It is said that hundreds of years ago, the intestinal “transit time” was much shorter than it is now, which is the interval from the time the food entered the mouth until it was excreted as feces. In those days, this was believed to be between 15 and 20 hours; whereas now it is anywhere from 50 to 70 hours.
The reason for this drastic increase is that our diets now consist of less fiber from fruits and vegetables. Since fiber is indigestible, it gives the stools bulk, making them soft and flexible. Another factor that determines the transit time is the modern lifestyles, antibiotics, stress, and certain foods that form acid, such as eggs, meat, sugar etc. These things cause a thick and sticky mucus formation in the intestinal tract.
Food remains longer in the intestinal tract, putrefying the stool, letting harmful microorganisms flourish and toxins develop and poison the body. The perfect transit time should be about 18 to 20 hours, with 24 to 48 hours being acceptable. Ideally, just like babies do, even adults should have unforced bowel movements about 20 minutes after every meal.
The sign of a healthy colon is stool that is soft but formed, and consists of 70% water but has enough bulk to respond to the muscular contractions of the bowel.
Unhealthy intestinal functions have a major impact on the body weight. People who have a toxic colon tend to overeat, since they cannot absorb the nutrients they are consuming. Human body goes into a nutritional crisis and metabolic shock waves travel to every cell in the body, when the bowel fails.
Nutritionists say that more than 90% of the people metabolize less than 55% of what they eat. Many even happen to consider it normal to have a bowel movement once a day or even every few days. It is easy to understand how all this works, if we question what is happening to all the food that is eaten, where is it all going, if there is only one bowel movement everyday or every other day.
It is not only the weight of the fecal material that contributes to weight gain. Even toxic byproducts from the colon can lower metabolism and drain the body of energy. They also put a lot of burden on the liver and kidneys. The main reason why toxins from the colon need to be cleansed is to remove those byproducts from getting back into other parts of the body. Once the colon is clean, the metabolism should work as it has to, and with that the main obstacle to weight loss is eliminated.
There are several factors that harm the colon:
Acid diets: Sugars, processed grains, meat and eggs contribute to intestinal plaque formation. They reduce the electrolytes in the body, which help in preventing bile from becoming too acidic. The result is acidic bile that cannot help with digestion. Overeating during a meal also causes an increase in acid in the intestines.
Processed foods: Any foods made from white flour that is bleached, such as cakes, pastries, white bread etc. help intestinal plaque to build-up. The problem with these foods is that they contain absolutely no fiber and also because the nutrients have been bleached out, they contain no nutrition and enzymes. Enzymes help in breaking down food and helping the body absorb. Without these, the food starts putrefying in the intestines rather than being digested and absorbed.
Stress: Stress can cause excess amounts of acid in the intestine, which causes plaque to form. Tension also constricts the walls of the bowel and sphincter muscles, which restricts the passage of the fecal material.
Allergies: Mucous may be produced by the intestines due to food allergies. Any food can be an allergen and cause cramps, bloating, constipation, diarrhea and other symptoms. Whole wheat and wheat bran, which are usually consumed for their fiber content are also said to increase the problem if there is an existing allergy.
Parasites and Yeast: Digestive problems are also caused by parasite and yeast infestations in the colon. These parasites enter the body through contaminated water and food. Intestinal parasites can cause many reactions, such as asthma, joint swelling and weight gain.
Antibiotics: Physicians prescribe antibiotics to alleviate an infection by killing harmful bacteria. However, the problem with these drugs is that they do not have the capacity to distinguish between the friendly and unfriendly bacteria in the body and even the friendly bacteria get killed. When this friendly bacteria is not replaced with the use of supplements or through diet, the intestines become a playfield for the unfriendly bacteria and this causes buildup of toxins.
Carbohydrate Intolerance: Starches, which are a form of carbohydrates, also cause intestinal problems. When carbohydrates in the small intestine are not digested properly, this attracts the bacteria from the large intestine and they take over the small intestine and multiply quickly. This bacteria destroys enzymes in the small intestine and reduces the body’s abilities to digest food and absorb carbohydrates.
The way to cleanse the system of all these toxins is to undergo colon cleansing and to ensure that a proper diet is maintained for a healthy colon, keeping all the above factors in mind.