Green Leafy Vegetable Dish in Gray Steel Bowl With Fork
Green Leafy Vegetable Dish in Gray Steel Bowl With Fork

With this process of peristalsis or those waves of contractions going through the stomach, so finally we can talk about how much food we can pack into the stomach during thanksgiving dinner or during whatever food binge we want to go on, yes need to mention we changed locations in the lab, i had to set up a little experiment that we’re going to conduct with this cadaver stomach in just one second, however i want to mention if you were to do some research on how much you could pack into the stomach, you’d get a wide range of data, there’s some literature that will say the stomach can hold up to six liters, that would be all of this these are all 500 milliliters, so two of these bottles would be one liter, all of this going like how am i gonna get that in there, that’s pretty remarkable to think about six liters but then you look at some other research and they’re saying maybe it’s more like two to four liters, okay, now if you look at medical physiology books, a lot of them will actually mention the stomach in its relaxed state could get about 0.8 to 1.5 liters of food in there, so if we compared that to the bottles, here’s just one liter and you know 1.5 liters would be three of those bottles again that still seems like a lot, i don’t think i could even get two of these into this stomach right here but we’re gonna try because i have two bottles each with about 500 milliliters in it and we’re going to try to actually put this in the cadaver stomach here, okay so let’s start with the first 500 milliliters, i’m going to go into the what’s left of the esophagus here and now i’ve put like this black band over here, this is the pyloric sphincter again, now we’ll let a little fluid through, so i wanted to clinch that down so we could actually get a better idea of how much fluid will stay in the stomach, now as i push the fluid in here, there’s a couple of things that would happen in a living body as food was pushed in like i’ve pushed some of this water in here, the stomach would sense that through some of the sensory neurons and it would send this reflex arc back through the vagus nerve to the brain and the brain would quickly send a signal back down to the smooth muscle of the stomach to actually tell it to relax a little bit so that the stomach can accommodate some more food, as i’m pushing more and more and more interiors you will see it start to expand here, i got to get some of the air bubbles out of the bottle, let’s do some more there, we will see the stomach expanding and stretching, there’s 500 milliliters right here so you see the stomach stretched here kind of cool, can we get more in there i don’t know, but we’re going to try so here’s the next 500 milliliters but let’s just look at this here, we’ve kind of distended the stomach here, this is only about 600 milliliters that we got into the stomach here, now again let’s talk about the limitations of this little experiment here, one is we didn’t get that reflex that would normally happen in the human body for when food initially came in and send that reflex signal back to the brain to kind of relax, the smooth muscle to allow food to come in now again on an average human, that’s about when it relaxes volume about 0.8 to 1.5 liters before you really start to push on the walls and start to stretch the stomach which is the next topic we have to address here. What if you’re one of those people that constantly eats past capacity? let’s say in that figure of 1.5 liters, let’s say you eat 2 liters of food, multiple meals a day for weeks on end, could that change the capacity of your stomach and the answer is yes, we know the stomach is one of the most distensible organs in the digestive tract and if you constantly put pressure on those walls, it’ll distend more and essentially what people refer to as stretch and therefore you can have a greater food capacity, so then what does that do to appetite and appetite suppression or that feeling of being full. Let’s talk about kind of the normal idea here, normally there’s a structure in the brain called the hypothalamus, the hypothalamus regulates appetite and it gets a lot of information from different sources, this area of the stomach or the nerves in the wall of the stomach that sends information about stretch and distension that sends a signal up to the brain that says okay that’s enough, i don’t need to eat anymore but then there’s also hormones that get released when food enters into the stomach and specifically the next part, the small intestine or the structure called the duodenum, there’s some hormones released one in particular called cholecystechnin or cholecystokinin and that hormone gets involved in a lot of different things, one of which is appetite suppression, now some people talk about okay so i’ve heard if you eat really really quickly, it takes a minute for your brain to kind of catch up and tell you you’re full, there’s some truth to that but it’s variable from person to person, one way you can kind of think about, it is a signal that can get sent relatively fast to the brain is in the wall of the stomach, just nerve impulses going right back to the brain but if we’re talking about that release of cholecystokinin which does other things just besides appetite suppression that doesn’t get released until food is entered into the duodenum so you could kind of think maybe that is contributing to the delay of feeling full because if you remember, we talked about food only being able to pass through the pyloric sphincter in about three milliliters so it takes a little bit of time for the food to make it into the duodenum and that might be some of the explanation for the delay in some people feeling full when they’re just scarfing down food as fast as they can.
So putting the finishing touches on this discussion, yes we can stretch our stomach temporarily with a couple of food binges like thanksgiving dinner, big parties with friends, so you know occasionally here and there have at it, the stomach’s going to go back to its regular size with the smooth muscle contractions. Our chronic eating or overeating past capacity will stretch that stomach out, it can also influence this whole idea of like when will i feel full, well if the stomach’s larger and you get that stretch of the wall later in the feeding, meaning it takes more volume to stretch the stomach, you’re going to be able to eat more without feeling that sensation of being full so being able to eat more without feeling full. Is that such a bad thing i guess that depends on what your goals are.

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