Onto what seems to be a popular topic on Unreal Facts, poop. Why is poop brown? This is a seriously good question to ask. When you think about it, the vast majority of food that we consume is not brown at all, yet once our body has processed it it turns into that color. We eat and drink a mix of colorful foods, from greens to reds (which I’m aware once mixed do turn brown), even blues, purples, yellows and oranges. Yet they all turn brown in our gut. It almost appears to be magical. But there isn’t any magic involved, duh. it’s completely biological, and I might also add, very interesting. So why is poop brown?
A large part of the reason that poop is brown is because of red blood cells. As they die off and move about the body several chemical reactions take place. One of these reactions is courtesy of the gall bladder.
The bile from the gall bladder becomes metabolized by bacteria in the intestines. As you know, with any chemical reaction there are byproducts, and this reaction creates a substance known as stercobilin. Stercobilin is the substance that gives your poop that distinctly brown color. Do you know what color it would be without stercobilin?
Because stercobilin is created when the bile becomes oxidized, it looks brown. As you are no doubt aware, to get the full benefit and vibrant coloring it is best mixed with a very light color. It’s for this reason that without stercobilin your poop would be a white to grey-ish color. If you see this in your own stools it is an indicator of a more serious internal problem, such as a blocked bile duct by a gall stone, or even pancreatic cancer.
Did you know that poop can also come in a variety of different colors? If it is red it can indicate internal bleeding, or just be a sign that you have recently consumed a large amount of beets. Black poop can also be a sign of internal bleeding further up in the intestinal tract, or just simply a high level of iron in your diet. If it’s yellow it is a sign of too much fat in the stool, and to cut back on fatty foods. Apart from being weird, the yellow stools are frightfully smelly, so keep a can of spray nearby. If it’s green it can mean that you are either a vegetarian, so eat some bacon, or you have a bacterial infection. Purple poop is a sign of the severely debilitating condition known as Porphyria. If you ever experience one of these conditions, it’s best to consult a doctor.