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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2010 :  04:49:28  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It is well known that “defecation is far more productive than praying.” In light of this fact, there seems to be more and more “colon cleansers” available and being heavily advertised in the media. A toob commercial got me wondering about it, so I did a little research. What I found was a dishonesty so remarkable that it is worthy of a Creationist or a Congressman.

First, a little history. Colon cleansing -- enemas, drugs and the like -- has been practiced all over the world for uncounted centuries. The ancient Egyptians were big on it, believing that it prevented rot in the intestine, and the Greeks of the day were as well. Most if not all aboriginal peoples had/have various drugs from plants that accomplished the same thing. But not until recently has it become a large and lucrative, homeopathic business.

So, I asked myself, “Self,” I asked, “What exactly are these commercial nostrums and how do they work?” The answers I got were a bit appalling; the claims were outrageous, there is genuine fraud, and there is no FDA oversight whatsoever on any of it.

Here are some of the main ingredients contained within the little bottles that you might buy for thirty plus dollars.

Bentonite clay:

Claim:
This substance will clear the colon of any toxins, parasites, harmful bacteria and poisons.

What they don't tell you: While it is used as a bulk laxative, as well as having many industrial applications, it's most important feature to the colon wallopers is that it will form a gel. Why this is important we shall see – all too well -- further on.

Psyllium husks.

Claim:
It will help reduce hemorrhoids, aid in yeast infections, cure irritable bowel syndrome, improve lipid control in type 2 diabetes, help you lose weight and fix the cholesterol problems that you brought upon yourself from all that pigging out at various, fast-food squat & gobbles.

And it will indeed do some of these things, albeit when taken with due caution. It is commonly used in such over the counter medications as Metamucil.

What they don't tell you: When taken with too little water, it can cause choking and bowel obstruction, and allergic reactions are not unheard of. This stuff absorbs some sixteen times it's bulk in water, so dehydration is also a possibility. And it too, forms a viscous gel.

Cascara Sagrada

Claim:
A natural and powerful laxative. It tones intestinal muscles, promotes normal hormone levels controlled by the pituitary, and is salubrious for the liver, pancreas, and gall bladder.

What they don't tell you: There is a down side; a big one,. Research is showing Cascara to be a possible carcinogen. It is also linked to liver damage, lesions in the colon and rectal bleeding, abdominal pain and acute hepatitis.

Used as a laxative for centuries by the Chinook peoples of the Northwest, it was quickly adopted by more recent immigrants. The Spaniards called it “the Sacred Bark” but the Chinooks called it as they saw it: Chitticum, translated as: “Shit come.”

Turkey Rhubarb

Claim:
Cleanses the colon, aids the intestinal lymph system, removes accumulated waste and fecal matter as well as congested mucus.

What they don't tell you: It's just another herbal laxative. You can get the same benefits from a bowl of stewed prunes.

Blackseed

Claim:
High in dietary fiber, it promotes regular bowel movements, blah, blah, blah...

What they don't tell you: This one is a pretty useful medicine – see the link. It has been shown to retard cell growth in pancreatic cancer.

Flax seed

Claim:
The usual.

What they don't tell you: This is another pretty good one, albeit controversial medically – see the link. It has a great many industrial and textile uses.

Wormseed

Claim:
More of the same.

What they don't tell you: This is, as the name implies, an excellent worming agent for such internal free-loaders as round worms and even tapeworm.
Actions and Uses
The oil of worm-seed is the only preparation of the plant now used, and this is rarely employed, in consequence of its very disagreeable and characteristic odor and taste. It excites a sensation of warmth at the epigastrium, increases the action of the heart, and promotes cutaneous, bronchial, and renal secretions. It is a diffusible stimulant, and as such may be given with advantage in hysteria and chorea, as a carminative in flatulence, and as an antiperiodic in intermittents. The only use of worm-seed is as a remedy for as-carides lumbricoides. It is one of the most efficient of the class. It should be given three times a day for two days, and followed by a brisk cathartic. An excellent combination for the expulsion of the round worm is ten drops of worm-seed oil, and a tea-spoonful of fluid extract of senna and spigelia. It may also be administered in castor-oil.

It is also toxic in overdose.

So, I hear you ask, what sent me off on this increasingly disgusting journey?

Well, this did:



That is an actual picture of an actual turd that is actually used to promote one of the actual colon cleaning nostrums. Actually.

