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October 22 • 03:11 PM
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The slimy science that is our stomachs



shadow
shadow
February 10, 2010
To break down the food I eat, I've been told my stomach makes lots of acid—acid that is strong enough to eat metal. If it could eat metal, why doesn't the acid eat my stomach?

Fair question, I figure. In a piece called Interior Design, Joanne De Jonge tackles that, among other questions, regarding the fantastic way the human body functions. According to De Jonge, the reason is that my stomach is slimy inside. That slime protects the walls from the acid.

Besides being slimy, my stomach is also stretchy. The organ, when it is empty, is the approximate size of a clenched fist, To accommodate full-size meals, it has extraordinary elasticity. If it didn't, I would have to eat tiny meals several times a day—not such a bad idea anyway.

Besides the interesting facts about the digestive system, Ms. De Jonge tells me I have 600,000,000 tiny air sacs inside my lungs. Stretched out, they could cover a tennis court. The air I breathe in can be hot or cold, dry or wet, but must always be body temperature with 75 to 80 percent moisture—adjusted inside my nose before it gets to my lungs. She also said that in the time it took me to read a short paragraph, my body would have made at least 4,000,000 new blood cells, a process which happens inside my bones.

Wow! There's more, but that's about what my brain can take in in one sitting.

Willene Tanis is a longtime resident of the Imlay City area and an active volunteer in the community. Many readers find her 'Perspectives' column to universal and uplifting.
Castle Creek
10 - 22 - 17
03:11
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