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Small Intestine


The small intestine is a winding, tightly folded tube about 20 ft (6 m) long in adults. It connects to the stomach on the top end and to the large intestine (colon) on the bottom end. Most of the food a person consumes is digested and absorbed in the small intestine. The lining of the small intestine has tiny, finger-shaped tissues (villi). These raised tissues greatly increase the surface area of the intestine, which absorbs calories and nutrients from food.

The small intestine consists of three parts. The first part, called the duodenum, connects to the stomach. The middle part is the jejunum. The third part, called the ileum, attaches to the colon.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerPeter J. Kahrilas, MD - Gastroenterology

Current as ofNovember 14, 2014

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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