Surely thou ingest: 100 trillion a day

Emily Anthes takes on an everyday “What if…?” question:

What happens if you snack on something that’s been adulterated with some unusual DNA?Every time this question comes up, scientists and experts reply with the same, reasonable answer: We’re already gobbling down DNA. I knew this, but only recently did I stumble upon a quantification of the DNA we dine upon: By one estimate, the average human eats 100 trillion genes every day. (Of course, genes are tiny, so, by weight, humans are consuming something like 0.1 to 1.0 gram of DNA daily.)

And yet, we hardly turn into orange trees when we eat orange DNA or trout when we eat their fishy genes. So what does happen to the DNA we eat? Most of it gets destroyed in the bubbling cauldron of acids and enzymes in the gut….

Improbable Research