The large intestine's function is much more complex than forming stool. Water, nutrients, and salts from food to prevent dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. The complex symbiotic relationships between bacteria in the large intestine produce vitamins the body needs. The organ is also an essential part of the immune system; its nerves communicate with the brain to influence hormone production, signaling hunger and satiety.
The large intestine connects to the small intestine at the right side of the abdominal cavity. The last four regions of the intestinal tract -- the cecum, colon, rectum, and anus -- make up this organ. In total, it is five feet of length and a three-inch circumference. The valve between the small intestine and large intestine is called the ileocecal valve. Undigested food mass, known as chyme, passes through the ileocecal valve into the cecum.
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