Function of Large Intestine in Digestion

Digestion is a dynamic process in the body through which nutrients are obtained from the food. The complex forms of carbohydrates, fats and proteins are broken down into simpler components and transported into different parts of the body. The blood then absorbs the essential nutrients and supplies to all cells of the body. Each and every organ of digestive system has a role in digestion process. This article tells about the large intestine functions.

Large Intestine Structure

The large intestine is present in the lower right side of abdomen in human body. It starts where the small intestine ends. It has two parts namely cecum and colon. Cecum starts from ileum which is the end part of small intestine. Colon continues from cecum and rises up in the right side of abdomen. It is called transverse colon and this descends into the left side of abdomen as descending colon. This ends in the rectum followed by anus.

Large Intestine Function in Digestion

The small and large intestine although named same, their both functions differ. In large intestine, the breakdown of foods does not occur as the digestion process is completed in the small intestine itself.

  • The main function of large intestine is to

    absorb water and salts from the food

    . Thus fluid balance of blood is maintained in the body. The material that enters the large intestine is already digested completely and nutrients are also absorbed by the blood. In the large intestine, complete salts and water are absorbed until the waste material becomes more compact.

  • Another function of large intestine is to

    vitamin absorption

    . Most of the bacteria live in colon by deriving nutrients from colon. These bacteria produce vitamin K that helps in clotting processes. The bacteria also produce some gases that help in peristaltic movement of food. Hence, the bacteria are called friendly bacteria. This important bacteria are obtained by the colon through various foods and some antibiotics. The absence of this bacteria may result in diarrhea and constipation.

  • The third important function of large intestine is it

    stores the waste material

    until it gets eliminated from the anus.

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