Singapore, September 22, 2012
We all know that instant noodles have preservatives in them and that we have been advised to refrain from eating them on a regular basis.
We've also probably received emails lurking around on the Internet about how instant noodles are coated in wax and that it causes cancer by causing a waxy internal build-up inside of us.
While this myth has somewhat been debunked - wax is pushed through the digestive system and exits as part of bowel movement and does not turn into permanent coating in the stomach lining - a news report from Boston shows how instant noodles are digested in our stomachs.
Broadcaster WCVB reported that a stomach-turning viral video by Dr Braden Kuo from the gastroenterology department at Massachusetts General Hospital allows you to see what happens after you eat the processed food.
A 32-hour video from a smart pill with a camera swallowed during meal time shows the stomach contracting back and forth as it tries to grind up the instant noodle.
It also compared how the stomach digests fresh handmade ramen noodles with the processed noodles.
After two hours, the stomach is seen working hard at breaking the instant noodles down, while the fresh noodles are broken down at 20 minutes and are fully broken down after one to two hours.
WCVB says that the study cannot conclude that processed food is harmful, as it is too small to be conclusive, but more research is planned to reveal whether the slower digestion affects the amount of nutrients the body absorbs.
"It's still not entirely clear the impact it has on the GI (gastrointestinal) tract. Many things are good in moderation. I think processed foods still need to be investigated further," said Dr Kuo.
When asked if he would still eat instant noodles after his findings, he told the news broadcaster that not only would he eat them, he does - but in moderation.