Colloidal Silver for Diarrhea – Effective Treatment or Not?

You may have heard someone say, or maybe you read it online, that taking colloidal silver for diarrhea can be an effective treatment. And while this is true.. While it 'can' be there are still lots of cases where it simply isn't going to be.

Diarrhea is characterized by loose watery stools, frequent bathroom trips, etc. and is often accompanied by bloating and upset stomach. It can be quite an annoying problem that can really mess up your plans for the day, but luckily a lot of the time it isn't much to worry about. Everyone experiences diarrhea every now and again... but usually it goes away rather quickly on its own.

The reason there isn't a 'cure all' solution to diarrhea, and the reason colloidal silver isn't going to help in every case, is because there are many different causes.

Some common causes of diarrhea include things like...

  • Too much fiber or lack of
  • Spicy foods
  • Food contamination
  • Lactose intolerance
  • IBS

... and there are plenty more where these came from.

Why Colloidal Silver Can Help... and When It Can

In particular, colloidal silver is going to be of help when diarrhea is caused by microbes, such as bacteria, fungi and viruses. It isn't going to provide any source of fiber or nutrition. So if your diarrhea is caused by a high fiber diet or unbalanced nutrition, you aren't going to get any relief from this.

Bacteria, fungi and viruses are causes of diarrhea and this is where colloidal silver shines, especially when it comes to bacterial causes.

E-coli is one of the most common causes and is responsible for what you call "traveler's diarrhea", which is when you travel to a new area, come in contact with a new strain of e-coli and get diarrhea from it. Some other bacteria that commonly causes diarrhea includes things like campylobacter, salmonella and shigella. 

These bacteria can from from things like water, under-cooked foods and so on.

Luckily colloidal silver can help..

study performed on E coli in the Journal of Colloid and Interface Science showed that its effectiveness comes from its ability to inactivate and limit bacterial growth.

Other studies have shown that it also has some effectiveness against salmonella and campylobacter as well.

The Mechanism Behind Its Antibacterial Properties:

There are actually several different mechanisms behind it. Colloidal silver can stop the proliferation of bacteria and even inactivate it by binding onto the surface of the cell wall and membrane, penetrating cells and causing damage inside, by inducing cellular toxicity, and also by modulating signal transduction pathways. 

Concerns About Gut Damage

Since it is shown to be harmful for bad bacteria, which is good for us, the concern is that it may also be harmful for good bacteria.

If you want a healthy gut, which effects your overall health, then you need a healthy gut flora, or microbiome of bacteria that play important roles in digestion. This is becoming increasingly well known which is why probiotics are gaining so much popularity.

Unfortunately there is some evidence that taking colloidal silver can be harmful to a healthy balance in your gut.

A study published in Nanotoxicology measured the changes in the intestinal microbiota in rats after ingesting silver nanoparticles and silver acetate at two doses per day for a period of 13 weeks. The results showed that even the lower doses that the rats were exposed to caused decreases in several different microflora. In addition to this it also decreased the expression of some immunomodulatory genes.

What does this all mean? Well... simply put it shows that the ingestion of colloidal silver can disrupt your gut's state of homeostasis and this might then lead to other problems. But I guess this should be expected to some extent.

It is often looked at as somewhat of an alternative to antibiotics but whether or not it is a better alternative is still up in the air. This goes to show that some of the unwanted side effects of taking antibiotics may be experienced with colloidal silver as well.

However... it has also been shown to be safe for your gut..

In contrast to the above study (and others that back up its claims), there was another study that we came across which shows the opposite.

This study was also published in the journal Nanotoxicology and took a look at the effect of a 10mg/kg dosage over the course of 28 days... which showed no significant influence on the gut's microflora.

That said, the dosage was on the lower side in this study, which could very well be the reason for such observations. Additionally the size and coating of colloidal silver is thought to have a big effect and the studies could have differed in this area as well.

There is more research that needs to be conducted in this particular area but there is no doubt that colloidal silver holds some promise. There are an increasing number of studies showing its benefits to stopping harmful bacteria, although the concern about harm to good bacteria is still something that is in debate as to its effectiveness as an antibiotic alternative.

Can It Cause Diarrhea?

While there isn't any good evidence of colloidal silver causing diarrhea, it is bound to be the cause in at least some cases. After all, it has been shown to alter the state of the microbiome of the gut, which plays a big role in healthy and proper digestion. So diarrhea could very well be a side effect for some people.

That said, you could say this for just about anything. People's bodies respond differently to different things and there is almost always bound to be someone that gets diarrhea from even the healthiest of things.

It could cause it but it probably won't.

If You Are Going to Buy Colloidal Silver...

One thing that is mentioned in multiple studies is the fact that there is a big difference in the quality of colloidal silver. Size, shape, surface charge concentration and colloidal state all have an effect on its effectiveness.

So if you are going to give it a try, make sure you don't buy just any old colloidal silver out on the market. It may be tempting to buy that which is lowest in price, but that may not be the best choice.

Other Diarrhea Treatments:

If you think that your diet is the cause of your diarrhea, such as maybe too much or lack of fiber, too much sugar, etc, then check out our list of foods that help.

4 Ways Flaxseed Helps Constipation – For More Pleasant Bowel Movements

There it's a good chance you are constipated if you have…

  • Less than 3 bowel movements a week
  • Stools are hard and lumpy
  • You have difficulty emptying bowels
  • Lack appetite

It's usually nothing to panic about and everyone has their fair share of constipated bowel movements over the years, but nonetheless it is a very annoying occurrence at the very least and can be frustrating as well as extremely uncomfortable.

Relieving constipation is a must and luckily there are plenty of natural foods out there that can help solve this problem, flaxseed being one of them. This is no new finding. Using flaxseed to help with constipation has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine and with the increasing number of research being done on this particular topic, it is pretty well proven to help.

Constipation.. a Number of Causes and a Number of Solutions..

Constipation, like diarrhea, has a number of causes. However, some of the more common ones include…

  • Lack of fiber
  • Not getting enough H2O
  • Inactivity 
  • Eating too much dairy
  • Medications
  • Digestive diseases

Because there are many different causes of this particular condition you should keep in mind that just because flaxseed helps relieve diarrhea in one person doesn't mean it is necessarily going to work for you, although it does have a good chance.

4 Ways that Flaxseed Helps

How It Helps..

1. It Increases Stool Consistency

Constipation is characterized by a hard lumpy stool, which makes it very difficult to pass. This is not a good consistency to have and luckily flaxseed can help with that.

A 2018 study published in Nutrition and Metabolism (scientific journal) showed that a daily intake of 10 g flaxseed (which is just under 2 tablespoons) can improve stool consistency, making it more formed, soft, and overall easier for your body to get rid of.

