Large Intestine Function Overview

By priscilla
Reviewed: dr. stavarache
Article Sources Article Sources
  • 1. Quigley, Eamonn M M. 'Gut Bacteria in Health and Disease.' Gastroenterology & Hepatology, Millennium Medical Publishing, Sept. 2013,
  • 2. Rinninella, Emanuele, et al. 'What Is the Healthy Gut Microbiota Composition? A Changing Ecosystem across Age, Environment, Diet, and Diseases.' Microorganisms, MDPI, 10 Jan. 2019,
  • 3. Sender, Ron, et al. 'Revised Estimates for the Number of Human and Bacteria Cells in the Body.' PLoS Biology, Public Library of Science, 19 Aug. 2016,
  • 4. Hsiao, William W L, et al. 'The Microbes of the Intestine: an Introduction to Their Metabolic and Signaling Capabilities.' Endocrinology and Metabolism Clinics of North America, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Dec. 2008,
  • 5. Sears, Cynthia L. 'A Dynamic Partnership: Celebrating Our Gut Flora.' Anaerobe, Academic Press, 27 June 2005,
Medical Expert Medical Expert

Also known as the gut, the large intestine reabsorbs water from food that hasn't been digested and compacts it into solid waste, which the body removes through defecation. It starts in the right iliac region of the pelvis, located below or at the waist. The bottom part of the small intestine joins the gut at this point.

Attached to the large intestine is the appendix, which has no known use and may become inflamed. The surface of the colon has three bands of 0.2-inch wide longitudinal fibers known as taeniae coli, which start at the appendix base, extending from the cecum to the rectum.

Additional Structures in the Large Intestine

Attached to the cecum's inferior surface is the appendix. It contains the least amount of lymphoid tissue and is critical to a person's immunity. If infectious food materials become trapped in the lumen, appendicitis might occur. The appendix may then have to be removed. However, its removal has no identifiable consequence to the body.

Epiploic appendages, also known as appendices epiploicae, are located along the sides of the gut's taeniae. These appendages are fat-filled peritoneum. The large intestines' characteristic features are the sacculations, also known as haustra, which don't exist in the small intestines.

Large Intestine

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