Entries in Colon (4)


Paltrow’s ‘Goop’ Has a Colon Cleanse

Ian Gavan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle blog has its own colon cleanse for “Goop” groupies.

The Goop Cleanse, co-designed by Goop and Clean Program creator Dr. Alejandro Junger, contains protein, fiber, digestive enzyme and probiotic supplements that “help give your digestive system a break and also improve energy levels by bringing in high-quality vitamins and nutrients,” according to Junger. “Best of all, because you’ll be eating during this program, you won’t be left feeling hungry or tired which is typical of most cleanses.”

For 21 days, Goop cleansers will start the morning with a shake, eat lunch from an elimination diet menu boasting roasted squash over millet and “salmon salade nicoise,” and have another shake for dinner. Dairy, eggs, wheat and coffee are among 77 forbidden foods. The goal is to still consume at least 1,200 calories a day, which is low compared to the 1,600-to-2,000 recommended for women. To get the calorie count up, the Goop Cleanse manual recommends adding avocado or coconut oil to daily shakes.

“I’ve used Clean in the past with great results, losing a few pounds and kickstarting a healthier and more energetic New Year,” Paltrow wrote on Goop. The cleanse is designed for use every eight-to-12 months and costs $425.

Colon cleansing has been around for centuries. It can be accomplished in a number of ways, from supplements to colon hydrotherapy -- an enema-like procedure that uses water to flush out the large intestine. Proponents claim it purifies the body by removing toxins that build up in the digestive tract, but some experts say the practice can do more harm than good.

“Despite colon cleansing’s long history and current popularity, the literature does not support its purported benefits,” Dr. Ranit Mishori of Georgetown University School of Medicine wrote in an August 2011 report published in the Journal of Family Practice. In fact, colon cleansing can cause painful side effects ranging from cramping to kidney failure, according to the report.

“The body is designed to detoxify itself,” Mishori told ABC News in August, adding there are safer ways to help it along, including diet and exercise.

But thanks to celebrity devotees like Paltrow, Beyonce and the Kardashians, more people are asking their doctors about colon cleansing.

Dr. Roshini Rajapaksa, assistant professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center and author of What the Yuck?! The Freaky and Fabulous Truth About Your Body told ABC News supplement-based cleanses are generally safer than procedures like colon hydrotherapy, but added there’s no upside to either and potential downsides to both.

“You’re not necessarily getting all the nutrients you need,” she said of supplement-based cleanses that exclude several foods, like the Goop Cleanse. “There are definitely natural things people can do if they’re feeling a bit backed up, like upping fiber intake with fruits and vegetables and drinking a lot of water.”

Dhru Purohit, founding partner and CEO of the Clean Program agreed most cleanses are “garbage” akin to crash diets. But the Goop Cleanse, he insists, is different. The goal of the Goop Cleanse, he says, is to inspire healthy, long term lifestyle changes.

But, he adds, the cleanse isn’t for everyone.

“We’re big on education: Talk to your doctor. And if a cleanse isn’t right for you right now, you’ll for sure benefit from an elimination diet.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Colon Cleansing Ineffective and Unsafe, Say Researchers

Comstock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Beyonce reportedly does it. So do Kim and Khloe Kardashian. What's the fad these and other celebrities have embraced? Colon cleansing.

There has been a lot of debate over the usefulness of colon cleansing. Proponents believe it helps purify the body and treat certain diseases. But a new report published Monday says colon cleansing offers no benefits and can actually be quite dangerous.

Colon cleansing has been around for centuries, and it's based on the theory that waste products build up in the colon that can enter the bloodstream and poison the body. Colon cleansing can be accomplished in a variety of ways, including supplements and the enema-like practice of flushing out the colon with water and other substances such as coffee.

"Despite colon cleansing's long history and current popularity, the literature does not support its purported benefits," wrote the report's authors, led by Dr. Ranit Mishori, clinical faculty at Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C.

Mishori and her colleagues reviewed published case studies and found that most of them noted numerous adverse effects from colon cleansing. They ranged from mild cramping and nausea to serious effects such as kidney failure.

Mishori said that she and other doctors at Georgetown University Hospital have seen an increasing number of patients who have suffered the ill effects of colon cleansing as well as patients who have asked about it, which is why she decided to undertake this research.

