- 1. The process of making a digest. 2. The mechanical, chemical, and enzymatic process whereby ingested food is converted into material suitable for assimilation for synthesis of tissues or liberation of energy. [L. digestio. See digest]- gastric d. that part of d., chiefly of the proteins, carried on in the stomach by the enzymes of the gastric juice. SYN: peptic d..- intercellular d. d. in a cavity by means of secretions from the surrounding cells, such as occurs in the metazoa.- intestinal d. that part of d. carried on in the intestine; it affects all the foodstuffs: starches, fats, and proteins.- intracellular d. d. within the boundaries of a cell, such as occurs in the protozoa and in phagocytes.- pancreatic d. d. in the intestine by the enzymes of the pancreatic juice.- primary d. d. in the alimentary tract.- secondary d. the change in the chyle effected by the action of the cells of the body, whereby the final products of d. are assimilated in the process of metabolism.
* * *di·ges·tion dī-'jes(h)-chən, də- n the action, process, or power of digesting esp the process of making food absorbable by mechanically and enzymatically breaking it down into simpler chemical compounds in the alimentary canal
* * *n.the process in which ingested food is broken down in the alimentary canal into a form that can be absorbed and assimilated by the tissues of the body. Digestion includes mechanical processes, such as chewing, churning, and grinding food, as well as the chemical action of digestive enzymes and other substances (bile, acid, etc.). Chemical digestion begins in the mouth with the action of saliva on food, but most of it takes place in the stomach and small intestine, where the food is subjected to gastric juice, pancreatic juice, and succus entericus.
* * *di·ges·tion (di-jesґchən) [L. digestio, from dis- apart + gerere to carry] 1. the process or act of converting food into chemical substances that can be absorbed and assimilated. 2. the subjection of a body to prolonged heat and moisture, so as to disintegrate and soften it.
Medical dictionary. 2011.