COMING IN AND GOING OUT

Most people think that what they see in the toilet is what they ate a couple of meals back. In fact the normal twentieth-century diet ensures that a lot gets left behind in the colon and doesn’t come out at all. Sticky refined starches that haven’t been digested properly by the pancreatic secretions, drugs and barium meal as well as catarrh-forming foods like dairy products, sugar and eggs get stuck and pasted onto the sides of the colon, turning it into encrusted mucus the weight of which often forces the wall of the colon outwards to form diverticular pockets. In some people this encrusted waste can cause the colon to weigh as much as 40 lb (18 kg) and to balloon out from the customary 4 in (10 cm) to as much as 9 in (23 cm).

All this decay is an ideal home for parasites. Worms outrank even cancer as the human race’s deadliest enemy and a few years ago it was estimated that some 2,000 million people were infected worldwide. One in four people in the world are infected with round-worms and autopsies reveal that 8o per cent of the people they are performed on have parasitical infestation. These para sites range in size from microscopic single-celled creatures to 24 ft (7.3 m) tapeworms. Some of my patients on a thorough bowel

cleanse are quite stunned to never having displayed the usual symptoms of anal irritation, dry lips during the day and wet at night, or a little pool of spit dribbled

worms coming out of themselves on the pillow at night- all of which are signs of worms. Worms love areas in the colon where there is little oxygen, like the caecum which colonic irrigation theory christens ‘the region of worms As well as tapeworms and round-worms there are hook-worms and wisplike¬†worms, all floating about in a variety of unpleasant places and eager to crawl into a comforting and nourishing body You can ingest them by eating unwashed food that has been grown in soil fertilized with manure that has not been properly composted. Soil in China is fertilized with human excreta and when having a colonic administered after my return from China 1 was not surprised to witness two quite large worms beating a hasty retreat from my colon. Tapeworms are acquired from poorly prepared pork (no wonder the writers of Leviticus banned pork products – a sensible precaution in the days before refrigerators) and from uncooked gefilte fish. They are the most difficult worms to get rid of and linger in the colon, slightly lowering iron absorption year by year but rarely going far enough to be fatal. (Obviously a parasite that actually killed its host would be rather self-defeating.)

Tapeworm evacuation

Fast on nothing but garlic, pumpkin seeds and water for two days. Then take a powerful herbal laxative like senna tea with a pinch of ginger in it. Then (and I know this sound hilarious) sit on a bucket with some warmed milk in it when it is time for the bowel to empty itself. Cold air stops the tapeworm from leaving and warm air entices it out. It is vital to ensure that the head with its digestive suckers which look like two big eyes emerges so inspect the contents of the bucket afterwards. Worms hate garlic, onions, cranberry and pumpkin seeds and above all they hate a clean, strong colon because there is no soft,

squelchy, tasty mucus for them to latch on to Worms can be detected reasonably easily in an iridology test, showing up as blackened dots in portions of the bowel area and are particularly prevalent in diverticular pockets, which are an ideal breeding-ground for them. I can understand why Pasteur, one of the first biologists to discover the path of such parasites,

took to examining the food he was served at friends’ houses with a portable microscope!

BENEFICIAL MICROLIFE

Apart from parasites there is a huge world of microlife in our

intestine. Every colon holds 3-4 lb (1.5-2 kg) of resident bacteria as indigenous flora. It is composed of 300-400 different species of bacteria whose activities affect your metabolism, physiology and biochemistry in ways that are both beneficial and harmful. So vital is this intestinal metabolic activity that it even exceeds the

liver in the wide range of its metabolic processes. These micro-organisms are both indigenous and transient. The former colonize particular ecological niches in the intestinal tract by sticking to the mucosal epithelium; the latter are ingested in food and drink and are constantly in transit from the mouth through to the anus. Together they make up nearly 40 per cent of the weight of the faces.

The bacteroides together with coliform bacilli and E. coli are the putrefactive bacteria responsible for the decaying matter in the colon. They like a diet full of protein and fat which accelerates the output of undesirable metabolites like bile salts, urea, phe nols, ammonia and other dietary degradation products which are all potentially harmful substances, doubly so if there is consti pation or impaired detoxification by the liver. A high population of bacteria bacteria is one of the main contributive factors in the development of all sorts of degenerative diseases like ulcerative colitis, diverticulosis, haemorrhoids and colonic cancer and most people have a ratio of 85 percent of these potentially harmful bacteria to 15 per beneficial bacteria.

