The most important defecation-related scientific study ever

It started with some brave souls daring to ask a simple but all-important question...what's more important when it comes to pooping, the position a person is in or the shape of the poop? It's our privilege to share their answer.

Researchers at the University of Iowa began their 2006 paper for The American Journal of Gastroenterology by explaining their most crucial topic:

Whether defecation is influenced by body position or stool characteristics is unclear. We investigated effects of body position, presence of stool-like sensation, and stool form on defecation patterns and manometric profiles.

This is why people get into science, right here. But how do you test something like this, and more to the point how do you test something like this without everything getting totally, dream-hauntingly disgusting? They explain:

Rectal and anal pressures were assessed in 25 healthy volunteers during attempted defecation either in the lying or sitting positions and with balloon-filled or empty rectum. Subjects also expelled a water-filled (50 cc) balloon or silicone-stool (FECOM) either lying or sitting and rated their stooling sensation.

Yes, FECOM is specially made artificial poop, and it is absolutely a real thing. Unfortunately, it does not appear to be available in stores, so you'll have to think of something else for a last-minute Mother's Day gift.

So then, what did our researchers find? Well...

In the lying position, one-third showed dyssynergia and one-half could not expel artificial stool. Whereas when sitting with distended rectum, most showed normal defecation pattern and ability to expel stool. Thus, body position, sensation of stooling and stool characteristics may each influence defecation. Defecation is best evaluated in the sitting position with artificial stool.

I think we all now know what you'll be making casual conversation about at your next dinner party. Although I'm not sure whether it's better to bring all this up before or after everyone has eaten.

Via NCBI ROFL. Image via mandydale's Flickr.