Gut vs Stomach
Gut and stomach are main parts of the digestive system of animals, and there are important differences between those structures. Despite the colloquial meaning of the gut being the entire alimentary tract, the intestine is the main meaning of the term.
This article reviews the characteristics of both gut and stomach separately and then presents a comparison between those for a better understanding. The main structural differences would be easily understood, but it needs some guidance to understand the functional differences between the two.
Additionally, the functional differences are very important to know as well as the structural distinctions of the gut and stomach.
What is Gut?
Gut or the intestine is the place where most of the nutrients and water being absorbed into the body through mesenteries. The small intestine and the large intestine are the two major parts of the gut, and the small intestine contains three major parts known as duodenum, jejunum, and ileum.
The small intestine absorbs mainly the nutrients of the digested food while the large intestine mainly absorbs water from food. Small intestine is the longest organ of the body, which is usually three times as the height of the particular person.
The microstructure of the gut is extremely adapted for the absorption of food with the presence of villi and mirovilli. These microstructures are small projections towards to inner lumen of the intestine, so that the surface area is large and that facilitates more absorption of nutrients from digested food.
The networks of capillaries absorb the nutrients through four main processes known as Active transport, Passive diffusion, Endocytosis, and Facilitative diffusion.
The duodenum performs two main functions including chemical digestion and absorption, but jejunum and ileum are mainly responsible for absorption. The vitamins, lipids, Irons, sugars, amino acids, and water are mainly absorbed in the gut.
What is Stomach?
Stomach is one of the main organs of the digestive system, and it is located inside the abdominal cavity. It is a muscular and hollow structure, and a vital part of the alimentary system. Stomach lies between oesophagus and duodenum of the alimentary tract.
It performs both mechanical and chemical digestion respectively via peristalsis and secretion of protein digesting enzymes. Stomach secretes strong acids as well, which helps for enzymatic digestion. The strong layer of muscles around the stomach helps the mechanical digestion of food through producing peristaltic movements.
Usually, the stomach is a J-shaped organ, but the shape varies drastically within species. The structure in ruminants is a great variation from all other species, as the rumen has four distinct chambers. However, the relative location of the stomach is the same in most of the animals.
The overall structure of the stomach is large, muscular, and hollow. The main functions of the stomach are chemical and mechanical digestion of food, in addition to absorption of nutrients from the digested food.