One of the important jobs of the large intestine is to absorb the remaining water from the food residue passing through the intestines. The residue that is left remains in a semisolid state and is propelled toward the rectum by peristalsis. Through reflexes which are triggered by a full colon, feces is eliminated from the body.
Review Date 1/31/2023
Updated by: Michael M. Phillips, MD, Emeritus Professor of Medicine, The George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.