One of the major functions of the colon is to absorb water and produce plasticine-like poop or feces which can be voided readily and at will.
Feces consist of 75 percent water; bacteria make up half the dry weight; and the rest is unfermented fiber and excreted biliary compounds.
The range of fecal weights produced by individuals varies between 0.75 ounce and 0.66 pounds per day, although this is higher if you have diarrhea and varies between individuals over time. Stool weights in Africa and Asia are said to be double these figures. The only way to increase fecal weight is to eat more fiber.
This is because unfermented fiber can hold a lot of water.
Less importantly, some fibers that are fermented in the colon may increase the growth of microbes. And pectin or gum arabic, for example, also yield hydrogen, methane, and short-chain fatty acids.
The production of short-chain fatty acids has a possible beneficial action on the bowel mucosa. Products of bacterial fermentation may have an osmotic effect on fecal mass.
Wheat bran is minimally fermented and efficiently increases fecal weight. The coarser and less processed the bran, the more water it can hold and the larger the effect.
Whole wheat bread has little or no effect on fecal weight.
The increment in fecal weight per gram of wheat bran varies.
In healthy people, the wet fecal weight is on the order of 3 to 5 ounces per ounce of fiber. In individuals with irritable bowel syndrome and symptomatic diverticulitis it is nearer 2 ounces per ounce of fiber.
The effect of the fiber in the colon may be summarized as feces weight = Wf(1 + Hf) + Wb(1 + Hb) + Wm(1 + Hm) where Wf, Wb, and Wm are respectively the dry weights of fiber remaining after fermentation in the colon, bacteria present in the feces, and osmotically active metabolites and other substances in the colon which could reduce the amount of free water absorbed; and Hf, Hb, and Hm denote their respective water-holding capacities.
People produce up to half a pound of excrement or feces each day.
It consists of 75 percent water and 25 percent solid matter.
The solid matter is made up of a number of indigestible materials such as fruit skins (33 percent); dead bacteria, which normally live in the gut (50 percent); inorganic matter such as calcium salts; cells shed from the gut; intestinal secretions, including mucus; and bile pigments, which give it its color.
How much excrement you actually produce depends not just on how much food you have eaten, but also on the type of food and the activity of the bowel.
If you eat lots of high-fiber foods such as vegetables, beans, and cereals, which the body can’t completely digest and absorb, you will produce more feces than if you eat lots of easily digested low-fiber foods, such as chocolate.
Spicy foods, drugs such as laxatives, and infections can affect the activity of the bowel.
The greater the speed of transit, the less water the gut can absorb and the greater the weight of feces produced.