Nursing pathophysiology

Describe the functions of the accessory organs of digestion in the digestive process.

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The Functions of The Accessory Organs of Digestion in The Digestive Process

The digestive process is a complex activity that involves several body organs for the breakdown of food into useful chemicals. The involved organs are known as accessory organs which their main function is to secrete or store substances that are needed for digestion (Chruscik et al., 2021). These accessory organs include the salivary glands, liver, gall bladder, and pancreas. Each one of these organs has a special function that aids in breaking down the food into useful chemicals and nutrients for the ingestion, digestion, and absorption in the body system, as well as secretion of the unwanted waste in the digestion process. To begin with, the saliva glands are responsible for the moistening of the food during the first stage of the digestion process. The saliva contains important enzymes and proteins that aid in the lubrication and chemical breakdown of the food (Sonjaya & Fadlurahman, 2019).

On the other hand, the liver functions as a bile producer, where the secretion of the bile juice into the small intestines assists in the absorption of fats through the emulsification process. Nevertheless, the liver works hand in hand with the gall bladder as it acts as the storage of the bile that is secreted by the liver. The main function of the gall bladder, therefore, is the storage and concentration of the excess bile that is secreted by the liver (Sonjaya & Fadlurahman, 2019). Finally, on the pancreas, the work of this accessory organ is to secrete bicarbonate and digestive enzymes that are crucial in aiding the digestive process within the duodenum area (Chruscik et al., 2021). The main function of the pancreatic juice produced by the pancreas is to buffer the stomach acids, as well as assist in breaking down the proteins, fats, and carbohydrates for absorption within the body system. Therefore, all these accessory organs have a crucial function in assisting the digestive process as required.


Chruscik, A., Kauter, K., Whiteside, E., Windus, L., & Open Textbook Library. (2021).

Fundamentals of Anatomy and Physiology.

Sonjaya, I., & Fadlurahman, R. (2019). Learning media for the human digestive system based on

augmented reality. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 1193(1) doi:


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