Thursday, May 23, 2013

Wisdom of the Large Intestine

Many consider the large intestine, or colon, to be only an organ of elimination, much like the trashcan one has in the kitchen. This couldn’t be further from the truth. It has varied and important functions of digestion,  as well as support and protect our body. About 60% of the immune system is found in the intestines, so there is a connection between the body’s ability to fight infection and help us stay in a healthy condition, and the general health of the intestines, both large and small intestines.

Just below the stomach is the small intestine that is involved in further digestion and assimilation of nutrients. It is about 22 feet long and has little finger like structures called villi that do this important work. At the ileo-cecal valve, the small intestine connects to the large intestine where the bowl of the cecum and the appendix are located.

It is interesting to note that Duke University in 2007 thought they had discovered the purpose of the appendix. The article states, “. . .the appendix is a compartment well suited for maintaining beneficial or commensal microorganisms . . .” The study further said that is produces massive amounts of bacteria populating the human digestive system and is believed to protect the gut. Other scientists reviewing the paper said this theory makes sense.

These advances of scientific opinion resonate with my opinion of the appendix. I have never believed it was an evolutionary mutation that was worthless. This valuable organ acts like a bacteria factory cultivating good bacteria to be mixed with food stuff coming into the colon from the small intestine.

The challenge is maintaining this viable mix of microorganisms when medications, particularly antibiotics, are needed. This would render the appendix void of good bacteria. However, my research in probiotics offers an effective and efficient method of administration that brings the balance back to the colon rapidly.

When there are beneficial bacteria in the colon, the major functions of the organ are supported. These are the production of B-12 as well as Vitamin K, as our colon makes these nutrients. It also assimilates nutrients that are missed in the small intestine while blocking the re-absorption of toxins that were consumed in and on the food and fluids we had. It also is a recycling plant in that it absorbs bile to be reused in the digestion of fats as well as absorbs water to assist the body in hydration.

One must think of the large intestine as the final stage of the life cycle, being the decomposition portion. Just like what one does with vegetable scraps that turn it into compost for their gardens. This is the break down of food materials into compost due to the dark, moist, warm environment of the organ and the presence of bacteria.

When one has a healthy functioning colon, there is support for the liver, the kidneys, immune system and of course digestion. Understanding this gives a different perspective and respect for the final stage of digestion. A well functioning gastro-intestinal tract gives the body fuel and energy for all of our processes of life. The greater care we give our digestion, the better we function and the better we feel.

A sluggish body is often the signs of sluggish digestion that could also include the liver. Part of taking care of our digestion could include routine cleansing and re-establishing the correct balance of micro-organisms. Please consider an occasional colon cleanse, reflorastation, and possible parasite and liver cleanse. Your body deserves all the help you can give it. After all, if one doesn’t take care of their body, where are we going to live?

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