58 Digestive Integration of Systems

In addition to serving as a nutritive input for all of the body systems, the digestive system interacts with all of the systems of the body.

Table 1: Body Systems, Support, and Benefits or Effects
Body System Digestive System Support Digestive System Benefits/Effects
Cardiovascular Provides nutrients for the formation of plasma protein and blood cells; the liver detoxifies blood, produces plasma proteins, and destroys old red blood cells; Hydration levels to help maintain blood pressure Blood vessels transport nutrients from the digestive system to other parts of body; blood supplies digestive organs
Endocrine Stomach and small intestine produce hormones Endocrine hormones help regulate secretion in digestive glands and accessory organs; insulin and glucagon control glucose storage in liver
Lymphatic Provides nutrients for lymphoid organs; stomach acidity blocks entry of pathogens Lacteals absorb fat; Peyer’s patches block entry of pathogens
Muscular Provides glucose for muscle action; liver metabolizes lactic acid buildup after muscle activity Smooth muscle contraction creates peristalsis; skeletal muscles support and protect abdominal organs; Skeletal muscles aid in swallowing and voluntary sphincter control
Nervous Provides nutrients for neurons Nerves innervate smooth muscles responsible for digestive tract movements
Reproductive Provides nutrients for reproductive organs and fetal development During pregnancy, digestive organs are crowded, causing heartburn and constipation
Respiratory Shared pharynx allows breathing through the mouth In lungs, gas exchange provides oxygen to, and excretes carbon dioxide from, the digestive tract via the vascular system.
Skeletal Provides calcium and other nutrients for bone growth and repair Bones protect and support digestive organs; hyoid bone helps deglutition
Integumentary Provides nutrients required by the skin, hair and nails The skin helps protect digestive organs and provides vitamin D for calcium absorption
Urinary Liver synthesizes urea; digestive system excretes bile pigments from liver Kidneys convert vitamin D to its active form, allowing calcium absorption; Urinary water loss influences water available for saliva formation and chime production


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