A Real Trip

Umm, this pizza is good, and the crust is especially chewy and crispy.I think I need a little more saliva from my salivary glands to help wash this down!Chew, chew, chew, now that’s better, little pieces are much better to digest than big pieces, and they float down the esophagus much better, too.What’s that I feel?It’s the chemical enzymes in my saliva, already acting on the chewed food to break it down before it begins the long journey through my body….what a trip!Oh, the enzymes cool my food too, so it doesn’t burn my stomach when it arrives.
After I chew my pizza, it travels down the esophagus, past the trap door (epiglottis) that makes sure my already digesting pizza doesn’t take a side trip to the lungs, and mixes with more enzymes as it flows down the tube to the stomach, otherwise known as the esophagus.It’s muscular, yet flexible, just like me…oh, I digress.As I swallow, the esophagus contracts, or undergoes peristalsis, moving the food right along to the stomach.I’m a big eater, and luckily, my stomach can hold up to two liters of food.Good thing, this is an extra-large pizza.There, my little molecule of crust, already converting into sugar by the amylase enzymes, and now, it mixes with the digestive enzyme called hydrochloric acid (HCL), or in the biz, “gastric juice.”Ow, that hurts!!!My little molecule begins to break up even further as the protein around it begins to digest and the stomach enzyme pepsin breaks the protein into amino acid.Pepsin only exists in the stomach because it needs acid to thrive, and it’s the only place where protein gets digested.So long pepperoni and cheese!Since I’m a starch turning into a sugar, it isn’t time for my journey into the bloodstream yet.Now, my little molecule becomes part of the chyme, the liquid form of food and acid that starts the journey through the intestines.The chyme, and the final product that comes out of my “other end,” retain my nor…

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