Colon Cleansing Clogged

Colon cleansing benefits questioned

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Commitment to regular bowel movements can sometimes lead one to take extreme measures. Many herbal products offer quick fixes to get the system to speed up.

A recent study review conducted by Georgetown University indicates that colon cleansing gimmicks have little or no value and are sometimes dangerous.

"Eat a healthy diet, exercise and get ample sleep to promote colon cleansing."

The paper's lead author, Ranit Mishori, M.D., a family medicine physician at Georgetown University School of Medicine reports there can be serious consequences for those who try colon cleansing procedure done at either a spa or in the home. Many colon cleansing products like Nature's Bounty Colon Cleanser, laxatives, teas powders and capsules advertise benefits that aren't scientifically proven.

And, Dr. Mishori reminds that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has no authority to regulate these products

For Dr. Mishori and colleagues' paper, they reviewed 20 studies published in peer-reviewed medical literature in the last decade. The doctor says there is little evidence of benefits, but an abundance of studies reporting negative side effects after using cleansing products.

These effects include nausea, vomiting, electrolyte imbalance, cramping, renal failure and bloating.

Dr. Mishori also reports that some of the herbal preparations that advertise colon cleaning have been associated with liver toxicity and aplastic anemia.

Dr. Mishori concludes that, a 'colon hygienist' whose services are often offered at spas, have no association with professional organizations and no significant medical training. These hygienists only requirement is a little quick training in additon to a high school diploma or its equivalent.

This paper is published in the August 2011 issue of The Journal of Family Practice.

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Review Date: 
August 2, 2011
Last Updated:
August 4, 2011