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Vitamin B-12

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DIGESTIVE SYSTEM: COLON, LIVER, GALLBLADDER AND PANCREAS
Large intestine or Colon
It takes twelve to fourteen hours for contents to make the circuit of the large intestine. Any material leaving the ileum and entering the cecum [where the small and large intestines join] is quite watery. Backflow is prevented at this junction by a muscular valve.
Very little is absorbed from the large intestine except water.
The colon is primarily a storage and dehydrating organ. Substances entering in a liquid state become semi-solid as water is absorbed.
The colon, in contrast to the germ-free stomach, is lavishly populated with bacteria, normal intestinal flora. A large part of the faeces is composed of bacteria, along with indigestible material, chiefly cellulose, and substances eliminated from the blood and shed from the intestinal walls.
Liver
The main storage organ for fat-soluble vitamins. The liver is the largest solid organ of the body and weighs about four pounds. It is an incomparable chemical plant. It can modify almost any chemical structure. It is a powerful detoxifying organ, breaking down a variety of toxic molecules and rendering them harmless. It is also a blood reservoir and a storage organ for vitamins such as A and D and for digested carbohydrate [glycogen], which is released to sustain blood sugar levels. It manufactures enzymes, cholesterol, proteins, vitamin A [from carotene], and blood coagulation factors.
One of the prime functions of the liver is to produce bile. Bile contains salts that promote efficient digestion of fats by detergent action, emulsifying fatty materials.
Gallbladder
Even the sight of food may empty the gallbladder.
This is a sack-like storage organ about three inches long. It holds bile, modifies it chemically, and concentrates it tenfold. The taste or sometimes even the sight of food may be sufficient to empty it out. Constituents of gallbladder fluids sometimes crystallize and form gallstones.
Pancreas
The pancreas provides the body’s most important enzymes. This gland is about six inches long, and is nestled into the curve of the duodenum. Its cell clusters secrete insulin, which accelerates the burning of sugar in the body. Insulin is secreted into the blood, not the digestive tract. The larger part of the pancreas manufactures and secretes pancreatic juice, which contains some of the body’s most important digestive enzymes – lipases, which split fats; proteases, which split protein; and amylases, which split starches.
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