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Do You Know How Your Food Gets Turned Into Poop?

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

how digestive system works

Story at-a-glance -

  • What starts out as your dinner ends up in the toilet bowl many hours later; beginning in your mouth, food travels through your stomach and intestines, interacting with enzymes and bacteria to remove nutrients, produce vitamins and eventually a final waste product
  • Your stomach churns the food with acid, your liver and pancreas produce enzymes to break down the food and your intestines are the setting where nutrients are extracted; bacteria in your intestines use fiber to thrive and help produce vitamins, such as biotin, folate and thiamine
  • Digestion of your food occurs outside the internal workings of your body; imagine your body is a cylinder with a tube running from top to bottom. That which is inside the tube does not interact with the sterile environment in your body
  • Consider making small changes to improve your elimination health, such as keeping an elimination routine, staying hydrated, eating 25 to 50 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories, and squatting while having a bowel movement

Your gastrointestinal tract is home to millions of bacteria, some beneficial and others harmful. These bacteria are important to your overall health. Understanding how your body processes food and eventually eliminates waste may motivate you to make changes in your diet, ultimately improving your health.

Constipation is an uncomfortable and sometimes painful challenge. In some instances, stool can got stuck in your intestines causing a blockage. What constitutes a healthy evacuation schedule is impacted by several factors.

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