What is the Migrating Motor Complex?

Estimated read time 3 min read

Eating is an activity that most people can do without a lot of deep thought. In fact, you have probably never had to sit and focus on it very much at all. It’s easy to take involuntary actions in your body for granted, but if any one of them were to stop suddenly, you would notice in a major way. What is the Migrating Motor Complex? The migrating motor complex is one of these systems, and you can learn about it below.

Actions Without Thoughts

Many of the most intricate parts of your body are governed by innumerable hormones and processes that come together to make a functioning version of yourself. The Migrating Motor Complex (often called the MMC for short) is a system that is made of electrochemical signals in your gut.

This system is an ordered and predictable pattern that takes place in 4 phases which allow for food processing to take place after you have ingested something or to remove the leftover material. Food is made of perishable organic matter, so your body has to carry out mechanical action to help expel some of the contents contained in your digestive organs. These patterns usually happen at intervals between 90 and 120 minutes. When you eat, these contractions slowly begin to build in speed by approximately halving time and frequency until the material is purged.

As this process takes place, your guy begins to manufacture gastric juices that splash about inside your organs and wash away debris and other particles. This helps to further cleanse and protect your body from rotting food particles that could house harmful bacteria.

Fasting for the MMC

In order to gain the benefits of the migrating motor complex, you need your body to be in a fasted state. This is going to happen whether you are thinking about it or not, and people who tend to eat less during the day are already triggering it multiple times a day.

However, if you’re not sure, you want to fast for at least a few hours at a time. It tends to trigger after about 3-4 hours of being in a fasted state. This is why doing at least 16 hours of fasting is so beneficial.

Luckily, if you are starting to do intermittent fasting, it is going to be a natural process. Not only will you activate it during your fasted window, but if you eat your meals a few hours apart during your eating window, you will activate it once more, and it can have some positive consequences for your body and gut health.

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