Difference Between Small and Large Intestine

Some people are simply unaware of how the two intestines function inside a human body. There is a wrong perception that they are similar, when it comes to functionality, as there is a clear difference between both of them. Moreover, there are a few people, who believe that there is only one intestine inside a human body, which is also not correct.

A very basic difference between the two intestines is that they don’t have similar size. The one on the right side is smaller. It is important to note that the size is calculated in terms of diameter. Since the left intestine is quite wide, it is known to be the larger one.

Interestingly, when you calculate the length of the two intestines, you will be amazed to notice that the small intestine is more than 20 feet long in adults. You might think that it is impossible to fit something this large inside a human body, but the narrow tubes of the small intestine are adjusted perfectly below the stomach. On the other hand, the large intestine is not quite big, when it comes to length. It is about five feet long.

The colour of both intestines is also different from one another. The small intestine is greyish-purple whereas the other one is reddish.

The elongated small intestine aids in passage of food, which comes directly from your stomach. On the other hand, the large intestine is the place, where the stool accumulates. All the digested food and nutrients consumed in our body come in the small intestine, whereas the large intestine contains fluids and the undigested stuff, which is not good for the body.

Once the body consumes all the nutrients provided by the small intestine, the remains are moved to the large intestine, where they are stored as waste matter. Other than that, the large intestine generates vitamins K and B and helps in absorption of iron and salts inside the human body.


  • 1

    Small intestine

    When you consume food, it enters the digestive system first and then enters the small intestine, where is goes through various other processes, so that the nutrients from food are properly absorbed by the body.

    Image Courtesy: healinglightseries.com

  • 2

    Large intestine

    The large intestine has got nothing to do with the decomposition of food inside a human body. It mainly helps in eliminating waste from the human body, but also breaks down some quantity of protein, which is not properly digested.

    Image Courtesy: coloncancer.about.com

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