In the study 10 g of flaxseed was baked into cookies and patients consumed them daily for 12 weeks. The results were that 42.3% of patients who consumed the flaxseed cookies reported at least somewhat of an improvement in symptoms of constipation, compared to only 7.4% who ate placebo cookies. The stool consistency was then looked at and also showed improvement for the flaxseed group but no improvement in the placebo group.

2. And It Increases Stool Frequency Too

A separate study that tested the laxative effects of flaxseed meal found that it can increase the stool frequency as well. This makes perfect sense, after all if it increases the consistency then an increase in frequency should come along with it due to the simple fact that it is much more easy for the digestive system to get rid of.

In this study flaxseed meal was fed to constipated mice for 14 days. The results were that it "significantly increased amount of defecation and wet weight of feces".

Why It Might Help..

3. It's a good source of fiber

Fiber is easily one of the most common causes of constipation… Specifically lack of fiber. That is how it usually works, constipation is due to lack of fiber and diarrhea is due to too much fiber, although it doesn't always work out this way 100% of the time.

There is insoluble fiber and then there is soluble fiber. Insoluble fiber is not broken down by the digestive system and helps break up food and add bulk to stool. Soluble fiber helps to absorb water and can lead to softer stool that is easier for your body to release.

If you consume only 10 g of flaxseed a day then you are getting about 1 g of soluble fiber and 3 g of insoluble fiber, which is a pretty darn good amount. And just to put this into perspective for you, most ground flaxseed products have their serving size listed at 2 tablespoons which is 14 g. 

4. Omega-3 fatty acids can help

Omega-3 fatty acids are probably most well-known for being beneficial to heart health, but they may also help with healthy bowel movements. There is some evidence that exists which suggests that they help with symptoms of Crohn's disease and ulcertative colitis, which includes constipation.

Why omega-3 fatty acids help is largely unstudied. They are known to help reduce inflammation from constipation in the intestines and colon and can act as a lubrication which could be the reasons for such benefits.

Fish oil is probably the most commonly taken supplement when it comes to omega-3's but is far from the only good source of them. According to WebMD 1 tablespoon of flaxseed will give you about 1.8 g of these fatty acids.

Flaxseed Oil is Effective as Well

If you were to look up whether or not flaxseed oil is effective for fighting constipation you would find information to the contrary, stating that it is not a good remedy. However, we beg to differ.

Yes, flaxseed oil has zero fiber BUT there are a number of studies out there showing it to be a good treatment.

A study from the Journal of Renal Nutrition tested flaxseed oil as a constipation treatment for people doing hemodialysis. This study was a double-blind, randomized, four week long study that consisted of 50 constipated patients. The results… The oil proved to be as effective as mineral oil which is a well-known constipation treatment.

Another study performed on rabbits and guinea pigs found flaxseed oil to not only help with constipation, but also to have antidiarrheal effects. Basically what was found here is that the oil helps your bowels return to healthy normal movements and can be beneficial for either side of the spectrum.

So Should You Be Taking Flaxseed for Constipation?

There our a lot of health foods out there that are claimed to be good for treating conditions like constipation but seriously lacked the evidence of being effective. Flaxseed is not one of them. Flaxseed as an effective treatment has plenty of scientific backing.

As mentioned earlier, this is definitely not going to work for everyone because of the many causes of constipation, but it is worth a try. And even if it doesn't work, at least you benefit from it in other ways.

So go out there bake some flaxseed cookies, whip up some flaxseed in your pancakes or maybe mix them in a smoothie. Give it a try and see if it works for you.

There are also plenty of other natural treatments you could try. Looking for something sweet? Grapes help too.

Can Krill Oil Cause Diarrhea? – Prepare Your Toilet!

Krill oil has a lot of health benefits but there are also some downsides to taking this supplement… One that you may have heard of or have experienced for yourself being diarrhea. 

Even WebMD states that it can cause diarrhea and related symptoms. So it has to be true, right? But if it is true… Why does it cause such unwanted frequent trips to the bathroom?

You have diarrhea if you are experiencing the symptoms of...

  • Loose and watery stools
  • Bloating & cramping
  • Abnormally frequent trips to the toilet

And then of course there are other more severe symptoms, such as blood in the stool, which we would recommend seeing your doctor about.

But is it a result of the krill oil?

The answer is that it very well could be. Krill oil is fairly well known to cause digestive issues. But let's first take a look at what exactly the stuff is in the first place so that we know what we're looking at here.

What Is Krill Oil?

Not that many people know what a krill is. It is actually a little crustacean that looks a lot like a shrimp. In fact, most people would probably think they are shrimp upon seeing them. They get about 2 inches in length and make good meals for fish, birds, and whales. Fun fact: "krill" actually means "whale food" in Norwegian.

Krill oil is, of course, oil that is extracted from these crustaceans. If you are supplementing such, you are probably getting extracted oil from the Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba), which are one of the most common.

Like fish oil, it is also a very good source of omega-3 fatty acids and has many similar uses, such as…

  • Skin health
  • Reducing high cholesterol
  • Arthritis 
  • Heart health
  • And more

The Downside: Gastrointestinal Distress

If you Google "bloating from krill oil", "does krill oil give you gas?", Etc.… You will get plenty of results. The reason for this is… Well… Because getting side effects such as these are pretty darn common, more common than we all would like to see.

Bloating - Feeling bloated is a very common side effect that people report after taking krill oil. For most people it is not an issue, tending to be mild, but if it does become too uncomfortable or painful then it is advisable to back off the dosage or even discontinue supplementation.

Burping - When you feel bloated it is often a result from gases building up in the digestive system. This excess gas has to be released somehow, and the mouth is one of the exits, which results in burping. This will give you a very unpleasant "fishy" taste that is not too enjoyable, but at the same time it is not a serious side effect either.

Gas - Of course another way for your body to release the excess gas is through flatulence. This also isn't the worst side effect but can be uncomfortable and unpleasant… And disgusting.

Diarrhea - Diarrhea is a much less common side effect, but it is one that has been reported and that is definitely possible. You will likely experience all or most of the side effects mentioned above before experiencing loose and watery stools.

Constipation - On the opposite side of the spectrum you also have constipation, which believe it or not is another reported side effect to taking krill oil. It just depends on the person… Krill oil is known to upset digestion but the symptoms you will experience depend on your body.

Vomiting - In some of the most severe cases your body may resort to vomiting in order to get the oily substance out of it as fast as possible. There are even reported cases of people being sick days after digestion has run its course, although this is not nearly as likely to happen.

Why Krill Causes Diarrhea & Other Digestive Issues

So the big question is why does it cause digestive issues such as diarrhea?

Well… At least some reported side effects can be attributed to allergic reactions. Some people even compare their symptoms to known allergies that they have… Symptoms like getting runny noses, asthma, swelling, and others typical of allergies.

