Small intestine is the longest part of the human digestive system. It is located in between the stomach and the large intestine (also known as colon.
The length of the small intestine in adults is about 7 meters. It is about 2-3 cm in diameter.
Even though small intestine is longer than the large intestine, it
is smaller in diameter than the large intestine. That is why it is
referred to as small intestine.
Food moves through the small intestine due to the muscular wave like
contractions. This wave like contraction is called peristalsis.
Most of the food digestion and absorption of the nutrients happen in the small intestine. The nutrients that are digested in the small intestine are proteins, lipids (fats) and carbohydrates.
Most of the chemical digestion of foods takes place here. The digestive enzymes act on foods in the small intestine. These digestive enzymes are released into the small intestine by pancreas.
The digested food, that is, the nutrients from the digested foods are then absorbed into the blood vessels. Through blood vessels, these absorbed substances are carried to different organs of the body.
Healthy small intestine is important for having a healthy digestive system as it is responsible for the absorption of nutrients. There is a lot of blood flow to it.
There are many small intestine diseases or problems that can affect the digestive system health.
Small intestine cancer, bleeding, inflammation of small intestine, blockage or obstruction etc are some of the common problems.