Listen up… because this will 100 percent be on the TEAS. These four facts are a must for your TEAS Science digestion questions.
You don’t need to take my word for it. I recently chatted about this on Instagram, and one of the first comments was from a student who had *just* taken the TEAS.
And guess what? She had a question on exactly one of these facts.
So let’s jump right to the facts, plus give you some study tips for other possible TEAS Science digestion questions.
4 TEAS Science Digestion Facts to Know for Test Day
- The primary site of carbohydrate digestion is in the mouth.
- The primary site of protein digestion is in the stomach.
- The primary site of fat (lipid) digestion is in the duodenum, the first part of the small intestine.
- The primary site of nutrient absorption is in the jejunum, the second part of the small intestine.
The odds are SO strong that you’ll see one of these on your TEAS Science section. They are great to memorize right now, and they are also a great starting point for your prep.
Notice that we’re saying the primary or main site of digestion. Digestion of carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids happens in stages throughout the gastrointestinal system.
Digestion happens in stages.
For example, in the mouth, chewing is a type of mechanical digestion that works on carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids (fats and oils).
If you take a bite of sandwich, you don’t just chew the bread, after all! 🥪 You chew everything in the sandwich.
In addition to your teeth to chew, your mouth releases salivary lipase, an enzyme important for lipid digestion.
Well, salivary lipase doesn’t technically digest lipids. It helps hydrolyze lipids.
Before the body can digest lipids, the body has systems in place to mix these lipids with water. Salivary lipase starts this mixing process so that later enzymes can eventually digest the fat.
But, for the TEAS, the primary site of lipid digestion is the duodenum. There, lipase from the pancreas really begins to break down lipids so that the body can absorb the lipids.
As you can see, we’re already starting to get more complicated about what you’ll need to know for TEAS Science digestion questions.
When it comes to digestion on the TEAS, you can scaffold your studying.
Start with these four facts in mind, then build. These four facts are what you are most likely to see.
For example, you might remember from your college classes that both protein and carbohydrate digestion continue in the duodenum.
In the duodenum, brush border enzymes digest carbohydrates.
But if you have a TEAS Science digestion question about carbohydrates and you answer that carbohydrates are primarily digested in the small intestine, you would be wrong.
This is why it’s so important to know the primary sites.
You’ll also need to be able to trace the path of food through the gastrointestinal system.
In the non-primary sites, you’ll need to know the enzymes and hormones involved (chemical digestion), as well as any potential mechanical digestion.
Let’s make sure you know what digestion means for the TEAS.
Digestion is breaking down the molecular structure into smaller and smaller pieces. Digestion, for the TEAS, includes two big types.
1. Mechanical Digestion = chewing in the mouth and churning in the stomach
Mechanical digestion starts the digestion process. During mechanical digestion, chewing and mixing increase the surface area of food. Remember from your chemistry class how more surface area helps enzymes work?
That brings us to the second type of digestion.
2. Chemical Digestion = digestion with acids and enzymes
Chemical digestion is where the magic happens because it breaks down the large macromolecules into smaller molecules.
Once these large macromolecules are digested into smaller pieces, they are ready to be absorbed by the body.
Digestion happens in stages throughout the body, starting in the mouth and ending in the duodenum.
Mechanical digestion includes chewing (mouth) and churning (stomach). Chemical/enzymatic digestion happens in the mouth, stomach, and small intestine.
If you are looking for a quick review on digestion and the gastrointestinal intestine for TEAS Science, be sure to grab my premium Quizlet set.
And if you want a deep dive into all things TEAS, sign up for my Complete TEAS Prep online course.
This this online TEAS study program, you’ll get detailed lessons on the gastrointestinal system for the TEAS, a downloadable gastrointestinal system workbook, practice questions, and an audio review to set you up for success.
Kate is a CRLA certified tutor and test prep expert. She founded Prenursing Smarter in 2017. Kate lives in sunny Southern California and is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe (Mnikȟówožu Lakȟóta). Prenursing Smarter is an inclusive business and actively seeks opportunities to collaborate with and support diverse voices.