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.
George F. Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, San Diego, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.