Stool Size Matters

Stool Size Matters
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Larger bowel movements are associated with lower risk of appendicitis, colon cancer, constipation, and diverticulitis.

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The bigger our bowel movements, the healthier we may be. The risk of low stool weight includes bowel cancer, diverticular disease, appendicitis, various anal diseases—even, perhaps, the healthfulness of breast tissue.

From a study of 23 populations across a dozen countries, a graph of average daily stool weight versus colon cancer incidence. As you can see, once you get down around half a pound (200 grams or so), colon cancer rates really seem to skyrocket. And once people start dropping quarter-pounders, colon cancer incidence quadruples.

The link between stool size and colon cancer may be related to transit time; the number of hours it takes for food to go from mouth to anus. The larger our stool, the quicker the transit time, the easier it is for our intestines to move things along.

People don’t realize you can have daily bowel movements, and still be effectively constipated. You can be regular, but five days late.

What you’re flushing today you may have eaten last week. If you want to test it for yourself, all you need to do is eat a big bowl of beets and see when things turns pretty in pink. And ideally, it should be down in the 24- to 36-hour range to reach that half-pound target.

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 Dianne Moore.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

The bigger our bowel movements, the healthier we may be. The risk of low stool weight includes bowel cancer, diverticular disease, appendicitis, various anal diseases—even, perhaps, the healthfulness of breast tissue.

From a study of 23 populations across a dozen countries, a graph of average daily stool weight versus colon cancer incidence. As you can see, once you get down around half a pound (200 grams or so), colon cancer rates really seem to skyrocket. And once people start dropping quarter-pounders, colon cancer incidence quadruples.

The link between stool size and colon cancer may be related to transit time; the number of hours it takes for food to go from mouth to anus. The larger our stool, the quicker the transit time, the easier it is for our intestines to move things along.

People don’t realize you can have daily bowel movements, and still be effectively constipated. You can be regular, but five days late.

What you’re flushing today you may have eaten last week. If you want to test it for yourself, all you need to do is eat a big bowl of beets and see when things turns pretty in pink. And ideally, it should be down in the 24- to 36-hour range to reach that half-pound target.

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 Dianne Moore.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Doctor's Note

For more info on fiber intake and colon health, check out these videos:
Breast Cancer and Constipation
Can Flax Seeds Help Prevent Breast Cancer?
Fiber vs. Breast Cancer
Breast Cancer Survival and Lignan Intake

And be sure to check out my other videos on bowel movements

Also check out my associated blog posts: Stool Size and Breast Cancer RiskBowel Movements: the scoop on poopOptimal Phytosterol Dose and Source; and Best Treatment for Constipation.

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

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