Small Intestine Function – In the balance of the body’s metabolism, the digestive process has an important role. When the digestive process takes place, the small intestine becomes one of the organs that plays an important role. The small intestine or what is often called the small intestine is the longest part of the digestive system.
The small intestine extends from the stomach (pylorus ) to the large intestine (cecum ). The small intestine itself consists of three parts, namely the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum. The small intestine does not only function to complete the process of digesting food and absorbing nutrients. The small intestine is also involved in several other important functions.
Maintaining the health of the small intestine is important to do, you know, You. If there is a dysfunction of the small intestine, you will experience some uncomfortable experiences such as diarrhea while traveling. This article will bring you to know the function of the small intestine in a digestive system. Let’s find out what the functions of the small intestine are here.
What is Small Intestine?
The small intestine, also known as the small intestine, is a tube-shaped organ or structure that is part of where digestion and absorption of nutrients occur. Why is it called the small intestine? Because the diameter of the lumen (opening) is 2.5 cm smaller than the large intestine. You needs to know that the digestive process itself involves two stages.
What are the stages? First, there is a process of mechanical digestion involving the mouth and stomach to chew and crush food. Second, a chemical digestion process occurs which involves the help of enzymes to break down food so it can be absorbed by the body and distributed to other body tissues.
The chemical digestion process takes place in the small intestine or small intestine and several other parts of the digestive tract. The small intestine as one of the organs that plays an important role in the digestive process stretches from the stomach to the beginning of the large intestine.
In adult size, the small intestine or small intestine is about 6 meters long. That is why the small intestine is often referred to as the longest part of the digestive system.
Parts of the Small Intestine
After getting to know what the small intestine is, let’s discuss more about the parts of the small intestine. Check out the following discussion.
As one of the organs in the digestive system, the small intestine consists of several parts, namely the duodenum (duodenum), jejunum (empty intestine), and ileum (absorptive intestine). The three parts of the small intestine certainly have their respective roles and functions. The following is a complete explanation of the three parts of the small intestine.
The duodenum, also known as the duodenum, is the first part of the small intestine. The duodenum (duodenum) is located immediately after the stomach and stretches long enough to connect it to the empty intestine (jejenum).
The length of this section is about 25-38 cm. The duodenum or duodenum is the shortest part of the small intestine. This section begins at the bulboduodenale and ends at the ligament of Treitz.
The duodenum or duodenum is responsible for delivering food to the small intestine. Histologically, the duodenum has a gland called brunner which functions to produce mucus.
In this section, the duodenum has an important main function, which is to complete the first phase of digestion that occurs in the small intestine. The duodenum involves enzymes and bile to help break down food. Then arranged layers of very thin cells to form the muscular mucosa on the wall of the duodenum or duodenum.
Jejunum or what is often known as the empty intestine is the second part of the small intestine. After the duodenum has finished its job of breaking down food, then the food will travel to the jejunum.
Then the inner wall of the jejunum will work to help absorb nutrients from the food. The location of the empty intestine or jejunum itself is between the duodenum (duodenum) and ileum (absorptive intestine).
The second part of the small intestine is about 1-2 meters long in adults. With the help of the mesentery, jejunum and ileum are suspended inside the body. Nearly 90% of the process of absorbing food nutrients that are digested by the body is carried out by the small intestine.
Food that has been broken down by the duodenum or duodenum will be broken down again into small particles. Why is that? This process is done to make it easier for the body to absorb food nutrients. In the empty intestine or jejunum, food will undergo a chemical digestion process. The chemical digestion process requires the help of various enzymes produced by the small intestine.
The ileum, also known as the absorptive intestine, is the third part of the small intestine. The absorption intestine or ileum works to help the absorption of bile acids and vitamin B12 needed by the body. The ileum or absorptive intestine is the final part of the small intestine.
As the final part of the small intestine, the ileum or absorptive intestine is about 2-4 meters long in the human digestive system. The ileum as the last part of the small intestine is located right after the duodenum and jejunum, followed by the appendix. With a pH between 7 and 8 (neutral or slightly alkaline), the ileum or intestinal absorption plays an active role in absorbing vitamin B12 along with bile salts.
There are many folds or indentations in the absorption gut. These folds or indentations are often called villi. These folds help expand the absorption surface so that all food can be absorbed perfectly.
The ileum or absorptive intestine not only absorbs food nutrients that have not been absorbed in the previous process. Moreover, the ileum or absorptive intestine also plays a role in regulating the ileocecal valve. What is the ileocecal valve? The ileocecal valve prevents reflux from the large intestine into the small intestine.
Small Intestine Function
As part of the organs in the body, the small intestine has a very important role. In fact, 90% of the process of digestion and absorption of nutrients from food is carried out by the small intestine. Meanwhile, another 10% of the digestive process takes place in the stomach and large intestine.
