Duodenum - Definition

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The duodenum is the first part of the small intestine. It follows the stomach and extends into the jejunum and then the ileum, the final part of the intestine. It surrounds the pancreas from which it receives secretions in the form of pancreatic enzymes; it also receives bile from the gallbladder. It is in the duodenum that many metabolites and nutrients are absorbed such as calcium, iron, vitamins, and lipids. The duodenum may be at the center of some diseases such as ulcers due to the presence of a bacterium, Helicobacter pylori, or stenosis.