Bowel Functioning, Healing and Maintenance

Bowel Functioning, Healing and Maintenance

Introduction

Good health and disease have one thing in common; they start in the gut.  More than 70% of the body's lymphoid tissue (GALT – gut associated lymphoid tissue, Peyers patches etc) is wrapped around the gut, and plays a primary role in the development of the immune system.  The immune system is critical to good health, and if it becomes impaired, one becomes exposed to (potentially) a lifetime of allergy, infections, respiratory problems and many more serious health problems.  Mothers milk interacts with the newborns immune system at this level to stimulate natural immunity in the infant.  Exposure to the natural environment (dirt etc) as the child first crawls around further promotes a strong natural immunity (this is why the human does crawl first instead of being like a young calf or foal which is running around within hours of being born).

Proper gut health has to do with digestion, absorption, and waste elimination functions.  The gut is all about food and fluid, that is why the gut exists.  Poor food and fluid choices will predispose to poor gut function.  Poor gut function is a predictor of most  disease states.

Hering's Law of Cure says

"All cure starts from within out,
from the head down
and in reverse order as the symptoms have first appeared".

In days past1, people were more familiar with bowel problems and how to care for them.  The food we ate was often home-grown, fresh, and  processed very little; also we were less sedentary.  If constipation did occur, sulfur and molasses were used; so too enemas were used to clear a blocked bowel.

Times have changed; economic factors have totally overruled all other considerations in food production.

"Vital, nourishing, life-giving food simply cannot be had when it
is treated as it is today. Unfortunately our foods are hybridised to promote
high yields, follow specific climatic conditions, meet harvesting
and processing requirements, and have economically advantageous
marketing and shelf life characteristics.  Nutrient quality, freshness,
taste and vitality.....is totally neglected. Processed, cooked, dried, roasted,
burned, chemicalised, embalmed, preserved foods do not react well in
the human body"2,3.

We've taken an unhealthy attitude to our bowels today; we don't want to know about them, even talking about one's bowels is avoided.  We sit and strain on the toilet, often denying nature's urges because it isn't convenient, or we are embarrassed to poo or expel wind in unfamiliar surroundings , etc.  Even sitting on toilet basins rather than squatting as we should from a purely functional, physiological point of view, predisposes to poor bowel tone, hence constipation.

We should also take a leaf from the animal kingdom (of which we are part, at last count at least?); they always inspect their own poo, they smell it, observe it, because they can learn much about their inner health from so doing.  So too can we learn, from the colour, texture, consistency, contents, etc.  We have gotten away from doing these things today and many people are suffering unnecessary sickness and disease because of it.

A single most significant marker of children's health is their poor bowel status.  Much of the hyperactivity, behavioural disorders, failure to thrive, obesity, lethargy, aches and pains, susceptibility to infections, and lots more can be cured once the health of the gut is restored.

A word about terminology 

I use the terms intestines, bowel, gut, interchangeably.  But the term  'colon' specifically is the large intestine.

Structures and Functions

Digestion is a complex process starting in the mouth with chewing and saliva, then the stomach churns food up mechanically, and also breaks down complex proteins into smaller molecules by secretion of gastric acids and enzymes such as pepsin. On leaving the stomach, the food is largely liquid (chyme) as it enters the uppermost part of the small intestine (the duodenum), where further mixing with secretions of digestive enzymes from the pancreas and bile from the liver prepares the food finally for absorption into the body4,5.

The small intestine

The small intestine, about 7 metres in length, is named in three parts, the duodenum (about 30 cm long), the jejeunum (about 2.5 m) and the ileum (about 3.6 m in length). The small intestine joins the stomach with the colon or large intestine.  The size here relates to diameter, not length; the small intestine has a smaller diameter (about 2 - 3 cms in diam.)  than the large intestine, the colon (5 cms diam.), which in length is only about 1.5 metres.
Digestion and absorption is one function of the gut.  Another is immunity.  The total surface area of the intestines is equivalent to a singles tennis court.  These mucosal tissues are constantly being bathed with the foods undergoing digestion.  There is a very strong correlation between what we eat, how well we are digesting our food, the activity of our intestinal flora, and the status of both our general and specific immune systems. 
The muscles of the small intestine perform 3 types of movements, to segment food as it passes, to thoroughly mix with digestive enzymes (rhythmic segmentation, 12 - 16 times a minute), and to move the chyme along through to the large bowel (an action called peristalsis).