Another probable reason could be stemming from the high amount of fat found in krill oil. As mentioned earlier, it contains high amounts of omega-3. High and concentrated amounts of fat consumed in short periods of time are known to cause disruptions in digestion. Some people's bodies don't handle fat too well and it can cause the colon and small intestines to secrete excess water… Leading to loose and watery stools, a.k.a. diarrhea.

So Should You Be Taking It or Not?

There is no doubt that a good number of people have experienced, and will continue to experience, adverse reactions to krill oil. Because of this we would definitely suggest that, if you do plan on supplementing such, start out with a very small dose. Maybe just start out with one softgel the first day and see if that causes you any trouble. Then increase the dosage until you reach the recommended amount.

If you do start to take it and are experiencing unwanted side effects, you may think about taking fish oil instead. After all, fish oil is a very similar alternative and is much more common in stores. However, unfortunately if you are having trouble taking krill oil then you are probably going to be having trouble taking fish oil as well due to the fact that they are so similar. That said, it could be worth a try.

One thing that you should not be doing while supplementing either of these oils is taking blood thinning medications. The reason for this is because both krill and fish oil are known to have blood thinning effects, which can become dangerous when coupled with another medication that does the same. This is one of the reasons that getting a bloody nose is a side effect that some people report.

If you do have a slight case of diarrhea and would like to solve it naturally, check out our list of foods that are good for diarrhea. While not guaranteed to fix the problem, they could be worth a shot.

Do Grapes Make You Poop? – They Sure Can!

You may have heard the rumor that grapes make you poop, or maybe you have even had a personal experience that has brought you to this conclusion.... but is it really true? 

The simple answer is yes... However, all foods make you poop. What goes in must come out, right?

But of course that isn't the answer you are looking for. You already know that. You are wondering if they make you use the toilet more than normal... if they can increase your bowel movement frequency... if they have somewhat of a laxative effect...

The answer to this is yes as well, at least to some extent. Grapes don't just...

  • Reduce risk of hearth disease
  • Have lots of antioxidants to reduce oxidative stress
  • Help prevent memory loss
  • Boost the immune system

Now you know that they also help you poop. And I'll explain why.

Why They Help You Out On The Toilet

A post I wrote earlier on this site explains why grapes can be good for constipation. Three of the reasons given include that they...

  1. Have lots of water
  2. Contain a good amount of insoluble fiber 
  3. Are good for gut bacteria

Grapes are about 70% water, generally speaking. And as you know, diarrhea is characterized by loose and watery stools and constipation the opposite... so you can see how these two go together.

When it comes to insoluble fiber, in this case much of it being cellulose because it is a fruit, you want to make sure you get enough when constipated. The insoluble fiber is what goes through your digestive system without being broken down and helps clean the pipes. Much of this fiber comes from the skin, which grapes have lot of due to their high skin to flesh ratio.

And of course gut bacteria is always important, which grapes help support. This is important for any sort of digestive issues and overall health in general.

Other Reasons that Make Grapes Somewhat of a 'Natural Laxative'

The fact that grapes are high in insoluble fiber is the big takeaway from what's mentioned above. This no doubt contributes much to their laxative-like effect. Its also worth mentioning that they are low in soluble fiber, which would work in the opposite direction, helping decrease the liquidity of stools and make for firmer bowel movements.

Another reason not mentioned includes lots of fructose.

Fructose, which is found in all fruits, is well known to make people poop, some more than others. The reason for this is because it helps bring excess fluid into the gut, which can lead to bloating and diarrhea.

Fructose is difficult for the body to digest and it isn't very uncommon for people to have trouble handling foods high in such. Fructose malabsorbance is a condition where your body only digests 50% or less of the fructose ingested. If you suffer from it then you are probably going to get some symptoms such as bloating, upset stomach and/or diarrhea.

SelfNutritionData lists 1 cup of grapes as having 23.4g of sugar (Your typical European style grapes), much of which is fructose.

What If You Aren't Constipated?

So you are probably wondering... what if you aren't constipated? Will grapes give you diarrhea and have you destroying the toilet multiple times a day?

The answer is... probably not. For most people they pose no real threat. It is only those that are very sensitive to insoluble fiber and fructose that are at risk. For most they are a healthy snack that is good for returning digestion to normal.

Diarrhea is possible, but not likely..

It's also worth mentioning that contamination could be a cause of diarrhea, although this doesn't have to do with the grapes themselves. This is much more likely to occur if you eat grapes without washing them. 

Wash your grapes before eating and it goes without saying that you should avoid any that look old and moldy. Since you aren't going to be cooking grapes, and since you are probably going to be eating them whole, skin and all, this is extremely important. 

So Should You Be Eating Them or Not?

The overwhelming majority of people are going to be able to eat grapes without catching a case of the runs. As mentioned, if you are extremely sensitive to insoluble fiber or suffer from fructose malabsorbance then they might not be a good choice, but most people don't.

For most people grapes are a healthy pick for returning your digestive system to regular bowl movements, which is why you may have heard them being recommended for those with constipation.

If you are experiencing diarrhea and that is your reason for looking further into this subject, I would suggest taking a look at this list of foods you can be eating to help stop it. And if you have blood in your stool or consider it to be severe, you may want to consult with a doctor because it could be serious.

‘Why Do Eggs Give Me Diarrhea?’ – 4 Reasons

Eggs taste great, they are super easy to make, packed with protein, and make for the perfect breakfast meal… But all this goodness can be ruined if you get diarrhea after eating them. It doesn't matter how good they taste, how easy they are to make, how packed with protein they are… Diarrhea ruins it all and more.

Maybe have come to the conclusion yourself that eggs give you diarrhea after experiencing such an unwanted condition many times after eating them, or maybe this is a one time deal… Either way you need to get to the bottom of it.

A briefing on diarrhea..

You know you have diarrhea when you're running to the toilet frequently throughout the day because you are experiencing something along the lines of: an upset stomach, bloating, and of course loose and watery stools.

Eggs were supposed to be the healthy meal to help you stay in shape, or maybe get back in shape, but they have pulled you in the opposite direction… With the diarrhea you are experiencing you might be becoming dehydrated from the loss of liquids as well as weak from nutrients not absorbed.

Getting diarrhea after eating eggs is something that is much more uncommon to the majority of people out there, but it does happen and here are a handful reasons they could be the cause…

4 Reasons That Eggs Could Be The Cause

1. Egg intolerance

It it is possible that you get diarrhea after eating eggs because your body is intolerant to such. The reason for this would be a lack of an enzyme that is required to break down the eggs during digestion. Symptoms like low energy levels, headaches, joint pain and diarrhea could show up right away or it could be days later after consumption, which just makes it harder to pinpoint whether or not this is the problem.

