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What is gut transit time?
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What is gut transit time?

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What is gut transit time?
How long does food stay in the stomach?

How long does it take for food to reach the large intestine?

The movement of food down the gastrointestinal tract is called gastrointestinal transit and this process varies among normal healthy people.

The time required for the movement of food through the digestive tube is known as gut transit time and depends on:

General health of the gastrointestinal tube

The type and amount of food eaten—the chemical composition and volume of the meal

Presence or absence of Psychological stress and anxiety



Different types of food move down the gastrointestinal tube at different speeds and food content does not leave parts of the digestive tube in the same order as it arrives.

A meal is a mixture of substances that sends chemical and physical messages via receptors
(Chemoreceptors and mechanoreceptors) in the muscular wall of the tube to the enteric nervous system and the central nervous system which then responds by local release of neurotransmitters or hormones which control the rate of movement of different types of food and secretion of digestive juices so that the food can be broken down and digested before moving further down the digestive tube.

The rate at which food leaves the stomach is determined by its chemical composition and its volume.

The time spent in any particular segment of the GI tube depends on the amount of processing (grinding, mixing, churning, liquefying and exposure to enzymes) required for a given type of food.

A large glass of water does not require any grinding or liquefying.
The large volume causes the stomach wall to distend and initiate the process of peristalsis which tends to move content ahead.
Transit from the stomach into the small intestine is very fast.
Generally, the rate of gastric emptying of liquids is determined by volume consumed and nutrient content.
Large volumes of liquids low in nutrient (e.g. water) content tend to travel faster than small volumes of liquid that may be dense with nutrients such as fats or amino acids (e.g. milk or soup).

Nutrient density is sensed in the small intestine by receptors (osmoreceptors and Chemoreceptors) and the information sensed is relayed to the stomach by nervous and hormonal signals. This leads to a modification of gastric motility which may cause a delay in gastric emptying.

Nutrient density of a given meal determines the rate at which it is processed and so determines the gastric emptying time.

The presence of fat in the small intestine is known to delay gastric emptying. When this fat has been processed and absorbed, gastric motility resumes and gastric emptying can begin.

A meal containing a mixture of Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats will be retained in the stomach for much longer because the content requires physical liquefying before chemical digestion can take place.
The rate of gastric emptying will be slow.


Estimates of average transit times:

Half the stomach contents are emptied in between 2 to 3 hours

total emptying of the Stomach contents can take from 4 to 5 hours

half of the contents of the small intestine empty into the Cecum in 2 to 3 hours

the journey of content from the Cecum to the Sigmoid colon can take between 30 and 40 hours.




How to heal and prevent Bowel disorders

Diet is not about what you should NOT eat, it’s about what you should include in the diet that matters.
As long as your diet includes the correct balance of plant foods containing soluble fibre, insoluble fibre and resistant starch your colon will produce the perfectly formed stool. The important next step is to evacuate this stool without straining so that the body does not suffer from the pressures created each time the bowel is emptied.

In order to heal and prevent bowel disorders you need to make lifestyle changes that last the rest of your life time.

1. Include more fluids and plant food containing soluble fibre, insoluble fibre and resistant starch in the diet so that the perfectly formed stool will be made in the colon and beneficial bacteria will flourish and eliminate disease causing bacteria and fungi.

2. Evacuate the perfectly formed stool by adopting the squat posture to eliminate the need to strain during bowel movements.

It is not possible or safe to squat on the modern raised toilet seat installed in all western homes and it is impossible to squat for any length of time if you have not done this from childhood onwards. This makes the use of any raised platforms impossible to adapt to.

The SquattLooStool is designed to allow you to adopt the squat posture while seated comfortably on your raised toilet seat.
The single best and easiest lifestyle change you will ever make leading to a healthier body.