Bowel Movement Frequency

Bowel Movement Frequency
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Comparing the regularity of omnivores, vegetarians, and vegans.

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The fiber in flax seeds and other whole plant foods is about more than just reducing our risk for the #1 and #2 killers of Americans—heart disease and cancer. Constipation is the most common gastrointestinal complaint in the United States, leading to millions of doctor visits every year. More than just the discomfort, constipation can increase risk for hiatal hernia, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, and painful conditions with names like anal fissure.

The biggest study on bowel movement frequency in history was recently published, comparing the bowel habits of 15,000 meat eaters to 5,000 vegetarians and 1,000 vegans. The researchers conclude that being vegetarian, especially vegan, is strongly associated with a higher frequency of bowel movements. Vegans, for example, were about 3 times more likely to have daily BMs. Like I always said, vegans are just regular people.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

The fiber in flax seeds and other whole plant foods is about more than just reducing our risk for the #1 and #2 killers of Americans—heart disease and cancer. Constipation is the most common gastrointestinal complaint in the United States, leading to millions of doctor visits every year. More than just the discomfort, constipation can increase risk for hiatal hernia, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, and painful conditions with names like anal fissure.

The biggest study on bowel movement frequency in history was recently published, comparing the bowel habits of 15,000 meat eaters to 5,000 vegetarians and 1,000 vegans. The researchers conclude that being vegetarian, especially vegan, is strongly associated with a higher frequency of bowel movements. Vegans, for example, were about 3 times more likely to have daily BMs. Like I always said, vegans are just regular people.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Doctor's Note

More on the health benefits of bowel frequency:

And check out the other videos on bowel movements

For additional context, check out my associated blog posts: Bowel Movements: The Scoop on Poop and Poultry Paunch: Meat & Weight Gain.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

16 responses to “Bowel Movement Frequency

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  1. Although I’m a vegetarian, I don’t have a BM everyday, Maybe every other day. And on the Bristol stool scale, I’m a type 4 when ever I do have a BM.




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      1.  amazing! i always thought i was “regular” with on average 5 or 6 bowl movements a week. when i went on a vegan diet i was shocked at having 3 a day!!!




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    1. I think in a later video he discusses how diets of near 100g fiber are actually healthy and the RDI is way lower than what it really should be.




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  2. I have a friend who recently told me he has one bowel movement per week, and it’s huge. He also consumes very few fruits and vegetables and a lot of hamburgers. I told him that, at a minimum, he should have a bowel movement once every two or three days, and I added that he should sharply increase his consumption of fruits and vegetables to improve his nutrition. What do you think?




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  3. Hi Paul! My name is Megan and I am volunteer for NutritionFacts. The suggestions that you made for your friend are really good ones, as increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables (especially these) will significantly increase his fiber intake, which contributes to healthier bowel and more frequent bowel movements. Here is another page with more information for you on bowel movements: http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/bowel-movements/. You may also mention to your friend that not eating enough plant foods that are high in fiber and consuming dairy products can contribute to constipation, and making changes to his eating habits may really help him! Here is some info on constipation: http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/constipation/. Hope this helps!




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