It is probably pretty weird to be thinking about your fecal matter at all, but it is actually pretty relevant as it pertains to maintaining good health. How? Well, over three decades ago, it was theorized that having high pH of substances in your gut can cause colon cancer. And more recently, this theory has been just about proven.
Why Should You Lower Your Stool pH Levels?
The higher the pH level of substances in your colon, the more at risk you are at developing colon cancer. This is because the environment created by the high pH substances triggers the birth of cancer causing molecules from your bile acids.
If your colon has a pH level of less than 6.5, the birth of these cancer causing molecules from bile acids cannot happen.
How does this all relate to your fecal matter? Because the pH level of your fecal matter is closely related to the pH level of your colon. This explains why a recent study indicated that those with a fecal matter pH level higher than 8 are much more at risk of developing colon cancer than those with a fecal matter pH level less than 6.
These findings help to explain the huge differences between the colon cancer rates of a country like the United States compared to various countries in Africa. The colon cancer rates are much higher in the United States than it is in African countries, which is probably due to the differences in what are consumed in the two areas. Diets high in fiber are much more common in African countries, and these diets provide a lot of benefits.
Basically, the microbiome of bacteria that exists within your guts is mostly influenced by what foods you eat. If you eat a lot of fiber rich foods, you help nourish healthy beneficial bacteria that strives off of fiber. These bacteria trigger the release of short-chain fatty acids that provide a lot of benefits being able to prevent cancers such as colon cancer from developing. These acids can also fight and prevent inflammation. These substances were found in much greater numbers in the fecal matter of people who are native to African countries, as well as African Americans.
They consume more acidic foods, which keeps their colon pH level lower. The typical American diet is full of animal products. Harmful bacteria that produces substances like ammonia that raise the pH level of fecal matter feed off of the protein from these animal products.
And it turns out that it is more of an environmental and cultural thing than a country thing. They came to this conclusion after conducting a study on Caucasian and black children living in African countries. Most of the black children lived in rural areas where they consumed plenty of plant-based fiber-rich foods. The white children on the other hand were more accustomed to the typical Western diet that I talked about earlier. It came really as no surprise that the black children had lower fecal matter pH levels than the Caucasian children.
Another interesting little tidbit from this study was that the black children had a much easier time producing fecal matter when they were told to, likely a result of their fiber-rich diets. It was more of a challenge for the white children to produce fecal matter when told. Even more interesting is that just changing the diets of the black children a little bit, such as subbing out corn for white bread, can raise their fecal matter pH levels. It only takes a few days to get this result, which means it is certainly that easy to do the reverse and lower your pH levels by changing your diet a little bit.
In case you are still not convinced, other similar studies were conducted. These studies compared the fecal matter pH levels of vegans and vegetarians as opposed to the fecal matter pH levels of those who follow a typical Western diet. The findings corroborated all of the other information presented in this article.
The heavy plant consumption of those who are vegans and vegetarians caused a positive shift in the types of bacteria in their gut. As I stated before, the plant-based fiber feeds bacteria that produces helpful substances that keep your colon and fecal matter pH levels low and reduce your risk of developing colon cancer. And as you can probably assume, the more plants you eat, the lower your colon and fecal matter pH levels will be.
You can lower your colon pH levels so low that your fecal matter will turn pink and your urine will turn blue. In fact, some people actually recommend that you lower your pH levels to that extent. It certainly can’t be harmful and only serves to further lower your risk of developing various cancers, especially the aforementioned colon cancer.
And like I said, it so easy and takes so little time to turn things around if you have high fecal matter pH levels. If you switch your heavily animal-based diet to a mostly plant-based one, you can see a great reduction in your colon and fecal matter pH levels in as short as just 14 days.
There is a catch, right? Well, sort of. The type of plant-based diet that you move to plays a pretty significant role in what kind of results you achieve. If you are a vegetarian who consumes a lot of processed grains as opposed to natural fiber-rich whole grains, your colon and fecal matter pH levels will remain high. Your diet needs to consist of organic plant-based products that are rich in fiber in order to actually lower the pH levels of your colon and fecal matter. This is perfect for those who love beans, like me!
You always hear diet experts telling you that eating foods that are high in saturated fats and carbs can heighten your risk of heart disease. A similar correlation can be made as it pertains to eating animal-based foods being able to heighten your risk of developing cancer. And the inverse of both correlations is true as well. Not eating foods with saturated fats and carbs can significantly lower your risk of developing heart disease, while not eating (or eating less) animal-based foods and subbing them out for fiber-rich plant-based foods can significantly lower your risk of developing cancer.
That concludes our strange conversation about our fecal matter. This does not mean you should start measuring the pH level of your fecal matter. You can basically infer that your pH levels and thus, your chances of developing colon cancer, will be lower if you switch over to a fiber-rich plant-based diet.