Digestion is the process of break down of complex food materials into simpler substances which can be absorbed by the blood and transported throughout the body. The digestion process releases energy which is utilized by the cells to carry out various life processes. The digestive tract is a long tube-like structure that starts with the mouth and ends in the large intestine. This tube is known as the alimentary canal.
The large intestine is wider and shorter than the small intestine. It is about 1.5 meters in length. It is a combination of the cecum, colon, rectum, and anal canal. The colon is the largest portion of the large intestine. It is divided into five sections:
- Ascending colon
- Transverse colon
- Descending colon
- Sigmoid colon
Also read: Human Digestive System
The rectum is the last section of the large intestine that holds the waste. The undigested and unabsorbed food from the small intestine passes into the large intestine. All the water from the undigested food is absorbed by the large intestine rendering the food in a semi-solid state. This semi-solid food is stored in the rectum for some time which is eliminated from the body in the form of faeces. This process of elimination of waste from the body is known as egestion or defecation.
Living without the Large Intestine
The large intestine can be removed from the body without affecting the digestion process. In a few diseases like inflammatory bowel disease, the large intestine can be removed completely. It is usually replaced by a faecal pouch from the small intestine sutured to the anus.
Also read: The Stomach
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