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Encyclopedia > Large intestine
Large intestine
Front of abdomen, showing the large intestine, with the stomach and small intestine in dashed outline.
Front of abdomen, showing surface markings for liver (red), and the stomach and large intestine (blue).
Latin intestinum crassum
Gray's subject #249 1177
Lymph inferior mesenteric lymph nodes
Dorlands/Elsevier i_11/12456545

The large intestine is the last part of the digestive system: the final stage of the alimentary canal in vertebrate animals. Its function is to absorb the remaining water from indigestible food matter, as well as store the useless nutrients and wastes and flush them from the body.[1] Diagram of the Human Intestine. ... Image File history File links Gray1223. ... For other uses, see Latins and Latin (disambiguation). ... In mammals including humans, the lymphatic vessels (or lymphatics) are a network of thin tubes that branch, like blood vessels, into tissues throughout the body. ... The inferior mesenteric glands consist of: (a) small glands on the branches of the left colic and sigmoid arteries (b) a group in the sigmoid mesocolon, around the superior hemorrhoidal artery (c) a pararectal group in contact with the muscular coat of the rectum They drain the descending iliac and... Elseviers logo. ... what was here was sick and improperly spelled. ... For the Physics term GUT, please refer to Grand unification theory The gastrointestinal or digestive tract, also referred to as the GI tract or the alimentary canal or the gut, is the system of organs within multicellular animals which takes in food, digests it to extract energy and nutrients, and... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... For other uses, see Animal (disambiguation). ...

The large intestine starts in the right iliac region of the pelvis, just at or below the right waist. Joined to the bottom end of the small intestine, it consists of the cecum and colon. The large intestine is about 1.5 meters long, which is about one-fifth of the whole length of the intestinal canal. In anatomy of the digestive system, the ileum (not to be confused with the ilium, a pelvic bone), is the final section of the small intestine. ... The pelvis (pl. ... In biology the small intestine is the part of the gastrointestinal tract (gut) between the stomach and the large intestine and comprises the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum. ... The cecum or caecum (from the Latin caecus meaning blind) is a pouch connected to the ascending colon of the large intestine and the ileum. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Large intestine. ... In anatomy, the intestine is the segment of the alimentary canal extending from the stomach to the anus and, in humans and other mammals, consists of two segments, the small intestine and the large intestine. ...


Function and relation to other organs

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. It is also responsible for passing along solid waste.

The large intestine differs most obviously from the small intestine in being wider and in showing the longitudinal layer of the muscularis have been reduced to 3 strap-like structures known as the taeniae coli. The wall of the large intestine is lined with simple columnar epithelium. Instead of having the evaginations of the small intestine (villi) the large intestine has invaginations (the intestinal glands). While both the small intestine and the large intestine have goblet cells, they are abundant in the large intestine. In biology the small intestine is the part of the gastrointestinal tract (gut) between the stomach and the large intestine and comprises the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum. ... The taeniae coli are three separate longitudinal ribbons of smooth muscle on the outside of the ascending, transverse, descending and sigmoid colons. ...

The vermiform appendix is attached to its posteromedial surface of the large intestine. It contains masses of lymphoid tissue. It is a part of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue which gives the appendix an important role in immunity. Appendicitis is the result of a blockage that traps infectious material in the lumen. The appendix can be removed with no damage or consequence to the patient. The mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) is the diffuse system of small concentrations of lymphoid tissue found in various sites of the body such as the gastrointestinal tract, thyroid, breast, lung, salivary glands, eye, and skin. ...

The large intestine extends from the ileocecal junction to the anus and is about 1.5m long. On the surface, bands of longitudinal muscle fibers called taeniae coli, each about 5mm wide, can be identified. There are three bands and they start at the base of the appendix and extend from the cecum to the rectum. Along the sides of the taeniae, tags of peritoneum filled with fat, called epiploic appendages (or appendices epiploicae) are found. The sacculations, called haustra, are characteristic features of the large intestine, and distinguish it from the rest of the intestinal.

Bacterial flora

Intestine for sausage making
Intestine for sausage making

The large intestine houses over 700 species of bacteria that perform a variety of functions.

The large intestine absorbs some of the products formed by the bacteria inhabiting this region. Undigested polysaccharides (fiber) are metabolized to short-chain fatty acids by bacteria in the large intestine and absorbed by passive diffusion. The bicarbonate the large intestine secretes helps to neutralise the increased acidity resulting from the formation of these fatty acids. Polysaccharides (sometimes called glycans) are relatively complex carbohydrates. ...

These bacteria also produce small amounts of vitamins, especially vitamin K and Biotin (a B vitamin), for absorption into the blood. Although this source of vitamins generally provides only a small part of the daily requirement, it makes a significant contribution when dietary vitamin intake is low. An individual who depends on absorption of vitamins formed by bacteria in the large intestine may become vitamin deficient if treated with antibiotics that inhibit other species of bacteria as well as the disease-causing bacteria. Retinol (Vitamin A) Vitamins are nutrients required in very small amounts for essential metabolic reactions in the body [1]. The term vitamin does not encompass other essential nutrients such as dietary minerals, essential fatty acids, or essential amino acids. ... Vitamin K1 (phylloquinone). ... Vitamin B is a complex of several vitamins. ... An antibiotic is a drug that kills or slows the growth of bacteria. ...

