About the Small Intestine
The small intestine, also known as small bowel, is a muscular organ located between the stomach and large intestine and is where the majority of nutrients are absorbed. The small intestine consists of three parts: duodenum, jejunem and ileum.
In the duodenum, food is processed and broken down to prepare for absorption. The jejunum is responsible for absorbing many of the nutrients the body needs for growth and energy. The ileum absorbs nutrients and water and connects to the ileocecal valve that controls the flow of fluid from the small to the large intestine.
The small intestine performs many vital functions for growth and development. Some of these functions are:
- Helps break down food in order to provide the body with energy to help it grow
- Absorbs minerals, including iron, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, vitamin B12 and bile salts
- Breaks down salts, nutrients and water
Learn more about caring for the small intestine, including information about intestinal disorders, medication and nutrition.