What Is the Colon

By the time the digestive mixture reaches the large intestine or colon most of the nutrients have been absorbed. Although some water and electrolytes will be absorbed in the colon, its primary responsibility is to form the feces that will eventually leave the digestive tract. The colon is also home to a rich bacteria colony—as many as four hundred different species of bacteria may be found. These bacteria provide some benefit to the body as they make some vitamins and fatty acids that can help nourish the body. Research is underway in an effort to better understand the relationship between the colon's bacteria and human health.

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