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Terramycin (Oxytetracycline)

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NUTRIENTS AND THEIR UTILIZATION: ABSORPTION
Absorption is the process whereby the nutrients released from food by digestion are transferred from the intestinal lumen into the blood and lymph circulation. The intestinal wall is lined with 4 to 5 million tiny fingerlike projections called villi. Each villus is a complex organ with a surface layer of epithelium over a layer of connective tissue (lamina propria) that is supplied with capillaries and lacteals. On the surface of each villus are 500 to 600 microvilli, also known as the brush border. Thus, the villi and microvilli give an immense surface area through which nutrients can be absorbed – an area comparable to the size of a third of a football field!
The nutrients are carried across the epithelial cell walls by several complex processes. Small particles such as glucose and some minerals can move from an area of greater concentration to one of lesser concentration by passive diffusion; this accounts for only a small part of absorption. Some nutrients must be attached to a carrier before they can be ferried across the cell membrane.
One of the most complex examples of a nutrient attached to a carrier is vitamin B12. This vitamin must be attached to a factor produced in the stomach known as intrinsic factor, but it is not absorbed until it reaches the ileum. Most of the nutrients must be “pumped” across the cell wall by active transport. This requires energy which is supplied by glucose in the cell.
From the lamina propria the fatty acids, some molecules of fat and fat-soluble vitamins enter the lacteals and enter into the lymph circulation. Glucose, amino acids, mineral salts, and water-soluble vitamins enter into the blood capillaries and are carried by the portal circulation to the liver.
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