Is the cause of gold stools—a more golden color rather than straight yellow—different from the cause of a blander yellow type of poop?

What can be considered a “gold” stool might actually be a yellowish tan, or maybe even a very light brown.

The lighting in the bathroom stall will also influence how you see the color.

There’s really no such thing as a pure golden color for poops.

But if stools appear to be gold, they are probably what a doctor would consider to be yellow.

Yellow Stools: Cause for Worry?

“The color yellow is not concerning and can be affected by bile in the stool,” says Franjo Vladic, MD, a board certified gastroenterologist with Center for Digestive Health and Endoscopy Center in Ohio.

Dr. Vladic explains, “Color is hard to decipher, and pale or clay-colored stools can be interpreted as yellow, so it is worth bringing to the attention of a doctor who can determine whether further evaluation is merited.”

This means saving your stools and bringing them into the office for your doctor to inspect.

They should be refrigerated (in a plastic container, tightly sealed) unless you pass them before your appointment that day.

What can give a golden tint to poops is the supplement turmeric or curcumin.

Some of the brilliant orange of this supplement will get passed and end up on stools.

When bile makes stools appear yellow, this is not a concern, as Dr. Vladic notes. Bile in stool is a normal process.

Colon Cancer

Colon cancer does not turn stools any shade that can pass as yellow or gold.

Colon cancer sometimes causes blood to get mixed with BMs, making them appear bloody, maroon or full of a black, tar-like substance (old blood).

You can do an at-home colon cancer screening with Cologuard — a simple stool collection kit that uses state-of-the-art DNA technology to identify abnormal cells.


If abnormal cells are detected, your doctor will likely recommend a colonoscopy for diagnosis.

Serious conditions can turn bowel movements a pale color, but do not confuse pale or beige with yellow or golden.

Dr. Vladic’s special interests include acid reflux, colitis, colon cancer, GERD, heartburn, IBS, liver disease, obesity, pancreatitis and peptic ulcer, among many others.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.