Length of large intestine in an adult


Why does a person have such a long intestine?

Why does a person have such a long intestine?

Intestine is the department of the digestive system in most vertebrates. It follows directly behind the stomach. In the intestine, the final digestion of the food taken, the absorption of nutrients, and the removal (evacuation) of undigested substances are carried out. In some animals, the digestive tract consists only of this department. In this case, the length of the intestine depends on the type of animal, the characteristics of food used and age.

Herbivorous animals have a fairly long intestine. The blind and thick sections are well developed. The length of the large intestine in rodents can reach 53% of the total length of the entire intestine. Predators are much shorter. For example, a sheep has an intestine whose length exceeds the body length by 29-35 times, the boar in 14, the horse at 12, and the wolf at 6. The thick section is inhabited by a symbiotic microflora, which is most well developed in herbivores. The human intestine is the largest organ of the digestive system. It starts from the stomach and ends with the anal opening (anus). The food mass is advanced by means of peristalsis (wave-like contractions).

In the process of digestion, the microorganisms in the organ and its constituent microflora are involved. In this part of the digestive tract, not only digestion is carried out, but also the absorption of useful elements from food, the synthesis of individual hormones, and immune processes. In life, the length of the intestine in a person (adult) is about four meters. At the time of birth, it is about three meters, which is more than the height of a newborn on average six times. The length of the human intestine after death increases and is about seven to eight meters. This is due to relaxation of the muscles after death.

PublishedElena *. 30.04. at 0: 4


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Interesting facts about the human digestive system

DigestionIs a process in which large molecules of food are decomposed by enzymes into simple components that can be absorbed and absorbed by the body. In humans, digestion occurs in the digestive tract, which begins with the mouth and ends with an anus. The digestive system consists of organs that make possible the splitting of complex molecules in food into chemical components that are easily absorbed into the bloodstream.

The whole process of digestion can take from 24 to 72 hours!

In addition to the digestive system, there are many other organs that contribute to the digestive process. The process of digestion is not so simple and involves many steps. Let's find out more about the digestive system with a number of facts that illustrate how amazingly the human body functions.

  • Oral cavity
  • Pharynx
  • Esophagus
  • Stomach
  • Gallbladder
  • The liver
  • Pancreas
  • Small intestine
  • Large intestine
  • The rectum
  • Bottom hole

The organs of the digestive tract are hollow, and their internal walls are covered with a mucous membrane. The mucous membrane of the mouth, stomach and small intestine consists of glands that secrete digestive enzymes that promote digestion. The structure of these organs also includes a layer of smooth muscles that help to break down food particles. These muscles contract and promote food particles along the digestive tract. This process is calledperistalsis .

In addition to the hollow organs of the digestive tract, the digestive system includes two whole organs - the liver and pancreas. These organs are responsible for the secretion of digestive juices (for example, bile), which enter the intestine through small tubules called ducts.

The esophagus is a tube between the pharynx and the stomach. In an adult, the length of the esophagus is 25-35 cm, and the diameter is - cm.

Digestive juices, secreted by the liver, are stored in the gallbladder until there is a need in their presence in the small and large intestines. If the gallbladder is removed for any medical reason, a person can continue to lead a normal life, provided that he adheres to certain dietary restrictions.

In the process of digestion, food falling into the mouth cavity is chewed by the teeth and partially split by saliva. Then, partially digested food enters the stomach through the esophagus, where it is exposed to acid secretions.

StomachIs a muscular sac-shaped organ, which is the main organ of the digestive system. The structure of the walls of the stomach includes three layers of muscles.

Digestive juices produced by the stomach are acidic in nature. When chopped food gets into the stomach, the acidic environment of the stomach transforms it into chyme.

The stomach performs three main functions:it serves as a place where the swallowed food is placed, mixes food with digestive juices and removes digested food into the small intestine.

The function of the pancreas is to produce the hormone insulin, as well as the enzymes that contribute to the digestive process.

Digestive juices, secreted by the pancreas, contain enzymes that catalyze proteins, fats and carbohydrates, while the liver produces bile juice for digestion of fats.

The walls of the small intestine absorb useful nutrients, after which the blood transports them to other parts of the body.

The inner walls of the small intestine are covered with microscopic fingerlike structures, which are known as villi. They are released into the intestinal cavity and increase the effective surface of the small intestine by more than 500 times.

In contrast to the highly acidic environment of the stomach, the medium of the small intestine is of an alkaline nature.

AppendixIs a tubular structure that departs from the wall of the small intestine where the small intestine passes into the large intestine. This rudimentary organ, i.e. body that does not perform any functions. It is believed that the rudimentary organs lost their function in the process of evolution.

From the small intestine the remains of food fall into the large intestine, gradually transforming into stool masses.

In the rectum, moisture is extracted from the food residues, after which the feces are excreted through the anus.

The large intestine consists of three parts: the caecum, the colon and rectum.

Some amazing facts

The stomach of an adult can hold up to, liter of water!

In the large intestine of a person there can be up to 400 varieties of bacteria!

