Healthy stool color

Written by zachary fenell | 13/05/2017

Traditionally, bowel movements are thought to be brown. However, bowel movement colours can vary. Some bowel movement colours are healthy, while others are not.

Variables of Color

Diet, levels of bile (an enzyme that digests fat and turns stool brown) and time spent in the gastrointestinal tract are all factors influencing bowel movement colours. For example, a diet heavily enriched with green vegetables is more likely to cause green bowel movements.

Healthy Stool Color

Brown and green bowel movements are healthy stool colours. Green bowel movements can result from eating green foods or foods with green food colouring. Green bowel movements are also more likely when the stool moves swiftly through the gastrointestinal tract.

Unhealthy Stool Color

Yellow, whitish/clay colour, bright red and black stool are indicators of health problems. Bright red and black stool indicates blood in your stool.

Bloody Stool

Bloody stool can indicate several conditions; some serious like cancer and bleeding ulcers and some not so serious like haemorrhoids (occurs when anal blood vessels dilate). The darker the stool the more serious the issue is likely to be.


If you are experiencing unhealthy bowel movement colours, contact your doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor should be able to diagnosis the reason for your unhealthy stool colour.

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