Cleansing: The First Step to Optimal Health – Unlocking the Colon’s Role in Health

by Nathan Tingen

Did you know that the colon is the first organ fully developed in a fetus? This distinction has led some to say that “life begins in the colon.” It actually makes sense when you think about it. Our bodies, as wonderful as they are, couldn’t function without the vital nutrients obtained through the digestive system. Anything that inhibits the body’s ability to absorb necessary vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, amino acids and other nutrients, may eventually impact the performance of other body systems.

When functioning properly, the digestive tract and colon act as a clean-flowing drain. Food is consumed and broken down; nutrients are absorbed; and waste is regularly eliminated. Sometimes waste is not eliminated in a timely fashion and it begins to build up in the colon.

The risks of waste build-up are twofold. First, one function of the intestines and colon is to absorb nutrients. These organs will still try to accomplish that, even if nothing of nutritional value is present. As waste sits in the colon, unwanted materials can be reabsorbed into the body. Second, as waste builds up, it gets compacted and may begin to dry out. Hard, dry stools lead to occasional constipation, and they can irritate and even damage colon and rectal tissues as they pass.

Waste Not?
We call it waste, but what is it really? Simply put, waste is what your body doesn’t need or can’t absorb. Some indigestible materials, like fiber, are actually good for your body. Fiber adds bulk to your diet, helps push food smoothly through the intestines and may even help clean the walls of the intestines. It can’t be broken down or absorbed by the body, so it leaves the body naturally through elimination.

Unfortunately, materials like fiber make up a small portion of waste. Many of today’s highly processed foods are laden with chemicals, flavorings, colorings and preservatives. These “extras” are combined with toxins, environmental pollutants and metabolic by-products to form waste.

What Is “Regular?”

The average American eats three meals a day and usually has a snack or two. But how often does he or she have a bowel movement? Once a day? Every other day? Because bowel movements aren’t a popular topic, people who experience a movement only once a day or less frequently may not realize that their habits aren’t optimal for their health.

For example, an individual who eats normally but only has one bowel movement a day may store three to six meals worth of waste in his system. If he has a movement every other day, he can be holding as many as six to nine meals’ worth of waste. Beyond that, it gets ugly rather quickly. Imagine taking a piece of meat and leaving it in a plastic bag on your kitchen counter for the next three days. You essentially may be doing something like that to your body if you wait three days between bowel movements.

Eating stimulates muscle contraction in the large intestine, which helps move food and waste through the colon for elimination. Food shouldn’t be in your digestive system for more than 12 to 16 hours. A healthy person will have no more than three meals in his digestive tract at any one time. Each meal will be in a progressive state of digestion.

If your digestive tract is functioning properly, you should have only breakfast, lunch and dinner in your digestive tract when you go to bed each night. When you eat breakfast the next morning, your body should naturally move to eliminate the previous day’s breakfast from the system. In other words, being regular means having a bowel movement sometime after each meal.

Infrequent bowel movements are only part of the issue. Today’s processed foods can pose potential digestive challenges as well. Highly refined foods may actually block the absorption of some nutrients and cause the colon to perform sluggishly, increasing “transit time,” or the time waste travels through the colon.

A Cleanser’s Diet
Maintaining a diet of highly processed (low-fiber) foods with little nutritional value is counterproductive to cleansing and to colon health. Eating a balanced, nutritional diet during a cleanse helps encourage proper colon function. Sticking to a proper diet afterwards helps to preserve a clean, optimally functioning colon. So what foods should you eat?

The core of your diet should focus on raw, whole foods, particularly fruits and vegetables. Be sure to include nuts and whole grains as well. These foods provide natural enzymes that help aid in digestion and include generous amounts of fiber, which is a must for a healthy colon.

Fiber comes in two forms, soluble and insoluble. Though fiber isn’t broken down and absorbed by the body, it is extremely important for proper digestion and bowel function. Fiber absorbs water to help keep the bowels hydrated and stools moist. It also adds bulk to the diet, which helps keep food and waste moving through the digestive tract.

Fiber Fact
The average U.S. citizen eats fewer than 13 grams of fiber—less than half of the recommended daily intake.

Wonderful Water
Though not a food, water is another vital factor in a cleanser’s diet. Dehydration, or the lack of water, will cause stools to dry and harden, which can lead to occasional constipation. Sufficient intake of pure water supports the proper flow of materials through the colon, helps in the dilution and removal of toxins, and it also keeps you feeling full.

Notice that it’s “water” and not “liquid.” Drinks such as coffee, tea and soda don’t do the job. In fact, each of those drinks provides substances that your body will try to eliminate as well. Think of it like this: when you want to get clean, do you take a bath in cola? The same goes for your colon. If you want to clean it, use water.

