On The Origin Of Faeces

Digestion begins with saliva.

Before food goes through your body and is turned into excrement, the process is begun by amylase.

α-amylase can digest up to 75% of the starch in potatoes and bread before this salivary enzyme is inactivated by stomach acid. That’s more than you would have anticipated, isn’t it?

Yes, α-amylase is that super awkward person at a party who just keeps hanging around and doesn’t know when to leave. Even though you’d expect it to lose its effect once food is past the mouth, it remains there for ages.

In case you’re someone who drools while asleep, the salivary secretion rate is actually 10 times higher when awake and resting than while sleeping. So basically you’re disgusting.


  1. Smith, M. E., & Morton, D. G. (2010). The digestive system: Basic science and clinical conditions (2nd ed.). New York; Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone.

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