Green Poop: The Implications Of Food Dye On Poop Color

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Editor's note: here's the short answer -- blue food coloring turns your poop green. Keep reading to find out more, and then peruse the many, many comments for corroboration.

Since my freshman year in college (a small liberal arts college in
northern Vermont), I've been fascinated with the correlation between the ingestion of
food-coloring and the color of the poop produced. Lest you think I'm fabricating, here's the background:

The year was 1996. I was a biochem major at St. Michael's College in Winooski, Vermont.
I had consumed copious quantities of Purplesaurus Rex
Kool-aid in a one night time frame. A few hours later, I pooped. It was
green. Bright green. I was fascinated, and called as many of my
floor-mates as would come into the stall to marvel at the miracle of the
"not brown, not bloody shit".












I was a bit of a celeb for a while, until others replicated my
"experiment". Similar results ensued, with me being notified of each event
via e-mail. So, a craze started.

As the progenitor of the new species of poo, I was caught in the middle. Research spread far and wide; of
a campus of 2700 students, I was receiving up to 45 e-mails a day from
poopexplorers.

Anyway, enough drivel. Here's the science:

The dye used in purplesaurus Rex is FDA Blue #5, and dye-lake
red. Turns out that when metabolized in sufficient quantity, the blue dye combines
with bile, and forms a brilliant green. The red, absorbing at a 595nm
spectrum, is harmlessly eliminated.

What matters is quantity. I consumed 6
liters of the Kool-aid in the night in question (sans alcohol, that comes
later). I set up a study in the dorm, with people consuming anywhere from
(1) 250mL glass of the stuff (approximately (1) 8oz glass) to the maximum tested
so far, 6L. The experiment was structured on a single-blind study (won't get FDA
approval, but sufficient), with only myself knowing what each was consuming.

How did the experiment come into being, you might ask? Well, I campaigned for 24 "volunteers"
(the first consuming 1 glass, the last consuming 24 glasses). How did they
not know what they were drinking? Well, since it was only single-blind,
they essentially did -- though all were required to drink 6L of fluid total,
and ordered not to defecate at all in the 6 hours of the experiment.

Example: Subject 1 received 250mL of the subjected test substance, and
5.75L of water. Subject 2 received 500mL of the stuff and 5.5L of water.

Everyone was agreeable at first, but soon dissention reigned prime. But order
was maintained. After 6 hours, orders were given to poop, supervised (more or less).
Since I had unrestricted access to the chem and bio labs, samples of each
"extrusion" were taken, in the amount of 2g.

The results were heartening. I plan on getting a PhD (which, in this instance would probably mean, "PUSH
HARDER, DUMMY!") on this someday, so I won't post my final data, just enough
to give an idea:


  • Subject 1: 250mL Purplesaurus Rex with 5750mL water:

    Stool, firm and brown. Spectrophotometer reading: normal.

  • Subject 12: 3000mL Purplesaurus Rex with 3000mL water:

    Stool, firm(ish) and green(ish). Spec reading 550nm (definitely Green...just not GREEN)
  • Subject 24: 6000mL Purplesaurus Rex with 0mL water:

    Stool, Firm(ish) and
    Green, resplendent of original test subject (me). Spec reading, 535nm. Definition of GREEN confirmed.

  • Further experiments considered fruit punch (mostly synthetic, only 2.5%
    fruit juice), Hi-C of various persuasions, and various and sundry other
    store-bought concoctions.

    If you're interested in my results, let me know...I'll gladly share them for
    the good of society.

    -- Dave J




    On May 27 2003, PoopReport.com received this email. Dave J, the author of the above piece, was so happy that he wanted this added to his story as proof that writing for PoopReport can improve people's lives.

    dear poopreport,

    i know you may find this hard to believe, but you just eased my mind tremendously about our daughter's "poop situation." beginning yesterday about 5p.m. our daughter began having bright green dirty diapers. she has had four in a 24 hour period and i (being an over paranoid mom) have contacted everyone i know, including our pediatrician, and no one had any answers other than it will probably go away. that response just does not cut it with me. i had to have answers. i have been on-line non-stop trying to dig up a possible answer. i told our doctor that the only new food or drink she had consumed was "purple kool-aid" and lots of it. he told me that purple kool aid would not produce green stool. after reading your article i realize it can. thank you soooo much. after hours of searching and worrying, i am off to bed.

