The influence of dietary fiber on intestinal gas production and on small bowel transit time was studied in eight healthy subjects using breath H2 excretion as an indicator of colonic gas production. Hydrogen excretion following ingestion of bran was substantially less than that following ingestion of lactulose, a nonabsorbable fermentable sugar. Likewise, human fecal homogenates produced only about 10% as much H2 and CO2 during incubation with bran as with glucose or lactulose. Thus, the polysaccharides in bran appear to be relatively poor substrate for colonic bacterial gas production, and reported gas-related symptoms after bran ingestion may be due to some other mechanism. The small bowel transit time of bran was greater than that of lactulose; however, addition of bran to lactulose did not slow lactulose transit.