Can eating poop kill you?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can eating poop kill you?”

This article also includes a list of surprising facts about poop that you may want to know.

Can eating poop kill you?

Maybe. The answer to this question depends upon whether the poop came from a healthy individual or not. It is not safe to eat poop under any circumstances. 

The only time you are allowed to eat poop is during poop therapy, in which case the poop is screened through various tests to ensure that it is safe to eat. 

The poop of an infected individual contains harmful bacteria that can lead to disease upon ingestion. Steer clear of eating poop under medically unsupervised situations. 

Stool is the new antibiotic

Most of the fatal infections are treated by administering antibiotics such as vancomycin and metronidazole. But these antibiotics do not have a very impressive success rate. Only 20% of successful cases have been reported by using these antibiotics. The rest of the 80% need to be treated by a fecal transplant. 

If you are grossed out by the idea of eating poop, scientists have solved it for you by introducing colonoscopy. This surgical procedure has proven to be 90% more effective with possibilities of the procedure going wrong. 

To complete the procedure, the first step is to make sure the stool comes from a healthy individual. The poop therapy is only continued if the poop does not contain any infectious microbes and is completely healthy for administration.

Microbial transplant as a new trend

Thanks to the  OpenBiome, a non-profit organization that collects the stools of healthy individuals. Although poop therapy has shown remarkable results, there is still a stigma attached to it. FDA refers to poop as an investigational new drug. 

Most people have only reported diarrhea and constipation as two of the main adverse effects of poop therapy. Before you opt for poop therapy, you must consult with your clinician.

Surprising facts about poop

Poop is mostly bacteria, and not your food

A majority part of the poop is made up of water. If we include the water content, we realize that 50-80% of the poop is just bacteria. 

These bacteria could be dead or alive and they can be sloughed off from your intestinal lining, or come from the food that you ate. 

Besides bacteria, poop also contains a noticeable amount of the indigestible plant fiber-cellulose. The amount of fiber present in your poop is directly linked to your diet. 

Poop is brown due to the dead red blood cells and bile

The color of your feces is ascribed to a chemical known as stercobilin. This chemical may either be produced as a byproduct of the hemoglobin in broken-down red blood cells or it could come from the bile juice.

Scientists say that the ideal color of the poop of a healthy individual should be deep chocolate or something like melted chocolate.

A poop without stercobilin would have a pale grey or whitish color. This can be observed in people with liver disease or clogged bile ducts, as a result of which their poop contains little or no stercobilin.

If the poop is colored otherwise, it is an alarming situation. A yellow-colored poop signals a parasitic infection or pancreatic cancer. 

Black or dark red poop indicates bleeding in the upper GI tract — or of eating beets. Blue poop occurs as the result of eating blue food color while green poop could be another sign of infection.

Men and women poop differently 

Men and women are built differently. These differences show us that men poop more easily and regularly than men. 

This is because women have a wider pelvic structure and additional internal organs (such as the uterus and ovaries). 

Due to which the colon of women is structured lower in the skeleton as compared to the location of men’s colon. Moreover, men have a tough abdominal wall that makes it easy for the poop to push through. 

Good bacteria and plant fiber are essential for a healthy poop

A diet that is rich in plant fiber or cellulose results in bulky poop. This plant fiber also serves as a food for the healthy gut microbiota. Most of the probiotic food products are made using a single strain of bacteria and cannot compete with the natural and extremely diverse gut microflora. 

Taking the wrong medication for a certain bacteria infection might kill your natural gut bacteria. Weak gut microbiota cannot act as the body’s defense so they let the other harmful bacteria, such as C. difficile grow in the gut.

Conclusion

In this article, we answered the question “Can eating poop kill you?”

References

https://www.vox.com/2015/1/22/7871579/poop-feces

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.