Imagine, if you will, feeling a little bloated and taking a dose of an over-the-counter or mail-order colon cleanser. Then, in due course, heading for the throne in a desperate, clenched-buttocks dash. After taking an exhausting but most satisfying dump, you glance into the bowl and see that alligator swimming about. “Holy shit!,” you cry, “I must have been carrying that load around for years, just like the ad told me!” And then you rush to buy, at an exorbitant price, more of that particular brand of gut-flush.

Remember how I mentioned earlier that a couple of the ingredients used tend to form a gel? What the picture shows is that gel mixed with some fecal matter. But for that, the movement was most likely normal, or about as normal as it gets after swallowing such a hellish load of laxative.

But that pic or others like it is their main selling point. They claim that feces actually builds up in the colon to weights of over fourteen pounds (the commercials I've seen), and I've read of forty pound claims, which not even the erstwhile cantbe would accept.

In short, feces buildup in the colon is -- let us be kind -- a myth. To hell with “kind;” it's an outright lie! Such a phenomenon has never been encountered in gastrointestinal examinations, bowel surgeries, nor autopsies. What goes in, sooner or later comes out in it's entirety.

So, they make the claims, wave the turd and the homeopathy believers shell out the cash. The sad part of that is that any and all of the ingredients can be had for small change from health stores or on line. Thus, the profits generated here are enormous. The even sadder part is that a reasonably healthy lifestyle and a proper diet with fruits and fluids will accomplish every bit as much, a lot cheaper and a lot more comfortably. And if things should get a little tight, as they are wont to do, now & again, there's always that big, ol' bowl of stewed prunes.

Reference




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!


Edited by - filthy on 03/02/2010 06:37:52

sailingsoul
SFN Addict

2830 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2010 :  06:38:51   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send sailingsoul a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Quite literally, a shitty post.

There are only two types of religious people, the deceivers and the deceived. SS
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2010 :  06:44:44   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It's a dirty job but somebody's gotta do it.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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sailingsoul
SFN Addict

2830 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2010 :  08:07:06   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send sailingsoul a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Quote ",,,,I must have been carrying that load around for years, just like the ad told me!” And then you rush to buy, at an exorbitant price, more of that particular brand of gut-flush".
It's important to mention that that sequence is reversed. First you buy that exorbitantly priced particular brand of gut-flush, then your stool comes out looking like that in the photo. That right! A product that cures what it creates. How's that for getting your moneys worth? When your stool comes out looking like that, you can truly say " I bought that shit" SS

There are only two types of religious people, the deceivers and the deceived. SS
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25829 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2010 :  08:10:49   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by filthy

In short, feces buildup in the colon is -- let us be kind -- a myth. To hell with “kind;” it's an outright lie! Such a phenomenon has never been encountered in gastrointestinal examinations, bowel surgeries, nor autopsies. What goes in, sooner or later comes out in it's entirety.
THis may be TMI, but when I eat corn, I can tell in under 24 hours that I've eaten corn.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2010 :  08:16:52   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dave W.

Originally posted by filthy

In short, feces buildup in the colon is -- let us be kind -- a myth. To hell with “kind;” it's an outright lie! Such a phenomenon has never been encountered in gastrointestinal examinations, bowel surgeries, nor autopsies. What goes in, sooner or later comes out in it's entirety.
THis may be TMI, but when I eat corn, I can tell in under 24 hours that I've eaten corn.

Excellent! That is sure sign that corn, at least, is not adding to a buildup within your colon!




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2010 :  08:57:17   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dave W.

Originally posted by filthy

In short, feces buildup in the colon is -- let us be kind -- a myth. To hell with “kind;” it's an outright lie! Such a phenomenon has never been encountered in gastrointestinal examinations, bowel surgeries, nor autopsies. What goes in, sooner or later comes out in it's entirety.
THis may be TMI, but when I eat corn, I can tell in under 24 hours that I've eaten corn.
Dr. Steve Brule also reminds everyone of the importance of eating "tracer foods" like corn.


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
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The Rat
SFN Regular

Canada
1342 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2010 :  09:32:21   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit The Rat's Homepage Send The Rat a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Having suffered with IBS for over thirty years I can assure everyone that there is nothing stuck to my colon walls. Went for a colonoscopy a couple of years ago and laughed like hell when the proctologist told me to to get stuff beforehand to clean everything out. I did, but trust me, I didn't need it all that bad.

