How often should I do a colon cleanse? It’s really a misleading question. Ideally, your colon should cleanse itself completely at least once a day. If it’s not, then the answer is you need a colon cleanse as soon as possible, followed by necessary lifestyle changes to get to the point where it does regularly cleanse itself.
Your health depends on it. “All disease begins in the gut,” is a quote attributed to Hippocrates and a big reason natural medicine pays so much attention to gut health. Any disruption to your intestinal health can have far-reaching consequences. Studies have linked gut dysfunction to[i] –
- Digestive disorders
- Liver disease
- Heart disease
- Leaky gut
- Weak bones
- Poor immune response
In short, for good health and great living, you need a healthy colon. Fortunately, your colon is designed to keep itself in good condition. Of course, in the modern world, that can be a bit of a challenge.
A Western Diet Increased Levels of a Gut Toxin 71% – in Only One Month!
Researchers sought to explore the relationship between the typical high-carb, high-fat Western diet and gut health. They had eight healthy adults eat a Western-style for one month followed by a “prudent-style” diet (a diet with less saturated fat and higher in fiber) for a month.
Eating the Western diet produced a 71% increase in the presence of a gut toxin known to break down the intestinal barrier (called leaky gut). It also causes inflammation and promotes metabolic syndrome, a general term referring to obesity, high blood sugar and other chronic metabolic diseases.[v]
The “prudent-style” diet dropped the presence of the toxin by 38% over the course of a month.[vi] While this might support the higher fiber diet, it also suggests that what took one month to develop will take much longer to undo.
And the modern healthy diet is not even close to what our ancestors ate. In the study, the “prudent-style” high-fiber diet included 31 grams of fiber, a value which meets the recommended daily intake of 25-35 grams of fiber. However, scientists report that our ancestors ate around 135 grams of prebiotic fiber daily.[vii]
The modern diet simply doesn’t provide the fiber needed to keep the gut, specifically the colon, healthy.
How to Cleanse and Keep Your Colon Healthy
The best cleanse happens daily and occurs naturally as the colon empties itself. It’s supported by a diet and lifestyle that supplies plenty of dietary fiber and eliminates processed foods and added sugars.
Less frequent cleansing allows for a build-up of waste in the colon which the research indicates has long lasting effects which an occasional cleanse will likely not immediately reverse. There’s also the chance that an occasional cleanse will release a large amount of toxins from the built-up fecal matter. Some people who do cleanses have reported feeling ill or sick during the cleanse, a side effect often attributed to the release of these toxins.
So, the best answer is to get regular and stay regular. The way to do this is with a lifestyle that supports your colon’s health every day. Here are a few simple ways to do that:
- Get plenty of fiber in the diet, especially from fruits and vegetables. Fiber comes in many forms and you want to make sure you get plenty of prebiotic fiber to support the health-promoting probiotic bacteria in your gut.
- Eat probiotic-rich foods. These foods supply the bacteria your gut needs for the best health. Foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, miso soup, kimchi, and kefir help support levels of probiotics in the colon and throughout the entire digestive tract.
- Drink plenty of water. Your colon regulates the water balance in the body and water helps keep stool soft.
- Exercise regularly. Exercise has been shown to help relieve constipation and other digestive disorders.[viii]
- Support digestion. The digestive process is supposed to break down food so nutrients can be extracted and absorbed into the bloodstream. Undigested food can speed build-up of waste in the colon. This means chew well, but it also means make sure you support your levels of digestive enzymes, especially as they begin to drop off after the age of 30.
- Take a gentle cleanser as needed. Sometimes illness and other factors can interfere with the best intentions and your colon’s ability to cleanse itself. Taking a colon cleanser as needed to support regularity can help. Although the market is flooded with options, one of the gentlest features oxygenated magnesium. Cleanse Infused
[i] Vajro P, Paolella G, Fasano A. MICROBIOTA AND GUT-LIVER AXIS: A MINI-REVIEW ON THEIR INFLUENCES ON OBESITY AND OBESITY RELATED LIVER DISEASE. Journal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition. 2013;56(5):461-468. doi:10.1097/MPG.0b013e318284abb5.
[ii] Bonaz B, Bazin T, Pellissier S. The Vagus Nerve at the Interface of the Microbiota-Gut-Brain Axis. Frontiers in Neuroscience. 2018;12:49. doi:10.3389/fnins.2018.00049.
[iv] PENDYALA S, WALKER JM, HOLT PR. A High-Fat Diet Is Associated With Endotoxemia That Originates From the Gut. Gastroenterology. 2012;142(5):1100-1101.e2. doi:10.1053/j.gastro.2012.01.034.
[vii] Leach JD1, Sobolik KD. High dietary intake of prebiotic inulin-type fructans in the prehistoric Chihuahuan Desert. Br J Nutr. 2010 Jun;103(11):1558-61. doi: 10.1017/S0007114510000966. Epub 2010 Apr 26.