Corn In The Poop?

l 100+ pointsm 1+ points - Newb

Dear Poopreport,

How does the corn get through?

-- Stew Brown

Dear Stew,

Most of us have probably realized that after eating corn, it shows up in our stool. The corn in our stool can appear only hours after we eat it. Rest assured, corn in the stool is normal, and the reason we see the corn relates largely to our digestive tract, and also to evolution.

Millions of years ago, our digestive systems were different. Primitive man was not a big meat eater. Primitive man had a digestive system with a longer digestive tract that was far better equipped to digest plant and vegetable matter. Back then, the appendix likely played a role in digestion -- a role it does not play today.

Our teeth were different then, too. We had larger molars and smaller incisors. Larger molars meant that the difficult-to-digest plant material could be well chewed and mashed. Today, our teeth are smaller and many of us even have problems with our wisdom teeth (our largest molars), which are being phased out by evolution because our diets today really do not require them. (Our jaws are becoming smaller, and as a result the wisdom teeth have less room to grow in.)

So how does this all relate to corn, and why it is seen in the stool? Since we have smaller teeth, we chew our food less effectively, and more of what we eat is swallowed only partially chewed, or not chewed at all. With corn, some of the kernels will be chewed fully, some partially, and the others will be unchewed and swallowed whole. Our digestive system today is not that good at digesting plant material anymore, much less whole kernels. They pass through our stomach and intestines, and appear in our stool to confound and entertain us.

If you would rather not see any corn in your stool, I recommend that you just chew each mouthful into a mushy mixture free of any whole kernels.

One last point I want to make is that it is not difficult for our digestive systems to pass corn kernels. It is really amazing what the digestive system can tolerate and pass. Drugs are frequently smuggled into the country by individuals who swallow balloons or condoms filled with the drugs. (These people are called "body packers.") In addition, I have read on several occasions about people who unintentionally swallowed their dentures, only to pass the dentures in their stool a few days later. I have also read of children swallowing thermometers passing them just the same.

The human digestive system really is fascinating. But remember that we are slowly evolving over time -- our digestive systems are constantly adapting to our diets and our environments. Our digestive systems of today will not be the same as the digestive systems of humans thousands of years from now. Remember this the next time you enjoy your corn, or broccoli, or any other difficult-to-digest food product -- what kind of food might future generations be spotting in their poop?

Best wishes,

Dr. Adams

Dr. Adams is a resident in the Department of Internal Medicine at North Shore University Hopsital in Manhasset, NY. Got a question for him?

216 Comments on "Corn In The Poop?"

Tydirium's picture
k 500+ points

But why are our digestive systems evolving to be less powerful? Is it because meat and stuff is easier to digest? Is it conceivable that one day we'll be pulling whole pieces of chicken out of our crap? (hey, recycling!)

I always thought that the skin of the corn is undigested, but the inside where all the nutrients are do get digested. In that case, isn't it only the skin of the corn that goes through?

If not, recycling!

Dr. Adams's picture
l 100+ pointsm 1+ points - Newb

Our digestive systems have evolved to be less efficient at digesting vegetable matter because what we have been eating has changed slowly over time. We eat a lot more meat now than primitive man did millions of years ago. As a result, our digestive systems have evolved to be more effective at digesting meat. However, what we had grown less effective at is digesting plant material. I do agree that it is mostly the skin of the corn that is difficult to digest, however, if the whole kernel is swallowed unchewed, then the whole kernel will be excreted in its whole form in our feces.

With respect to peanuts, we are less likely to swallow a whole peanut unchewed that a corn kernel. Chewed peanuts will be digested effectively and will not be seen in the stool.

-Dr. Adams

honey_monster's picture

Well, that explains that then.

So.......whats the deal with the peanuts?

The Bunger Sisters's picture

Someone accidentally swallowed a set of *dentures* and then shat them out?