Bailey's second law; There is no relationship between the three virtues of intelligence, education, and wisdom.

You fiend! Never have I encountered such corrupt and foul-minded perversity! Have you ever considered a career in the Church? - The Bishop of Bath and Wells, Blackadder II

Baculum's page: http://www.bebo.com/Profile.jsp?MemberId=3947338590
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13339 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2010 :  09:32:48   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote


Good for asthma and everything else.



For the do-it-yourself enthusiast.




This chart is what I see the most often as proof that colon cleansers will detoxify you.

And, of course, Quackwatch weighs in.

Gastrointestinal Quackery:
Colonics, Laxatives, and More
Stephen Barrett, M.D.

Stephen Barrett:
…Colonic irrigation, which also can be expensive, has considerable potential for harm. The process can be very uncomfortable, since the presence of the tube can induce severe cramps and pain. If the equipment is not adequately sterilized between treatments, disease germs from one person's large intestine can be transmitted to others. Several outbreaks of serious infections have been reported, including one in which contaminated equipment caused amebiasis in 36 people, 6 of whom died following bowel perforation [7-9]. Cases of heart failure (from excessive fluid absorption into the bloodstream) and electrolyte imbalance have also been reported [10]. Direct rectal perforation has also been reported [11]. Yet no license or training is required to operate a colonic-irrigation device. In 1985, a California judge ruled that colonic irrigation is an invasive medical procedure that may not be performed by chiropractors and the California Health Department's Infectious Disease Branch stated: "The practice of colonic irrigation by chiropractors, physical therapists, or physicians should cease. Colonic irrigation can do no good, only harm." The National Council Against Health Fraud agrees [12].



Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2010 :  09:49:14   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks, Kil. I read the read the Barrett piece -- it's excellent -- and started to include it, but then decided to keep it short and simple.

Great followup!




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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Hawks
SFN Regular

Canada
1383 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2010 :  09:54:40   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Hawks's Homepage Send Hawks a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Didn't any of you guys notice the most disgusting thing of all in this? In the picture in the opening post, the guy is holding his turd with his bare hands.

On a side note: some time in 1993(ish) i was studying in Missouri, USA (of all places). Walking into a large supermarket I was assaulted by displays of cakes that, apart from not needing refrigeration, seemed to consist mostly of food coloring. Next to these was a pallet of laxatives. Methinks that some people don't get enough fibres in their diet.

METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL
It's a small, off-duty czechoslovakian traffic warden!
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2010 :  10:36:31   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Hawks

Didn't any of you guys notice the most disgusting thing of all in this? In the picture in the opening post, the guy is holding his turd with his bare hands.

On a side note: some time in 1993(ish) i was studying in Missouri, USA (of all places). Walking into a large supermarket I was assaulted by displays of cakes that, apart from not needing refrigeration, seemed to consist mostly of food coloring. Next to these was a pallet of laxatives. Methinks that some people don't get enough fibres in their diet.
He's probably planning to proudly affix it to a plaque and mount it on the wall in his living room.

Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25829 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2010 :  11:17:01   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Hawks

Didn't any of you guys notice the most disgusting thing of all in this? In the picture in the opening post, the guy is holding his turd with his bare hands.
As my wife was fond of reminding me back when our child was still in diapers: it washes off.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2010 :  12:35:43   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Hawks

Didn't any of you guys notice the most disgusting thing of all in this? In the picture in the opening post, the guy is holding his turd with his bare hands.

On a side note: some time in 1993(ish) i was studying in Missouri, USA (of all places). Walking into a large supermarket I was assaulted by displays of cakes that, apart from not needing refrigeration, seemed to consist mostly of food coloring. Next to these was a pallet of laxatives. Methinks that some people don't get enough fibres in their diet.

Actually, no. He has it draped over a stick held with his other hand. I chose this photo over another the same for size considerations.

The important message is that this could not possibly be a normal stool. Filled with collected bowel refuse or not, it would never hold together in such a situation. As flim-flams go, this one is way short on credibility. But then, they don't need much of that feature. When you're main custom are those who believe "thinking critically" is a fatal brain tumor, you get plenty of slack.

Heh, defecation has always been a thriving business. Everyone wants to do it and those who fall behind schedule want badly to catch back up; thus the laxatives next to the all but uneatable junk. Good salesmanship!