The liver is the second largest organ in the human body, the most purchased organ is the skin.

The human liver performs more than 500 different functions!

The volume of hydrochloric acid produced by the stomach per day, can reach 2 liters!

Salivary glands secrete approximately, a liter of saliva per day.

In the process of digestion, food is in the stomach for 2-3 hours.

One of the most little known functions of the oral cavity is the increase, as well as the lowering of the temperature of the human food to bring it closer to body temperature.

A man is born with more than 1, 00 taste buds! They are located on the tongue, in the throat and on the palate.

Cells that make up the gastric mucosa are constantly replaced with new ones, with a complete renewal of the mucosa occurring every 5-10 days!

The length of the wriggling small intestine is 6 meters. It absorbs 90% of all nutrients coming from food.

For a year a person eats an average of more than 500 kg of food!

By the age of 70, the number of enzymes produced by a person is about half that of a 20-year-old!

The liver is the only organ in the human body that is capable of complete independent recovery!

The average person takes about 6 hours to digest food with a high fat content. Food rich in carbohydrates, on the other hand, is digested for 2 hours.

About 11 liters of liquid, digestive juices and digested food circulate in the digestive system. Of this amount, only 100 milliliters is excreted in the form of waste.

So, these were some important facts about the human digestive system. It should be noted that an important role in the functioning of the digestive system is also played by the circulatory system and the nervous system. Digestion is the catabolic process of splitting complex substances in food into simpler nutrients that can easily be absorbed into the blood. The circulatory system delivers nutrients to various cells of the body for their nutrition and provide a source of energy. For a person to remain healthy and strong, the proper functioning of the digestive system is required.

Work of the intestine

The intestine includes several departments that go into each other:

  • duodenum;
  • lean and ileum;
  • cecum;
  • ascending transverse and descending colon;
  • sigmoid and rectum.

Being an integral part of the digestive tract, the intestine interacts very closely with all nearby organs.

How does the intestine work?

The bowel works by peristaltic contractions, which push its contents towards the anus. During this movement, the liquid or semiliquid contents of the intestine (chyme) are processed by intestinal juices and cleaved to the simplest compounds. They, in turn, are absorbed into the walls of the intestine and enter the blood. After that nutrients are spread over the human body.

The walls of the intestine consist of 4 layers:

  • mucous membrane;
  • submucosa;
  • muscular layer;
  • serous outer shell.

The above layers are a kind of conductor of valuable nutrients for the body.

Peristalsis of the intestine is very diverse. The contractions of the intestinal wall can be pendular, rhythmic, peristaltic and antiperistaltic. Peristaltic movements of the muscles contribute to thorough trituration, mixing, and also the promotion of the contents to the exit.


The average length of the duodenum is about 21-25 cm. It is in it occurs the splitting of fats, proteins and carbohydrates.

Small intestine

Behind the duodenum there are sections of the small intestine, the first of which is the jejunum, which gradually turns into the ileum. The total length of the departments is 5-7 m. It digests and absorbs useful substances. Energy exchange occurs through the transfer of nutrients through the walls of the intestine into the blood. In this process, special enzymes are released that break down food down to simple amino acids, fatty acids and glucose. Further, by absorption into the intestinal mucosa, the beneficial substances enter the body.

Between the thick and thin sections of the intestine is located the bauhinium valve - the muscular fold, which prevents the movement of feces from the large intestine back into the thin.


The main function of the large intestine is to suck in water, and also in the formation of dense feces for the subsequent excretion from the body. Also in this department continue to occur processes of digestion.

The large intestine is saturated with microorganisms, which are responsible for processing substances that can not be absorbed into the intestinal wall. Here live various lacto- and bifidobacteria, as well as some types of E. coli. Such bacteria are responsible for the health of the intestine and its microflora. With the decrease or disappearance of certain types of microorganisms, dysbacteriosis develops.

The thick department includes the following intestines:

  • blind;
  • ascending colonic;
  • right curvature of the colon;
  • transverse colon;
  • descending colonic;
  • sigmoid colon.

The large intestine is much shorter than the thin intestine, and is -2 m in length. In the diameter - 7-10 cm.


The appendix is ​​a vermiform appendage of the cecum. It is part of the large intestine and is located toward the bottom or up, toward the liver. This process carries out the function of storing the lymphoid tissues that make up the immune system. Here, useful bacteria accumulate the microflora of the large intestine.

The length of the appendix does not have standard values. It varies depending on the individual structure of the digestive tract. The length of an adult's appendix is ​​from 7 to 9 cm, and in diameter up to 1 cm.


The rectum should immediately follow the thick. It helps the calves to accumulate, form and out. The way out of this part of the intestine is in the region of the small pelvis and ends with the anus. The length of this part of the intestine is 13-23 cm, and in diameter cm.

Sources: http://pochemy.mirtesen.ru/blog/43254149476/Pochemu-u-cheloveka-takoy-dlinnyiy-kishechnik, http://www.vitaminov.net/rus-27600-0-0-25223.html, http://www.microlax.ru/poleznaja-informacija/statji/rabota-kishechnika


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