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Your Large Intestine and digestion

Published: February 18, 2021

The large intestine
The large intestine

Waste not want not!

Your large intestine may be the location of the final stage of your digestive process, but this last stage of digestion requires a lot of activity.
Your large intestine is home to millions of bacteria which keep your gut healthy.
These bacteria produce nutrients for your body as a by product of bacterial fermentation of the non-digested food remants from your digestive process. 
Various other processes occur in your large intestinve as the liquified remnants of digestion are squeezed through the last 1.5 meters of your gastrointestinal tract.
The main functions of your large intestine are;

  • absorption of nutrients and water
  • re-absorption of nutrients and water
  • elimination of waste products and water

The cells of your large intestine are specialised, as are all the cells of your intestinal tract, so that the envirionment of your large intestine is suitable for the functions that are carried out there.

As with other sections of your gastrointestinal tract there is much more to your large intestine than merely a tube through which waste matter passes on its way to elimination.
Water and minerals are absorbed from liquified waste matter into your body while some minerals are secreted from your body into your gastrointestinal tract to maintain homeostasis within your body.
In addition to assisting in the fluid balance of your body your large intestine supports the synthesis of:

Although only about half the length of the small intestine, the tubular structure has a larger diameter than the small intestine.

The large intestine extends from your ileum (small intestine) on the right side of your body in the lower abdominal cavity and upwards on your right side to just below your diaphragm.
The muscular tube then crosses to the left side of your body and then descends toward your left hip where it joins your rectum.
Bacteria an aid to digestion
Bacteria an aid to digestion
The main functions of your large intestine are absorption, re-absorption and elimination of nutrients, water and waste.
During the process of elimination the large intestine mixes and moves the remnants of digestion toward your rectum where the waste products of digestion are eliminated from your body through your anus.
The large intestine also facilitates absorption of water, electrolytes, and a few...link to the full article to learn more.

Related Topics

Digestion  Minerals  Vitamins  Your Body 


Gropper, S.S., Smith, J.L. & Groff, J.L. (2005). Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism (4thEd.). Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth.
Whitney, E. & Rady Rolfes, S. (2005). Understanding Nutrition. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth