Bulking Up on Antioxidants

Bulking Up on Antioxidants
4.56 (91.11%) 9 votes

Even when fiber and fruit and vegetable intake are kept constant, choosing foods richer in antioxidants may increase stool size, which is associated with lower cancer risk.

Discuss
Republish

The relationship between stool size and decreased cancer risk at first seems pretty straightforward. Fiber is what causes bulky stools; the only place fiber is found is in whole foods. So, isn’t that just saying, more plant foods, less disease? That’s no revelation. But consider this: even plant-derived foods without fiber seem to increase fecal weight. How could that be?

That same group of intrepid Italian researchers that did the inflammation and arterial function studies turned their sights to the “Ability of a high-total antioxidant capacity diet to increase stool weight and bowel antioxidant status in human subjects.” Just like in the previous studies they did, same diets in terms of amount of fiber and amount of fruits and vegetables, but the high-antioxidant group just substituted some of the higher-antioxidant foods, like swapping in berries for bananas. After two weeks on the low-antioxidant diet, their average stool weight dropped down to three ounces a day. That’s almost as bad as New Yorkers!

But after switching to the high antioxidant diet (remember: same amount of fiber), there was more than a doubling of stool size. They suspect it has something to do with healthier diets altering the gut flora, but now we know. In addition to all the other benefits, a diet selected to raise the intake of dietary antioxidants is able to increase stool bulk. And incidentally, the antioxidant content of feces, though I’m not sure why we care.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is transcript contributed by Bruce A. Hamilton.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to Gerard Stolk / Flickr

The relationship between stool size and decreased cancer risk at first seems pretty straightforward. Fiber is what causes bulky stools; the only place fiber is found is in whole foods. So, isn’t that just saying, more plant foods, less disease? That’s no revelation. But consider this: even plant-derived foods without fiber seem to increase fecal weight. How could that be?

That same group of intrepid Italian researchers that did the inflammation and arterial function studies turned their sights to the “Ability of a high-total antioxidant capacity diet to increase stool weight and bowel antioxidant status in human subjects.” Just like in the previous studies they did, same diets in terms of amount of fiber and amount of fruits and vegetables, but the high-antioxidant group just substituted some of the higher-antioxidant foods, like swapping in berries for bananas. After two weeks on the low-antioxidant diet, their average stool weight dropped down to three ounces a day. That’s almost as bad as New Yorkers!

But after switching to the high antioxidant diet (remember: same amount of fiber), there was more than a doubling of stool size. They suspect it has something to do with healthier diets altering the gut flora, but now we know. In addition to all the other benefits, a diet selected to raise the intake of dietary antioxidants is able to increase stool bulk. And incidentally, the antioxidant content of feces, though I’m not sure why we care.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is transcript contributed by Bruce A. Hamilton.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to Gerard Stolk / Flickr

Doctor's Note

Be sure to check out all my other videos on antioxidants and don’t miss my other videos on bowel movements.

For more context, check out my associated blog posts: Stool Size and Breast Cancer RiskKiwi Fruit for Irritable Bowel SyndromeAntioxidants in a Pinch: Dried Herbs and SpicesBest Treatment for Constipation; and Raspberries Reverse Precancerous Lesions.

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

12 responses to “Bulking Up on Antioxidants

Commenting Etiquette

The intention of the comment section under each video and blog post is to allow all members to share their stories, questions, and feedback with others in a welcoming, engaging, and respectful environment. Off-topic comments are permitted, in hopes more experienced users may be able to point them to more relevant videos that may answer their questions. Vigorous debate of science is welcome so long as participants can disagree respectfully. Advertising products or services is not permitted.

To make NutritionFacts.org a place where people feel comfortable posting without feeling attacked, we have no tolerance for ad hominem attacks or comments that are racist, misogynist, homophobic, vulgar, or otherwise inappropriate. Please help us to foster a community of mutual respect. Enforcement of these rules is done to the best of our ability on a case-by-case basis.

  1. Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. Be sure to check out all the other videos on antioxidants and don’t miss the other videos on bowel movements. And there are 1,449 subjects covered in the rest of my videos–please feel free to explore them!




    1
    1. Could it be that women who aren’t getting enough anti oxidants (and fiber because the bacteria have a field day with fiber) in their body are at high risk for getting BV? Not enough good bacteria in the gut leads to not enough good bacteria in other parts of the body?

      However, I know of women who eat yogurt which cures their BV ( and subsequently keeps them regular) but it only masks the problem at hand.




      0
  2. If stool bulk is dependent on fiber and fiber is constant in both control diets, is it logical to assume the increased stool bulk is the result of more rapid transit times? If so, then the lower anti-oxidant diet can really back you up.

    Am I missing something here?




    0
  3. This is very interesting and helpful. I am wondering if you are familiar with Super Red Drink Powder available at Trader Joes. It has 52 anti-oxidant berries, fruits etc. One scoop has 8,000 ORAC units and all from whole natural foods. Harry Gilbow




    0
      1. Here is the profile for the Green Drink, the Red Drink is based on berries, nuts, seeds etc. but I could not locate a list. I would appreciate your professional view. H.G.

        Prop. Antioxidant blend – 2010mg
        organic barley grass juice, chlorella, spirulina, alfalfa concentrate, ioinic trace minerals

        Prop Antiox blend 2000mg

        Organic carrot, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, parsley powdered juices

        Prop AntiOx Blend – 1740mg

        Organic concord Grape powder, chery powder, milk thistle extract (80% sylmarin), redbeet root, aloe vera, pomegranate, tumeric (85% curcuminoids), kelp powder, green tea decaf (60% ployphenols), quercitin (98% dihydride), trans-resveratrol 50%, red wine extract, grape seed extract, blueberry leaf extract licorice, vegetable extract, fruit extract, cinnamon and strawberry powder

        fiber blend – 3850

        organic SDG flax lignans concentrate, Oat betaglucan, apple fiber pectin, sprouted barley malt, lecithin

        enzyme blend – 200mg

        bromelaine (600gdu/gm), papain, protease, amylase, lipase, cellulase, lactase




        0
    1. It may be true that the people with lower antioxidants have smaller but drier stools however, one would never want to pass a firm stool because one is at risk for blowing a gasket down there




      0

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This