Why Is The Small Intestine Coiled ?

Why Is The Small Intestine Coiled ?

The small intestine is a long coiled tube that is part of the digestive system. With a total length of approximately twenty to twenty-three feet, this organ is known to be the longest one in the digestive system. The entire length of the small intestine is distinguished into three sections namely; duodenum, jejunum and ileum.

The stomach and the small intestine are connected to each other at the duodenum. Once the food from the stomach goes into this region, it is processed with the aid of bile and pancreatic juices; thereby breaking down the carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Traveling through the jejunum, the digested food then reaches the ileum where the assimilation of the nutrients takes place. This section of the small intestine shows the presence of finger like projections called villi and microvilli that are connected to blood vessels. The nutrients are absorbed by these structures and transported to the other parts of the body via the blood stream.

Considering the fact that the small intestine is so long, had it not been coiled it would not be possible to have such a long organ within the digestive system. The length of the small intestine is what aids it in absorbing the nutrients well. Additionally, the presence of villi and microvilli assist in increasing the surface area of absorption further. The presence of these structures on the ileum provides a surface area of about 250 square yards, which would have been only 4 square yards in the absence of the villi and microvilli. This large a surface area is what enhances the efficiency of nutrient absorption within the small intestine.

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Why Is The Small Intestine Coiled ?