Home / Health / The length of bowel transit can tell you a lot about your overall health.

The length of bowel transit can tell you a lot about your overall health.



You bastard, why aren’t you blue? I thought as I stared into the bathroom trying to figure out why my number 2’s color wasn’t out of the norm. I’ve done a lot of weird things in the name of gut health. But trying to intentionally make the stool blue is best. (More than the next best thing I’ve tried in the name of digestive health. who is testing a $150 home microbiome kit called Viome. What I learned about my overall health from that experience was: fascinating.)

Maybe I should back up and explain why I was trying to make my poop blue in the first place. As you may or may not know—depending on how exciting the topic of digestive health excites you—there are many things that poop can tell you about your health. Frequency, texture, and color are all. A clue. Zoe, the intestinal health company, recently published a scientific study in the journal. peer-reviewed Gut About intestinal transit time—a term that refers to the amount of time it takes to empty what you eat—can tell someone about their gut health in particular. but also general health

in this study The researchers tracked the participants̵

7; transit times by having them eat muffins dyed with a bright blue monster cookie hue. This will make the poop blue. And participants will know that their droppings come exclusively from the muffins. It’s not something else they eat. “We found that by eating bright blue muffins, developed by our scientists and seeing that your stool turns blue We can create a basic overview of your gut health based on how long your intestinal transit takes,” the company’s publicist emailed me. In fact, Zoe was happy to send me a blue muffin to learn about. How long does it take to transport my intestines? Would you like to try it?

Cut to me looking into the toilet bowl staring at my shit. But in addition to the experiment I also spoke with the intestinal specialist at Zoe and the unrelated GI docs to learn more about how long a bowel transit can tell someone about their health. And what is the ideal intestinal transit time?

Why is intestinal transit time important?

Blue muffins delivered to me ready to eat. no baking necessary I usually eat an oatmeal or protein bar in the morning. So the opportunity to eat muffins for work is a delight. I sliced ​​my muffins open. topped with butter on each side. Then put it in the microwave—because the muffins are blue or not.

At 9:15 a.m., I eat blue muffins with oat milk latte and go to work. see you in frontI forgot them until 11:45 a.m., when I was urged. You know, I was disappointed to see that my business wasn’t blue. Around 1:30 p.m., I opted for a salad for lunch, thinking the fiber might be. help to move Alas, at 6:30 p.m. my 11:45 replay – no blue. By 8:45 the next morning, I finally got what I expected. Poop that looks like it’s coming from the Smurfs. Okay, done. Mission complete. Now I want to know: am I normal or not? How long does it take to poop?

“The duration of intestinal transit is very important. Because it’s not just the microbes themselves that are important. but also the ability to move microorganisms If your bowels have stopped [bad] Bacteria accumulate,” says Sabine Hazan, MD, author of . Let’s Talk Sh!t ($15) and a gut health expert not affiliated with Zoe.

When I spoke to Professor of Nutrition Science Sarah Berry, PhD, and Professor Tim Spector, MD, of Genetic Epidemiology, who both work on Gut Studied and worked with Zoe, they also explained to me why intestinal transit time is important and how long it should take. Dr Spector explains that the importance of intestinal transit timing was not known until recently. Bristol stool chart which is a poster of various types of information It was used to collect information about what poop can tell someone about their digestive health. “We wanted to see if we could come up with measures that would provide people with better information about their microbes and overall health,” Dr Spector said. And based on scientific research, he said, they actually found transit time to be a more informative measure.

So what is the ideal intestinal transit time?

out of 863 people who took part in the study. The duration of intestinal transit ranges from four hours to several days. “What we saw on average was a correlation between faster transit times and a healthy-looking gut microbiome,” Dr Spector said. “Diversity of [good gut bacteria] higher in those with short transit times and lower diversity in those with longer transit times. He said the correlation was more accurate than using a Bristol stool chart to determine how diverse someone’s gut was in good bacteria. They honestly say why knowing your bowel transit time is so helpful. The microbiome that swims with a variety of gut bacteria is not the only indicator of gut health. It is linked to better overall health. including brain health and lower rates of depression.

Dr. Berry said previous intestinal transit studies indicated that the healthiest intervals were between 14 and 50 hours, and found that most people were in that range. But Dr Spector said that from what they found, A bowel transit time of less than 24 hours is probably optimal. Dr. Hasan is slightly more liberal with what she feels is optimal. “Just because you don’t defecate every day doesn’t mean you have a problem,” she says. If you’re pooping every two days but feel good overall without bloating or discomfort. She said she shouldn’t be worried. “In my opinion Consistency is more important,” she says. a few days only That is more of a concern.”

Dr. Spector points out that using dyes to track intestinal transit time is not new. It’s done in hospitals and clinical settings by gastroenterologists. “Another way that doctors track transit times is by using ‘Smart pills’ that you can track on your phone or monitor. But they are very expensive,” adds Dr. Berry. Both agreed that eating blue muffins was a more accessible way for people to learn about gut health.

How to improve intestinal transit time

But of course it must be more complicated. I asked by surveying experts, for example, what if, besides eating blue muffins, One person ate a high-fiber diet during the day. while another eats a diet high in carbohydrates and fats Wouldn’t that affect the muffin digestion speed?

That’s the point they told me. “As long as you eat muffins on the days you normally eat. That will give you an accurate picture of your gut health,” says Dr. Berry. “If you eat another blue muffin the next day The delivery time will be the same.”

I decided to eat more blue muffins to see if she was right (yes, I still need muffins for breakfast). Since my intestinal transit time is still less than 24 hours, that means I can improve. Both Dr. Spector and Dr. Berry emphasize that anyone who goes several days without defecation or on the other end of the spectrum. Having diarrhea several times a day should definitely book time with the GI doc, but they also hope that even those who are in the “normal” range between 14 and 50 hours will think they can improve their intestinal transit time through diet. How? For example, can you eat more variety of nutrient-dense foods?

Zoe has the tools to help someone improve on this. which I try to see how I can implement it for myself. Anyone who makes blue muffins can take a quiz where they enter a short statistic. Regarding themselves and their transit times, they were “matched” with participants from clinical trials who had obtained similar results. (Participants’ names will change when matched to protect their identity.) You’ll then see how many types of good gut bacteria they have. My match had nine of the 15 types of good gut bacteria the study participants were looking for. The logic is that I probably have about nine of them as well. along with my results I was told to try to eat five new plants per week to increase the diversity of the bacteria in my gut. seem reasonable, I meditate

Watch the video below to learn more about the best foods for gut health:

Stress is something else I ask Dr. Berry and Dr. Specter. Anyone who’s had a shitty shit before a big event can tell you that stress can directly affect bowel transit time. Experts agree that this is true and is a transit time factor that they hope to include in their latest research. “How stress affects transit times is individual. There is no simple formula where we can say doubling stress or doubling time in transit. It’s not easy to figure out,” Dr. Specter said.

but in general Knowing your bowel transit time is a helpful starting point. Blue muffins can help you identify, but Dr. Spector also says there’s another food you can eat and easily see on the other side: corn. Either way, you’re done. down, uh blush with knowledge

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