In addition to the side effects of colon cleansing, the authors warned that the Food and Drug Administration has not approved the devices used for colon hydrotherapy, the procedure that uses water to flush out the large intestine.

Some of the equipment is FDA-approved for use only for cleaning out the colon before a medical procedure, such as surgery. It is not approved, however, to clean out the colon for non-medical reasons. Dietary supplements used for colon cleansing are not subject to pre-approval by the FDA before they are marketed, but they must not make false or misleading claims.

The equipment may not be sterilized properly, and the authors noted is that practitioners known as hydrotherapists are not licensed by scientifically-based organizations.

While it may seem as if it's only an enema, colon hydrotherapy uses much more water than a standard enema.

"Hydrotherapy is extreme enema, and it can be harmful," Mishori said.

"You can get into quite a lot of trouble doing repeated enemata, including serum electrolyte imbalance from absorption of the fluids used," said Wendie Howland, a nurse and health care consultant.

Those opposed to the practice debunk the idea that detoxification is necessary.

"Statements about stool residing in the colon for years or many pounds of waste being in the colon are simply not true, but widely believed by the public," said Dr. John Allen, a spokesperson for the American Gastroenterological Association.

Colon cleansing is especially dangerous for people with certain medical conditions, such as Crohn's disease and other gastrointestinal problems, diabetes and conditions requiring specific medications.

Those who practice colonic irrigation say benefits include healthier skin, more energy, a stronger immune system and fewer problems with constipation.

Advocates of colon hydrotherapy say it's safe if it's done by licensed practitioners. The International Association for Colon Hydrotherapy says only the state of Florida licenses hydrotherapists. The association is pushing for more states to provide licensing.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Diarrhea, Digestive Ills Relieved With Fecal Transplants

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Demonstrating that even in medicine, "one man's trash is another man's treasure," patients with debilitating diarrhea are finding relief, if not cures, after receiving bacteria-rich stool from the guts of healthy donors, usually close relatives.

Despite the gross-out factor, fecal transplants are simple enough to perform at home using such inexpensive tools as a bottle of saline, a two-quart enema kit from the local drugstore and a standard kitchen blender.

The approach, also called fecal bacteriotherapy, is hardly new.  Dr. Ben Eiseman, the longtime chief of surgery at Denver General Hospital, reported in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology in 1958 that enemas containing feces from healthy colons successfully replenished good digestive bacteria in patients suffering from pseudomembranous colitis, a painful colon inflammation associated with a bacterium called Clostridium difficile.

Dr. Thomas J. Borody, from the Centre for Digestive Diseases in Sydney, Australia, reported in the same journal in 2003 that "human probiotic infusions" reversed ulcerative colitis in six patients, each of whom had been sick at least five years with the inflammatory condition.  All remained disease-free in one to 13 years of follow-up.

In recent years, the number of chronic infections with C. diff has increased, often from prolonged antibiotic use and growing antibiotic resistance, especially among the elderly and those in hospitals and long-term care facilities.  That has driven renewed interest in fecal transplantation, although it's still not covered by health insurance plans.

North American gastroenterologists and infectious disease experts, mindful that the technique has been used in Europe, have been offering it as last-ditch therapy for patients wasting away from debilitating diarrhea that hasn't responded to even the most powerful and most expensive antibiotics, such as vancomycin.

Doctors infuse patients' colons using an enema or colonoscope (and sometimes the stomach using a nasogastric tube) with solutions of water or saline spiked with donor feces that have been screened for parasites, HIV, hepatitis, and other illness-causing microbes.  They suggest donors should be someone you know and trust, like a spouse, a parent or a child, although a few institutions are experimenting with donations collected from healthy men or women who have been tested and found free of major diseases.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


When’s the Best Time to Get a Colonoscopy?

Burke/Triolo Productions(NEW YORK) -- If you’re in the market for a colonoscopy, studies have shown that tests performed in the morning are more likely to catch abnormal growths than those performed in the afternoon. This has more to do with doctor fatigue toward the end of the work day than with the colon itself, according to a recent study in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

In the study, doctors identified abnormal growths in 26 percent of their morning patients but 21 percent in their afternoon patients. Researchers noted that the difference in detection may also have to do with afternoon patients not taking the full precolonoscopy bowel prep, including large doses of laxatives.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio