Colon Cleansing

The words Colon Cleansing and Cleanse have developed a life of their own with the public. The public has been deluded that the heart, kidneys, liver and almost every other organ in the body are all filled with toxins and that only the product being sold can “cleanse” them. By far, the greatest fraud is in intestinal or colon cleansing. The public has been taught by enormous marketing campaigns touting an almost infinite number of products that their colons are disgracefully toxic and foul. Infomercials claim that the colon may have 20 or more pounds of waste (the true figure is 1-2 lbs) and that immediate weight loss will occur when their colon cleansing techniques are used.

None of these claims has any basis in science. In fact, cleansing of the colon removes huge numbers of good bacteria that provide many health benefits. The one exception is when a psyllium product (Metamucil and others) is touted for colon cleansing. It really does not “cleanse” the colon, but it is a good bulking agent so the person may feel that “cleansing” is occurring.

Simply put, colon cleansing, whether by a variety of herbs and pills or by enemas, generally has no science behind it. Some may feel that they simply “feel better” when this is done. When used occasionally, there is likely no problem. However, you are advised to discuss colon cleansing with your physician so that you can get the best science based advice possible.