And how it interacts with organ systems!

Fun Facts about Homeostasis and the Digestive System

The digestive system and homeostasis of the human body are inextricably related because humans are ingestive heterotrophs, meaning that the body is required to have a mechanism by which to assimilate an outside source of nourishment. In order for the digestive system and homeostasis regulation to be successful, the essential nutrients of the foodstuffs eaten need to be refined and manipulated, and the “wear and tear” of the structure of the digestive system needs to be repaired and replenished when needed. In addition, every body system depends on the breakdown and assimilation of nutrients to repair, build, and maintain tissues. An abundance of chemical, mechanical, and enzymatic processes are responsible for digestive system homeostasis.Digestion is performed by the body as food moves through the body in a conveyer-like system of organs that break down the food into an acceptable fuel for the body’s cells. The process begins in the mouth when enzymes are first introduced via the saliva. One of the most auspicious connections between the digestive system and homeostasis is the maintenance of the potential of hydrogen (pH) balance in the digestive tract. Homeostasis in the digestive tract is achieved by the body’s ability to change the pH dramatically from the saliva, which is only slightly acidic, to a highly acidic gastric environment that breaks the food down rapidly and protects the body from bacteria and other pathogens. Even more dramatic is the pH change to a significantly basic environment in the small intestine, which is required for the enzymes specific to the intestine to function properly.nother relevant connection between the digestive system and homeostasis within the body is maintaining a hospitable atmosphere for helpful bacteria. Regulation of pH combined with other factors, like maintaining a balanced enzyme ratio, allows beneficial gut flora like acidophilus and bifidobacterium to help the body fight off less desirable bacterial colonies that could cause potentially life-threatening infection and disease. Helpful bacteria have the ability to break down some carcinogens and drug metabolites that have been shown to cause cancer, a disease that is propagated by the severe degradation of overall homeostatic status within the body. Helpful bacteria also produce vitamin K and other various biologic substances that the body is incapable of producing by itself.

Having a proper balance of enzymes, bacteria, and pH is considered by most health care professionals to be the principle connection between the digestive system and homeostasis. Patients who make lifestyle choices that promote these conditions are more likely to maintain a healthy body weight and be well-nourished. They are less likely to suffer from serious diseases, like cancer and diabetes, as well.

How food affects you

The food we eat gives our bodies the "information" and materials they need to function properly. If we don't get the right information, our metabolic processes suffer and our health declines.

If we get too much food, or food that gives our bodies the wrong instructions, we can become overweight, undernourished, and at risk for the development of diseases and conditions, such as arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease.

In short, what we eat is central to our health. Food acts as a medicine, to maintain, prevent and treat diseases.The nutrients in food give our bodies the information and materials they need to function properly. But our daily diets may not always be providing all the information our bodies need.

We all know that we need to get a basic balance of nutrients every day. But we may not be aware that the Standard American Diet (SAD) lacks nutrients. Moreover, some of our processed foods include chemically-altered fats and sugars that may be giving our bodies the wrong signals.