Why does corn remain in the poop without being digested?

Eating summer vegetable

corn can leave undigested grains in the excrement. Live Science , a scientific media outlet, describes how corn grains are excreted with poops without being digested.

Why can't humans digest corn? | Live Science

According to Andrea Watson, a rumination animal nutritionist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the only corn grains left in the excrement are actually the outer parts of the grains, not the corn itself.

Corn grains are seeds that carry valuable genetic information. Seeds not only protect the genetic material from the weather and pests, but also carry the genetic material far away. And the yellow coating on the outside of the corn grain is made up of tough fibers called cellulose. It is difficult to digest the outside of corn grains because there are no cellulose-degrading enzymes or gut flora in the human body. Watson describes this property as 'ideal for plants.'

According to Watson, even ruminants such as cows, which have a higher ability to decompose cellulose than humans, may not be able to completely digest corn grains. Although corn eaten by livestock such as cows is often harder and stored longer than humans eat, it seems that many undigested corn grains are found in the excrement.

Watson and his team are also trying to analyze the composition of corn grains found in excrement. According to this study, the corn grains in the excrement were 'found to be fairly digested.'

The cellulose portion of corn is about 10%, and the remaining 90% is useful nutrients such as dietary fiber, carbohydrates, and the antioxidant carotiroid.

'The more processed it is, the easier it is to digest,' Watson said as a way to make corn easier to digest. This is the same for humans and animals, and it is possible to gradually decompose the difficult-to-digest cellulose of corn by going through all the processes such as crushing and cooking.

In fact, much of the corn that humans eat is processed. According to a research report published by Tufts University in 2019, Americans consume an average of 160 pounds of corn annually. However, most of this corn comes from processed foods such as tortillas , popcorn and high fructose corn syrup.

It should be noted that easy digestion does not mean that you are healthy. Common processed corn foods, such as corn oil and corn syrup, lose most of their beneficial fiber and nutrients during processing.

So, Watson said, 'The corn grains that remain in your poop may look strange, but they're not bad for your health. In fact, this is evidence that you're eating corn in good health.' Talking about, 'chewing well' is mentioned as a way to avoid leaving grains in the poop while eating raw corn.

in Science,   Junk Food, Posted by logu_ii