Definition of Villi:

The villi are small but significant structures of the mucosal layer of the small intestine.  They are finger-like (or hair-like) projections, 0.5 to 1mm in length, that cover the mucosal surface and increase its absorptive area.  Each villus contains a capillary network, a lymphatic vessel, and smooth muscle fibers.  The villi are covered with absorptive cells that have cytoplasmic extensions known as microvilli; the microvilli serve to further increase the absorptive surface.  The total increase in absorptive surface provided by the villi and microvilli is some 600-fold.  The microvilli form what is known as the brush border; the cells that make up the brush border contain many enzymes and carrier substances that facilitate the digestion and absorption of nutrients.

Also: Microvilli

Topics Related to Villi

Gluten Sensitivity / Celiac Disease

...the condition
“...Specifically, tiny fingerlike protrusions, called villi, on the lining of the small intestine are lost...”
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More topics Related to Villi

Poor Small Intestine Health

...the condition
“...intestine secrete over half a gallon of a neutral fluid daily to supply a watery substance to mix with the chyme and provide a substance to aid in electrolyte and vitamin absorption through the villi.  Brunner's glands in the duodenum secrete mucus in response to secretin, vagal stimulation, and direct stimulation of food in the small intestine...”
...recommendation Lactobacillus Acidophilus
“...of intestinal microflora (by creating a favorable environment for the growth of beneficial flora), and helps keep the intestinal wall functioning properly by keeping clear the spaces between the microvilli so that they can function efficiently...”
...recommendation Comfrey
“If you have eaten too many irritating foods and suspect your villi to be "plugged" and your absorption decreased, two things may help: Take a mixture of comfrey leaves and papain (the milky white sap from the stem of the papaya, also plentiful in green papayas)...”

Short Bowel Syndrome

...the condition
“...The changes include enlargement and lengthening of the villi found in the lining, increase in diameter of the intestine, and slowed movement of food through the small intestine...”
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