Digestion Part 4: The Large Intestine

 

The large intestine is the final opportunity for digestion to occur. The large intestine allows fibre and starch to be broken down, and extracts any remaining nutrients. In the last step in the digestive system, the large intestine pulls water from whatever remains and passes the solid remains into the rectum.

The large intestine contains bacteria that have colonized it throughout your lifetime. The bacteria either extract nutrition from the food, or prepare it to be deposited in the toilet. The bacteria play a crucial in releasing vitamin K and the B vitamins. In fact, vitamin K is almost exclusively produced by gut bacteria. These bacteria are collectively known as the gut microbiome. We will discuss the gut microbiome further in a later post.

In the following posts I’ll discuss some of the more topical issues in digestive health, most of which you’ve probably heard of.