January 23, 2017

Taking Care of Colon Problems

Strategies to Keep Your Colon Healthy

by Dr. Scott Saunders, M.D.

The colon is the least appreciated organ of the body – until it doesn’t work!  People with colon problems can be miserable.  The symptoms of colon trouble can include a wide variety of issues:

  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Pain
  • Depression
  • And even cancer

the wrong bacteria in your colon can make you fatIf you’ve been wondering how to care for your colon, this is the article for you!

The colon is the large intestine.  It is the waste dump for everything we eat.  The small bowel absorbs all the nutrients from our food. Whatever is left over goes to the colon where the waste ferments through multiple types of bacteria. 

In the colon we have our main store of bacteria – trillions of them!

The types and amounts of bacteria we possess in our colon are essential to life. Even though they are residents of the colon, bacteria are very much a part of us, and in some ways make us what we are. They may determine our:

When we were babies in the womb we were sterile. Our first exposure to bacteria came from the birth canal, which supplied our intestines with bacteria needed to digest milk. People who are born by caesarian section don’t pick up the bacteria from their mother’s colon. Instead, their intestines start growing bacteria obtained from the skin. These bacteria don’t help digest food and can even cause inflammation over one’s entire lifetime!

One researcher concluded:

“Concurrent with the trend of increasing [Caesarean Delivery], there has been an epidemic of both autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes, Crohn’s disease, and multiple sclerosis and allergic diseases, such as asthma, allergic rhinitis, and atopic dermatitis.[5]

The Wrong Bacteria in Your Colon Can Make You Fat!

Additionally, those who are born by C-section are more susceptible to metabolic diseases and obesity.[6] Multiple studies in rats and humans have shown that bacteria in the colon have a large effect on obesity. One study used mice that had intestinal bypass surgery. Those mice that had the surgery now developed different bacteria. When that bacteria was given to obese mice, they lost weight without the bypass surgery. Essentially, bacteria from a thin mouse caused an obese mouse to lose weight.[7]

Humans also experience weight gain or loss associated with their gut flora.  In one study, humans with higher levels of a certain bacteria, M. smithii, were much more likely to be overweight than those with low levels.[8]

Wrong Colon Bacteria Can Cause Arthritis

Studies on the types of bacteria in the colon suggest that arthritis can be caused or worsened by our bacteria.  One study suggested that a single organism can make the difference between having arthritis – or not.[9] The organisms that cause inflammation grow on simple sugars and starches.  On the other hand, those bacteria that grow on prebiotics create butyrate. Butyrate acts as an energy source for cells lining the colon and reduce an inflammatory response.

Prebiotics are the fiber found in fruit and vegetables. They have certain fibrous carbohydrates that nourish the good bacteria to help them to grow.

Best Prebiotic FoodsGod gave us quite the gift when it comes to prebiotic foods because there are many that have just the right “ingredients” to improve gut function without us having to do anything else but eat them! The top most nutrient-dense prebiotic foods are:

  • Asparagus
  • Bananas
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Cabbage
  • Beans
  • Artichokes
  • Root vegetables
  • Apples

Prebiotic foods are like fuel for good bacteria. They escape digestion in our small intestine but continue to the colon where the “good” bacteria digest them.  These bacteria make butyrate, which prevents inflammation, such as arthritis.

Because of these bacterial studies, many have proposed fecal transplants to treat arthritis and obesity, instead of surgery and drugs.

What is a Fecal Transplant?

It is just as it sounds. Stool from one person is given to another person to change the bacteria in their colon.  When this procedure first started, the diluted donor stool was put through a tube that went from the nose into the small intestine. However, standard procedure today is done by way of an enema.  Doctors who do this procedure will use a colonoscope to get the bacteria all the way through the colon.

The purpose of a fecal transplant is to populate the colon with good bacteria and give it more biodiversity.

We not only need lots of bacteria, but a diverse population of bacteria growing together in harmony.  Research shows that this procedure can remedy many different problems such as drug resistance, chronic diarrhea, arthritis, obesity, and diabetes.

