Energy Efficiency of Digestion

Posted on November 1, 2006  Comments (5)

Why is Fecal Matter Brown?

The complex digestion process ensures that almost no useful energy goes unused. The average bowel movement is three parts water to one part solid matter. Bacteria make up 30 percent of the solid stuff. The same goes for indigestible foods like cellulose and extra fiber. The remaining 40 percent contains various inorganic wastes, fats and used-up body substances like red blood cells

Scientists Examine 100 Trillion Microbes in Human Feces:

Aiding the large intestine in this task are trillions of microbes that reside in the gut, where they help digest foods we would otherwise have to avoid. In this way the bugs contribute to our overall health.

Some of these tiny settlers are with us from birth, imparted from our mothers, while others gradually colonize our bodies as we grow. This microbial community is as diverse as any found in Earth’s seas or soils, numbering up to 100 trillion individuals and representing more than 1,000 different species.

5 Responses to “Energy Efficiency of Digestion”

  1. CuriousCat: Tracking the Ecosystem Within Us
    June 25th, 2007 @ 8:17 pm

    I find this area and this study fascinating. I’m not exactly sure why this study and the incredibly significant positive bacteria for human life news doesn’t get more notice. Oh well I guess there are not cool pictures of robots or scary stories of potential threats…

  2. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » Killing Germs May Be Hazardous to Your Health
    October 23rd, 2007 @ 8:39 pm

    “As antibiotics lose their effectiveness, researchers are returning to an idea that dates back to Pasteur, that the body’s natural microbial flora aren’t just an incidental fact of our biology, but crucial components of our health, intimate companions on an evolutionary journey that began millions of years ago…”

  3. CuriousCat » People Have More Bacterial Cells than Human Cells
    February 24th, 2008 @ 11:19 pm

    “there are 10 times more bacterial cells in your body than human cells…”

  4. Great Webcast Explaining the Digestive Systems » Curious Cat Science Blog
    August 11th, 2012 @ 12:58 am

    Our bodies also have adapted to provide a huge surface area for the digestive system to work; the small intestine alone has a surface area of 250 square meters (larger than the size of most apartments)…

  5. Nutrition and Digestion in Horses » Curious Cat Science Blog
    December 18th, 2016 @ 11:50 am

    […] The cecum is located after the small intestine of a horse and it functions much like the rumen of a cow (as a fermentative vat housing microbes which aid digestion). These microbes break down nutrient sources that would otherwise be unavailable to the horse. […]

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