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Video shows Ramen noodle digestion

7:45 PM, May 18, 2012   |    comments
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By Heather Unruh

Boston (WCVB/CNN) - This story may make you think twice before downing a bowl of Ramen noodles.  A video showing what happens inside the digestive tract has gone viral.

You're inside the belly of someone who just sucked down a package of Ramen noodles, a meal college kids and people on a budget know well.

Chemically preserved for a long shelf life, no one's ever seen what happens to the noodles once inside the stomach, until now.

"People have this interest in what's going on in their bodies but we can't see it," said Dr. Braden Kuo.

But now we can. Thirty-two hours of video, thanks to a smart pill, which is a camera the size of a multi-vitamin swallowed at meal time.

"What we're seeing here is a stomach contracting back and forth as it's trying to grind up the Ramen noodle," said Dr. Kuo.

For comparison, the study subjects also ate fresh, homemade Ramen noodles on a different day.

The video shows both at 20 minutes, and at two hours there's a striking difference.

"The most striking thing about our experiment when you looked at a time interval, say in one or two hours, we noticed a processed Ramen noodles were less broken down that homemade Ramen noodles," said Dr. Kuo.

The study can't conclude processed is harmful. In fact, this study is too small to be conclusive about anything. But millions are drawing their own conclusions.

"I realize that the video is out there and it's provocative," said Dr. Kuo.

Dr. Kuo does plan more research that may reveal whether the slower digestion affects the amount of nutrients the body absorbs.

"It's still not really clear the impact is has on the G.I. tract. Many things are good in moderation. I think processed foods still need to be investigated further," said Dr. Kuo.


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