About the Colon
The colon is the third-to-last section of the gastrointestinal tract in humans, followed by the rectum and anus. Food is mostly digested by the time it reaches the colon, so the role of this segment of the large bowel is to absorb water, some short chain fatty acids from plant fiber and undigested starch, sodium, and chloride, and compact waste to be eliminated during defecation. Moreover, colonic bacteria play a central role in metabolic detoxification by secreting chemicals that encourage excretion of toxins and pathogens. Beneficial bacteria in the colon (probiotics) also ferment dietary fiber and generate compounds, such as butyrate, which nourish cells in the colon wall and protect against carcinogenesis.