The good news is that you can actually become tolerant to eggs if you suffer from intolerance. What you want to do is quit eating eggs for a while and then very slowly introduce them back into your diet.

2. Egg allergy

If you have an egg allergy then the proteins are to blame, and we all know that eggs are abundant in protein. Basically what is happening here is your body is reacting to the egg protein(s) as if they are some threat. The immune system perceives them as unwanted harmful intruders and begins to mount an attack, although they pose no harm in the first place.

Side effects if you are allergic include things like rashes, runny nose, sneezing, difficulty breathing, diarrhea, and even possibly anaphylaxis. This can be a pretty serious condition depending on your level of allergy. Even the smallest contact with eggs could cause problems.

3. Eggs have zero fiber

If you have ever read about healthy bowel movements before, then you probably heard that you need fiber… And unfortunately eggs don't provide any. Eggs have exactly 0g of fiber (source: USDA). It doesn't matter how many you eat, you won't be getting any.

Now this definitely is not necessarily a bad thing, because you should be eating a balanced diet anyhow and getting plenty of fiber from other sources. However, for people that already lack a sufficient intake of dietary fiber, this might further throw off the ratio of fiber to nonfiber and could lead to loose stools and diarrhea… Or even constipation on the other side of the spectrum, depending on what your diet looks like.

4. Salmonella (and other bacteria) contamination

Getting diarrhea after eating eggs could also be due to bacterial contamination, such as that from the popular salmonella. 

You should always wash your eggs before eating them, but this will not always make a difference. Salmonella can be what you call "foodborne", which means that it can live and grow inside a perfectly intact egg. It can also live on the outside which is why simply washing is the first thing you should be doing to prevent contact with such bacteria.

This is no small problem. The FDA estimates that there are around 79,000 cases of people getting this kind of food poisoning from eggs each year in the US alone. Symptoms such as cramps and diarrhea usually come around after 12 hours post consumption, but this can vary greatly.

The solution: the most you can do is to wash your eggs and cook them thoroughly… As in no runny yolks.

But Are They Really The Ones to Blame?

As mentioned earlier, most people are going to have any problems eating eggs. You have a much higher chance of reaping the health benefits without the frequent bathroom visits.

However, if you are fairly certain that they are the cause of your diarrhea, and this could be due to the hand for reasons discussed above.

You also may want to look into the other ingredients that you are mixing in with your eggs, if any. People often scramble eggs with the addition of milk and cheese, which are two foods that cause diarrhea among some people fairly commonly.

Where to Go From Here?

If severe or lasting for several days on end, you may want to go see a doctor because it sounds like it could be pretty serious.

One thing you can do to really get to the bottom of things is to cut eggs out of your diet and see where that takes you. This is basically like an elimination diet… What you are doing is eliminating the potential culprit of your diarrhea and seeing if the problem persists or stops. If you find that the eggs are the ones to blame, then another approach you can take is to try eating different kinds of eggs, such as duck eggs. Duck eggs are similar in many ways to the common chicken eggs that you are probably eating, but they differ as well and it is possible that one could cause diarrhea but not the other.

Have diarrhea right now or just feel like knowing how to stop it if it comes? Check out our list of foods that help. Note: eggs are on the list because most people don't have any problem with them and they provide a nice smooth source of nutrition.

22 Foods that Help with Diarrhea

If you have a case of diarrhea then you might be inclined to stop eating, thinking that this will solve the problem. However, it is important that you still eat because you need to keep up your energy levels and replenish the nutrients you have lost. 

But what should you be eating? What are foods that help with diarrhea?

There is no doubt that some foods are better than others. Some will further irritate your stomach and exasperate the problem, while others will digest easily and provide much-needed nutrients… Which is what we will be going over here today.

What is diarrhea?

Diarrhea is something that nobody wants to have to deal with, yet everyone has probably had at some point. It can come on like a freight train and destroy a day or two of your life, leading to frequent and erratic bathroom trips that get in the way of your plans.

The common characteristics include loose and watery stool, stomach pain and cramps, bloating etc.… And if it is really serious then you may even see blood in your stool, which may be a sign of a more serious underlying condition that you should get evaluated by a doctor.

Things to consider..

When picking foods to eat during a case of diarrhea you want to consider things like…

  • Fiber
  • Sugar content
  • Vitamins for immunity
  • Mineral deficiencies

Fiber it is great and all, and is necessary for healthy digestion, but when it comes to diarrhea you want to avoid getting too much… generally speaking of course. You also want to avoid eating things that are high in sugar, in particular fructose which is well known to be a bit of a problem during digestion.

On the flipside you want to make sure you are still getting the vitamins and minerals necessary to restore your body back to good health.

Note: Much of the nutrition facts in this list come from trusted sources like the USDA and Self Nutrition Data.

Foods Low in Fiber

Not all fiber is a bad choice during a time of diarrhea, but generally speaking it is best to avoid it and eat foods that don't contain too much. These include things like…

1. White bread - Bread... invented in Egypt around 10,000 years ago, is always a good choice and very versatile. You can do a lot with it or even eat it plain as can be, toasting it with some butter. White bread in particular is one of the better options because it is very lower in fiber, making it easy on the stomach. One large slice only has about 0.8g of fiber in it.

2. White rice - Rice is another excellent choice for low-fiber eating. In an entire cup of cooked long grain white rice you are only going to get about 0.6g of fiber. White rice is a better option when experiencing the runs than brown rice because it is much more plain. It has the bran and germ removed, which is good because it decreases the fiber content... but on the downside it isn't as nutritious. 

3. Pasta - In particular, white pasta is what you should be looking for. A cup of your average spaghetti cooked can be a nice filling meal and only has about 2g fiber. You might want to avoid adding cheese to your meal however, unless you are certain it won't upset your stomach further.

4. Pancakes - There is some controversy surrounding the invention of pancakes, but it was probably around the 1st century by the Romans. I guess that doesn't matter much though... they are here now and they are a delicious low-fiber breakfast food. The USDA lists 3 Kellogg's Eggo Buttermilk pancakes as having 1.2g of fiber. The softness of such also helps make digestion smooth and simple.

5. Waffles - Waffles could be substituted in for pancakes if you aren't too big of a fan. The batter used here is pretty much the same, so take your pick. 

6. Cream of wheat - This breakfast choice is made from refined farina. It makes a good alternative to oatmeal, which is higher in fiber and not as great of a choice. Being creamy, healthy and low in fiber... it's yet another good go-to when diarrhea comes your way.

7. Eggs - If you are looking for a good source of protein, low in fiber and easy on the stomach, then there isn't much better a choice than eggs. And when we say low fiber, we really mean no fiber. Eggs have zero fiber and provide you with some good vitamins, minerals, and nutrients like lutein and zeaxanthin, which have been shown to fight off diseases. 

