The Small and Large Intestine

The small and large intestine are part of the digestive system and they play a huge role in the way food is digested.

Small Intestine

The small intestine is a hollow tube that is around 20 feet long. It starts at the stomach and ends at the large intestine.

The small intestine helps to break down food that the stomach stores. The small intestine has the job of helping the body to use the nutrients that are good for the body.

Parts of the Small Intestine

The small intestine has three parts the duodenum, the jejunum and the ileum.

Together with the esophagus, the large intestine and the stomach, the small intestine helps to absorb nutrients that are needed.

The small intestine is around 6-7 feet long and the walls of the small intestine are covered in small finger like tissues called villi.

The villi help to absorb nutrients from the small intestine.

Breakdown of Food and Nutrients

The food that is already chewed is then moved to the small intestine to be broken down a little bit further and then once it is completely broken down, the chemicals in the small intestine help to absorb the nutrients that are needed and get rid of the ones that are not.

Large Intestine

The large intestine is a place that undigested material flows through. The large intestine has the job of absorbing the water and helping to take the mixture and changing it into a soft but solid waste. This waste is called feces or stool.

Another name for the large intestine is the colon and this organ also helps to make sure that the body has the amount of fluids that it needs to stay healthy.

The large intestine also absorbs vitamins and helps to get break down food, such as fiber, that is harder to digest. The large intestine stores food before it turns it into waste.

Why is the Large Intestine Shorter than the Small Intestine?

The large intestine is called large because it is bigger around then the small intestine, but it is shorter. The large intestine helps to take out the salt and water from the solid waste before it is eliminated from the body

Facts About the Intestines:

  • Most of the digestion takes place in the small intestine.
  • The intestine helps to digest different foods such as carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
  • The large intestine helps to absorb water.
  • Other materials such as food particles that are not digestible and dead bacteria leave the body through the large intestine.
  • The large intestine rids the body form fat and mucus.
  • The large intestine is part of the removal process that scientists call elimination.

What Did You Learn?

  • Which intestine is longer? The small intestine is longer than the large intestine.
  • What is the primary job of the small intestine? The small intestine helps the body to absorb nutrients.
  • What is the job of the large intestine? The large intestine helps to move food along and store food that is being broken down. The large intestine also helps to eliminate solid waste.
  • Why is the large intestine called large if it is shorter than the small intestine? The large intestine is shorter but wider than the small intestine.
  • What is another name for the large intestine? Another name for the large intestine is the colon.