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What is the Colon?

Published on , Last Updated on June 3, 2013
 

Healthy Colon

Believe it or not, most people and doctors cannot explain what the colon is and how it works. In my opinion the intestinal tract is the lifeline to perfect health. The colon, or large intestine, is one of the primary components of your digestive system.

It’s made up of basically the same types of tissue found in your skin, throat, stomach, and small intestine, but the colon has a few unique characteristics that set it apart from the rest of the digestive tract. For one thing, no part of the large intestine produces digestive enzymes. That task is left entirely to the small intestine. The colon is divided into four parts—the Ascending colon, the Transverse colon, the Descending colon, and the Sigmoid colon.

How Does the Colon Work?

After leaving the small intestines, waste enters the ascending colon on the right side of the abdomen. The ascending colon moves waste upwards to the transverse colon (spanning the gap to the descending colon) which in turn carries waste down through the sigmoid colon and out through the rectum. Most of the vitamins and nutrients our bodies receive from the foods we eat have already been absorbed by the small intestines before reaching the colon.

The colon’s primary job is absorbing the leftover water to condense soft byproducts into solid waste. The colon also takes in select water-tied nutrients such as electrolytes. The colon and small intestine can also absorb dangerous toxins, and, it is my theory that these toxins are the root cause of most degenerative disease, emotional distress and environmental pollution.

A healthy colon is essential for your overall well-being. The colon is more than just a tube for the food you eat to pass through on its way out; it’s a key part of the digestive process.

When the colon stops functioning properly, digestion becomes disrupted and the essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients your body depends on to grow and thrive are no longer absorbed properly. An unhealthy colon is also less able to expel toxins in a timely manner.

Evacuating your bowels when you need to is one of the most important things you can do to help maintain your health. Many people are so busy they simply won’t take the time to have a bowel movement when the urge strikes. Some people prefer to have bowel movements only at home and will go to great lengths to avoid using a public restroom. If the delay is too long or too frequent, ignoring the urge to “go” can lead to constipation and fecal compaction, both of which can cause stool transit time to slow down.

If undigested food remains in the body too long, proteins putrefy (producing toxic ammonia, hydrogen sulfide and other toxins), carbohydrates ferment (producing ethyl alcohol or lactic acid), and fats turn rancid (creating highly reactive toxic molecules which destroy nutrients and vitamins). This changes the compounds in the food so they become harmful instead of beneficial. This rotten food collects inside the colon, making regular bowel movements increasingly difficult. For this reason, and many more, I highly recommend you perform regular colon cleansing (2x weekly) using an oxygen based cleanser.

-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DABFM

Posted In: Colon Health,Colon Health Blog
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