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Small Intestine

The small intestine is a winding, tightly folded tube about 20 ft (6.1 m) long in adults. It is connected 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 raised tissues (villi). These raised tissues greatly increase the surface area of the intestine, which absorbs calories and nutrients from food.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerJerry S. Trier, MD - Gastroenterology
Last RevisedMay 29, 2012

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: May 29, 2012
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