Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Large Intestine

The large intestine is the last part of the digestive system. Its function is to absorb water from the remaining indigestible food matter, and then to pass this useless waste material from the body. It consists of the cecum and colon. The large intestine begins in the right iliac region of the pelvis, just at the right waist, where it is joined to the bottom end of the small intestine. From here it continues up the abdomen, then across the width of the abdominal cavity, and then it turns down, continuing to its endpoint at the anus. It is about 4.9 ft long, that is to say one-fifth of the whole length of the intestinal canal.

The large intestine takes 12–25 hours to finish up the remaining processes of the digestive system. Food is not broken down any further in this stage of digestion. The large intestine simply absorbs vitamins that are created by the bacteria inhabiting the colon. It is also very important in absorbing water and compacting the feces. It also stores fecal matter in the rectum until eliminated through the anus and thus is responsible for passing along solid waste.