Probiotic Supplements

Because of this research, many advocate that we take probiotic pills that contain certain amounts of good bacteria.

Until the modern era, humans (and all animals for that matter) ate food laced with bacteria.  Dung fertilized the soil, allowing colon bacteria on the growing food.  People ate food that easily fermented and contained live bacteria. These are foods such as sauerkraut, natto (fermented soybeans), miso (another type of fermented soybeans), yogurt, kefir, and cheeses of all kinds.  Also, without refrigeration, food grew bacteria quickly.

Traditional cultures did not know all these important reasons to eat cultured foods.  However, they definitely knew that fermented food lasted longer, tasted better and made them feel better.  We would be wise to remember techniques our ancestors have left us about probiotics to help the colon!

By contrast, today, we take great measures to prevent bacteria from getting into our food.  For a longer shelf-life, food is:

  • Pasteurized
  • Radiated
  • Gassed
  • Sprayed with chemicals
  • Refrigerated
  • Frozen

Milk that has not been pasteurized lasts only a few days, even refrigerated. Whereas, pasteurized milk lasts for weeks. And ultra-pasteurized milk lasts for months without even being refrigerated!  Many think they may be getting some bacteria in yogurt or cheese. But most dairy products are also heated to prolong their shelf-life.  Canned kimchi and sauerkraut are heated so they contain little or no bacteria.  While there are benefits to decreasing bacteria in food, such as less food poisoning, there is a downside, as well. We don’t get many probiotics anymore.

The bacteria in your colon are like a fingerprint. Your native gut flora have been present since birth. They are uniquely you. They don’t like other bacteria coming in and growing so they usually kick them out.  If you thought you could take a probiotic for a short time to get it to grow inside the colon, guess again!  Probiotics do not become established members of your gut ecosystem. When you stop taking them, their numbers dwindle quickly. That specific probiotic strain level declines and eventually disappears. Within a couple of days to weeks, you’re back to your old self again.

This is why we need a constant supply of good bacteria, or probiotics, from our food.  However, since we don’t get much from food, we often supplement with probiotic pills.  For some people, taking probiotics can make a huge difference in:

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Understanding A Healthy Stool and How to Prevent Constipation

Dr. Scott Saunders, M.D.

Most who have been around elderly people know that bowels are a large issue.  While I was a medical student, I was working at the VA hospital in Los Angeles and I walked into the pulmonary ward only to find that my patient was snapping at me.  I commented that he seemed unhappy.  “Mark my words, Doc,” he said. “If you see a grumpy old man, then there can be only two reasons: either he’s constipated or his woman’s giving him trouble!”  I knew he didn’t have a woman so… “You got it!” he blurted out.  “Now, what are we going to do about it?”


Most people think constipation means not being able to have a bowel movement regularly, but really it refers primarily to the consistency of the stool.  If you go every day, but have hard stool it can still be called constipation.  There are many aspects of what goes into your mouth that affects the consistency of your bowel movements, which is very important.  Constipation can lead many health problems, like:

  1. Diverticulosis – out-pouching of the lining of the colon.
  2. Diverticulitis – inflammation or infection of diverticula.
  3. Lazy colon – difficulty passing stool.
  4. Polyps – bumps, or tumors, that form on the lining of the colon that may bleed or become cancerous.
  5. Internal hemorrhoids – enlarged veins high up in the rectum that can break open and bleed.
  6. External hemorrhoids – enlarged veins near the anus that are painful, itching, or burning.
  7. Anal fissures – breaks in the skin of the anus that cause pain
  8. Cancer – rectal or sigmoid cancers are the most common colon cancers.

So, constipation is not a small thing!  It’s so important for everyone to understand the stool and how to prevent the complications listed above.  We’ll discuss how:

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Weird Elephant Yam “Liberates” Antioxidants & Tames Cravings

Here is something you absolutely must know!   If you are not eating enough of this, then your body may not be absorbing essential antioxidants, like those found in berries and other fruits like pomegranate, teas, red wine, herbs or spices.

