How Absorption Works – Infographic


The beneficial nutrients like vitamins in food are absorbed through processing in the digestive system. The digestive system is a network of organs, bacteria, digestive enzymes, and more. 

Here are more detailed descriptions of food absorption:

  • Mouth: Food in the mouth is chewed into smaller chunks for digestion. Carbs are acted on by amylase. The result of this action is maltose. The processed food is pushed down the esophagus. 
  • Duodenum: Maltose is a disaccharide. This disaccharide is acted upon by maltase, lactase, and sucrose to form a monosaccharide. The produced monosaccharide is carried into the blood for distribution to individual cells that burn the monosaccharide for energy. 
  • Stomach: Here, protein is reduced to amino acids. These amino acids are carried into the blood via the small intestine. 
  • Lipids: Emulsification is the breakdown of lipids into monoglycerides and fatty acids through the action of bile salts. 
  • Monoglycerides and Fatty Acids: They are carried into cells in the small intestine. This is done via micelles. After exiting micelles, they are jointly processed into chylomicrons that move into the blood. 

Fat-Soluble Vitamins: They are subjected to similar processing as the lipids.

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