What's Really In Your Poop?
Halibutboy Flatface stashed this in Science
uBiome answers some of your most pressing questions about poop. How much of it is bacteria anyway? Why is it brown? What about those undigested corn kernels?
If you’re anything like the average person you’ll produce around half your own body weight in feces every year."
That’s a lot of poop!
Fun experiment you can do with popcorn:
The outside of corn kernels is a perfect example. While you’ll probably have no trouble processing the insides, the hulls are made of cellulose so they generally pass through your body intact.
Examine your poop after eating yellow corn, therefore, and you’ll likely spot what looks like intact kernels – actually just the “skins”.
"Fun" you say.
For some definition of fun, yes.
We have between 3 and 6 pounds of bacteria in our bodies?!
We love your poop. It’s so wonderfully rich in information about the microbiome, unlocked when we analyze it using DNA sequencing technology to reveal the make up of the three to six pounds of bacteria you carry in and on your body.
But what exactly is poop? Since so much (excuse the expression) ‘passes’ through our lab, you might not be too surprised that we know a thing or two about its ingredients.
First and foremost, feces contains a boatload of water. About 75% to be exact.
Put that aside, however, and things get more interesting.
About 50 to 80% of the remainder is bacteria, both living and dead. This is the stuff we’re focused on.
On top of that there’s protein, undigested food residue (more on this in a minute), waste material from food, cell membranes, fats, salts and material released from your intestines and liver (e.g. mucus).