You see, many of these antioxidants simply are difficult for our bodies to break down!

Now, an Asian root known as the elephant yam, or konjac, has been shown to help the bodies naturally “liberate” the active ingredients in high antioxidant foods and supplements.

elephant yamFor hundreds of years, konjac has played an important role in the healthful Japanese diet.  Today, leading natural health experts, like Drs. Mehmet Oz, Andrew Weil and Mark Hyman, are all recommending Konjac’s  active ingredient – glucomannan.

Glucomannan is among nature’s most interesting soluble fibers. In your gut, it absorbs many times its weight in water.   Glucomannan contains five times more of the right types of soluble than oat bran.  The right kinds of soluble fiber nourish the good bacteria critical to healthy digestion and immunity.   In turn, the good bacteria break down the high antioxidant compounds into nutrients that the body can absorb.

The Dirty Little Secret Food Marketers Don’t Want You to Know About “Soluble” Fiber

Not all soluble fibers are created equal.  In fact, some “soluble fibers” on the market aren’t even natural. They’re manufactured so processed food manufacturers can “up” the fiber content on their nutrition labels.

You can tell these Franken-fibers because their names sound like something from a chemistry class. Biochemically, these are soluble fibers, but they do little to control appetite, reduce cravings or support heart health.

Put bluntly, they are cheap fiber fillers used by some food and supplement manufacturers to appeal to consumers seeking more fiber in their diet.

Glucomannan also has been shown to be a powerful ally for dieters.  Glucomannan helps dieters:

  • Feel full faster – when the glucomannan fiber swells in your stomach, you fill up faster.  And it’s not just that physical feeling of fullness at work.  Studies prove that fullness in the stomach triggers the release of hormones that tell your brain to send the “Stop Eating!” signals. That means you’ll push away from the table sooner.
  • Stay full longer – glucomannan is not broken down until it reach the large intestine (that’s why the good bacteria like it!). Because of that, they keep you feeling full and satisfied as it travels through your stomach and small intestine.
  • Fewer calories absorbed – The gel created by glucomannan and water mixes with the food you eat and slows digestion, and actually reduces the calories that are absorbed.
  • Regulates the blood sugar spike-crash-crave cycle.   As you probably know, our cravings go on overdrive when our blood sugar spikes and crashes. Glucomannan slows the digestion of carbohydrates and simple sugars. This helps reduce the blood sugar surge-and-crash cycle… which reduces cravings and prevents your appetite from raging out of control.

What’s the best way to get Glucomannan?  We recommend UltraTLC, a product recently introduced by our friends at Kardea Nutrition.   It is an incredible drink mix delivering therapeutic levels of glucomannan, plus antioxidants from natural berry and spice extracts.   Mix UltraTLC in water, juice or smoothies.

Better yet, UltraTLC transforms your protein shake into a high fiber and high antioxidant powerhouse.   SAVE 25% with Barton Publishing special coupon BARTON25%.  With your first purchase, Barton readers also get 3 FREE e-books that show you how to use UltraTLC to make healthy dieting easier and more delicious.  Order Now (and don’t forget to save with our special coupon code:  BARTON25%).


Rob Leighton from Kardea NutritionRob is known as a food passionisto and life’s magic moments occur over meals with family and friends. He happily wanders the aisles of gourmet food stores, farmers’ markets and ethnic delicatessens, preferring to end the day with a good cookbook. Rob brings a career as an executive in food and nutrition to reduce his cholesterol levels to the point where no medications are necessary. He wrote The Kardea Gourmet, Smart & Delicious Eating for a Healthy Heart, with Mayo Clinic-trained cardiologist, Dr. Richard Collins, also known as the Cooking Cardiologist. Rob is the founder of Kardea Nutrition. Kardea, which means heart in Greek, combines a love food with a deep knowledge on how to use the best natural solutions to support heart health.



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