You Wouldn’t Believe How Big Your Small Intestine Is

January 26, 2012 at 6:37 PM Leave a comment

It’s break time and here’s a fun fact that blew my mind:

Small Intestine

The small intestine is made up of three segments, which form a passage from your stomach (the opening between your stomach and small intestine is called the pylorus) to your large intestine:

  • Duodenum: This short section is the part of the small intestine that takes in semi-digested food from your stomach through the pylorus, and continues the digestion process. The duodenum also uses bile from your gallbladder, liver, and pancreas to help digest food.
  • Jejunum: The middle section of the small intestine carries food through rapidly, with wave-like muscle contractions, towards the ileum.
  • Ileum: This last section is the longest part of your small intestine. The ileum is where most of the nutrients from your food are absorbed before emptying into the large intestine.

[...]

How can the small intestine digest so much? Looking at the small intestine as a pipe, it seems hard to believe that an organ so narrow could do such a big job. However, looks can be deceiving. The absorptive surface area of the small intestine is actually about 250 square meters (almost 2,700 square feet) – the size of a tennis court!

That’s unimaginable.  But hey, who am I to question the people at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center?

Wow.  Just wow.

 

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Entry filed under: Break Time. Tags: .

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