Q:

What is the main function of the large intestine?

A:

Quick Answer

The main function of the large intestine is to absorb water and remove solid waste from the body. The organ takes approximately 16 hours to complete the digestion of food. This organ is the last part of the digestive system and stretches from the ileocecal valve to the anus.

Continue Reading
What is the main function of the large intestine?
Credit: Richard Clark E+ Getty Images

Full Answer

The large intestine is made up of the ascending colon, transverse colon, descending colon, sigmoid colon, rectum and anal canal. The beginning of the large intestine, or the iliac region, is just below the waist. The organ joins to the end of the small intestine at this point, then actually travels up the abdomen cavity before turning to cross the entire cavity just below the stomach. Once it crosses the cavity, it drops back down the length of the abdomen, reaching all the way to the anal canal and anus. Even though it is called the large intestine, it is shorter in length than the small intestine, which varies between 22 feet 8 inches in men and 23 feet 4 inches in women. The large intestine is almost 5 feet long, which is only around one-fifth of the digestive systems entire length. While food travels this length, not only does the large intestine remove water, but it also removes any remaining usable nutrients. It also absorbs the vitamin K created by the colonic bacteria.

Learn more about Organs

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the function of the pyloric valve?

    A:

    The primary function of the pyloric valve is to impede undigested or large food particles from entering the intestine. It is a cone-shaped valve that connects the end of the stomach to the start of the small intestine.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the job of the large intestine?

    A:

    The large intestine is primarily responsible for absorbing water and electrolytes from digestive residue. It also stores fecal matter until it is passed. Digestion is completed in the upper half of the large intestine, and bacteria in the large intestine produce vitamin K and B vitamins.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the main function of the heart?

    A:

    The main function of the heart is to pump blood to the lungs to be saturated with oxygen, and then pump it out into the body to supply the cells with oxygen. The heart, along with the blood vessels, make up the cardiovascular system.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the purpose of the lymphatic system?

    A:

    The lymphatic system maintains immune function and fluid pressure throughout the body, as well as draining off waste and aiding in the digestion of fat. The multi-faceted functions of the lymphatic system make it almost as vital to health as the cardiovascular system it parallels and supports.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore