Intestinal gas metabolism

M. Montalto, M. Di Stefano, A. Gasbarrini, G. R. Corazza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Intestinal gas metabolism involves a series of physiological processes, concerning gas production, consumption, excretion and disposal in different gut compartments. We report a summary of the actual knowledge on this complex and interesting part of intestinal physiology. The volume of human intestinal gas is less than 200 ml and its composition varies along the gastrointestinal tract. More than 99% is composed of hydrogen, oxygen, methane, carbon dioxide and nitrogen, while less than 1% is composed of various other odoriferous gases. Intestinal gas derives from swallowed air, intraluminal production (chemical reactions and bacterial metabolism) and diffusion into the lumen from bloodstream. Gas removal from the intestinal tract occurs by eructation, absorption, bacterial consumption and anal evacuation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-29
Number of pages3
JournalDigestive and Liver Disease Supplements
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2009


  • Gas-related clinical syndromes
  • Intestinal bacteria
  • Intestinal gas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Hepatology


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