THE SMALL INTESTINES

Small Intestines

The small intestines are long muscular tubes that join the stomach to the large intestines. If they were outside the body and were straightened out, they would stretch out to about twenty feet, or about the length of most people’s living room! The first part of the small intestines is called the duodenum, the second part the jejunum, and the third part the ileum. The small intestines receive bile from the liver and gall bladder and juices from the pancreas. These substances help us to digest foods. Also, tiny glands in the walls of the small intestines manufacture juices that help in the digestion of the proteins, sugars, and fats that we have eaten. Digested food, minerals, and vitamins are absorbed through the walls of the small intestines and are taken to the liver. From there, they are sent where they are needed or stored for later use.

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