Colon Cleanse Supplement Guide
By Tyler Woodward
When choosing a colon cleanse supplement there are way too many options to choose from. To make your decision simple we’ve created a buyer’s guide to make your life easier.
Your colon is the longest part of your large intestine and in it resides the majority of your digested food. A large majority of what sits in your colon are waste products that don't get absorbed into your bloodstream and are excreted as poop. There is a small portion of nutrients that get absorbed into the blood from the large intestine, but generally it serves as a “recycler”, returning the large amount of salts and water used in digestion back into the bloodstream. Lastly, the colon is where the largest portion of bacteria live in your body.
The colon and the bacteria that live within it are still poorly understood by modern science and we don’t completely understand their effects on the body. What we do know is there seems to be a combination of both good and bad bacteria within our gut. The good bacteria has the potential to help us break down otherwise indigestible food, potentially produce certain vitamins and help excrete it out of the body, while the bad bacteria seems as though it can at times leak through the gut wall of the intestines. This “bad” gut bacteria is known as endotoxin and causes an inflammatory reaction when it enters the bloodstream and must be detoxified through the liver.
To identify the best colon cleanses we have to establish how colon cleanses work. Colon cleanses aim to detoxify the colon in a few ways:
- Chelation - There are a number of commonly found ingredients in colon cleansers that help to remove toxins from the body. These are known as chelators and act like tiny magnets collecting toxins as they sweep through the intestines.
- Reduce Inflammation - Many colon cleanses will contain a number of antioxidants aimed at alleviating stress and inflammation. This can help improve blood flow to the intestines, increasing the amount of peristalsis, while also decreasing the amount of “bad” gut bacteria that is able to leak through the intestinal wall.
- Increasing Peristalsis - The way food moves through the intestines is through a series of “wave-like” contractions, known as peristalsis. This gradually shifts food through the intestines to the anus for excretion. Largely due to excess stress and modern nutritionally poor foods, many people get “backed” up and exhibit low levels of peristalsis, allowing food to sit in their intestines for longer periods of time.
- Lubrication - Just like grease on a bike chain, certain ingredients in colon cleanses are designed to lube up your intestinal walls. This allows the feces to pass through the intestines with ease and prevents any “backup” from occurring.
Read More: What Causes Constipation
Colon Cleanse Cautions:
- Dependence - It’s worth noting that generally you do not want to have to rely on taking a colon cleanse year round in order to facilitate digestive movements. While some of the ingredients in colon cleanses are relatively harmless, others can interfere with your absorption of essential nutrients. For example, bentonite clay can be extremely useful for ridding the intestinal tract of toxins, but can also deplete it of vitamins and minerals especially if taken with food.
- Not All Ingredients Are Created Equal - Despite being made up of the same elements or nutrients, the body may not process them in the same way. For example, magnesium bicarbonate is highly bioavailable, meaning that if you take 100mg of magnesium bicarbonate the majority of it will be absorbed and utilized by the body. In contrast, magnesium oxide has a relatively poor bioavailability, so if you take 100mg of it your body might really only be absorbing and utilizing 50mg. That’s a huge difference!
Read More: Do NOT Take Laxatives Till You Read This!
Ingredients To Avoid:
- Soluble Fiber - Soluble fiber means that it will be broken down in the presence of water, but it is not easily digestible. This results in the soluble fiber sitting in the digestive tract feeding the so-called “bad bacteria” and often resulting in bacterial overgrowth. This can cause inflammation if the bacteria leaks through the intestinal walls, while also increasing the amount of time it takes for food to pass through the intestines.
- Including: Pectins, psyllium husk, beta-glucans, guar gum
- The “ides” & “ites” - Any mineral or electrolyte that ends in “ides” or “ites” has a negative electric charge. This can cause it to interact poorly with other nutrients in the digestive tract and generally has a poor rate of absorption compared to other supplements.
- Including: ______ oxide, sulfide, sulfite
- Vegetable Capsules - Vegetable capsules are made of insoluble fiber, known as cellulose. Cellulose is largely indigestible in the human body, meaning that it leaves in the same way that it comes in. If the supplement capsule is made up of cellulose the ingredients may not be expelled from the capsule until they reach the bacteria in the colon at which points it may be too late to be effective.
- Natural Estrogens - There are a number of ingredients commonly found in colon cleanses that are potent estrogenics, meaning that they mimic the effects of estrogen in the body. This may allow for the increased bowel movements in the short term, but they have a host of downstream consequences.
- Including: Licorice extract, flax seeds
Ingredients To Indulge In:
- Insoluble Fiber - Insoluble fibers do not get broken down in water and are basically indigestible in the body. This allows for this fiber to act in a similar way to chelators, but in a less potent manner. Because insoluble fiber is digestible they can help to speed up the amount of time it takes for food to be processed through the intestines, while also can bind to and excrete excess estrogens from the body.
- Including: Cellulose
- Stimulants - While the name sounds a bit harsh, stimulants are a type of substance that help to increase peristalsis, the “wave-like” contraction that moves food through the intestines. By stimulating these contractions it can decrease the amount of time foods sit in your digestive tract, helping to prevent the “bad” bacteria from feeding on undigested food.
- Medium-Chain or Long-chain triglycerides (MCTs or LCTs) - These are medium to long chain saturated fatty acids that exhibit a number of antimicrobial effects. This can help to detoxify the gut of the “bad” gut bacteria and prevent bacterial overgrowth.
- *Cascara Sagrada* - Cascara Sagrada might be the holy grail of natural laxatives. It is a very effective laxative that is capable of helping to detoxify the gut and getting things moving without forcing you to remain in close proximity to a toilet while taking it.
- *Natural laxatives* - Natural laxatives like the Senna Leaf is a potent laxative, but if taken for too long consistently some people can build a dependence on it. Meaning they have a hard time going to the bathroom without.
- *Chelators* - These are the magnet like articles that can help to detoxify your body, but can also drain the food in your digestive tract of beneficial nutrients. These are ingredients like bentonite clay and activated charcoal.
*Should not be used consecutively for more than a month at a time*
Learn More: How Much Does Poop Weigh?
To make your lives easier, we decided to do all the research for you and formulated our own colon cleanse supplement. With 10 researched-back ingredients, zuPOO is our premier colon cleanse that is guaranteed to clean out your colon. Designed to be take for 2 weeks every 3 months, zuPOO is the colon cleanse your digestive system has been missing.
My goal in writing this article, as always, is to provide you with logically-based principles that you can use to form your own conclusions regarding any information you may come across within this subject. I really hope you found this article interesting and if you have anything to add to this article, or any comments or criticism, feel free to reach out to me on our facebook groups (The Thermo Diet Community Group, The UMZU Community Group) or on Instagram @tylerwoodward_fit. Also, please feel free to share this article with anyone that might be interested.
Thanks for reading!
Until next time… be good
B.S. Physiology and Neurobiology