Updated: Apr 26
A popular alternative treatment that, according to some, cleans the colon of waste and toxins is called a colon cleanse. However, apart from those prescribed by doctors, there is little scientific evidence to support the use of colon cleansing routines.
The majority of what researchers know about safe colon cleansing comes from studies that aim to improve the process of having a colonoscopy rather than treat intestinal issues or boost energy levels.
Methods for cleansing the colon can be referred to by a variety of names, including:
bowel cleanses, detoxes, flushes, and juice diets The majority of products for colon cleansing are said to help the colon detoxify or get rid of harmful substances, like mucus and dry stool. Additionally, some people use colon cleanses to alleviate constipation.
The science behind some well-known methods for cleansing the colon are the subject of this article. We also think about their potential advantages and disadvantages.
Water One of the simplest and safest natural methods for cleansing the colon is with water. Stool is made more bulky and moist by water, making it easier to pass through the colon.
A person who is dehydrated will try to keep water in their body, which will result in fewer bowel movements. It will reabsorb water from the bowel, making it dry, hard, and hard to pass through the stool.
Although everyone has different requirements for daily hydration, it is essential to consume a lot of water throughout the day.
A person's daily water intake can be increased by drinking other beverages, such as caffeinated beverages, but plain water is the best choice because it does not contain any calories.
Jordanian researchers conducted a study in 2013 and discovered that while drinking more than four cups of water per day reduced the risk of colorectal cancer, the findings were not statistically significant.
Constipation was found to be a significant risk factor for colorectal cancer in the same study. Constipation can be avoided and many other health benefits can be gained by drinking at least eight glasses of water daily.
Fruit and Vegetable Juice Raw fruit and vegetable juices contain a lot of things that can help clean the colon, like fiber, phytochemicals, which are beneficial plant chemicals, and natural sugars like sorbitol and fructose, which act as laxatives.
The following juices are suggested by advocates of juice cleanses:
apple, including the peel, prune, pear, banana, kiwi, grape, plum, persimmon, and lemon are all examples of fruits and vegetables that can benefit from a colon and digestive tract cleanse.
The majority of medical professionals advise against juice cleanses. Compounds that are harmful to the liver and kidneys can be found in raw fruit juices. These juices can also make people sick if they are not treated to kill harmful bacteria and viruses. People with medical conditions like diabetes may be particularly at risk from them.
To ensure that all of the nutrients, water, and fiber remain intact, smoothies are the best way to consume juices of fruits and vegetables.
Fiber Increases the number of bowel movements and reduces the amount of time that stool spends sitting in the colon due to fiber's bulk. Among the natural, whole foods that are high in fiber are:
Nuts, seeds, berries, whole grains, and cereals are all good sources of fiber. Fiber supplements can be tried by people who find it hard to get enough fiber from food. Supplements high in fiber include:
Psyllium (Metamucil), polycarbophil tablets (FiberCon), and methylcellulose Fermented Foods Fermented foods typically contain a lot of probiotics, which are good bacteria that help keep the gut healthy.
These bacteria reduce the risk of gas, bloating, constipation, and infection by assisting the bowels in regularly moving stool out of the colon.
Probiotic-rich fermented foods include the following:
yogurt and Greek yogurt apple cider vinegar kefir skyr kimchi sauerkraut pickles miso tempeh kombucha beer and cider some kinds of cheese
Probiotics have been shown to help prevent and possibly treat colon cancer. However, researchers agree that additional studies are required to comprehend these effects. Numerous additional advantages for overall health and immune function are provided by a healthy gut biome.
Resistant Starches: Resistant starches are sugars that are hard for the body to break down. Some foods contain resistant starches. These starches accumulate as bulk in the stool and remain mostly undigested.
The sooner the bowel is stimulated into action, possibly assisting in the cleansing of the colon, the more bulk there is in the stool.
The following foods are high in resistant starches:
potatoes, yams, sugar beets, sugar cane, sweet corn, green bananas, beer, and cider Vegetable stems, tubers, and roots rice, buckwheat, and millet al dente pasta, white bread, cornflakes, and muesli. In contrast to other types of starches, digesting resistant starches results in the production of compounds that have been shown to have the potential to assist in the following ways:
Improve the regulation of macronutrients, reduce the risk of colon cancer, alter hormone levels, and possibly improve mental and physical health. Reduce or prevent diabetes. Reduce or prevent obesity. Lemon juice Regular consumption can benefit digestive health. Drinking it on an empty stomach seems to be best because it makes it easier for the lemon's compounds to interact with the mucosa in the gut.
Certain screening tests, like colonoscopies, require a clean colon. The majority of people who have colonoscopies must consume a preparation for cleansing their colons the night before the procedure.
One group of participants in a 2015 study on colonoscopies received a vitamin C preparation in addition to the standard fluid mixture of polyethylene glycol (PEG). Better bowel preparation was seen in the vitamin C-taking participants than in the other groups.
Lemon juice may be an effective natural colon cleanser due to its high vitamin C content.
Herbal Teas There are some herbal teas that may be good for your digestive system.
According to a 2014 Australian study, drinking herbal tea lowers the risk of colon cancer.
Ginger and lemon tea, two other natural teas, may also aid digestion.
Benefits of Colon Cleanses There are currently no natural or otherwise proven benefits of colon cleanses. However, proponents of colon cleanses assert that they offer significant health benefits, such as:
Increasing energy, getting rid of toxins, improving liver function, strengthening the immune system, assisting in weight loss, relieving bloating, cramps, and gas, lowering the risk of colon cancer, and improving mood Safety and risks
Loss of healthy gut microflora and increased risk of infection diarrhea bowel ulcerations, which are open cuts and sores bowel infection kidney damage and failure People with preexisting bowel conditions should avoid bowel cleansing methods unless they are performed or prescribed by a doctor. This includes weakness, irritability, electrolyte imbalance, dehydration, vomiting, and nausea. Methods of bowel cleansing, particularly those that are aggressive, can aggravate certain conditions, such as:
irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), colitis, kidney and liver issues, previous colon surgery, and heart issues. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States does not regulate natural colon cleanse products.
The FDA has also taken legal action against companies that promoted cleanse products by making unsubstantiated claims that they could lower the risk of cancer or treat serious medical conditions.
The National Institutes of Health in the United States also mention a few cleanse-related dangers, such as:
diarrhea, which can cause dehydration; a bacterial infection caused by juice that has not been pasteurized; a lack of nutrients; headaches; weakness; and fainting. People who have kidney problems should avoid drinking a lot of juice because it may contain too much oxalate, which can damage the kidneys.
Detoxes and extreme diets should also be avoided by diabetics and people with other metabolic conditions. Instead, they should eat a healthy diet as prescribed by their doctor.
A person's overall health may also be harmed by severely restricting calorie intake, which is often a part of colon cleanses. It rarely helps people lose weight or feel better over time.
Before beginning any type of natural-based colon cleanse, always consult your doctor.
If they do decide to give a colon cleanse a shot, they should be aware of the potential negative effects, like nausea and weakness, and seek medical attention if necessary.