As we know, the small intestine plays a major role in the absorption of nutrients and minerals from food. After knowing the important parts of the small intestine, now you are starting to understand about the organs in the body. This article will help You better understand the function of the small intestine. The following is a full explanation.
1. Digest protein
As part of the organs in the body, the small intestine has a function to digest protein. The trypsin and chymotrypsin enzymes in the body secreted by the pancreas are driven by proteins, peptides and amino acids. Both of these enzymes work to help break down nutrients from food into smaller parts.
2. Digest fat
The small intestine or small intestine functions to digest fat. Lipase enzymes in the body secreted by the pancreas are driven by fats and lipids in food. This is useful for breaking down triglycerides into monoglycerides and free fatty acids.
3. Digest carbohydrates
Furthermore, the function of the small intestine is to help the process of digesting carbohydrates. In the digestive process, carbohydrates are broken down into monosaccharides such as glucose . Then the pancreas produces the enzyme amylase which helps the process of breaking down some carbohydrates.
4. The process of absorption of nutrients
Nutrients will be absorbed by the inner wall of the small intestine into the bloodstream after the food is broken down. The small intestine is the best place for absorption of food nutrients because it has a large enough inner surface area.
The various nutrients that are absorbed will flow throughout the blood circulation. Then if humans eat food that contains poison, then the poison will be absorbed by the small intestine. If this happens, chances are you will experience indigestion.
5. Absorb water and electrolytes
In addition, the small intestine also functions in the process of absorbing water and electrolytes. The small intestine absorbs about 80% water and the rest is either absorbed by the large intestine or excreted in the feces. The absorption of electrolytes that occurs in the small intestine will involve diffusion and active transfer processes.
6. Absorb minerals and vitamins
The small intestine turns out to function as a place for absorption of vitamins and minerals. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are included in the fat-soluble vitamins. These vitamins will be absorbed along with dietary fat. Then the water-soluble vitamins B and C will be absorbed through the diffusion mechanism.
Then vitamin B12 will be absorbed through an active transport mechanism combined with intrinsic factor from the stomach. For vitamin B12 and bile salts themselves will be absorbed specifically by the ileum. What about iron? Iron will be absorbed specifically by the duodenum and jejunum.
7. Neutralization of food
Another function of the small intestine or small intestine is to neutralize food in digestion. The secretin hormone will be released by the duodenum or duodenum. This hormone will make the pancreas secrete a certain amount of sodium bicarbonate.
Sodium bicarbonate will help increase the pH of the food your body is digesting, from acidic to neutral. Then bile and mucus have an acid neutralizing effect. In the stomach, digested food will be acidic. Foods that are acidic will be neutralized by the small intestine using substances that contain alkaline and bicarbonate chemicals.
8. Plays a role in immunity
The function of the small intestine is not only to digest and absorb food. More than that, the small intestine also helps the body’s immune system. In the small intestine there is intestinal flora that will make a positive contribution to the human body. Then there are Peyer’s patches in the form of lymphoid nodules in the ileum.
It is in the digestive tract and becomes an important part of the human immune system. This section also has a lymphatic system that can help produce antigens from harmful bacteria or organisms. Through the digestive tract, harmful bacteria or organisms will be recognized by the immune system.
Tips for Maintaining Small Intestine Health
Now You already knows some of the important functions of the small intestine. After knowing its function, You also needs to know how to maintain the health of the small intestine. So, consider the following explanation to find out several ways to maintain the health of the small intestine.
1. Reducing stress
One way to maintain gut health is to manage stress. There are several stress-causing factors that will have an impact on your gut health, including environmental pressure, psychological stress, and stress due to lack of sleep. To deal with stress, there are several ways that You can do, such as deep breathing exercises, meditation and other relaxation techniques.
2. Implement a healthy diet
Apart from reducing stress, You also needs to adopt a healthy diet. Eating a variety of nutritious foods will help you maintain gut health. You need to consume lots of vegetables to improve gut health because vegetables contain high levels of prebiotic fiber for the body.
Then You also needs to limit the consumption of sweet foods with high sugar levels. Consuming sugar or foods with artificial sweeteners in excess will cause an imbalance of microbes in your intestines.
3. Exercise regularly
Exercising regularly will help you maintain a healthy gut. Research results have shown that regular exercise can improve You’s physical health. In addition, exercising regularly will help you prevent obesity.
4. Get enough rest
Having good quality sleep can help you improve your mood, cognition and gut health. For adults, the recommended sleep time is at least 7 hours every night. You needs to adopt healthy living habits by getting enough sleep and getting up at the same time every day.