“I have yet to see a well-designed study on colon cleansing in a reputable medical journal to support its health claims,” said Dr. Ranit Mishori, an associate professor of family medicine at Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C. And there’s definitely the potential for harm, especially with colonic hydrotherapy, Mishori added. In 2011, Mishori published a paper in The Journal of Family Practice, warning physicians about the possible side effects of colon cleansing , after she observed these dangers in two patients at her hospital and reviewed other case reports in the scientific literature. Mishori thinks cleanses are popular because they are marketed well with the idea that the regimens can get the bad stuff out of the body, and leave the good stuff behind. Psychologically, a cleanse may also expel some of the issues a person is struggling to overcome, such as weighing too much or feeling unwell, she said. [ 9 Healthy Habits You Can Do in 1 Minute (Or Less) Mishori does not oppose the use of complementary medicine (Mishori teaches mind-body medicine as well as meditation classes), but she said she’s troubled by claims about colon cleansing that are not substantiated by science. Live Science asked Mishori for her take on the seven health claims often made about colon cleansing practices. Claim: Cleansing pulls toxins out of the blood. “The body has two major organs whose job it is to neutralize toxins,” Mishori said. One is the liver, and the other is the kidneys. When the liver and kidneys are functioning well, the body is well equipped with its own mechanisms to filter out toxins, Mishori said. Detoxification is handled by the liver and the kidneys, and the waste products are eliminated through pee and poop . People also release some waste products through the skin, by sweating, and some through the lungs, by exhaling. The body is built to make all of this happen naturally, so there’s little that people need to do to enhance how these organs work, she said. Claim: Cleansing washes away the stool that accumulates and attaches to the lining of the colon, causing a toxic waste buildup.
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