View random article

What Is the Large Intestine?

The large intestine, also known as the large bowel, is almost at the end of the alimentary canal. It is almost one fifth of the intestine at 1.5 meters long or 4.9 feet. It is wider than the small intestine, has more goblet cells, has three bands of smooth muscles called taeniae coli and is lined by simple columnar epithelium tissues. Parts of the large intestine are the cecum, colon, rectum and the anal canal. The cecum joins the end of the small intestine and starts from the iliac region of the pelvis just below the region of the right waist. The colon goes up to the abdomen across the abdominal cavity and turns down to end in the rectum and the anus.

When food reaches the large intestine it is already broken down. The large intestine finishes the digestive process by absorbing water, electrolytes, vitamins like Vitamin K and Vitamin B12. This is also where the feces takes it solid form and then stored in the rectum for defecation by the anus. It takes about 32 hours for this process to finish.

The large intestine is also rich in bacteria. About 700 species of bacteria is present in the large intestine. The by products of these bacteria includes vitamins and fiber are absorbed by the large intestine and contributes to the general well being of the body. Antibiotics can adversely affect the presence of “friendly” bacteria in the large intestine that is why it is highly recommended by doctors to be cautious in the use of antibiotics in treatments.

Featured in Health