Vitamins for a Strong Immune System

There our 1001 different causes of diarrhea. Your diarrhea could have stemmed from something you ate that contained a ridiculous amount of fiber, or maybe it could be from some sort of bacterial infection which would mean the immune system needs to kick into action and do its job.

For a healthy immune system there are lots of vitamins you need, vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin A being some of the most important.

Foods high in vitamin C...

We all know that oranges and some of the other citrus fruits are extremely good sources of vitamin C. However, they will not be listed here due to their acidity, which can increase stomach irritation and just lead to more diarrhea in some cases. The same goes for tomatoes.

8. Red Peppers - Normally peppers wouldn't be that great of a choice for helping with diarrhea, but red peppers are very mild so they are okay. A half cup of sweet raw red peppers has about 95mg of vitamin C, which already hits the RDA for both men and women.

9. Green Peppers - Green peppers aren't quite as good of a choice as the red, but nonetheless still provide good amounts, with 1/2 cup of raw pepper having about 60mg. 

10. Potatoes - You probably don't think of potatoes when it comes to vitamin C, but they do provide a good amount, with a medium sized one giving you about 42mg. This is around half of the recommended amount, which according to the National Institues of Health is 90mg for men per day and 75mg for women per day. Potatoes could have also made the low fiber foods list above.. making them something you should consider adding to your diarrhea diet.

Vitamin E...

11. Wheat germ oil - This isn't the most common oil you will see at the store, but it is still something that makes the list because of its incredible vitamin E content, at 20mg in just one tablespoon. And besides that it has lots of other antioxidants as well as fatty acids. If you do buy this oil try to mix it in with salad dressings and sauces, on sandwiches, etc. This isn't something you really want to use as a frying oil, which would really decrease its nutrient value anyhow.

12. Sunflower seeds - These can be a tasty addition to just about any salad or a good snack for throughout the day. Most seeds/nuts have high amounts of vitamin E, and sunflower seeds are at the top of the list. One ounce, which is about 1/5 of a cup, will give you 10.2mg (in the form of Alpha Tocopherol) which is about half of the daily value needed.

Vitamin A...

13. Carrots - Carrots are high in beta carotene, a precursor to vitamin A. One medium-sized serving of those tasty little baby carrots gives you around 28% of the RDA for vitamin A, or about 1379ui. Adding them to a salad every now and again or just snacking on them throughout the day can be beneficial for a number of things, including diarrhea.

14. Spinach - While spinach might not give you massive forearms like Pop-Eye, which you might not want anyhow, it is packed with a lot of good nutrients, offering much more than just vitamin A. It is also a good source of vitamin K, B2, B6, B1, and minerals like iron, copper, magnesium and folate. Overall it is a great choice for overall health and can be of benefit when it comes to diarrhea. As far as vitamin A content goes, according to Self Nutrition Data one cup of raw spinach will give you 2813iu, which is about 56% of the RDA. You might not want to go crazy with this however because it does contain a fair amount of fiber.

15. Mustard greens - Mustard greens contain a decent amount of vitamin E and vitamin C, but they really shine when you look at their vitamin A content. Self Nutrition Data lists one cup cooked as having 8853iu, which is about 177% of the daily value you need. It's also worth mentioning that this has extremely high amounts of vitamin K.

16. Sweet potatoes - These are very high in beta carotene, which is a precursor for vitamin A. Along with this they provide a healthy source of carbs and even some protein. That said, they are a bit high in fiber so you may not want to eat too much.

Minerals are Important Too

Make sure to get enough zinc...

Having a deficiency in zinc can lead to diarrhea, loss of hair, a weakened immune system, and a number of other downsides. Good sources of this mineral are…

17. Beef - Red meats in general are good sources of zinc, beef being one of them. In a 100g patty of ground beef you are already getting about 4.8mg of zinc. This is close to half of the RDA for men and more so for women. There also is zero fiber here as well as those that follow..

18. Lamb - Another red meat, lamb is also a good choice. So if you like gyros you are in luck. 

19. Pork - While not as great as ground beef, pork is still supplies a fair amount at 2.39mg per 100g.

Potassium...

Getting enough potassium is something else that you should consider. When you have diarrhea and are losing a lot of fluids, high amounts of potassium are lost. This makes it important to replenish so that you do not become deficient. Some good foods to eat for this purpose include…

20. Bananas - Thought to have originated somewhere in southeast Asia, they are super easy to chew, very smooth, and well known for their potassium. A medium sized one will fetch you about 422mg or about 12% of what you should be getting daily. They also give you a good amount of vitamin C but you may not want to eat too much due to the high fructose levels, which may upset your stomach.

21. Beets - I don't know many people that are big fans of beets, but if you are then lucky you. These deep purple vegetables can give around 305mg per 100g when cooked.

Others - Sweet potatoes, avocados and spinach are also good sources but they already made the list so we will not be repeating them here.

Try Eating Foods that Go Down Easily

There is a diet out there called the BRAT diet, which stands for Bananas, Rice, Apples, and Toast. It is all about eating soft and bland foods when dealing with diarrhea. It's a pretty basic diet but the foods recommended are good choices.

Bananas - Already made the list. Good source of many vitamins/minerals and go down very easy.

Rice - Already made the list. Bland, low in fiber, versatile... a pretty good option.

22. Applesauce - Apples aren't our favorite choice, but we get it. They provide a fair amount of vitamins and minerals, like vitamin C and potassium. We listed applesauce here instead of just apples because it goes down easier and much of the fiber is in the skin. They say that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but not the dentist. We would suggest you don't overdue it with them because of the high sugar amount.

Toast - White bread (already listed) that is toasted is going to give you the littlest amount of fiber as already discussed. Throw a bit of butter on it and enjoy!

What to Avoid

  • High sugar content
  • High acidity
  • Dairy products
  • Processed foods

The Easiest Way to Avoid Diarrhea

Diarrhea is probably easier to avoid in the first place than to get rid of once you already have it. The easiest way to do so is simply to eat a well-balanced diet that seems healthy… Generally speaking you want to have lots of colors in your meals and avoid things that are overly spicy, sugary or acidic.

This way you get adequate amounts of nutrients and minerals, good fiber to aid in digestion, and you are eating foods that aren't going to be too irritable. Doing this can keep the immune system strong and digestion running smoothly.


Controversy On What You Should Be Eating

If you've done a fair amount of research on foods that you should be eating when experiencing diarrhea, then you have probably come across contradicting information… Such as some sources telling you to eat this food and that food, while others tell you to avoid such.

One of the big problems here is the simple fact that everyone's body is different and may respond differently to different foods. One person's body may have a problem with the amount of fiber provided in one food while another person's may respond as if it is not getting enough.