    -- grateful mom


    1604 Comments on "Green Poop: The Implications Of Food Dye On Poop Color"

    Anonymous's picture

    Frosting with a tonne of blue food coloring does it too. My 4 year old had cake with bright blue frosting that I made and her poop was bright green. [I found this website by looking online to see if I should call her Dr in the morning]

    Anonymous's picture

    I ate blue-colored shave ice and had perfectly green loose poop for a couple of days. My boyfriend took only a bite from my shave ice and had a hint of green color in his poop. It was great to read this study. Good luck with the PhD.

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

    There is no definitive answer to your question. Sarah Lefkowitz, a registered dietitian, offers the following;

    "Average intestinal transit time (how long it takes for your food to become poo) is about 40 – 45 hours."

    Note that the key word is "average" some people may have a faster rate of peristalsis and some people may be slower.

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

    Anonymous's picture

    How long does the poop stay colored? after a late snack Saturday night & then breakfast Sunday AM of Market Pantry Frosted Fruit O's (Target branded fruit loops), my son's poop was bright green and still is. It's now Tuesday night. It even colors the toilet water green.
    Need colored poop duration please :)
    Thank You,
    Sherry
    ecomdesigns@gmail.com

    MSG's picture
    Comment Quality Moderatori 2000+ points

    I guess I never have enough food coloring to make my poop bright green, though earlier this year I did have one a dullish sort of green after cake with blue frosting. The most I usually notice is that Oreo cookies or other chocolate in sufficient quantity can produce a somewhat darker brown stool.

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

    Dear Anonymous, Blackberry popcorn? I guess I just don't get out and about often enough because this is a new one on me. I am a traditionalist as far as popcorn is concerned and think anything other than salt and butter is going to far. Well, I suppose a bit of Cracker Jacks on occasion is okay.

    Now if you'll excuse me I'm off to the kitchen to fix a tuna and jelly sandwich for breakfast.

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

    Anonymous's picture

    It appears that Blackberry Popcorn produces the same results! FYI. Thanks for easing my fears!

    Anonymous's picture

    I actually ate blue raspberry kettle corn (about half a cup) and my poop was bright green. Didn't even look real it was so green.

    Anonymous's picture

    My poop has been this very GREEN color for a week all thanks to generic brand fruit loops. I just can't stop eating those delicious sweet circles!

    Anonymous's picture

    Omg! I must say thank you too. I had a blue raspberry snow ball I totally forgot about until I pooped out turquoise colored poo. I freaked out because the water even turned greenish blue. Your website saved me!

    Anonymous's picture

    A week ago I had a bowl of Fruit Loops. Fruit Loops always makes me shit green but the surprising thing this time is that I only had the cereal once and after a week I'm still shitting green. Maybe I'm backed up.

    Anonymous's picture

    Just happened to me. Damn those berries.

    Anonymous's picture

    After having a busy day two days ago and guiltily snagging a bag of KFC+gravy on the way home at eight thirty, ravenous, I pooped BRIGHT green. All I had was crispy chicken (actually kind of soggy once I got home, do not recommend), gravy, mashed potatoes, more gravy. Obviously the gravy now seems suspect, as everything else was basically WHITE, but I know iron causes it too.

    Anyone else had a problem with super pumped-up chicken? I had leftovers yesterday, and this morning, same thing. ???

    Anonymous's picture

    Had a blue frosted cupcake for the 4th of July, bright green poop!

    Anonymous's picture

    This happened to me yesterday and I nearly panicked! It took me about four hours and I was taking a picture and sending it to my husband before I realized that it was the Blue Coconut Slushy I had from Sonic. It was very tasty and now I have NEON Green poop. Glad to know I'm normal and not dying as I had initially thought. Thanks for your help guys!

    Anonymous's picture

    Oh, Thank you! I Was wondering what kind of virus/infection would cause this...BLUE SNO-CONES!!! Had me scared $hitless this week.

