Corn In The Poop?

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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?












214 Comments on "Corn In The Poop?"

ChiefThunderbutt's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatorf 5000+ points

Dear Anonymous, Dr Adams is no longer around but perhaps this quote from Wikipedia, which only addresses lactose intolerance, will at least partially answer your question.

"Most mammals normally become lactose intolerant after weaning, but some human populations have developed lactase persistence, in which lactase production continues into adulthood. It is estimated that 75% of adults worldwide show some decrease in lactase activity during adulthood.[5] The frequency of decreased lactase activity ranges from 5% in northern Europe through 71% for Sicily to more than 90% in some African and Asian countries. This distribution is now thought to have been caused by recent natural selection favoring lactase persistant individuals in cultures that rely on dairy products. While it was first thought that this would mean that populations in Europe, India, and Africa had high frequencies of lactase persistence because of a particular mutation, it has now been shown that lactase persistence is caused by several independently occurring mutations."

I hope that helps answer your question. Evolution, also known as natural selection, is a wonderful thing.

Dr. Thunderbutt

How long a minute is depends on what side of the bathroom door you're on!

Anonymous's picture

QUOTE "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."

Hmm. Dr. Adams, maybe the reason our digestive systems aren't digesting certain things could be that the body doesn't need it? In what ways has the human digestive system changed over thousands of years?

ChiefThunderbutt's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatorf 5000+ points

Dear Anonymous, There are many things in the world that are eternal, sand on the beaches, moonlit nights, and corn in the poop. These have existed for thousands of years and will probably exist for thousands more.

How long a minute is depends on what side of the bathroom door you're on!

Anonymous's picture

How has this thread not been abandoned after nine years?

Anonymous's picture

Yes it has nutritional value. It is a complex carbohydrate that is high in fiber and vitamins. Different varieties of corn do vary somewhat in vitamins, and fiber, etc. But, corn has nutritional value. However, corn allergies are often undiagnosed. But, if a problem with corn exists, it is probably an allergy or intolerance to gluten, which means no wheat/rice/grain/etc.

Anonymous's picture

Corn does have nutritional value. From what I know, it is a great source of protein and carbs as well as fiber. I don't know about allergies or about the body not digesting it. Probably something to do with starch? But sweet corn that we have today has less starch. Either way, I know corn does have good nutritional value. Hope someone else can second that!

ChiefThunderbutt's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatorf 5000+ points

Dear Anonymous, Thanks for your input. It is nice to know that there are caring individuals like your esteemed and knowledgeable self who have time to police the rest of us who are destroying the world with our attempts at humor.

Now, since you are living in your moms basement and won't have to go out of the way to do it why don't you clean the lint trap in the dryer like a good boy.

How long a minute is depends on what side of the bathroom door you're on!

Anonymous's picture

You guys are morons, seriously. This thread is literally everything that is wrong with the world.

Congratulations you all suck at life.

Anonymous's picture

I ate corn, broccoli, baked potato and steak, and about 5 hours later had to use the bathroom. I saw corn is this normal?
____________________________________Moderators Comment

This is a sure sign of impending death and is not at all a normal occurrence. I would suggest that you write a will and get your affairs in order as soon as possible. Can I have your smart phone after you kick the bucket?

ChiefThunderbutt

Anonymous's picture

I love how this thread had been going for nine years

Anonymous's picture

So I ate hulk edition Hershey's syrup and to my disbelief I pooped green logs. I'm not just saying logs to be comical -- they were really in the shape of logs and lime Green. What's up with that?

Anonymous's picture

actually this would make sense ... seeing how the turd is probably a great fertilizer as well

Anonymous's picture

lmao! this is really hilarious!

Anonymous's picture

I love shitting, I take pics of it every day and send it to my friend and vice versa:)

Anonymous's picture

Ramschackle's original comment is spot on. Although, people really don't chew they're food as they should.

Anonymous's picture

Colored popcorn?? That is not natural.

Anonymous's picture

probably because you have flora in your gut that produce cellulase wich breaks down the cellulose in the corn. not sure though.

Anonymous's picture

I love the corn in my poop. Like a gattling gun on the way out--Total fun!!

Montgomery triangle is awesome!

Anonymous's picture

I came onto this website thinking.. Hey, thisll be funny.

