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Author Topic: Why doesn't Sweetcorn seem to be digested ?  (Read 31818 times)

drkev

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Why doesn't Sweetcorn seem to be digested ?
« on: 26/07/2005 14:58:09 »
OK due to my previous profession (I have left the medical field now going into law)I regularly check my stools.

Yesterday I had pasta with sweetcorn and a loaf of bread with seeds on it.

The seeds and the sweetcorn passed right through me.

Is there any point in eating seeds or sweetcorn at all? They passed right through my system completely un digested so what is the point in having it in my diet? OK I like the taste of sweetcorn but if it's not being used by my body why the hell eat it?

I know why it passes through im just wondering if anyone can tell me the point in eating it if it doesn't get used.

Live long and Love life

Kevin Fisher


 

Offline neilep

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Re: Why doesn't Sweetcorn seem to be digested ?
« Reply #1 on: 26/07/2005 16:15:37 »
I suppose the point to eating sweetcorn and seeds is because you want to !..because you enjoy the taste and texture. If your premise for eating is simply just as a fuel then food would be banal and tastless but sufficient.

I suppose corn, seeds etc could also be used as a medium to transport other foods and as a bulk enhancer etc

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Offline chris

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Re: Why doesn't Sweetcorn seem to be digested ?
« Reply #2 on: 26/07/2005 17:59:16 »
Dr Kev

I'm pleased that you check your stools and that they provide you with entertainment and stimulation for your enquiring mind. I'm less happy to learn that you are now doing law, you traitor.

Anyway, back to sweetcorn and turds.

Sweetcorn is a seed and like all seeds the outer surface, or kernel, is a tough case that protects the delicate innards - think of a coconut as a more extreme example.

The thing that makes the sweetcorn kernel hard is cellulose, a major plant carbohydrate which is a linear polymer of glucose molecules joined end to end (essentially a tougher version of starch) and which gives plant cell walls their stiffness.

It's indigestible because the gut lacks the correct enzymes, called cellulases, required to break it down efficiently so it passes through unaltered, making a major contribution to dietary 'ruffage'.

Rabbits, which are also obligate herbivores (vegetarians) get around this problem by relying on colonic (large-bowel) bacteria, which do make cellulases, to break down their dietary cellulose for them. The only downside is that the colon lacks the ability to absorb the sugars yielded by this bacterial breakdown, so the rabbit has to eat its own poo so that the upper intestine can absorb the cellulose breakdown products ! I wouldn't recommend taking the same approach Dr Kev !

However, if you chomp your sweetcorn thoroughly before you swallow it you will digest and absorb the soft innards, which are good for you, even if the outer kernel goes down the pan. But if you swallow it whole, it will pass through untouched.

If you think about it, seeds have developed this strategy to aid in their dispersal. Tomatoes, for instance, flourish at the sewage works, and many plants rely on birds to help them get around.

Chris



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drkev

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Re: Why doesn't Sweetcorn seem to be digested ?
« Reply #3 on: 31/07/2005 11:39:58 »
Maybe the moral is to chew my food before swallowing it then!

I entered law because I was very unhappy with the University and the standards. I may do post graduate medicine once I have qualified as a lawyer as it is now a money thing. I have to pay my own fees. I have always wanted to be a doctor or a lawyer and Im thinking about being a medico legal doctor/lawyer, I hear it is quite fashionable nowadays to do both. A suprising number of nurses become barristers simply so that they can represent nurses and advise for the RCN.

I still need a medical director for my private ambulance service Chris and now that my yellow pages advert has been published we have had a large number of enquiries for event cover.

If you know anyone who would be interested in the role please feel free to call or email me.

Live long and Love life

Kevin Fisher
« Last Edit: 31/07/2005 11:40:24 by drkev »
 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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Re: Why doesn't Sweetcorn seem to be digested ?
« Reply #4 on: 31/07/2005 18:48:13 »
Hi Kev, it might interest you to know that the lime fruit was introduced in the mexican diet to help them absorb all of the nutrients from their maily corn meal diets. Before they added limes, there was a huge problem with bone disease and other nutritional problems, observed in the bones of the dead. Saw this on a programme investigating the demise of populations in the Sanfernando valley a long time ago.

Andrew
 

Offline chris

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Re: Why doesn't Sweetcorn seem to be digested ?
« Reply #5 on: 01/08/2005 12:17:43 »
Quite right. Interestingly, aside from its other health-promoting effects, vitamin C is a key co-factor in the intestinal absorption of iron.

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Re: Why doesn't Sweetcorn seem to be digested ?
« Reply #5 on: 01/08/2005 12:17:43 »

 

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