Benefits and Risks of Colon Cleanse
Is colon cleanse good for you? The jury is still out. That is because researchers have devoted little study to colon cleansing. For now, here is some information that might help you decide whether colon cleansing is for you.
Cleaning out the colon is sometimes necessary— for example, before a medical procedure, such as a colonoscopy. But some people do it in the belief that the process will rid their colons of excess toxins that have accumulated over time from the foods they eat, the air they breathe, the water they drink and the lifestyles they lead.
The practice of natural colon cleansing dates back to ancient Greece. In the U.S., cleansing the colon — the large intestine — became popular in the 1920s and 1930s. But when the theories behind it lost support, it fell out of favor. Recently, though, colon cleanse — using, for example, teas, enzymes, or colon irrigation — has experienced a resurgence.
Facts about natural colon cleansing
One of the main theories behind colon cleansing is an ancient belief called the theory of autointoxication. This is the belief that undigested meat and other foods cause mucus buildup in the colon. This buildup produces toxins, the theory goes, which enter the blood’s circulation, poisoning the body.
There are two main colon cleansing methods. One involves buying products; the other involves seeing a practitioner to have a colon irrigation.
Top 5 Benefits of Colon Cleansing
With additives in our food, pesticides on our crops, and pollution all around us, many might say we live in a toxic age. Sometimes all that toxic buildup can take its toll on the colon, which encumbers digestion and overall health. When your colon is backed up with toxic material, your entire body becomes sluggish and unable to perform its day-to-day tasks. Luckily, your body does a pretty good job detoxifying itself on a regular basis; however, some toxins remain in the body and require some help to facilitate removal.
Helping your body detoxify itself isn’t too difficult when you stop and think about it. Eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of exercises are two powerful components. But sometimes we need a bit more when it comes to toxins, many of which can easily store themselves in the colon. So, if you think you need a colon cleanse, or you just want to look into the idea, don’t put it off. Here are 5 great benefits of colon cleansing you should know.
1. Prevent constipation and improve digestion
Constipation can make for poor digestion and vice versa. When digestion is impaired and constipation ensues, waste products can linger in your body. This whole process can lead to the inability to absorb many of the nutrients you’re taking in, leading to a lack of energy and-and hampered immune function. Detoxing your colon allows those undigested waste products to be pushed through your system and also puts some ease in your bowel regularity. Since lingering waste can breed bacteria, this purge clears the way for good nutrient absorption, thereby supporting good health.
2. Increased energy levels and concentration
Purging toxins from your colon allow energy from the intestines to place focus elsewhere, meaning your energy levels could improve. Nutrition is very important to mental health, and the weak vitamin absorption before your colon cleanse may lead to loss of concentration. In addition to you having more energy, absorption of crucial vitamins responsible for mental clarity is improved, meaning your concentration may also be supported.
3. Jumpstarts Weight Loss
Low-fiber choices are often the result of a poor diet. These foods are terrible for digestion, and typically hinder the body’s ability to register the feeling of fullness. It’s very challenging to relieve yourself of low-fiber foods compared with high-fiber options, and these foods will often linger much longer in the gut. When you cleanse the colon, this matter is flushed from the system, and, in some, may lead to significant weight loss that stays off. But if you’re looking to lose weight, one study suggests that simply increasing fiber intake can also help you shed unwanted pounds.
4. Better overall Colon Health
All the toxins you take into your body will eventually end up being processed, making it to the colon. By not cleansing your colon (and liver), these poisons can linger in the body, causing untold damage. By ridding the body of the waste, you support the many functions of your colon, including digestion and proliferation of beneficial gut flora.
5. A way to detox your body
Your body is extremely intelligent in that it is constantly detoxifying itself every day. But sometimes, in combination with environmental factors and poor lifestyle habits, it’s hard to catch up, and your body may begin showing signs of colon toxic overload. An oxygen-based cleanser may be helpful for encouraging colon as well as whole body detoxification by releasing oxygen into the system. Oxygen is very important for facilitating removal of toxins, as is drinking plenty of clean, fresh water.
Despite colon cleansing’s long history and current popularity, the literature does not support its purported benefits. Historically, colon cleanse was thought to prevent autointoxication from toxins originating in the colon, but the evidence for this claim is limited. A search of the literature using the terms “colon cleansing,” “herbal colon cleanse,” “colon detoxification,” and “colon irrigation,” yielded no scientifically robust studies in support of this practice. One study suggested that lymphocytes might migrate from the gut into the circulation after the procedure, which may “improve colon and immune system function.
Colon Cleanse Risks
Is natural colon cleansing needed? Are bowel movements enough to clear the colon? Or is it true that colon cleansing can be beneficial? This is still unclear. We do know that the body alone can do the following:
– Natural bacteria in the colon can detoxify food wastes.
– The liver also neutralizes toxins.
– Mucus membranes in the colon can keep unwanted substances from reentering the blood and tissues.
– The colon sheds old cells about every 3 days, preventing a buildup of harmful material.
– The normal number of bowel movements varies from person to person.
– Increasing the number of bowel movements doesn’t improve weight loss. That’s because the body absorbs most calories before they reach the large intestine.
Most colon cleansing products come in the forms of laxatives, teas, powders, and capsules. They can be taken by mouth or inserted into the rectum. They often contain sodium phosphate, coffee, probiotics, enzymes, or any of a variety of herbs.5 Some products contain fiber preparations, including psyllium, flaxseed, and laxatives such as cascara, magnesium oxide, cat’s claw, artichoke leaves, burdock root, licorice, and milk thistle.
Advertisements promising that colon cleansing will alleviate fatigue, headache, weight gain, and low energy are ubiquitous on the Internet and in newspapers and magazines. The ads tout the safety of “herbal” and “natural” preparations. These materials also provide anecdotal support for claims that colon cleanse improves the immune and circulatory systems, enhances cognitive abilities, and aids weight loss through “detoxification.”
And because colon cleanses products and methods rarely name the specific toxins they supposedly remove from the body, there’s been no research measuring how effective cleansing practices may be at actually eliminating these substances, or demonstrating the health benefits of removing them.
Also, a person who does a cleanse may initially lose a few pounds, but that is a temporary loss, resulting from the removal of water weight and stool, and not from a permanent loss of fat. Although it could be motivating to see results on the scale for a few days, cleansing is not a long-term solution to a weight problem.
Keep in mind
If you find yourself feeling sluggish, performing a colon cleanse might be just the thing you need. Be sure to research extensively before doing a colon cleanse, and always talk to your doctor to find the best solution for you. While most cleanse can be performed by virtually anyone, you need to listen to your body and do what’s right for you, keeping your past or current health history in mind, prior to making a lifestyle change.
If you do decide to see a colon cleansing therapist, choose one who is licensed by a recognized national organization and who follows that organization’s standards. It’s always a good idea to talk with your primary health provider before starting a new practice such as colon cleansing.
Be aware, if the therapist adds a substance to the water during colon irrigation, you run the risk of an allergic reaction. Do not use laxatives or colon irrigations long term. They can irritate or upset the balance of your colon’s good bacteria and interfere with normal bowel function.