If you no something on the list above is going to cause you a diarrhea, or worsen it, it goes without saying that you shouldn't eat it. 

‘Why Does Salad Give Me Diarrhea?’ – 5 Possible Reasons Explained

So you are doing your best to eat healthy and do what's good for your body, but things just aren't working out? Salad, which is supposed to be a good thing has turned out to be a potential culprit of unwanted frequent trips to the bathroom… Diarrhea.

Most of the time such a problem is not too much to worry about, although it can really mess up your day and throw a monkey wrench in things, but sometimes can be more of a problem than it seems. Besides the obvious frustration that leads to, diarrhea also leads to less nutrient absorption which can in turn impact you in a number of ways. So this is definitely something you want to get to the bottom of as soon as possible.

Salads, like other healthy choices such as orange juice, more than likely aren't going to be any problem for the majority of people out there, but just about any food is going to cause diarrhea for some

You Have Diarrhea If..

This is probably something you already are well aware of, but some of the symptoms of diarrhea include…

  • Watery stools
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Nausea

..and of course if you have diarrhea for long enough you are also more than likely going to be low on energy and potentially dehydrated from all the lost nutrients and fluids.

5 Reasons It Could Be Causing This Problem

Unfortunately when it comes to salads it can be difficult narrowing in on the exact reason that they are causing your unfortunate case of diarrhea. There are just so many variables at play, so many different types of salads with so many different ingredients, that there is no one good answer we can give to the question of why they are causing diarrhea. However, five potential reasons that are worth looking into include…

1. Bacterial infections

Not only does cooking foods help make them easier for us to chew and digest, but it also helps to kill harmful bacteria and other microbes that could do us harm. And, as we know, salads are not cooked, or at least not usually.

Salads are often composed largely of a leafy green, such as lettuce. Now these leafy greens should always be washed, along with everything else that is uncooked, but sometimes that is not even done. When it is done it is often washed in local waters which could contain local strains of bacteria like E. coli, the common cause of "traveler's diarrhea".

If you consistently get the runs after eating salad in an area that you have lived for a while, then you can probably roll out "traveler's diarrhea". But, it could still be due to bacteria of another kind.

The most you can do here to avoid this is simply buying salad ingredients that are trusted and make sure to always wash them yourself before eating.

2. A look at fiber

When you have diarrhea it is almost always a good idea to look at your fiber intake. You need fiber if you want to have healthy bowel movements, but you also don't want too much. Salads can vary greatly in the amount of fiber that they provide, depending on what all ingredients we are looking at, but if we are looking at a very plain salad that features mostly raw green leaf lettuce then you aren't getting much in the way of fiber. According to the USDA, 1 cup of raw green leaf lettuce only provides you with 0.5 mg of fiber.

Couple the low amount of fiber with the fact that a lot of lettuces are high in water content and this can increase your chances of loose stools.

To get a healthy dose of fiber you want to eat a nice balanced salad. Carrots, Brussels sprouts, avocados, broccoli, etc. all provide good amounts of fiber and may be worth adding into the mix.

3. Maybe it's the dressing

There are so many different varieties of dressings out there and they could very well be the cause of the entire problem, or at least be an unwanted addition that helps bring the problem about in the first place.

Are the dressings you are lathering your salads in high in fat? Do they contain soy lecithin, which is used in many different dressings? If so you may want to try out a lower fat dressing that does not contain lecithin and see if that takes care of the problem for you. Lecithin is known to cause abdominal pain, cramps and diarrhea.

4. Do you use cheese?

Cheese is another common ingredient you find in salads and is well known to cause diarrhea in many people. This is going to be a problem if you are lactose intolerant, which can lead to bloating, cramps, diarrhea, gas, etc.

The reason some people suffer from this intolerance is because the small intestine doesn't produce enough of the enzyme called lactase, which is responsible for the digestion of lactose.

If this is the problem then you will also experience the same symptoms from other dairy products like milk.

5. Tomatoes could also be the culprit

While tomatoes might not be a problem on their own, they could be an addition to a salad that you might not want to add. If you have a sensitive stomach and it is already being upset to a small degree, the extreme acidic nature of the tomato can further upset it and increase your chances of diarrhea.

This could be like "throwing wood on the fire" so to speak.

Pinpointing the Cause

As mentioned earlier on, there are so many combinations of salads and many different variables at play that it can be incredibly difficult when pinpointing the exact cause of diarrhea. And as if that doesn't already sound like a daunting task, it also could be the combination of more than one ingredient eaten at the same time, was just makes it all the more difficult.

If you are experiencing severe diarrhea from eating salads then it is probably best to see a doctor or just stop eating salads altogether. However, if this is something that you can deal with and work through, then you may want to try an elimination diet.

An elimination diet is when you eliminate different foods from your diet, one by one, and wait for the symptoms to subside. This should help you pinpoint the cause of your diarrhea. And, if you want to double check things, you can re-add the ingredient that you suspect is the cause and see if the diarrhea resumes. Sounds easy, but it is much easier said than done since the symptoms don't come about instantly after consumption.

You Might Still Be Able to Eat Salads!

Don't just give up on salads altogether. It could be one little ingredient in the mixture that is causing all this fuss… And maybe is one of your least favorite ingredients anyways. This might give you a good reason to not eat that one ingredient that you put off eating to last.

Again, if your diarrhea is to the point where you consider it severe or if you have had it for multiple days on end, it may be a more serious problem that you should get to the doctor over.

7 Fruits That Help With Diarrhea – Spend Less Time on the Toilet!

When it comes to stopping diarrhea, which no one wants to have to deal with, it is almost always more desirable to do so naturally, with whole foods, rather than take some synthetic supplement or something along those lines. Luckily there are a lot of natural foods that can help with this unwanted condition… And in this post we will be going over fruits that help diarrhea.

Fruits might not be the best choice out there, as I will discuss in a bit, but they are a nice tasty way to help overcome ridiculously frequent bathroom visits that may be plaguing your life.

You probably already know this but...

The key characteristic of diarrhea is loose and watery stools. But there are a number of other symptoms that sometimes come along with this, such as abdominal cramps, fever, bloating, and sometimes even blood in the stool, but watery stool is the main thing people think of.

Sometimes it's not too big of a deal, but other times it is. Either way, no one wants to have their day ruined by a bad case of diarrhea and spend half the time on the toilet when they could be out getting things done... Not to mention the other half of the day trying not to crap their pants as they are out and about.

Why fruit helps..

There are a number of reasons why different fruits can help settle your stomach and put an end to your diarrhea. These include things like providing your body with the necessary amount of fiber, helping support a healthy gut microbiota, providing nutrients necessary to strengthen your immune system and so on.

And why some fruits are better than others..