The large intestine (the colon). 

The colon is attached to (and separated from) the small intestine by the ileo-cecal valve, a sphincter muscle controlling food flow into the bowel and back-up of colonic contents.

Once undigested food residues, cellulose, secretions from the liver (some bile and cellular wastes), pancreas, small intestine, and water pass into the large bowel, it is known as faeces. Upon entering, approximately 70% is water; this mostly is reabsorbed, the residual contents bulking to form a more solid consistency, to be eliminated via the anal sphincter.

The colon is divided into 6 sections.  The ileum divulges its contents through the ileo-cecal valve into the colon, from where it is carried6 (clockwise from lower right abdomen) firstly through the cecum (with appendix), ascending colon, (which turns at the hepatic flexure into) the transverse colon, (which turns at the splenic flexure into) the descending colon, the sigmoid and rectum. Faeces are held in the sigmoid waiting for elimination through the anus.  Unlike the small intestine, which has very thick muscular walls, the bowel has a very thin wall, so it has a mucous lining to facilitate faecal movement, and provide immune defense against the very toxic faecal matter.  The whole colon is shaped into bulbous pouches called haustras.

The Role of the Large Bowel

Whilst the large bowel primarily functions as a channel of elimination, it has many other functions as well.  It reabsorbs water, water that has promoted the journey of chyme from the stomach to the bowel.  Water retention is of vital importance to the human organism, and this reabsorption is just one of the body's conservation measures.

The colon also houses many important 'flora', microorganisms that also play vital roles in our health.

Although there can be many digestive disturbances and problems associated with abnormal function and pathology of the stomach and small intestine, discussion of such lies outside the scope of this article (see Handout on Digestion); focus is on the large intestine, the colon.

Colon Problems

It is an uncommon statement, but held to be true, that most if not all disease processes begin in the gut.  What are some of these beginnings, and what are some of the implications long term?

1. Constipation

What is regular?  Being "regular" has come to mean that the bowels are used on a "regular basis".  For example, once a day or once every 2 days or once a week is "regular", but such terminology tells us nothing.  We do not ask,  'are you regular?  Some doctors have suggested it is "quite normal" to only have one bowel movement once every 2 days, even once a week.  This is really ignorance as to what good bowel health is all about.  It may be that many sick people (patients) tell their doctor they only go so much, that the doctor thinks it (therefore) must be quite normal.  What of course he fails to see is the significance of their state of poor health as it relates to such poor bowel movements. In statistical studies done, "Comparative Mortality from Diseases of the Digestive System", the death rate of doctors from these digestive diseases is 22% higher than that of the average population.  What does that tell you?

There are two factors predictive of healthy colonic function; the first is, How often do you go?  It ought to be stated quite clearly, that any less regularly than once a day must be considered unhealthy

However, there is something much more defining of proper bowel function than frequency.   Because symptoms of autotoxaemia (reabsorption of intestinal wastes into the blood stream) can also be present with one regular bowel motion a day, the really important question is,  'How long has this motion been passing through the gut?'.   This relates to "intestinal transit time".  

Intestinal transit time. 

Proper intestinal transit time (from mouth to anus) is generally considered to be between 18 and 36 hours.  Too much less than this, or too much longer than this, and there will be associated problems.

Constipation means an underactive gut 7 (“sluggish bowel”).

We need to be concerned not just with "regularity", but also the intestinal transit time.  If gut and bowel contents are retained in there too long, highly toxic compounds meant as waste to be eliminated, can be and will be reabsorbed into the bloodstream and circulated throughout the body; cadaverine, putrescine, histamine, indole, skatol, phenol, ammonia, phenylsulphate, ptomaine, pyrrhol, isoamylamine, etc... all poisonous metabolites of digestion which are never meant to be absorbed.  Such compounds cause major disturbance of tissue and organs, with many signs and symptoms.