New Flavors Make CleanStart® a Favorite!
CleanStart, our most popular cleanse program, just got even better. Comprised of a capsule packet and a powder drink mix packet, CleanStart is a complete, gentle cleanse that is perfect for just about anyone. The capsule packet provides one capsule of Enviro-Detox and two capsules of LBS II® to enhance waste elimination. Each powder drink mix packet provides a balanced mix of Psyllium Hulls, Bentonite clay, dehydrated Aloe Vera juice and Chlorophyll, which combine to support natural waste elimination and promote a sense of improved energy and well-being.

Hundreds of thousands have tried our CleanStart products and have been pleased with the results, but some found the taste of the natural ingredients less than desirable.

With new and improved natural flavoring, our CleanStart formulas make cleansing simple…and easy to take. We’ve improved our Apple-Cinnamon CleanStart by increasing the amount of natural apple and cinnamon flavorings while reducing the amount of bentonite in the formula. Our new Wild Berry CleanStart has the wild berry flavors of black currant and raspberry. It also includes a natural carrot extract and malic acid to give it a tangy, fruity flavor.

Drink to Your Health with Liquid Cleanse
Liquid Cleanse makes cleansing easier than ever. It’s perfect for those who have difficulty swallowing tablets, capsules or thick fiber drinks. Designed as a gentle colon cleanser, Liquid Cleanse helps soothe the bowel as it cleans and also nutritionally supports liver function. This formula combines the following ingredients into a powerful cleansing blend:

• Aloe Vera—Obtained from the inner-most portion of the leaves, aloe may help soothe the digestive tract.
• Red Raspberry—Raspberries provide naturally occurring anthocyanins, powerful antioxidants that give the fruit its rich red color. They also give Liquid Cleanse a pleasant, refreshing taste.
• Senna—Known for its laxative properties, senna causes the muscles of the colon to contract. It also helps keep water in the bowel to help maintain soft stools. Senna has actually been shown to be better at cleansing the bowels than a synthetic laxative. 1
• Cinnamon, fennel, trace minerals, barberry, cornsilk, ginger, dandelion and capsicum are also included in this formula.

If you have never attempted a cleanse because you thought it would be too difficult, Liquid Cleanse is for you. Just drink one ounce a day. Try Liquid Cleanse for the simplest, easiest cleanse available.

East Meets West in This Popular Chinese Cleanse.

A combination of ancient Chinese herbalism and Western nutrition, Tiao He Cleanse offers an easy, 15-day cleansing program. Each carton contains 30 individually wrapped packets of capsules. Each packet contains one capsule each of Chinese Liver Balance and Black Walnut Hulls for digestive support; Burdock Root, All Cell Detox and LBS II for intestinal support; and Psyllium Hulls as a bulking agent.

Everybody’s Fiber—A Gentle, Non-Psyllium Fiber Source
Fiber is perhaps the most important key to maintaining a healthy, functional colon. Fiber soaks up water to provide moisture to the bowels; it adds bulk to the diet to help keep materials moving through the colon; and it even helps clean the walls of the intestines. Depending on calorie intake, the average person should consume 25–35 grams of fiber daily. Unfortunately, most people don’t provide their bodies with even half that amount.

Formulated to provide nutritional support to the bowel, Everybody’s Fiber provides 3 grams of dietary fiber per serving for optimal bowel health. It provides a combination of fiber and herbs that promote gentle cleansing and help soothe the bowel. Everybody’s Fiber contains the following ingredients:

• Apple Pectin—Classified as a soluble fiber, pectin is a polysaccharide with the ability to form a gel. It has adsorbing and bulk-forming properties that encourage waste to move better through the bowel. Pectin absorbs water to help maintain soft stools.
• Short-Chain Fructo-oligosaccharides (scFOS)—ScFOS are found naturally in some fruits, grains and vegetables. They serve as a source of soluble fiber, and in the large intestine, scFOS may serve as a food source for beneficial microorganisms.
• Slippery Elm—Consisting mainly of mucilaginous starches, Slippery Elm bark forms a gelatinous substance when in contact with water. Slippery Elm is thought to trigger the secretion of mucus, which may help support gastrointestinal (GI) tract comfort.
• Chamomile Flowers—Chamomile contains about 10 percent mucilage. The German Commission E has approved internal use of chamomile as an antispasmodic for the GI tract.

Everybody’s Fiber also contains a combination of flax meal, marshmallow, peppermint, fennel and uña de gato for digestive and intestinal support. With stevia extract, malic acid and natural peach, apricot and plum flavors, it’s tasty and effective.

We invite you to see for yourself the benefits of cleansing. Choose the product that’s right for you and begin today!

NOTE: The Review of Natural Products. Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. St. Louis, Mo. 2004.