Functions of the small intestine. The small intestine is the part of the intestines where 90% of the digestion and absorption of food occurs, the other 10% taking place in the stomach and large intestine. The main function of the small intestine is absorption of nutrients and minerals from food.
The intestines are like very long sets of hollow tubes that are folded many times so they can fit inside the abdomen. They stretch from the stomach to the anus. Water and nutrients are mostly absorbed in the intestines (nutrients in small intestines and water in the large intestines). The intestines are consisted of 3 parts:
1. The small intestines
2. The large intestines
3. The rectum
The small intestine, also called the small bowels, is approximately 20 feet in length and 1 inch in diameter. It absorbs most of the nutrients from the chyme (the semi liquid form of food after it has been partially digested). A velvety tissue lines the small intestines and it can be divided into 3 parts:
1. The duodenum
2. The jejunum
3. The ileum
The large intestine, also called the colon or the large bowels, is in approximately 5 feet in length and 2 inches in diameter. The large intestines are the place where most of the water absorption happens. When the water is absorbed, it leaves behind an undigested part of the food, known as stool. When the stool enters the rectum the nerves in that area send impulses to the brain which make the urge to defecate.
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