In this article of small intestine we will learn about the very crucial part of our digestive system. That’s the place from where most of the nutrients in the food we consume enter our blood stream and is then circulated all over the body. There isn’t much we can do to take care of our small intestine from outside but the food we eat is vital for its well-being. Now, without wasting time, let us take a look at 30 amazing small intestine facts. We are sure you will be amazed.
Interesting Small Intestine Facts: 1-10
1. There are three parts of the small intestine. These three parts are ileum, jejunum and duodenum.
2. Most interesting of small intestine facts is that it is so named not because it is small in size but because it has a small width.
3. If we consider the length of the small intestine, it is actually massive. The small intestine is 6 meters long, which is about 20 feet!
4. This whole length is tightly folded inside the abdominal cavity and connects to the large intestine.
5. Of the three parts of the small intestine, the duodenum is actually the first part. The last part is the ileum which connects with large intestine.
6. The first part, that is the duodenum connects to the stomach. The food from the stomach first enters the duodenum.
7. The food from the stomach enters the duodenum through an opening which is known as pyloric sphincter.
8. Once inside the duodenum, the food them moves through the small intestine through a wave-like movement or contraction or narrowing of the muscles. This movement is known as peristalsis.
9. As we said earlier, the majority of the food we eat is actually digested in our small intestine. Very small amount is digested in the rest of the digestive system.
10. The food inside the stomach is very acidic. This acid is neutralized inside the small intestine.
Interesting Small Intestine Facts: 11-20
11. There are some alkaline chemicals and bicarbonates that are secreted inside the small intestine. These chemicals help to kill the acidity of the food.
13. Another of most interesting small intestine facts is that it is a master in the art of mincing the food. When the food first enters the duodenum, the muscles there undergo rhythmic contraction. This contraction takes place up to 16 times a minute.
14. The contraction of the muscles ensure that the food is properly chopped up for further progress through the small intestine.
15. The small intestine works silently. It is more like behind-the-scene worker who works without complaining.
16. However, when too much food is eaten, the muscles of the small intestine cramp and cause pain. The same think happens when some toxic material or pathogens enter the small intestine.
17. One of the most amazing small intestine facts is that the walls of the small intestine are very thin. This makes the surface area for food absorption less. To counter this problem, that is to make the surface area large, the surface is encased with villi and folds.
18. These folds and villi increase the overall surface area. In order to increase the surface area even further, the cells covering the villi also have villi.
19. Villi are nothing but small finger-like projections (microscopic) which are responsible for increase the surface area inside the small intestine.
20. Each single villus inside the small intestine has capillaries and a lacteal. The lacteal is responsible for soaking up all digested fat.
Interesting Small Intestine Facts: 21-30
21. The soaked up fat by the lacteal is then sent into the lymphatic scheme which finally drains into circulatory scheme.
22. The capillaries on the other hand are responsible for taking up all other nutrients that are assimilated inside the small intestine.
23. The nutrients picked up the capillaries are then passed through the wall of the small intestine and released in blood stream.
24. A hormone known as secretin is discharged by the lining inside the small intestine. This secretin is known for stimulating the pancreas for making or manufacturing digestive enzymes.
25. The enzymes that are released by the pancreas and the liver enter the small intestine through the pancreatic duct.
26. Carbohydrates, lipids and proteins are the three major nutrient types that are digested in the small intestine. Small intestine is the site for chemical digestion using digestive enzymes released by pancreas and liver.
27. Inside the small intestine, the proteins are broken down into amino acids and peptides.
28. Lipids or fats are broken down into glycerol and fatty acids while carbohydrates are broken down into monosaccharides or simple sugar.
29. The small intestine is known to have probiotic gut flora (microorganisms). This gut flora helps with the immune system of the body.
30. For the protection of the small intestine itself, there is something called Peyer’s patches. These are areas of lymphoid tissue present in ileum part of the small intestine. Peyer’s patches provide the necessary antigens for protecting small intestine from harmful microbes and bacteria that can enter the digestive tract.