If the bowels are less active than once a day, or if the transit time is much more than 24 hours, then toxic material will sooner or later be "backing up" in the blood stream.  One could expect to see a patient presenting with any number of complaints ranging from sore shoulders, headaches, to fatigue, recurrent infections of tonsils and sinuses, liver and gall bladder, arthritis (both osteo- and rheumatoid-), memory impairment, irritability, restlessness, lack of endurance, and many other morbid conditions.

Poor gut function not only slows down waste elimination, but also compromises nutrient absorption through mucosal cell structures (villi etc).  Vitality and health, youthfulness and freedom from pain and disease can be had as long as vital nutrients are supplied in the right amounts to the body tissues and cells, and body wastes are eliminated properly. Illness, premature ageing, and even death are often simply due to increasing accumulations in organ and other tissue of waste products of body chemistry and, on the other hand, to the inability of the body to replenish its cellular structures and organs with vital nutrients.

2. Diverticulosis

Diverticulosis is a condition in which diverticula exist in a segment of the intestines (most commonly, in the sigmoid colon8). Diverticula are pouches formed at weak points in the intestinal wall; incidence tends to occur with age.  Some can be "giant", up to 15 cm across, and require surgery.

Diverticulitis is where there is accompanying inflammation, pain usually in the left lower quadrant of the abdomen, and sometimes fever.  It is often caused when impacted fecal matter becomes trapped within diverticula.  

It is a disease of civilisation; and it usually is many years in the forming. It occurs from a combination of factors, notably vitamin C deficiency, constipation, poor food choices (refined foods eg breads, pasta, white flour, white sugar etc), dehydration, sitting for long periods, and failing to answer the call of nature when the body says.   Not chewing foods properly, eating refined grains that lack bran (the hull), peeling vegetables, all deprives the bowel of adequate fibre and bulk.

The role of bran. 

Doctors, nutritionists, dietitians and cereal manufacturers all advocate bran as a means of ensuring "regularity".  There are many problems with this rather simplistic approach to bowel health.  Firstly, many of the bran products usually advocated have wheat in them.  Wheat is a potential allergen, not merely manifesting in diarrhoea, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or Coeliac disease, but also as mouth ulcers, gut ulcers, IgA nephropathy, arthritis, some eczemas and dermatitis, asthma and others.

Another thing is that wheat bran can scratch the gut tissue, causing micro-trauma to the intestinal mucosa.  Such a situation will cause unnecessary immunological stress also.

The best bowel fibre of course, is that contained in fresh fruit and vegetables9.  However, for therapeutic reasons, we sometimes advocate the use of psyllium powder, given its soothing  (demulcent) and bulking capacities.  Psyllium (from the plantago bush) is one of the best bowel fibres. Why spend $$ on Metamucil when for just a few dollars, you can get very large amounts of the principal ingredient, psyllium powder.  Wholegrain oatmeal is also excellent (do not use the so-called 'instant' or 1 - minute oats).

All refined flour products such as bread, cakes, pies and pastry ought to be kept out of the body; these alone will cause sluggishness; we need to become more familiar with the use of wholemeal oats and rice, as well as the 6 cereals so neglected in today's diet, ie spelt, millet, rye, yellow cornmeal, buckwheat, and barley (all as whole grains and flours thereof).

Laxatives, whether pharmaceutical, foods (eg prunes) or herbal preparations such as cascara, senna or psyllium, are not the solution to sluggish bowels.  They can provide short-term relief, valuable as part of a therapy, but treatment must include dealing with the underlying causes, and therapy must have as its outcome, a restored bowel function.

Flatus or Bowel Gases

Most gaseous wastes are the result of some abnormality in the bowel. When we start changing the diet and go into the natural fibred foods that nature has given us, we might find we have more of a gas condition. It gets less and less over a period of several months, to a minimal amount.  A healthy colon produces little or no flatus.  However, no-one has a perfectly healthy bowel, and a little gas will be produced by anyone.

