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Colon Cleansing Not Recommended

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Q. I am looking for a home recipe for colon cleansing without having to use expensive over-the-counter detox programs.  I've seen your recipes for constipation, but I'm specifically looking for a thorough cleansing of the colon.

A. We really can’t recommend colon cleansing. This procedure is rarely appropriate except just prior to a colonoscopy. Then it is helpful so the doctor can see every part of the intestinal lining and locate any polyps that might cause trouble.

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Q. I have seen so many ads about colon cleaners, do we need these cleansers. Are our colons as bad as they appear in these ads. These cleansers or very expensive, can you suggest a good cleanser if we really need one.

A. We do not recommend colon cleansing unless you are preparing for a colonoscopy. Many people believe that toxins build up in the digestive tract and cause illness, but there is no research to support this notion. While it is true that constipation is associated with an increased risk of colon cancer, this probably has more to do with a diet high in refined carbohydrates than with mysterious toxic sludge clinging to the wall of the colon. As far as we can tell,the toxic sludge is pure folklore. It was an effective selling point for many patent medicines a hundred years ago, and it is still a popular, but erroneous, idea used to sell products to “clean you out.”

Harsh laxatives, including herbs, could cause harm. Heavy use of such products may deplete the body of potassium and other minerals. In some situations, irregular heart rhythms might result.

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