Production of Gases

Even though the microflora producing them has still not be completely identified, relatively large quantities of gases are released by fermentation in the human colon (from 0.5 up to 4 l/d). The composition of the gas flatus varies considerably from one individual to the other.11 33 34 Healthy subjects pass flatus gas up to 14 times a day with a total volume of between 0.35 and 1.4 l,1133 and they absorb and excrete, in-breath, a variable proportion of all gas (mainly H2 and CO2 but also CH4 in some individuals) produced in the colon. The excretion of semi-in-breath is used as a quantitative measurement of carbohydrate fermentation35 36 (see Section 5.4.1.2).

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