The Stomach

The stomach plays a huge role in the digestive system of the body. Food can stay in the stomach for hours and while the food sits in the stomach, there are different enzymes that start breaking down the food.

The body helps to break down proteins and other substances that the body can use. The stomach can store up to four liters at a time.

Three Steps of Digestion

The stomach helps the digestion with three steps. It accepts a bolus of food from the esophagus. A bolus is just a tube of food.

The stomach then can churn the food to help it to break down. The stomach then makes chyme which is the food that is stored until it moves to the small intestine.


The stomach has a layer of cells that help to make gastric juice that helps to break down food.

Even though most people think that the stomach is the main part of the digestion, the main part of the stomach is really to hold the food while the good nutrients are being absorbed by the small intestine.

The stomach holds food for small amounts of time and the stomach then mixes the food with the digestive juices and releases them to the small intestine.

Regions of the Stomach

There are four regions of the stomach, the cardia, which is where the esophagus connects to the stomach and this is where the food passes.

The fundus which is a part of the stomach and is dome shaped, the pylorus which connects the stomach to the small intestine and the body which is the main part of the stomach.

The pylorus contains a pyloric antrum which is a wider part of the funnel and the narrow part is called the pylori canal.

The stomach is lined with a protective coating that helps to keep the stomach healthy.

Facts About the Stomach:

  • The stomach mixes food called a mixing wave, almost every 20 seconds.
  • The pylorus is a filter and only lets liquids and small foods pass through the stomach.
  • The fundus helps to break down food by using chemicals found in the body.
  • The stomach is completely emptied into the small intestine after 2-4 hours of eating.

What Did You Learn?

  • What does the stomach do with gastric juice? The stomach uses gastric juice and other factors to help break down food.
  • What is the main purpose of the stomach? The main purpose of the stomach is to store food as it is digested.
  • How many regions are there of the stomach? The stomach has four regions, the cardia, the fundus, the pylorus and the body.
  • How much can the stomach store at one time? The stomach can store up to four liters at a time. This is like storing four bottles of soda at one time.
  • How many hours does it take the food to completely leave the stomach? It takes approximately 2-4 hours for the food to completely leave the stomach into the small intestine.