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| Intestinal System
The Body's Waste Disposal Plant
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| After food leaves the small intestine, it moves into the large intestine or colon, a muscular tube - about five feet in length and approximately two inches in diameter - coiled into a frame around the convoluted small intestine. Waste material is forced through the colon by the action of the muscles. The action of muscular contraction that moves waste material through the intestine is known as peristalsis. It then exits the body through the rectum.
The colon has three main parts: the ascending, transverse and descending colons. Since much of the digestion process has already taken place, what enters the colon is mostly waste material in liquid form. As the colon contracts, this substances is pushed along its length. Most of the water and mineral salts in the liquid are reabsorbed back into the body. What remains is a semisolid waste, 60-70 percent water and 10-30 percent bacteria, plus indigestible cellulose material, dead cells and other waste materials.
The process of elimination takes anywhere from 12-24 hours or longer. Generally, the shorter the time, the better. Unfortunately, modern diets and health habits sometimes result in greatly increased transit times. As transit time increases, the stool becomes increasingly hardened and difficult to pass due to dehydration. Moreover, as the body reabsorbs the fluid content of the feces, it also absorbs many soluble toxins.
Factors in colon Health
People whose diets are high in refined foods (including sugar and white flour) and low in fiber content (such as meat, eggs and dairy products) are especially susceptible to intestinal problems. In fact, colon and rectal disorders are much more common in America than Africa, where the average diet contains seven times as much fiber as the U.S.
The colon works best when it is moderately full. Dietary fiber fills this need. Although it contains no nurtients, fiber helps promote good health by providing the necessary bulk to encourage timely movement of fecal materal through the colon. As this happens, certain toxic materials are removed along with many times the fiber's weight in water. This is important because it helps maintain bowel regularity and shortens the time toxic materials remain in the body.
There are two basic types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber includes pectin, gums and some hemicellulose. Fruits, vegetables, seeds, brown rice, barley and oats are sources for soluble fiber. Soluble fiber works mainly by helping to produce a softer stool. It also chemically prevents or reduces the absorption of certain substances into the bloodstream.
Insoluble fiber includes cellulose, some hemicellulose and lignin. Whole grains and the outside of seeds, fruits, legumes and other foods are the main sources for insoluble fiber, which works like a sponge, absorbing many times its weight in water and swelling up inside the intestines. The result is more effecient elimination.
When extra fiber is added to the diet, it is important that extra water and fluids also be added. If not, the beneficial effects can be diminished as the added fiber actuallly slows down or even blocks proper intestinal elimination. Spreading out fiber intake is also suggested to help ease any unpleasant side effects that may occur at the start of a new, fiber-rich dietary regimen.
Together, fiber and water maintain muscle tone, dilute toxic wastes, bind irritants, and bring oxygen to the tissues, maintaining the correct balance of intestinal flora. Regularity and stool bulk are essential to good intestinal health.
Exercise also plays a role in the health of the intestinal system. Without sufficient exercise, bowel action may be slowed down and the normal circulation within the digestive system reduced.
In addition to eating sufficient amounts of fiber, it is important to maintain a good supply of beneficial bacteria, often referred to as the friendly flora, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus. They thrive in every healthy human digestive system, particularly the colon. Unlike bacteria which causes disease, L. acidophilus is extremely helpful. It produces digestive enzymes and assists in the final processing of food. It also produces important vitamins such as vitamin K and the B vitamins (B-12, thiamine and riboflavin), and helps inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria (and fungus), including putrifactive or coliform types (the unfriendly flora) which produces flatulence and putrification in the colon.
Other vitamins, including folacin, vitamins C and E; pigments such as beta carotene; and minerals, such as calcium and zinc, must all be present in the diet for proper intestinal function. Intestinal tissues are among the most active in our body, and are often the first to experience the effects of poor nutrition. Poor intestinal health may be reflected in our complexion and skin tone.
When the colon is nutritionally supported with a diet high in natural fiber, other nutritional components and healthy bacteria, it is able to function at peak efficiency. Unfortunately, naturally occuring lactobacillus can be destroyed by a course of antibiotic treatment.
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Acidophilus- Milk Free
All Cell Detox (Special Formula #1)
Aloe Vera Gel (8 fl. oz)
Aloe Vera Juice (32 fl. oz)
Aloe Vera Whole Leaf (32 fl.oz)
Aloe Vera - Freeze Dried (64)
Anti-Gas, Chinese (AG-C)
Black Walnut Extract (2 fl.oz)
Black Walnut, ATC
Caprylic Acid Combination
Cascara Sagrada Capsules
Cascara Sagrada Vegitabs
Chlorophyll Liquid (16 fl. oz)
Chlorophyll Liquid (32 fl. oz)
Chlorophyll Capsules (60)
Heavy Metal Detox
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L. Reuteri, Chewable Probiotic
LBS II Capsules
LBS II Vegitabs (100)
LBS II Vegitabs (270)
Nature's Three (12 oz)
Nature's Noni (Morinda) (16 oz)
Nature's Noni (Morinda) (2-32 oz)
Para-Cleanse w/ Paw Paw
Psyllium Hulls Combination
Slippery Elm Bulk
Yeast/Fungal Detox (90)
|Colon - Absorbs water from chyme and eliminates waste.
Appendix - Lymphatic tissue controls bacteria in the cecum.
Smooth Muscle - Responsible for peristaltic action.
Ileocecal Valve - Sphincter muscle controls delivery of material from small to large intestine.
|If you have four or more of the following indications, you may consider nutritional aid to the intestinal system.
Body odor and/or bad breath
Eat meat more than 3 times a week
Recent or frequent use of antibiotics
Regular consumption of dairy products
Feeling low, uninterested or depressed
Lack of a balanced diet
Slow recovery from illness
Less than 2 bowel movements per day
Recurrent yeast/fungal infections
Easily irritated or angered
Don't get enough exercise
Respiratory, sinus or allergy problems
|Intestinal problems common to the Western culture are often solved by the addition of fiber to the diet. High fiber foods include bran, prunes, psyllium seed or hulls and other mucilaginous herbs.|
Eat high-fiber fruits and vegetables and wholesome grains.
Drink at least 64 oz of water daily.
Avoid excess white flour
Eat yogurt and other fermented foods.
Avoid frequent use of stimulant laxatives.
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