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

Edited by - filthy on 03/02/2010 12:37:37
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H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2010 :  16:21:42   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Orac also wrote a piece awhile back about something called a "liver flush" that lures dupes with similar claims. A quack promoted a nostrum meant to purge the body of all the gallstones you aren't even aware you have. The protocol involves fasting on apple juice and berries for several days, then quaffing a large amount of olive oil with a bit of citrus juice. People who have followed this treatment have found weird lumps in their stool (yes, you're supposed to check). So what does gulping down all this stuff actually do? Here are the results of one woman's efforts:
A 40-year-old woman was referred to the outpatient clinic with a 3-month history of recurrent severe right hypochondrial pain after fatty food. (Note: Here "hypochondrial" means "below the ribcage,' not "hypochondriac.") Abdominal ultrasound showed multiple 1-2 mm gallstones in the gallbladder.

She had recently followed a "liver cleansing" regime on the advice of a herbalist. This regime consisted of free intake of apple and vegetable juice until 1800 h, but no food, followed by the consumption of 600 mL of olive oil and 300 mL of lemon juice over several hours. This activity resulted in the painless passage of multiple semisolid green "stones" per rectum in the early hours of the next morning. She collected them, stored them in the freezer, and presented them in the clinic.

Microscopic examination of our patient's stones revealed that they lacked any crystalline structure, melted to an oily green liquid after 10 min at 40°C, and contained no cholesterol, bilirubin, or calcium by established wet chemical methods. Traditional faecal fat extraction techniques indicated that the stones contained fatty acids that required acid hydrolysis to give free fatty acids before extraction into ether. These fatty acids accounted for 75% of the original material.

Experimentation revealed that mixing equal volumes of oleic acid (the major component of olive oil) and lemon juice produced several semi solid white balls after the addition of a small volume of a potassium hydroxide solution. On air drying at room temperature, these balls became quite solid and hard.

We conclude, therefore, that these green "stones" resulted from the action of gastric lipases on the simple and mixed triacylglycerols that make up olive oil, yielding long chain carboxylic acids (mainly oleic acid). This process was followed by saponification into large insoluble micelles of potassium carboxylates (lemon juice contains a high concentration of potassium) or "soap stones".

Orac summarizes:
In other words, the "stones" that liver cleansers are so proud of and go to such effort to strain their poo for after doing their flushes are not gallstones and were almost certainly the result of the actual flush itself! It makes perfect sense, if you think about it. These protocols usually involve fasting and then up to a half liter or more of olive oil at one time. That could easily provide the conditions for this sort of reaction to take place. Neat, isn't it? The very sign of "success" of the liver flush is something that has nothing to do with gallstones and everything to do with the results of the flush itself. Indeed, it's quite clear that, even if you don't have gallstones, if you do a liver flush and then look, you'll find things in your stool that very much look like gallstones due to saponified oil. (Now I know why pretty much every liver flush protocol includes large amounts of olive oil or similar oils plus epsom salts or orthophophoric acid and fruit juices).

It's a beautiful scam. People do these flushes, they see things that look to them like gallstones being "flushed" out, and they believe it works. Consequently, they keep doing it. Because these flushes involve materials that don't have to be purchased from a "healer" (although certainly many "healers" sell various "supplements" to "aid" liver flushes), they can be viewed more as a means of healers to demonstrate their skill and keep the patient coming (and going). It also serves as a way of "demonstrating" the efficacy of "detoxification." After all, if this "flush" appears to cause "gallstones" to be "flushed out," then perhaps the other detoxification altie woo will similarly "flush out toxins," as claimed and might be worth a try. (Liver cleanses might indeed be a gateway altie therapy.) To me the ironic thing about liver flushes is that they are so strongly advocated by alties, and alties frequently castigate "conventional" medicine for "iatrogenic diseases or complications" (iatrogenic=caused by doctors). What, then, can we call these "stones" coming out of people using liver flushes, but a case of i-altie-ogenic disease?

"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
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Randy
SFN Regular

USA
1987 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2010 :  16:39:32   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Randy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'll stick to my daily bowl full of Colon Blow cereal.

"We are all connected; to each other biologically, to the earth chemically, to the rest of the universe atomically."

"So you're made of detritus [from exploded stars]. Get over it. Or better yet, celebrate it. After all, what nobler thought can one cherish than that the universe lives within us all?"
-Neil DeGrasse Tyson
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