Anatomy & Physiology Gastrointestinal #6
Which structure plays a role in digestion but is not housed in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract?
The rectum is not an accessory organ in the GI system as it is the last structure in the alimentary (i.e., GI) tract.
The pharynx, or throat, is a passageway through which fluids and food move from the mouth to the stomach via the esophagus. This structure is housed in the alimentary (i.e., GI) tract.
The gallbladder is an accessory organ in the digestive process. It is housed outside of the alimentary (i.e., GI) tract and is responsible for secretion and deposition of bile and digestive enzymes through the common bile duct to the duodenum of the small intestine.
- Small intestine
The small intestine is the primary organ of the alimentary (i.e., GI) tract that is involved in the absorption phase of the digestive process. The chyme received from the stomach is mostly absorbed here as usable minerals and nutrients, which are necessary to sustain optimal nutritional status.
Accessory organs are those that play a role in digestion but are not housed within the gastrointestinal (i.e., alimentary) tract.
There are several accessory organs that play a role in the digestive process. These organs are the gallbladder, liver, pancreas, tongue, and salivary glands. The gallbladder both secretes and deposits bile and digestive enzymes through the common bile duct to the duodenum of the small intestine.
Test Taking Tip
Consider the alimentary tract and the sequence in which food moves through the GI system to choose the correct answer choice for this question.