Definition: the portion of the digestive tube between the stomach and the cecum (beginning of the large intestine); it consists of three portions: duodenum, jejunum, and ileum; its primary function is the continued digestion of chyme and the absorption of nutrients into the lymphatic (fats) and portal venous system, through its mucosal surface, which is highly modified to provide surface area for this purpose.
Synonym(s): intestinum tenueTA
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Examples: glitazone, GI cocktail, etc.