But no. There are too many trolls, flamers
and boot lickers that truly ruin this site for the rest of the planet.

Please stop posting your stupid comments arguing against someone who spent more of their life and money on becoming a highly trained professional based on assisting other humans.

Go do what he did or wait, did you drop out to become an Internet back-talker?

ChiefThunderbutt's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatorf 5000+ points

AC, Here, eat this jar of peanut butter and perhaps your poo will return to brown.


_______
Dirty old men need love too!!

How long a minute is depends on what side of the bathroom door you're on!

Anonymous Coward's picture

I purchased coloured and flavoured popcorn and today when I pooped it was blue (the colour of the popcorn) and there were kernels in my poop, why is that!

Dr. Guthrie's picture

I am very interested in all the opinions and theories of everyone here; however, this is all unverified with no trial data to back it up. All in all, very entertaining read.

devolution's picture

Hahaha! I had a great laugh when reading this. Not because it's about corn in your poo (although that IS funny), but how silly the reasoning is. I think that in future generations, we won't be looking at the strange things they won't be able to digest anymore... but we WILL be looking at how they laugh at us for thinking that the universe created itself out of nothing and humans evolved out of primordial goo. Ah yes! The great practical joke of evolution!

Colon Cleansing's picture

Corn may come out the way it came in because of a few reasons. One of these is the chewing part of the digestion process. The size of the corn makes it hard to chew properly. Another is that corn is made of cellulose which is hard to digest because we do not have the appropriate enzymes to fully digest it.
http://www.oxypowder.com

colon cleanse's picture

"What comes in, should come out" - a simple quote yet applicable in various situations, and that includes the topic about "poop". It is important to learn more about our digestive systems and what happens to our stomach and colon as they process the food that we intake in order to understand and determine whether or not we are living healthy.

Cornucopia's picture

Some of you have defended Dr. Adams and even came to his rescue providing some sort of scientific explanations. Although I do not believe everything the "doctor" says I do believe that he is an idiot at delivering the message. I can be spew shit out my ass just as well.

Millions of years ago our dicks were the size of a tree stump. After the carnage of sexual activities the female would stumble out of the cave and be laughed at by the rest of the clan waiting outside to high-five the lucky monkey that banged her. Some rituals were performed where a group of males circle a female and jerk off on her. Today it's known as "Bukkake" or "Circle Jerk". Evolution has progressed in many ways hasn't it?

MSG's picture
Comment Quality Moderatori 2000+ points

Never had any problem with microwaved popcorn. It seems to digest just like regular popcorn--which is to say, it adds about the same amount of fiber.

ChiliKahKah's picture
j 1000+ points

I think the chemical agents in micro-wave pop corn contribute to the problems with digestion of the popped corn leading to problems with the corn exiting the body.

Meh's picture

I will simply chew better. Enough said. Instead of trying to pointlessly argue whether Dr. Adams is right or wrong, why not test it yourselves. It's easy... chew, chew, chew. If this works then I won't be an idiot arguing with a doctor because I read some stuff off wikipedia...

Anonymous Coward's picture

Corn is natures highlighter

MSG's picture
Comment Quality Moderatori 2000+ points

JenV, it is perfectly normal for food to take anywhere from a day to a week to pass totally through the system. I had corn 3 days ago, and it came out in separate movements over a couple of days; not a problem. Also, in your case, you might have passed corn in the stool your first day after eating it, and simply not seen it because it was inside the stool. In any case, don't worry.

JenV's picture

Is it normal for the corn to take 2+ days to my body to digest (see the first trace of it in my poop) corn?

MSG's picture
Comment Quality Moderatori 2000+ points

Evolution (if it exists in macro form) must be distinguished from selective breeding, which is what happened to corn. The wild maize (from exhibits I've seen) was a whole lot more edible ground up as corn flour than fresh. Our modern sweet corn, in its many varieties, is vastly different; yet it is not a new species or kind, merely a new cultivar. Whatever it is, when it goes into your mouth, you can often expect it to appear again from the far end.

Thunderbox's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Quality Moderatorj 1000+ points

I reckon wisdom teeth are here to stay. Us wisdom toothers will be the ones still around in 10000 years.