One good reason to file down those canines....

poopyhead14's picture

well- to tell you the truth, ive never had corn in my poop, even after i eat it. why is that?

Dr. Adams's picture
l 100+ pointsm 1+ points - Newb


How can you be sure you have never have had corn in your poop? Have you actually collected your feces each time after eating corn and carefully examined the stool for any corn kernels? Other than this method, how can you really be sure?

-Dr. Adams

honey_monster's picture

Dr. Adams: You should get out more.

Pooperscooper's picture

As for Denture Person--was there any word on whether his or her rear end was traumatized when shitting them out?!

Pooperscooper's picture

Actually, Doc, I have another question. When taking a normal dump, how much of the colon typically empties out? Just the descending colon? Or does the transverse colon empty out, too?

A lot of the time after I take a dump, within an hour I feel some fecal matter in my transverse colon, but it doesnt budge. I would love to poop that out, but it just stays there. I spend the day feeling unfulfilled.

My standards are probably impossibly high, which is why I am curious to know how much of the colon is supposed to empty out in the course of a normal, healthy defecation.

Ramshackle's picture

I'm sorry Dr Adams, but it is plain to me that you know very little about evolution. The primary mechanism for evolution is some kind of selective pressure. Humans have no such pressure driving them to alter their digestive systems, or to lessen the sizes of their jaws. If there was such a pressure, the large-jawed, corn-digesters would have less success reproducing than the small jawed, corny-poopers. Furthermore, even if this trend was occuring, you would not have nearly enough sample data to track humans' digestion of corn over such a large timescale necessitated by a real evolutionary trend. This is simply a bunch of fluffy-sounding pseudo-scientific talk with little to no basis in reality.

The real reason that corn ends up in your stool is evolutionary - but mostly based on the evolution of corn itself. Corn is a fairly recent incorporation into the human diet, and was essentially genetically engineered by humans a few thousand years ago from a smaller and more mealy varities of a crop called maize. As it stands, corn is more energy bearing than maize but as far as vegetables go, is not terribly nutritious. Essentially, corn is really not people-food, and this is why we do not digest it well.

As for the wisdom teeth comment, while it is true that people have problems with wisdom teeth, what most people fail to recognize is that people have ALWAYS had trouble with wisdom teeth. You can think of wisdom teeth as spares, or actually any of your molars as spares, as over the lifetime of less orally hygenic people, you tend to see some tooth loss in your life. If you lose a couple of teeth, you have some extras to pick up the extra duties.

I hope this clears up some confusion for everyone.

doniker's picture
j 1000+ points

Thank you Ramshackle.

There is nothing better than proving a "know it all wanna be" wrong. I thought his theories sucked too, and I would have said something, but I had nothing to back my opinion with. If this guy was truly a professional doctor, why the fuck would he be wasting his time here?

Dr. Adams' Fan's picture

Uh, doniker, you are flaming a young resident who has agreed to supply medical opinions on the site while he hones his craft? As my fake e-mail address indicates, we are talking about corn in our poop, not brain surgery here. Geez. Try to get upset about something more important next time.

Dr. Adams's picture
l 100+ pointsm 1+ points - Newb

First off, I am sorry have not responded to the comments made in this column. I have been very busy these past few weeks. But I have reminded myself that I do enjoy contributing to this site and adding any information which I think can be of benefit. I actually do not have the time to argue with ramshakle about my knowledge of evolution. I am confident that I do understand how evolution works. Evolution really did not provide me with any credentials to give me any confidence that he knows what he is talking about. As a physician and scientist, I certainly have spent a great deal of time learning about evolution.

As for Doniker, I have learned something about him too. He is a vulgar and mean spirited human being who never will get any help from me. I will not waste my time with those who are unappreciative and bitter. It is obvious to me that Doniker certainly is an unhappy and nasty person and I will avoid him at all costs.

