London, April 24 IANS | 6 months ago

For a common student, the area of the inner surface of the digestive tract is between 180 and 300 square metres. For scientists, it is actually as small as a studio apartment!


Debunking a long-held belief, which is part of reference works and textbooks, scientists at the Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg have used refined microscopic techniques that indicate a much smaller area.

"Actually, the inner surface of the gastro-intestinal tract is only as large as a normal studio apartment," scientist Lars Fandriks announced.

The digestive tract, which passes from the mouth through the esophagus and onwards through the intestines, has a length of about 5 metres in a normal adult, and is built up with many folds and protrusions.

Scientists Fandriks and Herbert Helander used quantitative microscopic techniques to determine that the surface area of the gastro-intestinal tract in healthy adults is "only" between 30 and 40 square metres.

By far, the greatest part of this is the small intestine.

The area of the large intestine is approximately 2 square metres, while the mouth, esophagus and stomach amount to less than 1 square metre.

It may appear to be simply a curious fact, but the "dimensions of the inner surface of the gastro-intestinal tract are important for the uptake of nutrients and drugs", the researchers emphasised.

The new information would help us understand how the mucous membrane protects the body from harmful factors in the intestinal contents, Fandriks added.

Since the past measurements were carried out either during post-mortems or during abdominal surgery, when the tissue is relaxed, it is easy to obtain misleading measurements, Helander noted.

According to them, the new dimensions are valid for a healthy "average" adult as the length and surface area of the digestive tract differs from person to person.

The article has been published in the Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology.

(Posted on 24-04-2014)

Share This Page:


Post your comments


Information on States of India:

Andaman Nicobar | Andhra Pradesh | Arunachal Pradesh | Assam | Bihar | Chandigarh | Chhattisgarh | Dadar Nagar Haveli | Daman Diu | Delhi | Goa | Gujarat | Haryana | Himachal Pradesh | Jammu Kashmir | Jharkhand | Karnataka | Kerala | Lakshadweep | Madhya Pradesh | Maharashtra | Manipur | Meghalaya | Mizoram | Nagaland | Orissa | Pondicherry | Punjab | Rajasthan | Sikkim | Tamil Nadu | Tripura | Uttar Pradesh | Uttaranchal | West Bengal

INDIA REGIONAL MAPS:

Andhra Pradesh Travel Map | Bihar Travel Map | Goa Travel Map | Gujarat Travel Map | Haryana Travel Map | Himachal Pradesh Map | Karnataka Travel Map | Kerala Travel Map | Maharashtra Travel Map | Punjab Travel Map | Rajasthan Travel Map | Sikkim Travel Map | Tamil Nadu Travel Map | Uttar Pradesh Travel Map | West Bengal Travel Map |

KERALA TRAVEL MAPS:

Alappuzha | Ernakulam | Idukki | Kannur | Kasaragod | Kollam | Kottayam | Kozhikode | Malappuram | Palakkad | Pathanamthitta | Thiruvananthapuram | Thrissur | Wayanad |

TRAVEL MAPS OF INDIA:

Airports of India | Districts of India | India Pilgrim Centers | Tourism Map of India | National Highways in India | India Railway Routes |

INDIA CITY MAPS:

Ahmadabad | Bangalore | Chennai | Coimbatore | Delhi | Hyderabad/Secunderabad | Kochi | Kolkata | Mumbai | Pondicherry | Pune | Surat |