All about the small intestine

Friday, December 25, 2020

What has a length of roughly four times your height, is neatly packed into a small area and allows you to get the maximum amount of nutrition from what you eat?

If you answered the small intestines you are correct.

small intestines

The small intestines are coiled inside your abdomen and is found roughly behind your belly button. They are your longest organ at 22 or 23 feet or roughly 4 times your height.

Its job is to finish what your mouth and stomach started and that is to absorb nutrients from what you eat.

eating digestion small intestines

They are called small intestines because of the diameter compared to the large intestines.

Among the twists and turns of the small intestines are small hairlike tubes called villi and even smaller villi called microvilli. The villi help with absorption and greatly increase the surface area of the small intestines.


The small intestines are divided into three sections the duodenum (doo ow dee nuhm) the jejunum (juh ju num), and the ileum.

When the chyme from the stomach enters the small intestines from the stomach chemicals and mucus are released. The mucus helps counteract the acid of the stomach.

Next enzymes from the pancreas are released. Trypsin to digest proteins, lipase for fats, and amylase for carbohydrates.

In addition, bile which is produced in the liver and stored in the gallbladder is released to help with the breaking down of fat.

The chyme is moved along the small intestines by muscle contractions called peristalsis.


It takes this mixture 3 to 5 hours to pass through the small intestines.

As the mixture moves along pits within the small intestines secret water and salts that aid digestion.

The mixture of food, enzymes, water, and salt will move to the large intestines where the water will be absorbed.

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