Once a bowel has diverticula, it will never be completely free of gas.  It is almost an impossibility in this day and age to live the way nature intended, but disease can be reduced to a minimum and will cause no disturbance or distress.

4. Prolapse of the Transverse Colon

Given combined effects of gravity, connective tissue weakness (the transverse colon is the softest tissue in the body, the only tissue which goes right across the body, add to that possible deficiency of vitamin C) and lack of muscle tone (poor exercise habits), and constipation, can cause sagging and stretching of the transverse colon, with attendant atonicity.  This prolapsus can (mechanically) cause abnormal pressure on the bladder, the uterus, more aggravated constipation, pressure on Fallopian tubes, ovaries, sterility, prostate problems, urination difficulties including reabsorption of urine further polluting the blood, and predisposing to other disease states.

5. Haemorrhoids (Piles).

Colon tissue is quite fragile, and when subjected to muscular exertion associated with prolonged constipation, enlargement of the normal spongy blood-filled cushions in the walls of the anus can occur.  (There are different types of haemorrhoids, first-, second- and third-degree haemorrhoids.  Some bleed, some protrude).

Signs can include bright red (frank) blood in the stools. Haemorrhoids can also indicate a deficiency in vitamin C.

6. Gut “flora”

There is no aspect of earthly life in which microbes (bugs) do not have a vital part to play.  Indeed so central are they to life on this planet, one could say this is the planet of the bugs.  They are nature's gardeners, cleaners, ecologists, composters, recyclers, transformers.  They exist on every surface of this planet, and are found in every medium, air, water, and soil.  They are even in every cell of our body.  They accomplish the most complex chemical reactions known to man.  From waste, they create a life-sustaining environment.  Out of the old and dead comes the new and alive.

The bowel houses lots of microscopic bacteria (bugs) called flora.  In a healthy bowel, there are between 100,000,000  and 1,000,000,000 of them, in every millilitre of bowel fluid (but who is counting?!). Apparently there are about 400 - 500 different species residing in the gut, of which the best known are the Lactobacillus bifidus, and L. acidophilus.  It is probably true to say, unlike common understanding, that they are all friendly10, and meant to be there; each has its place, some live in the mucous lining, some on the right side, some on the left, others in the middle of the colon. They communicate with us when there are imbalances, and play important roles in nutrition, digestion, including synthesis of valuable nutrients such as vitamin B5 and vitamin K, and production of valuable acids11 which actually nourish the gut walls. Flora also plays a vital role in immune functioning.  In a healthy intestinal environment, other opportunistic parasites cannot survive; our gut flora effectively deals with intruders, parasites, worms etc, as a natural immunity to these things.  They actually create "natural antibiotics", substances which keep out unwanted micro-organisms. The problems with parasites occur precisely because we do not care for gut health as we should.  They are involved in detoxification, indeed perform a host of other beneficial activities.

Mother’s milk contains colostrum, which provides an acidic environment for the neonate within the first few days of life.  And mother's nipple contains acidophilus bifidus, so the right gut bacteria will begin to colonise, giving baby the best possible start in life to thriving and developing a strong immunity.  Formulae will not do this.  And we further suspect that a mother’s milk will progressively provide for the proper colonisation of her infant’s gut until weaning (which in this context, given that our gut and our immune systems are not fully formed until we are about 18 months of age).
So, what causes imbalance in this wonderful relationship of synergy?   We start giving baby foods which upset gut environment, such as dairy formulae, other dairy foods, chicken and red meat, and too much bread and cereal.  Then we give a child who gets excess mucus from such foods, antibiotics, all of which adds up (along with other pharmaceuticals such as vaccines which contain antibiotics also) to a very poor start in life, and wonder why young children suffer from repeated infections, breathing difficulties, behavioural disorders (hypersensitivity of body flows to hypersensitivity of mind and emotions).  The stage is thus too often set for a lifetime of chronic, subclinical as well as clinical illness, discomfort and disease.  Death comes all too early for most of us, with improper bowel function the foundation of much of it.

