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Gastroenterology. 1989 Mar;96(3):938-41.

Effect of aerobic exercise on mouth-to-cecum transit time.

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Department of Medicine, University of California, Irvine.


To examine the premise that exercise reduces the gastrointestinal transit time, we evaluated the effect of walking 4.5 km in an hour on mouth-to-cecum transit time. Twenty-three healthy volunteers, 9 men and 14 women, with an age range of 19-28 yr, were studied. After an overnight fast, the subjects ingested 10 g of lactulose in 150 ml of water while breath hydrogen concentrations were analyzed at 15-min intervals. On separate days, in random sequence, subjects either sat in a chair or walked on a treadmill for 60 min. Mean transit time was 55 +/- 8 min when resting and 89 +/- 4 min when exercising (p less than 0.001). In conclusion, light aerobic exercise prolonged the mouth-to-cecum transit time. On the basis of this observation, exercise as a causative factor in runner's diarrhea and its value in the management of chronic constipation may be questioned.

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[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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