Merck Manual

Please confirm that you are not located inside the Russian Federation

Loading
Quick Facts

Large Intestine

By

The Manual's Editorial Staff

Last full review/revision Sep 2019| Content last modified Sep 2019
Click here for the Professional Version
Get the full details
Topic Resources

Your digestive system breaks food down into separate nutrients that fuel your body.

Your digestive tract (also called the gastrointestinal or GI tract) is the hollow tube that food goes through when you swallow it, digest it, and then pass the waste products as stool.

What is the large intestine?

The large intestine, also called the large bowel or colon, is part of your digestive tract. It connects your small intestine to your rectum. Your appendix is a small fingerlike tube attached to the first part of the large intestine. Your appendix can get infected and cause appendicitis.

Digested food is a liquid when it reaches your large intestine. The main job of your large intestine is to absorb most of the water and make solid stool.

Lots of bacteria live in the large intestine. These bacteria are necessary and helpful. They make some important substances, such as vitamin K. The bacteria in your large intestine can also make gas. However, other bacteria that can get into your large intestine can make you sick with gastroenteritis.

Locating the Large Intestine

Locating the Large Intestine
NOTE: This is the Consumer Version. DOCTORS: Click here for the Professional Version
Click here for the Professional Version
Others also read

Also of Interest

Videos

View All
The Small Intestine
Video
The Small Intestine
The Pancreas
Video
The Pancreas

SOCIAL MEDIA

test
iOS Android
iOS Android
iOS Android
TOP