There are 1001 different things that could be the cause of watery stools but some common causes are lack of fiber, bacterial and viral infections, an unbalanced gut microbiota, too much insoluble fiber, etc.

Some good things to look for when deciding upon what types of fruits to eat are things like the amount of pectin that they contain, which is a soluble fiber that is well known for helping get rid of diarrhea and even return bowel movements to normal if you are constipated. 

Pectin is a complex carb that is found in the cell walls of plants. It has an incredible ability to absorb water and is actually a common ingredient in jams and jellies, being used as a thickening agent. You can imagine how it can help get rid of watery stools… It helps soak up the water. And besides this it also is good for the gut and helps feed the healthy bacteria that you want living inside of you.

7 Fruits to Eat to End The Unwanted Bathroom Visits


  1. Apples - It's no wonder that apples are part of the famous BRAT diet, which is a popular diet used to get rid of diarrhea among other things. It is composed of around 1-1.5% pectin and in a 2017 study published in the Nutrients journal apples were also found to benefit healthy gut microbiota.
  2. Bananas - Bananas are a smooth and easily digestible snack that is easy on the stomach and can provide you with a lot of healthy nutrients. It is also a very good source of pectin and has a good amount of what people call 'resistant starch' that passes through into later stages of digestion and helps feed good bacteria.
  3. Pears - Not only do pears provide a good source of pectin, some of the fiber is fermented with aids healthy gut bacteria.
  4. Oranges - There is some controversy around whether or not citrus fruits are good or bad for diarrhea, but overall I think they are a pretty good choice. They contain a small amount of pectin, up to around 0.5%, which can help soak up some of that excess water, and we all know that they contain a lot of vitamin C, around 51mg in just one small orange (source: USDA), that can help keep your immune system strong. 
  5. Grapefruit - Grapefruit is another citrus fruit that contains a lot of vitamin C, according to the USDA about 38 mg. It is also a good source of pectin and contains most of it in its peel.
  6. Apricots - Apricots are another good choice. They contain a modest amount of pectin, around 1%.
  7. Grapes - Grapes are on the lower side when it comes to the amount of pectin they have, but they still provide some. Also, a 2011 study found that gapes help increase the biodiversity of your microflora, which is thought to be likely from the high amounts of phenolic compounds contained.

Often it is the peel of fruit or the skin (depending on what type of fruit you are eating) that is high in insoluble fiber, a.k.a. the fiber that does not get broken down in your digestive system. If you get too much insoluble fiber you may get diarrhea, although you do need some to help aid with the digestive process. This just all depends on how sensitive one is to such.

Just Don't Go Stuffing Yourself on Fruit

The last thing you want to do is go out and start stuffing yourself with fruit to try to put an end to the diarrhea… It is all about moderation and eating too much of just about anything can cause digestive issues like diarrhea.

One big downside to eating fruit as a cure for this condition is the high fructose content, which is well known to cause upset stomach and diarrhea. Fructose is a sugar that isn't digested very easily and some people are much more sensitive to it than others. If you are someone who is, you may want to avoid fruit altogether.

Everyone's Body Responds Differently

One key point to understand here is that everyone's body responds differently. Bananas might really help sooth one person's stomach and lead to firmer stools, whereas they might upset someone else's stomach who is easily irritated by the high fructose content. The same goes for a lot of fruits... Orange juice could cause diarrhea for one person because of the acidity it has but for others it could help.

It all depends. If you have been eating fruit and are still experiencing diarrhea in the same amount, or maybe even worse, then you may want to look at eliminating all foods that are high in fructose as well as foods that are high in fiber, because although fiber can be great and is necessary, some people are just too sensitive to it.

Can Strawberries Cause Diarrhea? – 4 Reasons They Can!

Have you ever heard that strawberries can cause diarrhea? Well the truth is that they can, in several different ways. Maybe you read this somewhere or heard it from someone you know, or maybe you have had your own experiences with strawberries and have come to this conclusion independently.

It may be hard to believe at first. How can something so sweet and innocent, a delicious little strawberry cause such unwanted side effects? And does this mean you are going to have to cut them out of your diet, which would then mean you're going to miss out on all of the good nutrients they provide…

  • Vitamin C (According to the USDA, about 11% of the RDA (7.1mg) in just one strawberry!)
  • Manganese
  • Vitamin B9
  • Potassium and more

The answer is no... at least not yet. While strawberries "may" cause diarrhea and "can", for the majority of people out there they do not pose a threat. A healthy individual more than likely isn't going to have any problem with such. The same goes for orange juice, which we recently published an article about.

Let's First Take a Look at Diarrhea..

Diarrhea is something that nobody wants to have to deal with. It's messy, gross, and can really screw up your whole day. The staple characteristics include frequent and very liquidy bowel movements, and other symptoms that come along with it are…

  • Stomach cramps & pain
  • Fever
  • Bloating
  • Nausea

Strawberries are delicious and all but they aren't worth having diarrhea over… Unless maybe if you have been suffering from constipation and are looking for some relief, then I could see as being desirable. But most people out there definitely do not want to deal with running to the bathroom every 10 minutes, and unfortunately strawberries very well could be the cause of such an unwanted condition...

4 Ways They Can Be a Cause of Your Frequent Bathroom Visits

1) They are high in salicylates

Salicylates are organic chemicals that strawberries have a lot of, and that our bodies have to detoxify when ingested. Some people can handle more than others and this all depends on how active a certain enzyme is in the body that is responsible for handling such tasks.

If you eat too much salicylates, going near or above the threshold in which your body can handle, you may experience allergy-like symptoms, some of which include bloating and diarrhea.

Other foods that are high in this compound include fruits like blackberries, blueberries, dates, and cherries. So you may experience similar problems while eating these, although it all depends on how much you are eating.

2) Food poisoning maybe?

Something else that you may have to consider is food poisoning. Did you know that some of the most common causes of diarrhea include infections from viruses, bacteria, and fungi?

When we think of food poisoning we normally think of animal products (like meats) spoiling and picking up some sort of bacteria like E. coli or salmonella. Then, if not cooked well enough the bacteria is transferred into the person consuming such spoiled meats, who then might get a variety of different symptoms including the common but unwanted diarrhea. But fruits like strawberries can also be the carrier of bacteria, fungi, etc.

If you want to do your best to avoid getting food poisoning from strawberries then simply wash them before eating. The same goes for eating any type of fruits or vegetables. You never know if they may have came in contact with other spoiled foods, feces, etc. It would also be highly recommended, and common sense, to not eat any that are moldy.

3) Maybe you're allergic

Allergies are another potential culprit. And again, this is something else that you wouldn't really think of when it comes to strawberries. Allergies are common for peanuts, shellfish, milk… But strawberries? Yes, unfortunately it is possible although very rare.