And finally, if you don't trust me and think that I am not a real doctor, that is fine. I am very busy taking care of REAL human lives every day. I certainly can spend my time in other ways than on this website. So if you would rather not have the contributions of a real physician, please let me know and I will devote my energy elsewhere.

Thank you..........

-Dr. Adams

CyberPoop's picture

Dr. Adams, I would like to thank you first of all for posting that informative tidbit on corn in the poop. It's something I think everyone who is a regular corn eater and log observer wonders. However, I believe that corn in the poop was probably more of corn's way of propogating itself. Just as some flowers use bright colors and scents to attract bees which in turn fosters cross pollination, corn shows up in the poo of man. Consider the following scenario. Two cavemen, Ig and Ook. Ook eats some corn, or maize or whatever. 4 hours later Ook goes out back to 'open the bomb bay doors', he notices some yellow dots in his poo. Ook quickly grabs the poo and runs to find Ig. The conversation may have gone something like this -

Ook - "Ig! Check out this log! It's got yellow lumps!"

Ig - "What? What the fuck are you talking about?"

Ook - "Look!" (shoves the turd in Ig's face)

Ig (in revulsion and disgust) -"You fucking manaiac! That's your SHIT".

Ig then kills Ook, the turd is dropped to the ground, where the corn/maize proceeds to grow.

A CyberPoop scientific presentation

Dr. Adams's picture
l 100+ pointsm 1+ points - Newb

A very intresting and amusing observation. Likely, this sort of scenario did play out perhaps millions of years ago. And I do agree that corn (and many other plants) do propogate themselves via the poop of animals.

Ramshackle's picture

Mr. Bruce -

As much as I may find Dr. Adams' explanation to be dubious, I can find no fault in his basing his explanation on the theory of evolution.

Not only is evolution a science, it is as widely validated as perhaps any science, barring possibly quantum mechanics. Or should I say, the Theory of Quantum Mechanics? Along with the Theory of Relativity, many major scientific movements incorporate the word theory into their titles. The reason is that there are many definitions for the word theory, and in this sense it has nothing to do with our level of confidence in its accuracy (which is never absolute in any real science anyway). If these concepts are lost on you, I suggest you read the following

and get back to us. If the above is too mentally taxing for you, you may rest assured that the theory of evolution is a very well tested scientific FACT and that without it, the entire field of modern biology would be a shambles.

Matt Bruce's picture

What I believe is so ludicrous about your "corn" theory, Dr. Adams, is that is based entirely upon of integrity of the Theory of Evolution (I express particular emphasis on "THEORY"). Would be kind enough to take a few hours of your time to prove to your readers the integrity of the Big Bang or any other of the various evolutionary theories that you perhaps subscibe to? We are here because we honestly want to know why our corn refuses to be digested properly. And here you are, a doctor (or so-called) who apparently cannot even distinguish between scientific fact and scientific theory, telling us, the loyal visitors of, that the corn in our poo is merely a kink in the evolutionary system. Science is the field and study of factual evidence. Evolution itself is as of yet not even a proper science -- it relies far too much on the help of other fields of study: Geology and Anatomy to be considered a science in it's own right,

and the results that it has yielded with the help of the two aforementioned sciences has proved to be inconclusive in proving Evolutionary Fiction to be Evolutionary Fact.

Can you even prove to us that the human digestive tract was any different a thousand years ago than it is now?

Were I the resident "poop doctor" here, I could have just as easily have told everyone that the corn in our poo is a result of the magic of Mr. Hanky(of South Park fame)'s Magic Handkerchief, and it would be more to their general amusement than even your take on the corn issue.

Ramshackle's picture

By the way Dr. Adams, as a professional whose occupation should involve at least a slight understanding of science, I would really hope that you would understand that we do not judge what someone says based on their credentials, rather on the merit of their argument. What you are purporting is called Argument From Authority, and is a very dangerous concept. I fear for your patients, sir.

