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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Very Important Science Question Answered (Proving Scientists & Bloggers Have Slow Days)

When I moved from working in an advertising agency into publishing, my first job was at Discover Magazine ( at the time it was owned by The Walt Disney Company).  Still a fan of the book 14 years later a ran across a story today that made me realize that sometimes scientists have too much time on their hands.  Since we all need a little break from the wars, traitors, and politics I am writing about it below(and I guess the fact that I am sharing it with you all says something about me and too much time also). 

This piece, a summary of a peer-reviewed scientific study appearing in GUT: The International Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology is meant to answer this very important science question which keeps many laymen up many a night "Is it Easier to Fart While Standing Up or Lying Down." Or as the peer reviewed Journal called the study " The Influence of body posture on intestinal transit of gas." 

How did the scientists conduct the study..Why, by blowing their intestines up with gas and measuring how much they farted, of course!

Influence of body posture on intestinal transit of gas.
BACKGROUND: Patients describe that body posture may affect their abdominal bloating, distension, and flatulence, but whether changes in position have objectively demonstrable effects, either beneficial or deleterious, has not been investigated. Aim: To determine the effect of body posture, upright versus supine, on intestinal transit of gas loads.

SUBJECTS: Eight healthy subjects without gastrointestinal symptoms.

METHODS: In each subject a gas mixture was continuously infused into the jejunum (12 ml/min) for three hours, and gas evacuation, clearance of a non- absorbable gaseous marker, perception, and abdominal girth were measured. Paired studies were randomly performed in each subject on separate days in the upright and supine positions.

RESULTS: In the upright position, intestinal gas retention was much smaller than when supine (13 (52) ml v 146 (75) ml retention at 60 minutes, respectively; p
CONCLUSION: Body posture has a significant influence on intestinal gas propulsion: transit is faster in the upright position than when supine.”
So America, my old friends at Discover Magazine have the answer...if you are feeling a bit gassy..stand up and be counted (but if you are standing near me--a little warning would be nice).

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