Coffee and chocolate also destroy these bacteria very readily.   These bacteria need fresh, raw foods with lots of fibre to consume, and overcooked foods denies them the right nourishment (as well as us).  In cases of constipation, one can rightly suspect huge flora imbalance. Approximately 2/3 of what we poo out each bowel motion is simply bacteria!  Healthy colon bacteria reproduces within hours.  Think about that...so if we have very small motions, thin, or "rabbit droppings", we can know for an absolute certainty our bacteria are imbalanced.  But there is more.

Exposure to even one course of common antibiotics wrecks havoc in the intestinal ecology ('anti' - against, and 'bios' - life), possibly permanently unless remedial action is taken to restore the flora.  Chemical warfare on the supposed "enemy", the bug, is about as beneficial to us as was chemical warfare on the jungles of Vietnam; the soils were damaged, the microorganisms (worms, beetles, insects etc, natures little farmers) were destroyed, the soil became dead.  Same as is the case with most broadacre farm soils in Australia today, given widespread and repeated doses (chemical warfare) with all sorts of weedicides, pesticides, fungicides, artificially formulated fertilisers etc. What we're doing to the external environment, we are doing to the internal environment...

"When will we ever learn ?
When will we ever learn ?"

Another thing is usually overlooked:  antibiotics are being fed to chicken, pig, lot-fed beef and dairy herds.  These antibiotics, which come through the processing and cooking of the meat and milk unconjugated, unchanged, represent a chronic exposure to antibiotic.  This continues the damage; many people are suffering ill health and sub-optimal wellbeing in Australia today as a consequence of such eating practices.

7.  Leaky Gut Syndrome

Under normal conditions, the intestinal epithelium (skin) allows absorption of essential nutrients and fluids whilst presenting a physical and immunological barrier to the absorption of potentially harmful macromolecules and compounds such as dietary and bacterial proteins, peptides and tripeptides, antigens, intestinal toxins and microorganisms.  In passing it should be noted that 60% of our immune system is housed in gut tissue (GALT - gut associated lymphoid tissue). GALT is responsible for, among other things, secreting IgA, a protein-based enzyme which binds with pathogenic microorganisms, allergenic food proteins and carcinogens, preventing these from binding to the surface of absorptive cells.

But today's dietary indiscretions, over-prescription of antibiotics and other drugs, environmental chemical exposure to over 70,000 commercially produced chemicals (many deliberately added to food), and stressful lifestyles, all promote mucosal inflammation, allergy, flora abnormalities which can produce disturbances of the gut wall barrier.

Breakdown of this barrier results in increased uptake of antigenic substances, which form systemic immune complexes and induce antibodies capable of cross-reacting with normal body tissue. There is also an increased uptake of food chemicals and toxins and increased reabsorption of metabolic wastes into the blood and lymph which contribute to the total body load of chemicals, thus placing greater demands on the body's detoxification reserves.

Pathological increase in permeability of the intestinal wall tissue may be an important factor in the development of a wide range of systemic diseases, including poor digestion, malnutrition (underweight), fatigue, bloating, iron deficiency anaemia, food allergies or intolerances, acute gastroenteritis, atopy (eg atopic dermatitis), chronic urticaria, eczema and psoriasis, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel, cystic fibrosis, exocrine pancreatic defects, bowel cancers, vasculitis, joint pain and inflammation (including inflammatory joint disease), neurological conditions such as movement disorders, schizophrenia, depression, chronic migraine, and many auto-immune disorders such as MS, SLE, RA and ankylosing spondylitis to mention just a few.

Many of these illnesses may simply represent a particular individual's response to the toxaemia which occurs, when an inflamed gut becomes more permeable to partially digested food (lipids, proteins, saccharides, nucleotides), bacterial fragments and other endotoxins, which once in the system create tissue and organ toxaemia, immune system overload, and immune complexes which predispose to further inflammation and conditions of auto-immunity.
Numerous factors can contribute to the development of Leaky Gut Syndrome, and treatment protocol will address imbalances in the autonomic nervous system, impaired digestion, intestinal toxaemia, dysbiosis, oxidative tissue damage and deficiencies of mucosal nutrients.

