Late Digestion: The Large Intestine

Large Intestine Overview

The large intestine represents the terminal phase in digestion. Here, large amounts of water and salts are reabsorbed back into the blood, leaving only the familiar fecal matter. Unlike the fast-moving Chyme in the small intestine, this fecal matter moves slowly and contains much less nutrients and water. Chyme enter the large intestine via the sphincter, ileocecal valve, and continues into the cecum. From the cecum, fecal matter travels upward into the ascending colon, across the transverse colon, and down into the descending colon. The sigmoid colon (having a 'S' shape) is the last major portion of the large intestine. Here, this usually dry fecal matter terminates in the rectum to anal canal to anus pathway and then exits the body.
X-Ray Image from Thibodeau
X-Ray Image of the
Large Intestine