Matt Bruce's picture

You provided a very interesting link, Ramshackle. It would certainly appear that you are a quite the intellectual. Why then, do you waste your time trying to make me look like an idiot by assuming that the evolutionary concepts are too "vast" for me to understand, or too "mentally taxing"? Did I at any point call refer to you or Adams a fool?

But I don't claim to have all of the answers ready at hand to give to you, just as you were apparently not ready to provide the Missing Link or any other gaps that I may believe to render evolution unto falsehood.

Indeed, rather than claiming to have proof that was unsurfaced by my own intellect, I will instead let people who are perhaps more qualified than I am do the talking:

Various problems with the theory of evolution, broken down into sections and sub-sections, etc..:

The various problems with the theory of evolution summarized (highly recommended)

Matt Bruce's picture

Stupid message won't post HTML links.

Here are the URLs...AGAIN.....


Sweet Potato's picture

I believe it was somewhere in Matt Groenig's "School is Hell" that a wild-eyed college student, strung out on too much schoolthink, jabbed an accusing finger and howled "AU CONTRAIRE, MON FRERE!"

Academia is a rich tapestry of opinion. If every single scientist on earth agreed on anything, we'd never make any advances.

Jonathan's picture
m 1+ points - Newb

i like corn

Evan Moore, Ph.D's picture

Dr. Adams said "we eat a lot more meat now than primitive man did millions of years ago ..."

1) How many millions of years ago?

2) What "primitive man" is he referring to specifically?

3) Is there evidence of this claim ... like "primitive man" copralites from millions of years ago?

4) Who exactly are "we" ... Americans, Third World inhabitants, or just who is it that eats a lot more meat than "primitive man of millions of years ago?"

5) For exactly how long has "modern man" been eating "a lot more meat than primitive man millions of years ago?"

6) Did Neanderthal man eat a lot of meat? More meat than vegetables? I think there is evidence available on this from prehistoric site evaluations. So did Neanderthal man, who lived for thousands of generations and up until about 25,000 years ago, have problems with corny poops too?

7) Oh, that's right, there weren't any peanuts and maize around when Neanderthal man lived, so I guess he just had undigested whole wild seeds blowing out his ass, huh, Doc. Adams?

8)Native Amerindians had about 20,000 years or so, that's like over a thousand generations, to evolve at least a little ability to digest maize ... what's up with that?

9)There is strong evidence that Cromagnon man, that's us, developed our superior and specialized abilities, when compared to Neanderthal, due to eating a diet rich in shellfish and marine birds ... that's MEAT. And there is strong evidence that Neanderthals ate a diet rich in red meat.

10)I can provide documentatioin on the above. Is there documentation available regarding our "evolutionary inability to digest corn and peanuts due to our evolutionary trend toward more meat than 'primitive man' of millions of years ago?"

Green Dave's picture

Have you ever eaten so much corn that when it came out it was ribbed for your pleasure?

Slim Jim Junkie's picture

LOL Green Dave! I never did that, but I crapped out a log that was so textured that it looked like a brown corn cob.

The Shit Volcano's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorh 3000+ points

My dog used to shit in the shape of pine cones.

I found Jesus! He was behind the sofa the whole time!

Another Dr. Adam's Fan's picture

People, I have just one intellegent comment. Why are you few,(you know who you are),putting down this doctor who takes his time to help out? He obviously does know what he is talking about. He has an intelligent brain. For those people out there who are wondering why he is taking his time to go on here and explain things, there are doctors out there who actually have/own/take care of websites answering questions for people about everything. They take care of that website in their spare time. Dr.Moore, a simple word for you, instead of crabbing at him and being a complete asshole to him, help him out and explain things, not just question him like an asshole. You are the kind of doctor that I tell people not to go to. Do you treat your patients like that?? "Doctor, my stomach hurts." Do you tell them it doesn't? That they don't know what they are talking about and they are just faking it??? You probley are. Those people that doctor's like you say are faking it and not actually prove they are end up dieing cause of people like you. So back off and leave a REAL HONEST TRUE HELPFUL doctor a lone.

