- Large intestine
Name = Large intestine
Latin = intestinum crassum
GraySubject = 249
GrayPage = 1177
Caption = Front of abdomen, showing the large intestine, with the stomach and small intestine in dashed outline.
Caption2 = Front of abdomen, showing surface markings for liver (red), and the stomach and large intestine (blue).
inferior mesenteric lymph nodes
DorlandsPre = i_11
DorlandsSuf = 12456545
The large intestine is the last part of the
digestive system: the final stage of the alimentary canalin 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. [cite book
last = Maton
first = Anthea
coauthors = Jean Hopkins, Charles William McLaughlin, Susan Johnson, Maryanna Quon Warner, David LaHart, Jill D. Wright
title = Human Biology and Health
publisher = Prentice Hall
date = 1993
location = Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, USA
isbn = 0-13-981176-1]
The large intestine starts in the right
iliac regionof the pelvis, just at or below the right waist. Joined to the bottom end of the small intestine, it consists of the cecumand colon. The large intestine is about convert|1.5|m|ft| long, which is about one-fifth of the whole length of the intestinal canal.
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 and thus is responsible for passing along solid waste.
The large intestine differs most obviously from the
small intestinein 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.
vermiform appendixis attached to its posteromedial surface of the large intestine. It contains masses of lymphoid tissue. It is a part of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissuewhich gives the appendix an important role in immunityFact|date=October 2008. 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 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. Large intestine is different in a herbivore
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.
These bacteria also produce small amounts of
vitamins, especially vitamin Kand 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 antibioticsthat inhibit other species of bacteria as well as the disease-causing 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
The normal flora is also essential in the development of certain tissues, including the cecum and
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 colitisand colon cancer. Bifidobacteriaare also abundant, and are often described as 'friendly bacteria'.
mucuslayer protects the large intestine from attacks from colonic commensal bacteria. [cite journal
last = Stremmel
first = W
last2 = Merle
first2 = U
last3 = Zahn
first3 = A
last4 = Autschbach
first4 = F
last5 = Hinz
first5 = U
last6 = Ehehalt
first6 = R
title = Retarded release phosphatidylcholine benefits patients with chronic active ulcerative colitis
journal = Gut
volume = 54
pages = 966–971
date = 2005
url = http://gut.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/54/7/966
doi = 10.1136/gut.2004.052316
pmid = 15951544] This mucus layer is called the
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:
right colic flexure(hepatic)
left colic flexure(splenic)
sigmoid colon- the s shaped region of the large intestine
* [http://training.seer.cancer.gov/module_anatomy/unit10_3_dige_region4_intestine.html Overview and diagrams at seer.cancer.gov]
* [http://learning.mgccc.cc.ms.us/science/cat/sld021.htm Photo at mgccc.cc.ms.us]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.