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Don’t Tell Your Kids, But It’s OK to Eat Your Own Feces

Cute Baby BoyI hate to be gross and graphic, but what is parenting if not gross and graphic?

So in case you were wondering (“asking for a friend,”) eating your own feces is perfectly harmless.

According to Lars Eckmann via Gawker, “In theory, ingesting your own stool should not be harmful, as long as it is “clean.” Furthermore, there may be a theoretical minor health benefit in doing so. Bacteria in the colon can metabolize non-absorbed food materials (fiber) and generate useful nutrients (e.g. vitamins such as biotin, or sugars and amino acids from fiber and other undigested materials) that are only partly absorbed during initial production, the rest is excreted with the stool. Re-uptake of these nutrients by ingestion of stool would give a second opportunity for absorption in the gut. In fact, coprophagy in mice (a normal behavior) helps to extract extra energy from food compared to mice that are prevented from coprophagy.”

Word of the day: coprophagy—feeding on excrement.

Mice do it. The occasional unsupervised toddler does it. I’m not saying you should do it but if it happens, it happens.

Hey, coprophagy happens.

Here’s your take away: Keep pinning those gluten-free recipes and making your own organic baby food and take comfort in knowing that eating your own feces is perfectly harmless.

Read more of my writing at Babble and on my blog, Every Day I Write the Book.

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