Otter's picture

My question is this: Is there a 4" tube that goes directly from the stomach to the anus? There must be, because every time that I eat corn, there hasn't been enough time for it to pass through my entire system before I'm putting the "gold" in the "golden-nugget".

Asspanzer's picture

STFU, Ramshackle! Leave the good Dr. Adams alone. He does not need to be pestered by your insignificant patronizing of his knowledge, really. He had to go through several more years of college than you did to be called a doctor! I think I would beleive Dr. Adams before I would beleive the stuff you are spewing out. Just stop attacking the things he is saying, he knows a lot more than you do, he is *REQUIRED* to study that kind of stuff in medical school. Dr. Adams, you prove a good point, we DO eat more meat than the older, more primitive species of human. We are able to mass-produce animals to eat, than they could only eat when they were able to kill a large animal, often meaning this had to happen every day, depending on the animal's size. Nowadays, we need only go to the store, or a resturant to get our daily meat intake. Much easier, seeing as how most people eat a lot of meat everyday. The average human now probably eats 2-3 times more meat in a year than our ancestors did in a year, because getting food back then was hard, so they often would not eat for a week, because their hunters could not get any food. This all supports what Dr. Adams was saying, and I'm pretty sure he would agree with a few of the things I stated. Thank you!

The Shit Volcano's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorh 3000+ points

Anyone remember those butt spiders from Lexx? (I don't personally watch that sick-ass show!) I wonder what shape your poo would come in if you crapped one of those out?

I found Jesus! He was behind the sofa the whole time!

poophead's picture

Um, I have an idea... with all this talk of "recycling", does anyone realize that they could just "pick" some of the undigested material out of their feces, (like corn, mushrooms, etc.) wash them off really and Re-Serve them! I mean, most of the time, the time, the veggies are still intact enough, and people probably wouldn't even know the difference! I mean think about it, you could just "slip" some of those "recycled" veggies into, like, a casserole dish or something, and serve it to someone you didn't like, and they would probably not even notice!!!! Well what do you guys think? Has anyone ever tried this before? Come on tell me, I wanna know!!!!

The Shit Volcano's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorh 3000+ points

Poophead, you obviously have never eaten lunch in a school and/or hospital cafeteria. They do it all the time. At least it tastes that way.

I found Jesus! He was behind the sofa the whole time!

The Shit Volcano's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorh 3000+ points

I am staying at my sister's house and she just shit out a chunk of corn. The strange thing was she hadn't eaten corn for two weeks. Now that's just freaky!

I found Jesus! He was behind the sofa the whole time!

kara littig's picture

ithought that this page was a very amazing tip to me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

dumb dexter's picture

try corn salsa it has the strangest odor when you poop it out

The Shit Volcano's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorh 3000+ points

No corn yet.

I found Jesus! He was behind the sofa the whole time!

The Shit Volcano's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorh 3000+ points

Tonight while I was reading Poop Report, of all things, my ass crack itched. I reached into my crack and low and behold I pulled out a strawberry seed! Corn isn't the only thing that survives the bowels.

BTW, I just has some corn. Let's see how many days it takes for it to come out the other side!

I found Jesus! He was behind the sofa the whole time!

jordan's picture

Mr. Adams, we actually do want the contributions of a real physician. If at some time you spot one, please promote this site to him. As well, please enlist the help of a psychiatrist, he will most likely prescribe powerful drugs for your acute psychosis.

The Shit Volcano's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorh 3000+ points

Still waiting on that corn.

I found Jesus! He was behind the sofa the whole time!

The Shit Volcano's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorh 3000+ points

Forget it! It's gone! I can only get used grapefruit skins in my shit anyway.

I found Jesus! He was behind the sofa the whole time!

Crapola's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorl 100+ points

I highly enjoyed the verbal swordplay between all the various eggheads, pseudo or otherwise, on this topic. Please continue, I am laughing my ass off, and learning something too.

