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Q.

How long does it take for food to pass through the stomach and small intestine to the large intestine?

 

Answers From Experts & Organizations (2)

Primary Care
5,082 Answers
31,090 Helpful Votes
413 Followers
A.

The transit time is quite variable in all people...there are no set times. Food can remain in the stomach for two hours or so, then progressively travel into the intestinal tract where it may process for several hours...or days. In babies, the transit time is surprisingly rapid. Babies often poop while you are feeding them! In some adults, the transit time can be days, especially in older people or people prone to constipation. Transit time can be influenced by the type of food ingested, the volume/size of meal, the amount of water/fluids, and the amount of fiber/solids.  Spicy food may be faster than you anticipated. A heavy Thanksgiving dinner may bloat you for a day or more.

This answer should not be considered medical advice...down arrowThis answer should not be considered medical advice and should not take the place of a doctor’s visit. Please see the bottom of the page for more information or visit our Terms and Conditions.up arrow

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Fitness
Health Coach, WebMD
96 Answers
4,216 Helpful Votes
31 Followers
A.

This is a very interesting question. There are several factors that determine how long it takes for food to pass through your digestive system. To start, the type of food matters. Some foods are more complex, requiring our body to work harder and to take more time to break them down and digest them. On the other hand, other foods won’t have to go through such a rigorous process and may be digested and metabolized relatively quickly. Fiber, for example, has a decreased intestinal transit time, which means that it spends less time in your intestines and may be passed through faster than something else.

The answer also could depend on other factors like age, ethnicity, and gender. You have to consider that people’s digestive systems can be different or work in slightly different ways. Did you know that some people have longer intestines than other people? Certainly that might influence how long it takes for food to digest. Also, individuals may have different levels of microbes present in their intestines that can influence how food is digested too. How long it takes food to digest depends on a lot of different factors.

This answer should not be considered medical advice...down arrowThis answer should not be considered medical advice and should not take the place of a doctor’s visit. Please see the bottom of the page for more information or visit our Terms and Conditions.up arrow

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Answers from Contributors (1)