The 15 per cent beneficial bacteria are the Bifido bacteria like Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Streptococcus thermophilus and En. enterococcus. These produce acetic, lactic and formic acid which lower the pH of the intestine, so preventing the colonization of fungus like Candida albicans (which causes thrush). When the percentage is better balanced, with 75 per cent of these ‘goodies’, peristalsis is stimulated, flushing out toxic bacterial metabolites and waste products in the faces, so checking putrefactive bacteria.

It is quite common for the elderly, who generally have a tired, worn-out stomach lining resulting in achlorhydria (meaning theunder-secretion of hydrochloric acid), to have too many of the bacteroides. Achlorhydria is also the result of consuming too much tannic acid in tea and coffee (yet another good reason to give them up) or of taking very hot or cold drinks or foods, as well of indulging in high-fat, high-protein diets which favour meat. Bifido bacteria flourish in lacto-vegetarian diets high in fibre and wholegrains.

Hypoglycaemia and diabetes, stress and sugar, all affect the amount of sugar available to the intestinal micro-organisms which in turn influence the growth and activity of sugar yeasts like the notorious Candida albicans.

Breast-feeding leads to a flora with a predominance of Bifido bacteria. In the process of birth the baby is exposed to micro- organisms from the mother’s vagina and intestinal tract and afterwards obtains these from the environment from being han dled. The bacteria which colonize the skin and the mucosal surfaces of the upper respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts make the beginning of a lifelong symbiosis between the human organ ism and the indigenous flora. Bottle-fed babies have a much higher density of bacteroides, clostridia and Lactobacillus ac dophilus with few of the benign Bifido bacteria. Breast-fed babies have acidic stools with a pH ranging from 5 to 5.5 which increases their capacity to resist infection by pathogenic bacteria. Bottle-fed babies have a faecal flora closer to those of adults in its consistency and odour, with a pH of 6-7. So breast milk clearly comes out tops Bifidogenic Ally as well as having other immunolo gical properties. And breast-fed babies maintain a stronger com ponent of Bifido bacteria as they grow up than their bottle-fed cousins. It seems that breast-feeding is the first and most vital Bifidogenic factor.

I have already been on my soapbox about the hidden doses of antibiotics we receive in our food. All antibiotics cause enormous quantitative and qualitative changes in the intestinal flora, creating a perfect seedbed for pathogenic microorganisms and actively encouraging the growth of Candida albicans. This is why live yoghurt (which cultivates benign bacteria in the colon) is commonly prescribed alongside antibiotics in Italy. lions in the atmosphere affect the growth of micro-organisms. It has long been recognized that wearing nylon tights and under wear predisposes women to vaginal thrush and wearing natural

fibre fabrics like silk or cotton goes some way to alleviating this disease. This is not just because natural fabrics encourage the proper circulation of air but because of the positive ions generated by the friction characteristic of man-made materials (negative ions, on the other hand, are health-giving). The radiation of the abdomen with gamma rays or X-rays upsets the normal microbial balance, as do sudden violent

changes in the weather.

A lot of women hold muscular tension in the abdomen, which hinders intestinal mobility, so affecting the microbial life of the intestine. I have found massage, abdominal yogic positions and regular use of the Pilates technique (a special form of exercise) very helpful in this respect. (See the Appendix for a contact address for the Pilates technique.) Loud continuous sounds also affect intestinal bacteria. An

interesting study recently conducted on some long-suffering mice

showed that exposing them to four hours of 72 decibel rock music

completely altered their intestinal flora, so avoid noisy discos and

prolonged rock concerts! The profound effect that stress has on intestinal ecology is a fascinating one. It doesn’t matter where the stress comes from; the stress response stimulates the release of adrenaline and cor tisol as the body alerts itself for ‘fight or flight’. These hormones induce a number of physiological changes, including the drying up of oral and gastric secretions, the retention of sodium chloride and the acceleration of potassium excretion, and raised blood sugar. All these reactions change the intestinal habitat, decreasing the micro-organic goodies and increasing the baddies. When you consider how much routine stress you are exposed to from bright lights, atmospheric pressure, noise, crowds and long journeys, and how much more is self-generated from fatigue, anger, anxiety, pain and fear, it makes you appreciate just how hard it is to generate the right balance of intestinal bacteria.

Finally, strong essential oils like marjoram, rosemary, sage, thyme, clove, cinnamon and mustard all inhibit the acid produc tion of lacto-bacteria, but interestingly after a while the bacteria adapt to the bacteriostatic effect of these essential oils, so that they can produce lactic acid. This is why Indians who crunch raw chillies are not particularly deficient in lacto-bacteria.