An allergic reaction to a food like this is, in a nutshell, usually your body overreacting to the proteins of the strawberries. It perceives them as a threat and starts to produce antibodies to attack and destroy the threat, which decreases your overall health and gives you symptoms like swelling around the mouth and throat, difficulty breathing, irritation in that area and/or a rash, cough, and possibly diarrhea… Although a lesser common symptom.

You may also be wondering what the heck I am talking about… Protein in strawberries? Well… There are actually thousands of proteins in a strawberry. Although not "protein packed", they do have protein. And plenty enough to cause an allergy.

4) Fructose complications

Fructose is a type of sugar and is actually the most commonly used type included in processed foods, due to it being much more sweet than glucose. However, this is a natural sugar and you can find it in things like honey and fruits… Including strawberries.

Eating a diet high in this natural sugar is often associated with increased gas. If you eat too much it may be 'malabsorbed', or not absorbed efficiently. This isn't that uncommon. Some people have higher tolerances for fructose absorption than others.

If you are getting too much of this sugar then bloating, gas and diarrhea may be the side effects. If this is a problem that you suffer from then you probably also experience similar symptoms when eating apples, cherries, mangoes and pears, which are also very high in fructose.

A Healthy Food With Potential Unwanted Side Effects

I write 'potential' unwanted side effects because more likely than not you are going to have no problem eating strawberries. More likely than not, they will not cause diarrhea… Although it is possible.

In fact, strawberries even contain some substances that work in the opposite direction, helping reduce the chances of frequent bathroom visits. One way that they can help lower your chances of diarrhea is through the small amount of soluble fiber that they have, called pectin, which helps soak up excess water in the bowel and bring about firmer stools.

Can strawberries cause diarrhea? Yes.
Will they? Probably not.


Everyone reacts differently to different things. Some may be more sensitive to salicylates, some highly allergic to the proteins in strawberries, and some with extreme fructose malabsorption... But not all. And better stated… not most.

If you are looking for some tasty fruits that can help put an end to your frequent bathroom visits, check out this article.

For those with chronic diarrhea

If you are someone who is experiencing chronic diarrhea and think that it may be related to your consumption of strawberries, please consult with a doctor. If your diary is to the point where it is overwhelming, and maybe even bloodied, it is better to be safe than sorry. This could be the result of a much more serious condition that needs to be looked at.

Does Licorice Cause Diarrhea or is this an Old Wives’ Tale?

You've probably heard the saying that licorice causes diarrhea, or maybe you even believe you have experienced such for yourself, but does it really? Can such a tasty sweet snack, or a healthy root extract (if you are into the natural stuff), be the cause of toilets exploding across the world?

Diarrhea is a condition that nobody wants to deal with… It can really mess with your plans and instead of working on that presentation for your next meeting or walking your dog, you are running to the bathroom constantly, which can be an absolutely exhausting and dreadful experience.

This unwanted condition is characterized by abdominal cramps, frequent bathroom trips, and of course.. watery stool.

It would be nice if there was just a handful of causes for this so that there wouldn't be so much guesswork, but unfortunately there are about 1001 different things that can be the reason for your diarrhea. While bacteria, viruses and parasites are some of the most common causes, it can also be due to allergies, lack of or too much nutrients, lack of fiber and so on.

There seems to be a lot of confusion as to whether or not licorice actually causes diarrhea, so of course that is the topic at hand here. But before we get into that let's first talk about what licorice is exactly… Which there is also a bit of confusion around.

What is Licorice Really?

There is a lot of "licorice" that isn't really licorice. You know those red Twizzler candies that you can buy in just about any store? Yeah… Those don't actually have any licorice in them at all. Those have what is called anise oil, which tastes and smells like licorice but isn't.

According to an article by the FDA, black licorice is what contains the real stuff, and you can verify this yourself by looking at the ingredients list on the back of a black licorice candy wrapper. Although in very small amounts, they do contain some. The popular Twizzler black licorice candy states that it contains less than 2% licorice extract, and this usually seems to be the case. Generally speaking the black licorice candies have 3% or less actual extract. But I guess this makes sense because it is the black licorice that is usually said to give people diarrhea, not the red.

Real Licorice:

The scientific name for the licorice plant is Glycyrrhiza glabra, and this is no modern discovery. In fact, it has been used in ancient Egypt as well as in Chinese traditional medicine for thousands of years, for a number of different things such as treating eczema, asthma, low blood sugar, and of course soothing stomach problems.

And it's no wonder why extract from the root of this plant has become popular in candies… It is incredibly sweet, supposedly up to 50x more so than sugar.

Does It Really Cause Diarrhea?

It has been used as a digestive aid since ancient times, and it seems that just about everyone has heard stories about it being used as a laxative or something along those lines. Hearing all of this would make you think that there is at least some truth to it causing diarrhea, right?

Well… Unfortunately there really isn't any hard proof of it being true, other than the many stories from people who have tried it for themselves. I've heard stories about people taking licorice for constipation as well as people just eating it out of enjoyment and later experiencing unwanted diarrhea.

Lack of scientific proof? Yes..but this doesn't mean it isn't true..

Lack of evidence does not mean anything more than there being a lack of evidence. While there aren't any good scientific studies showing that it causes diarrhea, there also aren't any showing that it doesn't. In fact, I don't think there even have been any studies related to licorice and its effects on diarrhea.

All in all there is just a lack of research on this topic, so all we have to go with are the claims of traditional medicine as well as personal stories from those with their own experiences on the matter.

A Treatment for Constipation & Other Digestive Issues?

It is said to help with IBS as well as constipation, and has been used for such traditionally, but again there isn't much in the way of scientific evidence to back this up. However, there is some proof that it can help with digestive problems such as peptic ulcers and all of the symptoms that come along with them.

An article from the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences called The Healing Effect of Licorice claims that it has been shown to help heal peptic ulcers caused by the Helicobactor pylori bacteria, which is the most common cause of this problem.

So there is at least some proof that it can fulfill its said traditional benefits of soothing the stomach.

According to WebMD, the chemicals that are present in licorice are "thought" to decrease swelling, thin out mucus, decrease coughing and of course help heal ulcers... but most of this is just "thought" to happen, not proven.

Don't eat too much!

If you like licorice, maybe for its health reasons or maybe just because you like the taste, do yourself a favor and don't eat too much of it. The compound that is famous for, glycyrrhizin, can lower potassium and raise sodium levels which can cause heart problems, high blood pressure, etc.

Eating just 2 ounces of black licorice a day for two weeks can lead to an irregular heart rhythm.

If you are looking to get the health benefits but avoid the possible side effects, you may want to look into buying DGL (deglycyrrhizinated licorice) over the counter which is a much safer form that has the glycyrrhizinic acid removed but still provides much of the benefits.