So say the proponents of various colon cleansers. In fact, they are not so rude, preferring to use milder terms such as excrement, impacted litter, and “foul.” But the message is clear. Our colons are filled with disgusting toxic sludge, the result of a poor diet and a “toxic” environment.
I was told I was full of ….ummm “rare”. So are most of you. Literally. So say the proponents of various colon cleansers. In fact, they are not so rude, preferring to use milder terms such as excrement, impacted litter, and “foul.” But the message is clear. Our colons are filled with disgusting toxic sludge, the result of a poor diet and a “toxic” environment. This decaying gut attaches to the wall of the large intestine and adds weight to our body. Worse, it releases impurities into our blood and poisons our entire system. The result? A bloated diseased nation that lacks energy and mental clarity. We’re told that unnamed toxins cause diseases ranging from asthma, allergies and prostate problems to cancer, heart disease and low libido. But luckily, salvation is in sight. We can cleanse our colons with tons of colon cleansers vying for our attention and, of course, our dollars, with advertisements flooding the airwaves, magazines, and the internet.
And what an exciting and imaginative ad! One product claims that our bodies contain between 6 and 40 pounds of waste, feces, and undigested food. Another compares the weight of waste to carrying a bowling ball around in our stomachs. Then there are records of famous people who died and were found to be full of intestinal sludge. John Wayne found 40-80 pounds of the substance in his colon, depending on which product information you read. A curious statement, since no autopsy was performed on Duke. But the most inspiring ad is the visually effective “mucous plaque” that people using colon cleansers remove. In the photo, a relieved patient is holding onto the cause of his previous distress, displaying a long, smooth-looking repulsive discharge. We’re told it’s a toxin that’s been building up in the colon for years before making a triumphant exit, stimulated by a wonderful colon cleanser!
Now let’s get real here. Have the pathologists who have performed thousands of autopsies ever seen a few pounds embedded in the stomach? No. Colon surgeons who have performed thousands of colon operations have ever seen this kind of sludge? No. Have radiologists who have looked at thousands of colon x-rays noted the formation of “mucous plaques”? No, why? Because it doesn’t exist. The term itself was coined by Richard Anderson, a naturopath who developed the famous colon cleanser Rise and Shine. So what’s the gore that comes from behind the colon cleansing happy devotee we see in pictures on the web? Assuming the pictures aren’t fake, I suspect what we’re seeing is the Colon Cleanser itself making an impressive appearance.
The specific ingredients of these products vary, but they contain some type of laxative, such as a fiber blend or cascara sagra bark extract, which is well known to stimulate intestinal contractions. Classic fibers include psyllium husk, flaxseed, fennel seed, slippery elm bark, apple pectin, and guar gum. All this can cause you to run in a hurry. They are actually prescribed by doctors for this very purpose. But problems can arise. Fiber absorbs water in the intestines, sometimes making it bloated and difficult to pass. Usually, drinking plenty of water helps flush out the fiber before it becomes bulky and clogging the bowels. In rare cases, just by using the right (actually wrong) water, the fiber mixture comes out as a long slimy slime. Colon cleansers sometimes contain bentonite clay, which has the ability to “absorb toxins,” making this more likely to happen. Screens with such impressive discharge are rare and, contrary to what the advertisers say, not what all consumers should expect. Of course, the disgusting exudate is not the toxins being released.