I use mine to crack open the bones of peasants who trespass on my property, once I`ve despatched them and butchered the swine, so I can suck out the marrow.....mmmmmhmmmmmm.

The voice of sanity

Marty's picture

Hi! I wanted to tell you that this website gave me some laughs and I've been enjoying it. But I wanted to point out one thing: we are not evolving. We don't have natural selection. Appendixes and wisdom teeth are not evidence of this, they are vestigial, which is not the same thing at all. I thought that I would gently point this out, from one doctor to another.

LizH's picture

I have to reiterate what someone has already pointed out about the incorrect statements concerning evolution that you made in your explanation. They are very wrong. There is no human evolution currently occurring since we control our environment so much. People with wisdom teeth are not dying off, so there is no natural selection. Please change what you've written here, since people still seem to be confused and misinformed by what you are saying.

gravity is a law's picture

Someone here said that gravity is still a theory. That's an inaccurate statement. Gravity is a scientific law. There has never been an exception to gravity.

On the other hand, Einstein's General Theory of Relativity and Graviton Theory are NOT scientific laws. We know gravity exists and we know that there aren't exceptions to gravity, but we don't know for sure how gravity works.

Just my $.02 for those of you who think they know everything! :)

yaqoob's picture

Dr Adams I enjoyed reading your article & it's an interesting observation you make re. the incisors increasing in size due to our overindulgence in meat. My question is do you think if people with large incisors cut down significantly on meat & eat more veg, would their children's teeth start looking more 'normal'? And after how many generations?

Lurker's picture

I was always lead to believe that we do not have the proper digestive system for most vegetation. And it never really has, even for meat. That's why we started cooking, which tenderizes meat (and breaks down vegetation), and we evolved smaller skulls with shallower ridges as we didn't need massive jaw muscles anymore. We don't have the right bacteria and enzymes to digest corn's and most vegetation's cellular walls made of cellulose. But animals like cows, with ruminant (multi-chambered) digestive systems and who regurgitate and rechew food, are capable of extracting and absorbing their vegetation food. We're simply not built for it, that's why we cook, we eat meat, and why your mom was right when she said to CHEW YOUR FOOD.

Cornypoo's picture

Oh my god! That's why theres corn in our poo. That's rather fascinating! I will have to spread the word. Go Poo! It tells us everything.

YAY!
I think I'm gonna go take a shit right now!

Bored Adolescent's picture

Corn in poop is ajoyous. After a few drinks drinks, tell your friends about the miracle of the food seen twice. Corn, peanuts, almonds, swallow it whole and show them at home. Soon after, discuss the need to recycle. Some say its nice to taste it twice.

Anonymous Coward's picture

who knew this much shit could be stirred up over...well shit

ChiefThunderbutt's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatorf 5000+ points

pea-nut stu.....I need more information before I can help, first how did you manage to get your head up someone's ass? Was the peanut stuck to your scalp or forehead? Did it taste OK or have a slightly "off" flavor.

Awaiting your reply...Dr. Buttstein


_______
Eat chilies and feel the burn!!

How long a minute is depends on what side of the bathroom door you're on!

pea-nut stu's picture

jimmy cracked corn and he didn't even care!

pea-nut stu's picture

1 time when i pulled out of her cornhole there was a peanut stuck on my head. The peanut was not there when i started. Any help with this mystery is appreciated.

MSG's picture
Comment Quality Moderatori 2000+ points

Forty years ago, when I ate corn, it would often give me diarrhea. Most of the time, I could see the corn in the diarrhea before I flushed it. Fortunately, that symptom went away after a few years, and I no longer had to dread eating corn; but after eating it I still see it again in my poop (at least, most of the time).

anal droppings's picture

Does it still look like corn if you eat corn and then have diarrhea?
Basically, I just have diarrhea a lot. :)

Anonymous Coward's picture

why are you arguing about this? weird dude..

ChiliKahKah's picture
j 1000+ points

Think how livestock fattened up on corn feel as they stand in the feedlot !

Dylan's picture

I love this site. I laughed so hard that MORE of the corn which led me here screamed for an emergency exit!
Oh, BTW. I like to call them POINTY POOS. My mom tells me I came up with that when I was 3.
Another thing . . . I feel sorry for people who can only piss/shit in their own house. Do they ever go on vacation?

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