Thanks Robert for a very good corrective article. One thing that struck me is that it’s very sad we now take it as normal that food takes around 46 hours to pass through the gut (and even more sad that for most Americans, according to a study carried out some years ago, the average is actually around 96 hours).

With an adequate diet rich in fiber, food should pass through the human body in between 12 to 24 hours maximum. Hunter-gatherers usually show a mean of 12 hours from ingestion to defecation. Perhaps people would be less inclined to blame “leaky gut syndrome” for everything that ails them if they took more care over what they put into their gastro-intestinal tract in the first place, especially as the standard US diet is a significant cause of inflammation in its own right.

Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.

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