Other bacterial products include gas (flatus), which is a mixture of nitrogen and carbon dioxide, with small amounts of the gases hydrogen, methane, and hydrogen sulphide. Bacterial fermentation of undigested polysaccharides produces these. Polysaccharides (sometimes called glycans) are relatively complex carbohydrates. ...

The normal flora is also essential in the development of certain tissues, including the cecum and lymphatics. Lymph originates as blood plasma lost from the circulatory system, which leaks out into the surrounding tissues. ...

They are also involved in the production of cross-reactive antibodies. These are antibodies produced by the immune system against the normal flora, that are also effective against related pathogens, thereby preventing infection or invasion.

The most prevalent bacteria are the bacteroides, which have been implicated in the initiation of colitis and colon cancer. Bifidobacteria are also abundant, and are often described as 'friendly bacteria'. Species etc. ... Colitis is a digestive disease characterized by inflammation of the colon. ... Diagram of the stomach, colon, and rectum Colorectal cancer includes cancerous growths in the colon, rectum and appendix. ... A bacterial group (and probiotic) that is perceived to exert health-promoting properties within humans, specifically the colon. ...

A mucus layer protects the large intestine from attacks from colonic commensal bacteria.[2] This mucus layer is called the mucosal barrier. Mucus cells. ...

Parts and location

Parts of the large intestine are:

  • Cecum - the first part of the large intestine
  • Taeniae coli - three bands of smooth muscle
  • Haustra - bulges caused by contraction of taeniae coli
  • Epiploic appendages - small fat accumulations on the viscera

Locations along the colon are: The cecum or caecum (from the Latin caecus meaning blind) is a pouch connected to the ascending colon of the large intestine and the ileum. ... The taeniae coli are three separate longitudinal ribbons of smooth muscle on the outside of the ascending, transverse, descending and sigmoid colons. ... The haustra of the colon are the small pouches caused by sacculation, which give the colon its segmented appearance. ... The epiploic appendices (or epiploic appendages) are small pouches of the peritoneum filled with fat and situated along the colon and upper part of the rectum. ...

In anatomy of the digestive system, the colon or large intestine or large bowel is the part of the intestine from the cecum to the rectum. ... A colic flexure is a flexure (a bend) in the colon. ... In anatomy of the digestive system, the colon is the part of the intestine from the cecum to the rectum. ... The transverse mesocolon is a broad, meso-fold of peritoneum, which connects the transverse colon to the posterior wall of the abdomen. ... A colic flexure is a flexure (a bend) in the colon. ... The Descending Colon passes downward through the left hypochondriac and lumbar regions along the lateral border of the left kidney. ... The sigmoid colon is the part of the large intestine after the descending colon and before the rectum. ...

Additional images


  1. ^ Maton, Anthea; Jean Hopkins, Charles William McLaughlin, Susan Johnson, Maryanna Quon Warner, David LaHart, Jill D. Wright (1993). Human Biology and Health. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, USA: Prentice Hall. ISBN 0-13-981176-1. 
  2. ^ Stremmel, W (2005). "Retarded release phosphatidylcholine benefits patients with chronic active ulcerative colitis". Gut 54: 966-971. 

External links

Look up Large intestine in
Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

This article was originally based on an entry from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy. As such, some of the information contained herein may be outdated. Please edit the article if this is the case, and feel free to remove this notice when it is no longer relevant. Wiktionary (a portmanteau of wiki and dictionary) is a multilingual, Web-based project to create a free content dictionary, available in over 151 languages. ... The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy (often referred to simply as The Merck Manual) is one of the worlds most widely used medical textbooks. ... Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) is a huge controlled vocabulary (or metadata system) for the purpose of indexing journal articles and books in the life sciences. ... The public domain comprises the body of all creative works and other knowledge—writing, artwork, music, science, inventions, and others—in which no person or organization has any proprietary interest. ... An illustration from the 1918 edition Henry Grays Anatomy of the Human Body (or Grays Anatomy as it has more commonly become known) is an anatomy textbook widely regarded as a classic work on human anatomy. ...

This article is about the bodily orifice. ... The Sphincter ani internus muscle is a muscle of the human body. ... The Sphincter ani externus muscle is a muscle of the human body. ... Overview About 70% of the bodys immune system is found in the digestive tract. ... Peyers patches are secondary lymphoid organs, named after the 17th-century Swiss anatomist Johann Conrad Peyer. ... M cells (or Microfold cells) are cells found in the follicle-associated epithelium of the Peyers patch that have the unique ability to sample antigen from the lumen of the small intestine and deliver it via transcytosis to antigen presenting cells and lymphocytes located in a unique pocket-like...

  Results from FactBites:
Intestine - MSN Encarta (471 words)
The middle part of the small intestine, extending from the duodenum to the ileum, is called the jejunum, and the terminal portion is the ileum, which leads into the side of the first part of the large intestine, the cecum.
The large intestine is divided into the cecum, ascending colon, transverse colon, descending colon, sigmoid colon, and rectum.
The sigmoid colon is the S-shaped portion of the large intestine as it enters the pelvic cavity.
Intestine, Large: Encyclopedia of Nursing & Allied Health (1776 words)
The large intestine has a rich bacterial life that produces a wide variety of enzymes capable of fermenting many of the nutrient molecules that would oth erwise not be absorbed.
Following the ingestion of food, large intestinal motility increases significantly, triggered by the duodenocolic reflex, which is stimulated by the presence of fat in the small intestine.
The importance of the large intestine in human health is mostly derived from its role in removing water from food residues and transporting it into the bloodstream.
  More results at FactBites »



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