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Poop

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Poop or feces, is composed of three quarters water; however, this varies greatly depending on the length of time the feces spends in the intestine. The remaining 25% of the feces is dead bacteria (used to digest food) collected in the intestine, and indigestible foods such as cellulose, that help transport the poop throughout the intestines. The remaining contents are a mixture of fats, live bacteria, dead cells and mucus from the lining of the intestine, and protein.

The odour of feces is a result of the decomposing bacteria. These bacteria produce poor smelling compounds such as sulphur- or nitrogen-rich organic compounds such as indole, skatole, and mercaptans, and the inorganic gas hydrogen sulphide.

In most instances poop is brown; however, other colours are possible under certain dietary conditions or in the presence of an infection. The iron in the feces produces the brown colour commonly seen in poop. Iron in hemoglobin in red blood cells gives blood its red color, and iron in the waste product bilirubin gives rise to its brown color. Bilirubin is a waste product of red blood cells in the liver and bone marrow that produces a pigment which gives poop its colour.

Brown poop usually means healthy poop, so if your poop is a different colour, such as red, yellow, blue, or green this could indicate an infection, diet change or problem within your digestive system. Red poop usually means there is bleeding. It could mean the intestine is bleeding or there is an anal fissure or split. If there is an appearance of blood in a stool, it could also mean there is a presence of colon cancer. Another, simpler reason of having red poop, which is more common in children, is the consumption of something where there is a high concentration of food colouring. Foods with large amount of food colouring can go through the digestive system unchanged. Babies poop is generally more of a yellow colour, due to their diet consisting only of...