8. Polyps

A polyp is a mass of tissue arising from the bowel wall and protrudes into the bowel itself (the lumen), most commonly in the rectum and sigmoid, less in the cecal area. Often occurring in multiples, these growths can be small or long; there are many classifications of bowel and rectal polyps, and are usually diagnosed by endoscopy, fiberoptics being the most reliable method.

Most polyps are small, non-cancerous and asymptomatic; rectal bleeding, abdominal pain, profuse watery diarrhoea or obstruction may be signs of a large lesion;  evidence suggests the longer they get, the greater the risk of malignancy.  

9. Others
Unfortunately the bowel has a poor nerve structure; this means it cannot signal its problems very well.  If you actually feel a problem in the bowel, you may really be in trouble.

Apart from diverticulosis and polyps, what we have discussed above reflects functional rather than pathological abnormality.  Of course there are other bowel conditions such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, fistula, other states of inflammation, and cancer also.  Usually pathologic changes occur only after many years of various inflammatory conditions as discussed above.  Prevention is better than cure; if you want to know what good bowel health is, if you have it, or you want to be sure you are on the right track, or if you experience any degrees of the above conditions, please contact us for a clearer profile of your condition, and proper advice.

Restoring health to the Bowel

We suggest that all people living in our increasingly stressful, urbanised and chemicalised environments, eating processed and refined foods and beverages, running to the clock, sitting at desks and in general leading sedentary lives etc suffer in some degree from poor bowel stasis, whether there are clinical signs and symptoms or not.  Many such signals we either ignore, thinking such tummy pains etc are "normal" (because everyone has them), or else unrecognised by doctors as related to the health of the gut anyway (eg how can a wry neck be caused by poor digestion etc).  But in order to enjoy optimal health, one must attend to the centrally important work of restoring health to the gut.

Proper functioning of bowels is a complex physiological activity.  Glands such as the adrenals and liver affect bowel function, as does the autonomic nervous system.  Psycho-emotional factors including stress, anxiety, depression and neurotic traits (for example, some people feel embarrassed to poo anywhere someone else might hear or smell them, so they will hold onto it for hours, even days) come into play in a big way as well. The big lesson to be learned here is, everyone poos, it all smells, it is better out than in, go when your body tells you to.

Food allergies/intolerances can be significant causes of various irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). There has also to be proper mineral balances, fibre intake, fluid balance, and flora balance. Studies find that the quality of sleep correlates with IBS (but what comes first, IBS or poor sleep quality ?).

In general, liver health is vital to transit times, as is proper hydration (water intake), mineral and electrolyte fluid and tissue balance (sodium, potassium, magnesium), and a proper (alkaline - forming) diet, low in refined foods, red meat, dairy foods all of which cause a potassium depletion of the gut wall with consequent atony and underfunctioning, as well as creating unfavourable bowel environment, and also a diet high in soluble and insoluble fibre to provide nutrient to flora, bulk and lubricant.

Restoring Proper Bowel Function
A properly constructed therapeutic approach needs to be undertaken, based on an individual case history, presenting signs and symptoms etc.  Such an approach must involve emotional factors (eg stress management) which can play a huge role in gut health, as well as physiological aspects.

Such a regime must progress slowly, so as to avoid potential relapse, build healthy gut environment, rejuvenate damaged and inflamed tissue, and promote changes in lifestyles which led to the condition in the first place.  Such a program can cause benefits which are measurable within just a few days, with all sorts of signs and symptoms disappearing from the body within just a few weeks; but for optimal function and restructuring, many months of care might need to be given, and received.

The rewards for the effort however, make it so worthwhile, as one begins to experience rejuvenation, with greater energy levels, better immune function, weight loss, absence of pain (bowel management is at the centre of our arthritis reversal programs), and a lightness of being which one may never have experienced before.

We have many different programs which address the disorders noted above; but each person is unique, so we tailor the appropriate program to suit the individual.

