by Dr. Philip S. Chua.
November 1, 2011
The Snake Oil racket of the 15th century pales in comparison to the billion dollar global health scams of today. Fueled by people’s everlasting search for the “Fountain of Youth” to stay younger and live longer, the obsession unwittingly drives gullible people to fall victims to the merchants of the modern “snake oils” of the 21st century.
Among the so-called miraculous remedies and panaceas that claim to “cure” a multitude of diseases, from acne to diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, arthritis, thyroid problems, to cancer, are various herbals and food supplements — pills, juices, extracts, megavitamins — and water ionizers, chelating agents, kidney and liver detox substances, enemas, and colon power cleansers. These products, which escape the scrutiny of the US-Food and Drug Administration and similar agencies in other countries, are untested as to their efficacy, safety and long term side-effects and complications. Their claims, which are all paid commercial endorsements and anecdotal testimonials, are scientifically unfounded and baseless. They are worthless, potentially dangerous, and very costly, in terms of money and health.
A most popular scam typically charges thousands to house the clients in a hotel or spa for a day, a weekend or longer, “to power clean the colon, detoxify the body, curb the appetite, wash away body fat, remove ‘gunk’ from the gut, reduce body weight, improve stamina and boost energy.” Nothing could be further from the truth. The only thing guaranteed here is the loss of your money!
The fallacy here is the misinformation and scare tactic these unscrupulous companies use to lure in customers. They make innocent people believe that the bacteria and toxins in the colon have to be “power-cleansed” with the use of their “special” concoction of medication and juices, enemas, etc, otherwise the toxins will poison them and cause illnesses, including cancer. In spite of today’s informational age where medical data are instantly available on the internet, the deception is still able to victimize countless misinformed people with money. This is most unfortunate.
To put things in their proper perspective, here is an excerpt from the European Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology. 24(4):196-8. 1997 “Colonic irrigation and the theory of autointoxication: a triumph of ignorance over science”:
“Autointoxication is an ancient theory based on the belief that intestinal waste products can poison the body and are a major contributor to many, if not all, diseases. In the 19th century, it was the ruling doctrine of medicine and led “colonic quackery” in various guises. By the turn of the century, it had received some apparent backing from science. When it became clear that the scientific rationale was wrong and colonic irrigation was not merely useless but potentially dangerous, it was exposed as quackery and subsequently went into a decline. Today we are witnessing a resurgence of colonic irrigation based on little less than the old bogus claims and the impressive power of vested interests.”
The medical facts
(1) The body and its organs do not need any artificial external power cleansing because they have a natural built-in self-cleansing capability, which is safer, more efficient, and for FREE, as long as the individual lives a healthy lifestyle; (2) The colon contains the end-products of the food we eat, after the nutrients, vitamins, minerals, etc. and water are absorbed by the stomach, the small intestines, and part of the colon. The colon, which contains feces, bacteria, and toxins, has a natural protective “seal” in its walls which selectively prevents its bacterial and toxic contents from “seeping into” or entering the bloodstream to cause septicemia (blood poisoning). As long as the contents are eliminated within 72 hours, preferably within 24, the individual will be fine. This “seal” is one of the wonders of the body; and (3) Daily bowel movements eliminate the bulk of the feces, bacteria and toxins. This is why regular bowel movement, induced by a healthy diet of fish, vegetables, grains, and fruits, together with at least 8 glasses of filtered water a day and daily physical exercise, are essential. Red meat and other high cholesterol foods promote constipation and stagnation in the colon, which predispose it to cancer.
Medical literature reports detrimental effects, serious illnesses, and even deaths from these colon cleansing hoaxes, kidney and liver detox substances, weight loss pills and juices, megadose vitamins, and other untested herbals. Some of the dangerous complications from the so-called colon-cleansing are dehydration (which accounts for the weight loss), electrolyte imbalance which can be life-threatening, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar level, which is harmful), bowel perforation (among those using high pressure liquid flusher), fall in blood pressure and fainting, or even shock. The fall in blood pressure could lead to heart attack and stroke, or even death.
So, why allow the charlatans and scammers to fool us and rob us of our hard earned money by buying these useless and potentially harmful products and services that can potentially kill us, in our quest for health?
What to focus on
Living a healthy lifestyle alone will automatically cleanse and detoxify all our organs, including the skin, lungs, kidney, liver, gastrointestinal tract, etc. They are the food (quality and quantity) that we eat, extra fat and extra pounds in our body, inactivity (lack of exercise), substances we inhale or ingest (cigarettes, drugs, alcohol), prescription medications we fail to take religiously, are actually “the poisons and toxins” that could eventually lead to diseases, like arthritis, hypertension, diabetes, heart attack, stroke, and cancer. Our lifestyle is the one we should wisely focus on, and not on the bacteria and toxins in our colon, which will not harm us when we live a healthy and disciplined life.
A healthy way to add colon-cleansing (if desired) to what the normal body physiology already does automatically can be done safely and 1000% cheaper.
The regimen consists of fresh vegetables, nuts, whole grain cereals, and fruits, which can be eaten or made into “power” drink with a blender, without adding sugar or salt. A bit of cinnamon powder or vanilla extract may give it a special flavor. If this health drink, plus at least 8 glasses of water a day, is consumed as a substitute for (in lieu of) regular food for a whole day, once a week, this will “power” cleanse the bowels, safely and effectively. Those who have diabetes or any medical problem need to consult their physician first to make certain this regimen is appropriate for them. This home-made “power cleanser,” which does not contain potentially harmful weight control and diarrhea-inducing (and other secret) substances, is certainly more natural, safer, healthier, and a lot cheaper.
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