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Tufts OpenCourseware
Author: Diane McKay

Tufts OpenCourseWare
Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy
Foundations of Nutrition Science, Fall 2012
D. McKay


  • List the parts of the gastrointestinal (digestive) tract in order from the mouth to the colon.
  • List the organs that assist digestion, but are not part of the digestive tract.  Describe the function of each.
  • Compare the terms mechanical digestion and chemical digestion, and point out where these processes occur along the digestive tract.
  • List the secretions that break down carbohydrates during digestion.
  • List the secretions that break down fats during digestion.
  • List the secretions that break down proteins during digestion.
  • Describe the 4 ways in which nutrients can be absorbed into the cells lining the GI tract following their digestion.
  • Explain the role of the circulatory (blood) system vs. the lymphatic system in the transport of nutrients around the body following their absorption.
  • Identify the 4 major hormones that control digestion and absorption.
  • Describe the common digestive tract problems in humans. 

Required readings:

  • Whitney & Rolfes, Chapter 3, Digestion, Absorption, and Transport; Highlight 3
  • Transport of Nutrients (handout)