Q:

How long does food stay in the large intestine?

A:

Quick Answer

Food takes an average of 40 hours to travel through the large intestine, though this varies significantly with gender. For women, it takes approximately 47 hours for food to pass through the colon, while for men it takes roughly 33 hours.

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Full Answer

The total time from eating to excretion takes an average of 53 hours. Substances generally move through the digestive system at different speeds; food does not emerge in stool in the same order in which people ingest them. For example, meat is more difficult to digest than fruits and vegetables, so fibrous plants typically move through the colon significantly faster.

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