For decades health practitioners have been recommending gut cleanses to enhance their patient’s health and wellbeing. But this clinical concept has been given a bad rap from cleanses that promise a quick fix but don’t give the body the nutrients they need. My opinion as a qualified, practising nutritionist is that, when done right, a gut cleanse is an essential step towards optimal gut health.
With people like Madonna, Sylvester Stallone, and Pamela Anderson touting the effects of Colon Hydrotherapy or so-called colonics, the procedure has gained steam lately. Colonics, or the act of eliminating your body's waste by irrigating the colon, is a holistic therapy that's said to get the digestive system functioning better and, some say, it can even help you lose weight, among other benefits.
Colonics do work to flush loose waste and sediment from rectum and large intestine, but they have several drawbacks. They can actually weaken bowel muscles over time. Colonics don't draw toxins from bowel pockets or from tissue. They do, however, flush all bacteria out--the good as well as the bad. Colonics can also disrupt natural pH (acid/alkaline) balance) in the large intestine. Finally, depending on the skill of your therapist, you run the risk (low) that some water retained in the equipment from another patient's previous use may be injected into your colon. Yech!
In the colon, water is squeezed out and absorbed from food remnants, leaving behind a mixture of non-digestible fibre, bacteria, bile acids and cells that have been scraped off the intestinal wall. If bowel transit time is too slow, bacteria and fungi proliferate and toxins are reabsorbed. A healthy colon eliminates waste within six to 18 hours after every meal this means having two or three bowel movements a day. Clinical effects of colonic cleansing for general health promotion: a systematic review