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

    There are many reasons to eliminate Tang from his diet. Green poo is not one of them.

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

    Anonymous's picture

    LOL, Blue ocean water at Sonic. YUP turned my poo green.

    Anonymous's picture

    My poo has been a fetching shade of spring green for a while now and thanks to this lovely page I am no longer considering a visit to the emergency room. Blue snow-cones are the culprit! You saved me hundreds of dollars and countless hours of humiliation! Hooray!

    Anonymous's picture

    16 oz of grape Kool-Aide and I'm good. 1L of grape Gatorade and I shat. Green. As a youngster, around 5ish, I recall having a rhinovirus. Don't remember the details other than green poo. Naturally, this time I freaked. I'm not even sure if the same virus strain still lurks 30 yrs later. Anyhow, thanks to all of you brave 'dooers' who experimented in the name of society!

    Anonymous's picture

    Same thing happened to us when we ate there!!! We freaked out, glad to hear same thing happened to you!

    Anonymous's picture

    Great Value Cereal Fruit Spins turns my son's stool green. I hope this comment helps some other concerned parent.

    Anonymous's picture

    I just read this on a site where bodybuilders go to discuss their poop. I should probably add that my poop turns gold after I go down on Kim Kardashian.

    Anonymous's picture

    Yes, Captain Crunch, "Oops! All Berries" has turned my wife's poo really bright green. It's crazy, I could see the dyes running out of the poop. We thought she had something going on with her bile? Scarred the shit out of us! More like "Poops All Berries!"

    Anonymous's picture

    Just one chocolate cupcake with blue icing produced the green effect the next day for me. I thought "WTF??!!"

    I was too embarrassed to call my doctor, but was greatly relieved to read this article!! Thank you.

    Unfortunately, you can't really put warning labels on cupcakes...

    Anonymous's picture

    Happens to my kids all the time..lol

    Anonymous's picture

    Just got back from Disney, green poo after eating mexican at Epcot!

    Anonymous's picture

    Grape Shasta. Makes sense now.

    daphne's picture
    PoopReport of the Year AwardSite AdminComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatore 6000+ points

    I had to post the above comment out of pure Grammar Nazi urge. We receive spam messages all the time from essay-writing companies, such as this one.

    For the love of God, do not buy an essay from one of these companies.

    Thank you.

    .....hugging bunnies since 1969
    www.daphneszoo.com

    Anonymous's picture

    Students life is cool, however, it includes many difficulties like term essays completing. Frequently it gets us surprises such as academic papers writing companies that offer to buy pre writing essay written by specialists.

    Anonymous's picture

    Your amazing experiment has eased my mind and answered many of the questions I had about the world.

    I had four bowls of Boo Berry cereal. BRIGHT GREEN poop.

    This also explains why the black cherry slushie at Burger King so many years ago caused a difference in stool color.

    Anonymous's picture

    Thanks for the site, really brings me peace of mind. I like to wake up first thing after an all night drunk and chug 2-3 Fierce Grape Gatorades and when I started noticing turds that looked like freshly picked produce I was worried I had a liver problem. But then I noticed the color would change mid-turd and sometimes have a tie-dye or kaleidescope effect, so I thought it could be a food dye, glad I found your site I can shit in peace now.

    Anonymous's picture

    There is no "blueish green" to speak off. Captain Crunch all berries has turned my poo GREEN for days. I mean like motherboard green, or mountain dew bottle green. Scared the crap out of me the first time (hehehehe)

    Anonymous's picture

    Sound like rip-off Disney serving fake blue corn chips... the real ones don't paint your poo.

    But a friend of mine took a vacation in New Mexico and caught some funky parasite from blue corn tortillas (not chips). She was rather fond of the critters and sorry to see the doctors poison them out of her system. She and Daphne would probably get along rather well...

    Anonymous's picture

    Froot Loops=Green Poo

    Anonymous's picture

    Mostly I poop blood and Vaseline.

