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Tuesday 30th September 2014
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Do you need gravity to digest food?

Question

Do you need gravity to aid digestion? If you hung upside down, would the food be digested? And how do they eat in space?
Steve, Belmont

Answer

** Definitive **
Name: Professor Hal
Qualification: Mystery Hour Stalker and Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Brighton
Answer: You donít need gravity for your digestive system to function. When you swallow, the food doesnít just fall down your gullet, it is pushed down by a process called peristalsis, in which muscles contract and grip the food, a bit like getting the last bit of toothpaste in the tube. Plus, what goes into your body later, will push through what went in previously. Thatís why you often go to the toilet after breakfast.

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