Piece Out!

random input's picture

Dr. Adams does have a point, although we didn't eat corn millions of years ago we did eat more plant material. This may or may not have been corn, stuff like nuts, berries and leafy plants. The human digestive tract isn't to good at digesting cellulose. Cellulose is in the cell wall of plants, it gives them their rigidity. In parts like corn kernals and nuts there is a lot more cellulose so it is less likely that in the chewing process that the cell wall we be broken enough for the enzymes to digest it. Millions of years ago like Dr. Adams said, we were better equiped for eating this sort of stuff. Larger, stronger jaws, with more molars for grinding the food. Now we have weaker jaws and smaller teeth, so like Dr. Adams said a smaller amount of the corn will be chewed.

The Shit Volcano's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorh 3000+ points

Well, what do you know! Lo and behold, there was a corn kernel in my poop this afternoon. That could be a record for corn holding!!!

I found Jesus! He was behind the sofa the whole time!

Captain Colon's picture

I belive that eating things that are harder to digest "execises" the digestive tract and makes it stronger. Like the doc said it doesn't seem to have any trouble w/ odd things, I tried some pieces of bone once and was able to digest them pretty well. Even certain rocks and metal will digest but plastic and glass will not.

Amie and Niki's picture

WOW this is a great site! Our poo problems are cured! Now our poo is happy as ever! and we can thank you for out happy poo! We have learned many new techniques such as the ass muffler! Have you ever heard of indian poo? It's kind of like oh henry but it comes from indians! thanx

The Poop Zone's picture

My best friend told me that when he changes his son's diaper after a corn eating, theres always whole kernals that look thoroughly cooked and ready to eat. His theory is, they're cooked, and the digestive system acts as an oven for the corn, so they should be ok to eat if one was up to eating something thats been through the digestive system. Not that anybody would actually do it (would they?), but in theory, wouldn't it be safe to remove the kernals from the poop, rinse them off, and eat them as if they were just cooked? (More of our thoughts on poop at

ok's picture

corn in my poop disgusts me bahaha

Russell's picture

When I ate corn and the whole kernel came out of my ass, it hurt. The kernel kind of scraped my ass cheeks. This was always a problem for me as I am a huge corn connoisseur and enjoy an occasional corn on the cob from the grill. However, I have realized that if you swallow your flem after eating corn, it acts as a lubricated coating to the shit and the kernel do not scrape my ass. I hope this is beneficial to anyone that is experiencing the scraping sensation.

poop lover's picture

I'm probably beating a dead horse, as it were, but I have some comments. First of all, take everything I say with a grain of salt as I am rather hungover. Kudos to Random Input for boiling it down to cellulose. Perhaps Dr. Adams should have simply said "...because corn kernels are comprised mostly of cellulose which the human digestive system cannot digest." Thanks to Ramshakle for his discussion of the misinterpretation of the word "theory" by those not trained in a scientific discipline. Despite the perceived level of development of any scientific field, the "factual" component is always the body of data. How it is organized, interpreted and explained is always a matter theory. Those confounded by this should look up both "theory" and "law" in any decent dictionary, as I think they unreasonably expect a theory (e.g. Evolution or Relativity) to be on par with a law (e.g. Boyle's Law). This is not possible, nor is it really expected or even desirable, as revision of theories is how science advances. Lastly, I feel I must respond to Doniker, who commented, "If this guy truly was a professional doctor, why the fuck would he be wasting his time here?" Just because one chooses to subject himself to eight plus years of higher education does not mean he can no longer take pleasure in poop. I myself will have a Ph.D. soon enough, and as I embark on my eighth year of study I find shit more intriguing and hilarious than ever. To think that someone with the word "doctor" in front of his or her name would or should no longer enjoy talking about poop is, in my opinion, a rather odd idea.

healthyveg's picture

meat sucks

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