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Waste Elimination: Colon

The colon makes up the longest part of the large intestine, where the food enters, and is followed by the rectum and anus. Chyme that leaves the small intestine and enters the large intestine is called fecal matter. The colon will attempt to absorb as much water from the fecal matter as it can. The colon also houses gut bacteria that will digest as many nutrients that are left in the fecal matter that it can. This releases vitamin K, B vitamins and short fatty acids. The gut bacteria also make gases as they metabolize nutrients. Everything that's left of the fecal matter or feces, will be stored in the colon until the rectum receives the signal from our brain to release the waste. Food that is easy for our bodies to break down, like fruit, may take only 30 minutes to digest. But foods that are hard to digest like animal proteins or animal protein combined with starch, may take up to 12 hours to move from our stomach through our digestive system and colon then out of our rectum.

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