to release - hence their levels are heavily regulated, and their release is limited to when there is an abundance of materials to digest.

A second hormone, motilin, when released causes more gastrointestinal movement in order to aid mechanical digestion ...

Solution Summary

The expert examines hormones, mechanical and chemical digestion. The exocrine and endocrine functions are determined.