Colon Cleansing: Do We Really Need It? One Doctor Says “No”

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master cleanseIt is next to impossible to stay up late watching television and not see a commercial about some product that is guaranteed to help you with the best colon cleanse. If it’s not on television, it’s online or in your favorite magazine. Because we are learning that many of the foods that we eat are loaded with chemicals and toxins, it is reasonable to wonder if it really is necessary to cleanse our colons.

There are different opinions about whether or not people should do colon cleanses or not and different experts have different opinions. David L. Katz, MD, a contributor at oprah.com is of the opinion that colon cleanses are not necessary.

The following is his answer to the question of colon cleansing:

No, your colon does not require that. The reason behind the onslaught of advertising for colon cleansing enemas, diets, and supplements is that, in a nutshell, if you’re buying, someone will be happy to sell.

The colon is designed to do just what it does—remove solid waste from the body. Eat a wholesome diet, and it will perform admirably. Insoluble fiber—found abundantly in whole grains, vegetables, beans, and lentils—is of particular importance in keeping things moving along as they should. Since these foods are just plain good for you, eating more of them will benefit your colon as well as all your other vital organs. Good hydration will also help your colon with digestion, so drink plenty of water.

There are circumstances in which the body needs help detoxifying itself, such as when a chemical toxin or heavy metal has accumulated in the body. But in such situations, doctors follow medical protocols involving a variety of specific chelating agents that bind with the toxin and escort it out of the body before it can do harm.

Colon cleansing isn’t always benign, either. It can deplete you of vital nutrients, and doing it regularly could lead to malnutrition, anemia, or heart failure. Considering that under ordinary circumstances your colon—along with your kidneys, liver, and spleen—is more than qualified to cleanse itself, my advice is to save your money and skip the cleanses.

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