Turn your poo blue (for science) in the #BluePoopChallenge

Assessing gut transit time gives insight into your gut health

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blue cupcakes with blue frosting and heart decoration

jenn sterling on Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

The latest social media challenge trying to go viral is weird — perhaps you have already seen it on TikTok, Twitter, or Instagram. If you haven't, don't be alarmed if you hear friends talking to you about turning your poop blue. 

Believe it or not, your poo provides you with a lot of important health information. A company called ZOE is looking to help you understand how. If you are interested, you can turn your own poo blue for free and receive health insights.

recent paper from microbiome scientists, including researchers affiliated with ZOE, used a blue dye to help assess gut transit time, the amount of time for the food you eat to travel through your body, in 863 individuals. Gut transit time is associated with specific components of the microbiome. So, long with dietary information, gut transit time provides clues to the identity of microbes in your gut. The researchers found that longer gut transit time was associated with specific species of microbes: Akkermansia muciniphilaBacteroides spp and Alistipes spp. Gut transit time was a better indicator of gut health than frequency or consistency. 

You can now follow the recipes provided by ZOE to bake muffins with blue dye, track how long it takes for your poop to come out blue, and use this time to determine if your gut is currently in a healthy state. If you try it, join the #BluePoopChallenge on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.