Study of fecal matter?


#1

I was wondering, it seems that the ingredients and nutrients are based on the idea that people seem to require a certain amount of nutrients to survive and thrive. I’m wondering then what is it that isn’t taken in? What’s in that fecal matter of people who have been on a long term soylent diet? Has anyone done a fecal study to determine what nutrients / calories are being excreted, and why? It would seem to me that if the body uses up all the material then there should be no need for excrement. If there is excrement, then perhaps Soylent has more than is required, and whatever is being excreted can be removed from the inputs so that eventually you have no excrement.


#2

I can attest that there is decidedly less. It is also… different.


#3

Fiber is a lot of it. Can’t get away from that one to my knowledge.


#4

Different?! What’s it got, superpowers? Or pooper powers? Why do I sense a flagging?

To be more serious. Is it anything that will hinder my ability to work or run a marathon? Does it act like those chips with olestra?


#5

You know, a lot of people say that those olestra chips were bad, but never tried them, and the media made wildly inaccurate reporting that made it seem like everyone who had it would have explosive diarrhea. I’ve tried them and liked them. In fact, some people use them as chelation therapy. No, I didn’t have anything unusual happen to me.


#6

Before you go running any marathons, check out my blog post on my first physical exercise on Soylent. You may need to supplement.

As for the actual poo, the fact that there is so much less (both quantity and frequency) would seem to me to be a benefit for things like running.


#7

I can corroborate reduced frequency and quantity. Highly preferable for someone like me who has endured chronic digestive problems throughout life.


#8

If that were true you would gain about 0.5 kg per day, as the mass has to go somewhere. As far as I am aware our digestive systems are not capable of converting mass into energy at the atomic level. If they were would not need much food at all to survive.

Add to this the water you consume with it, the mass is more like 2 to 3 kg, which if you count urine as excrement you expect to not be happening, you are dreaming.

We extract nutrients from our food, and excrete waste, some if which is in fact dead cells we have done with - we recycle our cells over time. We also store some of it as fat, then “burn” that fat later. When you “burn” something you release energy, and residue or “smoke”/“ash”. Ok so it’s an analogy, but we can think of excrement as the ash of the fire we have burning day and night, from both new fuel (food), and stored charcoal (fat).


#9

As far as I am aware our digestive systems are not capable of converting mass into energy at the atomic level.

Wouldn’t that be nice, to have our own nuclear power plants inside our own bodies!

I think you missed the point, I’d like to see them study the fecal matter of people who have been on this diet for a while to see if it can be determined that what isn’t actual cellular waste, and what is, and determine why it is occurring. ex: finding corn in poop leads one to the realization that certain parts of corn are not digestible.


#10

yeah I got that, i was merely pointing out that your goal of zero excrement is not achievable:

Anyway, unless you want to be suspected of having an obsession with excretion or excrement, it’s probably best to flush and get on with your life.


#11

My human stomach and digestive system have been processing the food I’ve been eating my entire life. I wonder what will happen to a stomach and digestive system that no longer is asked to digest anything solid. Will that cause some digestive functions to atrophy over the years? I’m thinking both about the stomach acids, gut bacteria, enzymes, and plenty of other things I don’t know about. The physical processing the system performs every day will come to a grinding halt, or at least to a trickle.

If I eat nothing but Soylent for two years, and then one day I eat spicy chicken wings and a big ribeye steak, won’t that cause my system to freak out? I’m concerned that not using these basic bodily functions daily will cause my ability to effectively process food to atrophy over time.


#12
If I eat nothing but Soylent for two years, and then one day I eat spicy chicken wings and a big ribeye steak, won't that cause my system to freak out?

No one knows. I imagine it will be a bit upset. But it would get used to this other diet within a few days. Because our body is very resilient.

I repeat: very resilient.


#13

This has actually been brought up before. I don’t have the quote offhand, but the general idea is that food is converted to liquid form very quickly upon entering your system. In fact, aside from the very beginning (chewing and maybe the first fraction of stomach time, depending on your definition of “liquid”), your system is already not dealing with anything “solid”.

That being said, some concerns have been brought up with regards to chewing. There’s not necessarily a consensus on this yet, but in any case, the DIY crowd has put forth an easy way to cover your bases: chew gum.


#14

Can you be a bit more verbose? What was your pooping frequency before? Do you still go once a day? Is it less? What is it on the Bristol stool scale before and after?


#15

Based on what we’ve seen in our first month with Soylent, I would expect that you would be more likely to not like what you were eating in the first place, and stop. Most likely your tastes will have changed and you may not find that you like spicy things anymore, or that they are too spicy and one bite is more than you can handle, etc. I doubt you would eat the entire meal with pleasure and then spontaneously combust. =)


#16

In case anyone was wondering, human feces is comprised of mostly water by weight (approx. 75%). The remaining main components are usually undigested fiber, dead bacteria, dead red blood cells, and solidified gastrointestinal fluids. There is sometimes also trace amounts of inorganic matter, fat and protein too.


#17

I was going once or twice a day before- probably every other day now. The Bristol scale doesn’t really get to the heart of the issue except to say that I am now a consistent 4 and can’t see how I’d EVER vary from that while consuming Soylent, whereas I would typically range from 1-5.

At the end of the day (see what I did there), it’s a powder.


#18

As far as volume, do you defecate the same amount as with traditional food?


#19

No. I’d say it is 40-60% less.


#20

For myself I’d say volume hasn’t changed a bit. Consistency has though, I’ve moved up probably half to a full point on the bristol scale (from like a 1.5 to a 2-2.5).