In view of the great importance in the practice of medicine of an adequate understanding of the normal processes of absorption from the gastro-intestinal tract, one is rather surprised to find that many hiatuses exist in the knowledge of this function—hiatuses that involve rather basic considerations. This is particularly true with reference to the absorptive activities of the large bowel, concerning which comparatively few facts are known for certain and much of the experimental investigation of which is inconclusive.
No one can question the ability of the large bowel to absorb certain substances, e. g., certain anesthetic substances, because of the characteristic train of symptoms which follow their administration and which could occur in no way other than as a result of absorption. Thus, one who has even once seen rectal anesthesia from ether or avertin has seen spectacular and incontrovertible evidence of specific colonic absorption.
Unfortunately, however, from the
CUTTING RA. ABSORPTION OF DEXTROSE AND WATER BY THE SMALL INTESTINE AND THE COLON: AN EXPERIMENTAL STUDY. Arch Surg. 1934;29(4):643–660. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1934.01180040119010
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