HealItAll

February 21, 2010

Health Begins in the Colon

Have you ever heard the saying, “Health begins in the colon?” If you have done much reading on nutrition or natural health, it probably sounds familiar, but what does it really mean? The colon may be one of the organs we like to think about least, but it may affect our health more than any other single organ. Our bodies constantly create waste products and dump them into our blood. The liver works hard to filter the toxins out of the blood so they can be eliminated through the colon, but if the colon is not clean and healthy, all those waste products and toxins can be reabsorbed into the blood! That creates a more and more toxic inner environment.

What can we do to prevent this recontamination?

That is where cleansing and probiotic formulas can really help.

  • Probiotics improve the bio-availability of nutrients in the body such as zinc, iron, phosphorus, B vitamins, calcium, copper, and magnesium.
  • Probiotic strain B. infantis can help to normalize bowel function in patients suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
  • Probiotics showed improvements in patients suffering from bloating.
  • Probiotics can help to lower the rate of diarrhea and diaper rash in babies’ consuming infant probiotics.
  • Acidophilus has been shown to aid in reducing intolerance to lactose found in dairy products.
  • Probiotics can help in regulating intestinal transit time of fecal matter and dramatically reduce constipation in the elderly.
  • Probiotics can aid in promoting growth of healthy bacteria in the colon, lowering the conversion of bile into carcinogens.
  • Probiotics can enhance overall immunity by regulating lymphocytes and antibodies in the body.

That’s a lot of benefits! Unfortunately, we can’t just pop a probiotic pill to undo all the poor food choices we make.  We also have to provide the right kind of fiber to feed the good bacteria and keep the colon rollin’. That means lots of  fresh, whole fruits and vegetables. The bad bacteria thrive on refined sugar, white flour products, and undigested proteins from animal products, so it is important to avoid these as much as possible. Plus, every time we take antibiotics we kill off the good organisms along with the bad and upset the delicate balance of our intestinal flora. Always take probiotics while taking antibiotics and for several weeks after.

There are a number of good colon cleanse products available at natural food stores and they are a good place to start, because they will help to clear away the caked on gunk that can line your colon. You can also temporarily use a laxative to get things moving if you are constipated, but long-term use can be dangerous. It is far better to keep things moving by eating plenty of leafy greens to provide enough magnesium and fiber to act as a natural laxative. Ayurvedic Triphala is an excellent choice if you need a laxative, because it is effective, yet it is also good for the digestive system and can be used  on a long-term basis.

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