British Journal of Nutrition

Papers of direct to Clinical And Human Nutrition

Fibre and bowel transit times

J. S. S. Geara1, A. J. M. Brodribba1 p1, Alison Warea1 and J. I. Mannta1

a1 Department of Community Medicine and General Practice, University of Oxford, 8 Keble Road, Oxford OX1 3QN


1. Bowel transit time has been investigated in vegetarians and non-vegetarians and related to dietary fibre intake and the presence of diverticular disease.

2. Vegetarians who have less diverticular disease than non-vegetarians have more rapid transit times.

3. Subjects with total dietary fibre intake of more than 30 g/d all had transit times of less than 75 h whereas 38% of those eating less had transit times exceeding 75 h and varying up to 124 h.

4. Individuals with diverticular disease were found to have faster transit times than those without the disease.

5. The colon may respond to a fibre-depleted diet either by becoming hyperactive and prone to diverticular disease or by becoming hypoactive leading to constipation.

(Received March 06 1980)

(Accepted August 01 1980)


p1 Plymouth General Hospital.


† For reprints.