    Anonymous's picture

    Drank three 24oz cans of Grape flavored Four Loko last night, and this morning my poop was brilliantly green.
    I don't recommend this though, because that particular beverage is 12% alcohol and after 72oz of it I blacked out and peed the bed. Not the smartest thing I've ever done, but not the dumbest either. Life goes on....luckily.

    Anonymous's picture

    Wow... I had the exact same experience at Disneyworld. It was totally bright green the next day. I suspected the blue corn chips from the cantina at Epcot. Now I know for sure!

    Anonymous's picture

    Thanks for the article. I ate Captain Crunch "Oops All Berries" last night and found a brown/green #2 mix that had me perplexed at first and ready to call the doctor thinking I had some signs of cancer. I feel a lot better now.

    Anonymous's picture

    Oh, butt you are so very, very abnormal ;-)

    Anonymous's picture

    Thank you for your post!! I just went and was concerned when it was such an extraordinary green! Almost beautiful! So I started thinking of what I ate and thought of nothing unusual... that is until I remembered the cake I made yesterday, with more blue food coloring in the icing than I have ever put before! Now I know and thank you!!

    Anonymous's picture

    I ate an insane amount of these sweet blue candies for the past two days
    . They looked like little blue berries, but a brightly colored blue. They were delicious! I woke up this morning for my "morning dew" and it was bright green!!! I was shocked, thought something may be wrong. I remembered eating lots of the blue candy so I Googled to see if blue coloring created green dew.....I'm so relieved!!!!! Thanks for posting!!!!

    Anonymous's picture

    I was petrified a moment ago when my two year old had bad diarrohea in the toilet which was olive green then suddenly turned bright, light green! I panicked phoned my mum and was just about to make a docs appointment when I thought to check the internet. It suddenly crossed my mind that my daughter had eaten some of the spare coloured icing I had made to ice my father's b'day cake. She took bits as I was working on it and it was two icings of vivid blue and lime/green! I wondered if the icing could have affected her poo and sure enough realised on reading your article that yes, it can! Not sure I want to eat some of dad's cake now!! I have eaten it before and never altered my poo but my little girl has a tummy bug anyway so presumably it must have passed straight through her! Anyway, panic over with! Phew! Thanks for your article- interesting and certainly enlightening!!! :D

    Anonymous's picture

    I SHITTTED GREEN TODAY!! I HAD TO SEARCH IT UP!! And in relief found this amazing green poop post! Guess I'm not alone. So it's the food coloring! I happened to eat 4 bowls of captain crunch cereal which had blueberry's inside it, due to my brother mixing shit up, I was hungry so I just ate it, and kept eating 'cause it tasted good.

    Anonymous's picture

    You post helped me tremendously... I was freaking out today when I saw my stool this morning. My initial thought was that I was sick. When thinking about what I ate yesterday, the only think that had any color in it...were the chips at the Cantina. Your posts confirmed my suspicions. Thank you.

    No I can just appreciate the novelty of having green pooh.

    Anonymous's picture

    also if you eat fruity cereals like trix and captain crunch oops all berries turn it a blueish green

    Anonymous's picture

    I was worried this morning when I went to the bathroom, which prompted me to research to make sure everything was okay. So yeah PURPLE FANTA is definitely the culprit!! :-)

    Anonymous's picture

    Thank you so much for this! I could hug you! ({}) I went to the movies last night and had a Blue Raspberry ICEE. I'm fairly health conscientious so I usually don't bother with the concession stand at the movies and opt to bring my own decidedly healthier options. I gave in and had the ICEE. Anyway, fast-forward to 10am the next day and I go to the bathroom right before yoga and there it was, neon green poop! I almost screamed but held it in as not to frightened anyone who might be within earshot. All through class and most of today, I reviewed my food intake of the previous day and just couldn't figure it out until I did research and came across you article here. All I knew was I felt fine, I wasn't sick and hadn't eaten anything that color or so I thought. Whew! What a sigh of relief! Thanks again!

    Anonymous's picture

    Blue icing on cupcakes, made wiping quiet worriesome. Glad to know everyone I Fed them to will go through the same thing >:)

    Anonymous's picture

    Yummy orange and black tortilla chips=green poop.

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