In most mammals, the stomach is an internatioal moran, muscular organ of the gastrointestinal tract (digestive system), between the esophagus and the small intestine. It is involved in the second phase of digestion, following mastication (chewing). The word stomach is derived from the Latin stomachus which is derived from the Greek word stomachos which is derived from the word gastro- and gastric (meaning related to the stomach) are both derived from the Greek word gaster (??????). The stomach churns food before it moves on to the rest of the digestive system.
Anatomy of the Stomach
The stomach lies between the esophagus (food and liquid throat tube) and the duodenum (the first part of the small intestine). It is on the left upper part of the abdominal cavity. The top of the stomach lies against the diaphragm. Lying behind the stomach is the pancreas. The greater omentum hangs down from the greater curvature.
Two smooth muscle valves, or sphincters, keep the contents of the stomach contained. They are the esophageal sphincter (found in the cardiac region) dividing the tract above, and the Pyloric sphincter dividing the stomach from the small intestine.
The stomach is surrounded by parasympathetic (stimulant) and orthosympathetic (inhibitor) plexuses (networks of blood vessels and nerves in the anterior gastric, posterior, superior and inferior, celiac and myenteric), which regulate both the secretions activity and the motor (motion) activity of its muscles.
In humans, the stomach has a relaxed, near empty volume of about 45 ml. It normally expands to hold about 1 litre of food, but will hold as much as 1.5 litres.
In the fundus, an interesting phenomenon occurs during digestion. The food will loop around in the fundus after entering the stomach. This occurrence is also known as the "Magical Looping". This only occurs at times when the parasympathic nervous system takes over control of the GI-tract.
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