Large Intestine

Digestion is the process of breaking down complex food materials into simpler substances which can be absorbed by 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.

Also Read: Difference between small intestine and large intestine

Large Intestine


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
  • Transverse
  • Descending
  • Sigmoid
  • Rectum

Also read: Human Digestive System

Egested Waste

The rectum is the last part, 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.

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Also read: The Stomach

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Frequently Asked Questions on Large intestine


What are the causes of colorectal cancer?

Colorectal cancer is linked to a low-fibre high-fat diet, sedentary lifestyle, alcohol and smoking.


What is the appendix?

The appendix is a vestigial organ attached to the large intestine. The inflammation of the appendix known as appendicitis requires the removal of the organ.


What is the cause of flatulence?

Flatulence is caused by swallowing air and eating foods that are difficult to digest. Some food like beans contain raffinose, and it is broken down by bacteria in the intestines and causes flatulence.

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