Why can humans not digest corn?

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โˆ™ 2014-08-27 15:41:23

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Most of us have probably realized that after eating corn, it shows up in our stool. The corn in our stool can appear only hours after we eat it. Rest assured, corn in the stool is normal, and the reason we see the corn relates largely to our digestive tract, and also to evolution.

Millions of years ago, our digestive systems were different. Primitive man was not a big meat eater. Primitive man had a digestive system with a longer digestive tract that was far better equipped to digest plant and vegetable matter. Back then, the appendix likely played a role in digestion -- a role it does not play today.

Our teeth were different then, too. We had larger molars and smaller incisors. Larger molars meant that the difficult-to-digest plant material could be well chewed and mashed. Today, our teeth are smaller and many of us even have problems with our wisdom teeth (our largest molars), which are being phased out by evolution because our diets today really do not require them. (Our jaws are becoming smaller, and as a result the wisdom teeth have less room to grow in.)

So how does this all relate to corn, and why it is seen in the stool? Since we have smaller teeth, we chew our food less effectively, and more of what we eat is swallowed only partially chewed, or not chewed at all. With corn, some of the kernels will be chewed fully, some partially, and the others will be unchewed and swallowed whole. Our digestive system today is not that good at digesting plant material anymore, much less whole kernels. They pass through our stomach and intestines, and appear in our stool to confound and entertain us.

If you would rather not see any corn in your stool, I recommend that you just chew each mouthful into a mushy mixture free of any whole kernels.

One last point I want to make is that it is not difficult for our digestive systems to pass corn kernels. It is really amazing what the digestive system can tolerate and pass. Drugs are frequently smuggled into the country by individuals who swallow balloons or condoms filled with the drugs. (These people are called "body packers.") In addition, I have read on several occasions about people who unintentionally swallowed their dentures, only to pass the dentures in their stool a few days later. I have also read of children swallowing thermometers passing them just the same.

The human digestive system really is fascinating. But remember that we are slowly evolving over time -- our digestive systems are constantly adapting to our diets and our environments. Our digestive systems of today will not be the same as the digestive systems of humans thousands of years from now. Remember this the next time you enjoy your corn, or broccoli, or any other difficult-to-digest food product -- what kind of food might future generations be spotting in their poop?

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โˆ™ 2014-08-27 15:41:23
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Q: Why can humans not digest corn?
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Related questions

Does your body not totally digest corn?

Parts of corn is made up of a lot of cellulose (a specific type of sugar molecule) which humans cannot break down, or digest, because we lack the enzyme (helper) necessary to do so. After eating raw corn or corn-on-the-cob, there may be chunks of corn that are not digested. However, creamed corn and corn that's cooked longer is easier for humans to digest more fully.

How long does it take to digest corn?

Corn can never be fully digested by the human digestive system. This is because corn contains cellulose, which cannot be digested by humans.

Can humans digest raw corn?

The human digestive system digests the inside of the kernel but is unable to digest the outer yellow part. That is what is left in your poo.

Can you digest corn?

You can digest corn if you chew it thoroughly. If you swallow it whole, like most people do, then you won't digest it.

Can humans digest grass?

humans cannot digest grass

Can humans digest wood?

no. humans lack an enzyme to digest wood

Why would there be corn in your crap?

Because corn is a seed and does not digest properly in our bodies as our bodies are not made to digest seeds.

Why doesn't corn digest in your body?

The outer portion of the corn is a form of fiber we do not have the enzymes to break down. The inside of the corn is carbohydrates and we do digest this portion.

Can a chicken digest corn?


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Do you digest corn tortilla?


What foods does the body have a hard time digesting?

Your body finds it hard to digest corn (on the cob) and that results in corn bits coming out when you do your "business". It helps with keeping your digest working because it is trying to digest that corn.

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