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A colon cleanse is a supplemental routine that is intended to increase your body’s ability to excrete solid waste from your colon. If your diet isn’t exactly what it should be, you might be afraid that you’re accumulating toxins or waste products in your gastrointestinal tract, and this is why people turn to colon cleanses.
This 14-day routine has a solid balance of laxatives, fiber, probiotics, and herbal extracts designed to soothe the gut. It’s a strong pick if your goal is supporting your gut bacteria, especially if you are starting a diet to lose weight. There’s very little to complain about with this colon cleanse supplement.
Colon cleanse supplements are also a much safer and preferable alternative to a mechanical colon cleanse, also sometimes referred to as a colon irrigation. In this procedure, your colon is flushed with a liquid solution. However, according to the Mayo Clinic, such procedures are very risky, and have been associated with stomach pain, diarrhea, and damage to the rectum (1).
While colon cleanse supplements are also not without potential side effects, the severity of these side effects is thought to be far lower and less frequent than the side effects associated with mechanical colon cleansing. If you are thinking of a colon cleanse, opting for a supplemental product is probably a safer bet than a mechanical procedure.
All else equal, it’s far better to rely on a tried and tested ingredient like senna, versus less well-understood laxative herbs. The risk with these other kinds of ingredients is that they may not work, or they may work too well and make your body reliant on them to have a bowel movement.
The last thing you want when you’re trying to clean out your digestive tract is to have unnecessary extras in the supplement you are taking. After evaluating the quality of the herbal ingredients in the colon cleanse supplements on our list, we turned our attention to important extras, like probiotics and prebiotics.
The use of probiotics also makes sense in the context of the overall goal of a colon cleanse. You are trying to flush out your system and remove the “bad stuff” in your colon, but what are you going to replace it with? Probiotic bacteria can help repopulate your colon during a cleanse.
Using a colon cleanse, even an herbal supplement-based one, is not without its risks. The biggest one is that you’ll become reliant on the laxative effects for your bowel movements, and will get constipation as soon as you stop using your colon cleanse supplement. The best way to fight this risk is to only use the colon cleanse for a short period of time, then cycle off it.
Another risk is an adverse gastrointestinal reaction to the herbal supplements included in a colon cleanse. A lot of supplements use obscure, untested herbal remedies that you may not react to well, especially if you already have a sensitive gastrointestinal tract. Unfortunately, this is going to be a highly individual topic, so you’ll have to test the supplement you are using and see how you react to it.
Children who are obese, for example, are much more likely to have constipation compared to children who have a healthy weight (12). A: A colon cleanse shouldn’t hurt, at least when it’s done with a supplement that is safe. Mechanical colon cleansing can be painful, both during the procedure and afterwards—case studies point to stomach pain and cramping, as well as damage to the tissue of the colon, as potential side effects of mechanical colon irrigation.
Even with a supplement-based cleanse, there is a risk of dependency if you take colon cleanse supplements too often. If your body becomes reliant on a laxative supplement in a colon cleanse to have bowel movements, you can have painful bowel movements if you get constipated. The best way to avoid this it to only take a colon cleanse supplement as it’s intended—for a relatively brief amount of time.
The idea of “toxins” has some basis in truth; early research indicated that having large and regular bowel movements may help reduce the risk of colon cancer, by diluting the bile acids that accumulate from your intestines (13). However, this effect is a lifelong consequence of regular bowel movements, which are more about a healthy diet, physical activity, the presence of healthy gut bacteria, and high fiber intake.
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Colon cleanses are supplements that help improve digestive system functioning. Since your colon is an integral part of your digestive health, a colon cleanse can help you with constipation, irregular bowel movements, and weight loss. Below, you’ll find the top colon cleanse supplements on the market, ranked and reviewed by our expert health panel.
This is a simple and effective colon cleanse that has probiotics to relieve bloating, constipation, and improve overall gut health. What we like: It eliminates the extra weight your bowels hold onto by stimulating your intestine, which flattens your belly, prevents constipation, relieves bloating and gas, and will give you a boost in energy.
Flaws: Your chances of dehydration are greater with this colon cleanse. If you want to improve your digestive health, then you’ll want to take a colon to cleanse supplement. These supplements help with your digestion by treating irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and they can improve your bowel movement and prevent constipation and diarrhea.
Colon cleansing is typically a medical procedure that involves a tube being inserted into your rectum to flush through liquids, such as water, herbs, or coffee. This is usually used before a colonoscopy to flush your colon with fluids to get rid of waste and bacteria that can be toxic for your body.
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