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Old 09 March 2007, 04:24 PM
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Default Undigested Meat in Colon?

I had someone whip out this factoid on another board I frequent:

"the average colon contains around 5 pounds of undigested meat at any one time"

I googled, and found similar claims, but they all seemed to be on woo-woo holistic health sites, with no medical study citation. Anyone know where this claim comes from, and if it has any true medical/boilogical basis?
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  #2  
Old 09 March 2007, 04:56 PM
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snopes page on john wayne

According to this page, even a pound (or less, maybe) would cause extreme pain and rectal bleeding. I've watched those informercials and seen these claims in other places...I think it's a lot of hooey to sell products. Some of them clain 10, 20, 40 pounds is stuck in there. Ha! I wonder if this claim wasn't started with the whole John Wayne and Elvis Presley rumors - an anti-fat, anti-beef slur, maybe, that someone turned into profit. Just another lose weight quick scheme, that's my vote. My friend runs a health food store - he sells colon cleanse products but he has never heard of it being a problem, and says that much impacted matter would have killed you long ago. His dad's a holistic dr. I know, FOAF. Still, I say hooey.
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  #3  
Old 09 March 2007, 05:16 PM
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A former co-worker of mine was into this sort of thing--toxins in the body, crud build-up in the colon, etc. She asked a nurse about it once and the nurse told her in so many words that there wasn't a bit of truth to it.
(we both used to work at a hospital medical library)
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  #4  
Old 09 March 2007, 07:55 PM
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Why is it always meat? I haven't found a good site for a cite, but a little googling shows that veggies and nuts are the hard to digest foods. Why isn't it 15 pounds of broccoli in your colon? Would make more sense.
And, even assuming that meat is harder to digest and sticks around, do these people think that the colon sorts food? Does it shove the meat to one side to let the rest of the stuff past?

Proud carnivore here!

ETA, I found a great cite on thedigestibility of various types of food.
Quote:
Protein Fat Carbohydrates
Animal foods 97 95 98
Cereals and breadstuffs 85 90 98
Dried legumes 78 90 97
Vegetables 83 90 95
Fruits 85 90 90
Total of Food Average Mixed Diet 92 95 98
ETAA: Awwww, I spent so long formatting that quote, and it didn't work. YOu will just have to look at the site to understand it.

Last edited by geminilee; 09 March 2007 at 08:06 PM. Reason: Found awesome cite
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Old 09 March 2007, 08:07 PM
Nick Theodorakis Nick Theodorakis is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geminilee View Post
Why is it always meat? I haven't found a good site for a cite, but a little googling shows that veggies and nuts are the hard to digest foods. Why isn't it 15 pounds of broccoli in your colon? Would make more sense...
Or gum.

Nick
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Old 09 March 2007, 08:11 PM
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*crosses colon irrigation off of list of things to do*
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  #7  
Old 09 March 2007, 09:43 PM
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I seem to recall PETA using this "fact" in one of their posters - I'm not having much luck Googling the actual image. It had an image of a person with their head literally up their backside, and a caption along the lines of "Heads up! The average person has [X amount] of undigested meat in their colon!"
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  #8  
Old 09 March 2007, 09:56 PM
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There's an exchange in one of the Terry Pratchett novels in which Magrat, the youngest of Lancre's three top witches (and a bit of a health nut) tells a young man visiting the kingdom this old canard.

She winds up with, "If you could bend over and look right up your colon, you'd be horrified!"

And he responds pensively, "Yes, I rather think I would be."
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  #9  
Old 14 March 2007, 02:01 PM
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Wasn't this part of the reasoning behind having one's colon (which was supposedly a filthy organ) removed? I seem to recall reading a book about "Extraordinary Endings" where this was a Victorian notion...
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  #10  
Old 14 March 2007, 03:40 PM
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A little bit of useless knowledge:

This legend is mentioned in Beverly Hills Cop when Taggart and Rosewood are waiting for Axel Foley to come out

from IMDB
Quote:
Detective Rosewood: Wow. You know, it says here that by the time the average American is fifty, he has five pounds of undigested red meat in his bowels.
Sergeant Taggart: Why are you telling me this? What makes you think I have any interest in that at all?
Detective Rosewood: Well, you eat a lot of red meat.
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  #11  
Old 14 March 2007, 03:56 PM
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If this was true, then I should count my actual weight as being 5 pounds lighter than the scale reads it!
Oh Happy days. I am nearing my ideal weight
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  #12  
Old 14 March 2007, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deepfrydegg View Post
If this was true, then I should count my actual weight as being 5 pounds lighter than the scale reads it!
Oh Happy days. I am nearing my ideal weight
But its the average that counts. I don't have any in mine, not having eaten any since 1981, so you're really 10 pounds lighter. Woohoo!
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  #13  
Old 14 March 2007, 09:45 PM
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More enema industry propaganda!

I'm surprised so many people are so anxious to get "hosed."

(Oh, crap; I just remembered I'm due for a colonoscopy this year. )
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  #14  
Old 15 March 2007, 06:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geminilee View Post
Why is it always meat? I haven't found a good site for a cite, but a little googling shows that veggies and nuts are the hard to digest foods. Why isn't it 15 pounds of broccoli in your colon? Would make more sense.
And, even assuming that meat is harder to digest and sticks around, do these people think that the colon sorts food? Does it shove the meat to one side to let the rest of the stuff past?
Here's how I think the logic works:
Vegetables contain fiber
Meat does not
Not eating fiber can cause constipation
Eating too much meat can cause constipation
Constipation=red meat in colon.

Obviously meat does not sit undigested in one's colon, but it is true that too much meat (or any non-fibrous food) and too little fiber can cause constipation. I doubt anyone has ever been constipated from too much broccoli- usually that causes the opposite problem.
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  #15  
Old 15 March 2007, 06:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GalateaDancer View Post
I had someone whip out this factoid on another board I frequent:

"the average colon contains around 5 pounds of undigested meat at any one time"

I googled, and found similar claims, but they all seemed to be on woo-woo holistic health sites, with no medical study citation. Anyone know where this claim comes from, and if it has any true medical/boilogical basis?
My mother died due to intestinal blockage. This is a woman with such a high pain threshhold that she did not find a heart attack painful and she only felt labor (which she went through three times) when she reached transition. She was in so much pain they were giving her morphine.

Next time someone whips out this factoid, I suggest everyone here harp on the pain aspect. Because it's enormous.

Seaboe, who is not at all amused.
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