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Where does digestion start?

William B. Salt II., MD
Gastroenterology
The digestive process begins in the mouth. The salivary glands in the cheeks and under the tongue make digestive enzymes called amylase and lipase. Amylase breaks down starch and lipase breaks down fat. Although it appears to be a simple process, the act of swallowing is actually amazingly complex, involving the simultaneous coordination, contraction and relaxation of dozens of nerves and muscles. Swallowing delivers food to the esophagus through the upper esophageal sphincter.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome & the MindBodySpirit Connection: 7 Steps for Living a Healthy Life with a Functional Bowel Disorder, Crohn's Disease, or Colitis (Mind-Body-Spirit Connection Series.)

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Irritable Bowel Syndrome & the MindBodySpirit Connection: 7 Steps for Living a Healthy Life with a Functional Bowel Disorder, Crohn's Disease, or Colitis (Mind-Body-Spirit Connection Series.)

Fast Facts on IBS: One in five people suffers from the frustrating symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). There is no simple answer--no pill, potion, or quick fix--that will cure IBS. But help...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.