Does Colonix Work? Sort Of.
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Does Colonix Work? Sort Of.

Those photos of long, ropey bowel movements certainly get your attention but are they real?  As it turns out, products like Colonix are based on a flawed premise that claims we're all walking around with pounds of "excess" fecal matter stuck to our insides.  Here's why that premise is flawed:

First, it's important to understand that your entire digestive tract is lined in mucus.  While parasites may burrow into that mucosal lining and embed themselves, nothing can really stick to the surface of your colon wall because this layer of mucus simply prevents it.

Another reason you can't possibly be walking around with old fecal matter is that your colon is lined with cells that are not terribly unlike the cells that make up your skin.  Just like your skin, those cells slough off regularly.  But unlike your skin cells, which "turn over" about once a month or so, the lining of your large intestine sloughs much faster.  Your entire colon is renewed every day or so.  Anything stuck to the lining of your colon would slough off with it.

So how do we explain the long stringy bowel movements?  The most logical explanation is that those large bowel movements are created by the product itself.  Products like Colonix are typically high in both soluble and insoluble fiber.  Insoluble fiber is the kind of fiber found in undigestible plant materials like popcorn husks.  It can't be broken down during digestion so it passes through the body largely unchanged.  Soluble fiber, on the other hand, can be partially digested and it often forms jelly-like masses in the bowels.  Both kinds of fiber absorb astounding volumes of water.

What does all of this mean?  Well, the insoluble fiber "bulks" up in your digestive tract and makes your bowel movements larger and more "solid".  The soluble fiber also bulks up your stools but it keeps them soft enough to pass comfortably.  When you add in things like clay or guar gum you may get "stringy" bowel movements.  This may also explain why some users continue to have long ropey bowel movements when repeating the regimen a second or third time.

This doesn't mean that the products don't work, though.  Colon cleansers typically have ingredients that soothe the colon, stimulate bowel movements or destroy parasites.  In that sense, products like Colonix do work.  When it comes to "stuck-on fecal matter", though, they can't possibly work because there's no stuck-on fecal matter to remove in the first place.

Sources:

Loktionova, A.  (2007).  Cell exfoliation in the human colon: myth, reality and implications for colorectal cancer screening.  International Journal of Cancer.

Haack, V., et al.  (1998).  Increasing amounts of dietary fiber provided by foods normalizes physiologic response of the large bowel without altering calcium balance or fecal steroid excretion.  American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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Comments (8)

Definitely good to know. I've wondered about these types of products for a while now too. It's amazing how they can falsely advertise it to the public and make a fortune of the worries of people who think they may have fecal matter stuck to them inside, sad.

Sounds like it is an expensive high-fiber diet. And maybe unhealthy at that. I didnt know these products contained this.

Well, kdelik, I guess some people can make anything complicated, if they want to. ;-)

Alice

The mucosal lining does not prevent parasites from attaching themselves to your colon wall. If it did, no one would ever get a parasitic infection because it's likely that one would pass the parasite freely. They attach to the wall and feed off the nutrients you consume (how do you think tapeworms get so long?). There was a man, not long ago, on the Dr. Oz show who did an experiment where he voluntarily swallowed a parasite, and grew it over the course of (if I'm not mistaken) 6 weeks, before consuming anti-parasitic medications to get rid of it. He certainly didn't swallow the massive thing he passed; it started smaller than a pill, and grew to extraordinary lengths over the time period. I respect that you have your theory (and it's a good one, admittedly), but I think it's irresponsible to claim this as fact, especially when you clearly have readers who take it as such.

And, for the record, none of this has anything to do with the Colonix program. I have no opinion on it, other than being in agreement that it's quite likely that its fiber content is the cause for such monumental, garish BM's. I just took issue with that one, tiny little aspect of your article.

ManifestStefany

@ Alice..re-read the paragraph. I think you may have misunderstood the statement.

" While parasites *may* burrow* into* that * mucosal* lining* and* embed* themselves*, nothing can really stick to the surface of your colon wall because this layer of mucus simply prevents it."

ManifestStefany

@ Alice..re-read the paragraph. I think you may have misunderstood the statement.

" While parasites *may* burrow* into* that * mucosal* lining* and* embed* themselves*, nothing can really stick to the surface of your colon wall because this layer of mucus simply prevents it."

ManifestStefany

@ Alice..re-read the paragraph. I think you may have misunderstood the statement.

" While parasites *may* burrow* into* that * mucosal* lining* and* embed* themselves*, nothing can really stick to the surface of your colon wall because this layer of mucus simply prevents it."

Alice

@ManifestStefany It's possible the point the author is trying to convey is being misinterpreted by myself (aka taken too literally). However, the statement you suggested I reread still clearly states that nothing can 'really' stick to the surface of the colon wall. False. Yes, parasites 'burrow' and have a generally gay old time in the mucous (especially if there's mucous in excess, like in some digestive disorders), but they still can and do adhere to the wall of one's intestines. That's why they have a rostellum, to sink their 'teeth' into the flesh. I'm not disputing the validity of any of her other claims and theories; I don't think much can stick to those walls. But the simple fact of the matter is that some parasites do get all up in our inner bits, haha.

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