The need for Bowel Detoxification

Never in history has there been such a toxic, poisonous living environment; there are over 70,000 different chemicals in production today, many in plastics which give off toxic fumes into the environment not just in production but in situ, especially when exposed to sunlight, eg car interiors etc.   Pharmaceutical drugs, recreational drugs including caffeine and alcohol, all take their toll. The food industry alone chemicalises our food with literally thousands of chemicals in the forms of pesticides, fertilisers, preservatives, enhancers, emulsifiers, colorants etc. These toxins enter our bodies via the lungs, skin, and gut in our foods and drinks. The need to detoxify and cleanse the body has never been greater, and the bowels have to be working properly all the time to allow this process, and avoid secondary exposure to toxins via auto-intoxication (as with constipation, which is a slow transit time).

Proper detoxification must firstly ensure proper elimination channels are working optimally, before internal tissue and cellular detoxification can achieve anything other than stirring up wastes and redistributing them throughout the body.

Maintenance

We need to be re-educated, both in head knowledge as well as in our experience as to what constitutes good bowel health.  Of course there are some do's and don'ts, but in simple terms, we need to learn to love the right foods, lots of fresh fruit and raw vegies (soluble fibre), ensure adequate hydration, and learn how to avoid the wrong foods, exercising properly, getting fresh air and sunshine, resting adequately etc, then all else being OK the bowel will function properly, and reward us with much better health, vitality and wellness. 

 




1. generally, before "modern" doctors came along with synthetic laxative drugs

2.From Jensen, Bernard Tissue Cleansing through Bowel Management (6th ed - 1981) Published by Bernard Jensen, Ca., USA

3.What has happened to our food? The way we grow, harvest, process and market our food is at the root of much of it.  The further we stray from the simple, natural foods (fresh, raw fruit, vegies, nuts & seeds, grains), the more we depend on unnatural and artificial processes, the more disease and illness increase both in frequency and intensity.

4.Please note that whilst food is in the stomach or intestines, it is quite literally outside the body; it is not until the body absorbs/ingests the prepared elements of the food or fluid that it enters the body, into the blood or lymph

5.Absorption occurs through absorptive cells which line the villi (small finger-like projections on the surface of the intestinal skin) which have complex absorptive mechanisms, involving microvilli, arterioles, venules, capillary networks, and lacteals.

6.Movement through the colon is by way of 3 distinct yet related motions; haustral churning, peristalsis and mass peristalsis, movements which depend on various reflexes initiated by feedback mechanisms triggered in the gastric (stomach) region. One has to note that Nature provides these extra movements to absolutely ensure colonic emptying on a regular basis, because sluggish colons become very toxic environments which affect the blood and lymph thence the health of the entire organism. 

7.Although most bowel states reflect too slow a transit time, one can suffer from a hypersensitive, overactive gut.  If contents are not in the gut and bowel long enough, then chances are that the digestive processes are impaired in such a way as will lead to deficient nutrient digestion and absorption. This will lead to deficiency states such as failure to thrive, confusion and other mental signs, and other serious imbalances within the body.

8. They can also exist in the oesophagus, pharynx, upper stomach, and small intestines

9.Dietary fibre (i) Improves gut motility, or the rate at which everything moves through the gut  (ii)  Ferments in the gut to form 4 essential fatty acids, butyric acid (nourishes gut endothelium – walls, stabilises endothelial DNA, controls candida),  glutamic acid (nutrient for small intestine mucosa), acetic acid (maintains pH because the gut needs an acidic environment), and propionic acid (which forms HMDG-CoA reductase, the rate-limiting enzyme of cholesterol metabolism, and increases insulin receptor-site  sensitivity). And (iii) Binds mechanically with cholesterol--->excretion.      

10. Even the so-called "bad" ones, are friendly, they have vital roles to play, and live quite at peace within a healthy gut.  But when we, the host, the master gardener if you like, do not provide the right environment for them, the right food for them, or if we mistreat them, then these populations become imbalanced, and some create symptoms of dis-comfort, dis-ease to us.  But they are only doing a good job; if they cause pain, it is their message to us the host, to take appropriate action, to let us know that if we do not, we signal our own decay and death.

11. Acids such as n-butyrate (butyric acid is the main energy source for colonic epithelial cells); acetic acid, propionic acid

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