• Human Anatomy and Physiology

What is time required for human digestion?

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βˆ™ 2010-12-29 20:51:34

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After putting the 'food' into your mouth, it then has to travel through the entire gastrointestinal tract before coming out the other end. The gastrointestinal tract for the purposes of this exercise includes the oral cavity, the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and colon.

Food travels down the esophagus at a rate of approximately 1 to 2 inches per second, and the entire process takes about 5 to 6 seconds. In the stomach, food tends to hang around for a little longer and this depends on a variety of factors including the amount of food you have consumed, how much fat it contains, and also the acidity of the stomach. However, all food should have left the stomach within 2 to 4 hours.

In the small intestine, digestion continues and absorption occurs. From here on, the time to defecation will vary depending on the time it takes to adequately digest and absorb in the small intestine. This will usually take 5 to 6 hours. The "food then enters the colon for further digestion and water re-absorption before defecation. The time from it's entering the colon to defecation is about 12 to 24 hours.

Thus, the time for food to travel from one end to the other probably ranges from about 20 to 30 hours.

2010-12-29 20:51:34
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