Cellulose in the Diet - Knowledgebase Question

Avatar for GONZALV
Question by GONZALV
April 30, 1998
Why can humans eat some types of cellulose but not others.

Answer from NGA
April 30, 1998
Wouldn't it be great if we could all go outside, and munch on some grass at lunchtime! But the human digestive tract is not set up for such a cellulose-rich diet. Most animals that consume grass and other plant material high in cellulose have complex stomachs designed for such a diet. Many are ruminants that chew their cud. We have evolved to consume an omnivore's diet--a mix of plant and/or animal material. Though the plant material we eat--fruits and vegetables--contains some cellulose, it is not as rich in the material as most tough grasses and leaves.

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