The alimentary tract is a major route for pathogenic microorganisms to enter the body. People with poor saliva production risk severe tooth decay. Infections of the esophagus are so unusual in normal people that their occurrence suggests immunodeficiency. The stomach is responsible for acid digestion of food, the small intestine for alkaline digestion and absorption of nutrients. Undigested material becomes feces in the large intestine.
■ What makes the surface area of the small intestine so large, when it is only 8 to 9 feet long?
■ What is the main function of the large intestine?
■ What might occur to the blood levels of a medication if another medication interferes with its degradation by the liver?
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