Small Intestine Facts

Tuesday, May 2, 2017
The small intestine is an amazing organ that allows us to absorb almost 95% of the nutrients from the food we eat.
Enjoy these 20 facts about our small intestines.

  • The small intestine is a major site of digestion for us. After being converted into a soupy material in the stomach called chyme, our food moves into the small intestine. 
  • The small intestine is long. In fact it is roughly three times your height or roughly 18 feet in length.
  • It is divided into three sections. 
  • The top part is called the duodenum and is roughly a foot in length.The middle section is called the jejunum and it is 7 feet in length and the longest section is the ileum.
  • The small intestines carries out two main functions. It digests and absorbs
  • In order to digest the food in the intestines the gallbladder releases bile into the small intestine. The bile helps to break down fat.
  • In addition the pancreas secretes digestive enzymes into the intestines.
  • The duodenum is shaped like the letter “ C”
  • The walls of the small intestines have finger like projections called villi that help absorb nutrients that passes into the bloodstream. 
  • From the small intestine food passes to the large intestines where water is absorbed.
  • Food stays in the small intestine approximately 6 to 8 hours.
  • The small intestine is called the small intestine because it has a smaller diameter  than the large intestine.
  • The small intestine is lined with ridges and finger like projections called villi. The ridges and villi help increase the surface are of the small intestines.
  • Food moves through the small intestine by the contractions of smooth muscles called peristalsis.
  • The walls of the small intestines absorb nutrients and pass these into the bloodstream.
  • The innermost layer of the small intestines is the mucosa.
  • The small intestines is located between your stomach and the large intestines.
  • The small intestines has a diameter roughly equal to your middle finger.
  • The small intestines has bacteria that aids with digestion.
  • The muscles in the small intestines are controlled by the autonomic nervous system.


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