Heard of flushing out your colon to improve your health?
Ads for colon cleansing claim that it prevents allergies, arthritis and asthma. Some claim the practice will help you lose weight and boost your energy. And some even claim it reduces your colorectal cancer risk. But our experts say there’s no scientific proof to support any of those claims. We talked to John R. Stroehlein, M.D., and Robert Bresalier, M.D., professors in Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at MD Anderson. Here’s what they had to say.
Your colon already keeps you healthy
Your colon is a long, muscular tube. It’s a key part of your digestive system. It removes water, salt and nutrients from the food you eat. The remaining solid waste forms stool. Your colon then moves the stool along its walls to be expelled. This process rids the body of food waste and toxins. It also helps your colon maintain a healthy bacterial composition, known as your microbiome. “Your microbiome plays a crucial role in protecting your body from infections,” Bresalier says. “It may even protect against colon cancer.” The only time you should clean your colon is to prepare for a colonoscopy. A clean colon helps your doctor detect polyps that can become cancer. Polyps are small growths on the lining of your colon. “Otherwise, colon cleansing is not necessary and, in fact, may harm you,” Stroehlein says. “The colon is quite remarkable because it can care for itself and keep you healthy.”.
Source: MD Anderson Cancer Center