Colon pp 17-44 | Cite as

Absorption and Secretion of Electrolytes by the Human Colon

  • Paul Kerlin
  • Sidney Phillips
Part of the Topics in Gastroenterology book series (TGEN)


An understanding of colonic function has developed more slowly than that of the stomach or small intestine. Although the recognition that the colon is “dispensable” in man no doubt contributed to this neglect, study of the colon in vivo has not been easy. Among the difficulties encountered are (1) a motor activity which is complex, which surely has important effects on absorption, but which is characterized poorly; (2) the existence in the large bowel of regions which differ in function; and (3) the billions of resident microorganisms whose identity and interrelationship with the host are unclear. However, it is clear that the metabolic actions of fecal flora modify colonic function in several important ways.


Bile Acid Human Colon Vasoactive Intestinal Polypeptide Ricinoleic Acid Electrolyte Transport 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Kerlin
    • 1
  • Sidney Phillips
    • 2
  1. 1.Mayo Foundation and Mayo Medical SchoolRochesterUSA
  2. 2.Gastroenterology Unit, Mayo ClinicMayo Foundation and Medical SchoolRochesterUSA

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