Anatomy & Physiology Gastrointestinal #7


Which large salivary gland produces saliva that begins the process of carbohydrate digestion?


  1. Parotid
    • Rationale:

      The pair of parotid glands, the largest of the salivary glands, function to produce saliva that begin the digestive process for carbohydrates.

  2. Thyroid
    • Rationale:

      While the thyroid is a gland, it is not a salivary gland which plays a role in the digestive process. The thyroid gland is a hormone gland that plays a major role in the development and growth of the human body in addition to metabolism.

  3. Sublingual
    • Rationale:

      While the sublingual gland produces saliva and aids in the process of carbohydrate digestion, this is not the gland that begins this process. In addition, the sublingual gland is not a large salivary gland when compared to the two parotid salivary glands.

  4. Submandibular
    • Rationale:

      The two submandibular salivary glands are bilateral glands located in the face. Their mixed mucous and serous secretions are important for the lubrication of food during mastication to aid in digestion and enable effective swallowing.


A gland is an organ in the human body that secretes chemical substances for bodily use or for discharge into the surroundings.


Learning Outcomes

There are three salivary glands, the parotid gland, the sublingual gland and the submandibular gland in the digestive system. The two parotid glands, the largest of the salivary glands, are present in front of both ears and on either side of the mouth. The parotid glands produce saliva that begins the digestive process for carbohydrates.

Test Taking Tip

Consider the function of each choice when choosing the correct answer for this question.

Video Rationale