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Absorption – obtaining nutrients



villi and microvillus

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The image above shows a villus from the cross section of the small intestine. These tiny, finger-like projections increase the surface area of the organ to allow greater absorption of nutrients. Each villus has capillaries into which the nutrients (glucose and amino acids) are absorbed and a lacteal, which absorbs lipids (fats and oils) and drains into the lymph ducts. Goblet cells in the epithelium secrete mucin, which dissolves in water to form mucous. The absorptive cell, or microvilli, are also in the epithelium and function to absorb nutrients.