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The Colonic digestive system

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The Colonic digestive system
What happens in the colon?

The human body produces enzymes to digest proteins, fats and starch.
A large proportion of the food we eat contains material that we are unable to process with our own enzymes.
These components of food arrive into the Cecum from the small intestine via the Ileocecal valve and become food for the bacteria (and some fungi) that live and thrive in the colon.

The epithelial cells of the large intestine do not produce any digestive enzymes and most of the material arriving here from the ileum cannot be digested by any human digestive enzymes.

However, the large intestine contains huge numbers of beneficial bacteria, known as the gut microflora, which produce enzymes that are able to digest and make use of a large proportion of the material by a process called fermentation.

Fermentation in the colon is the enzymatic breakdown and utilization of undigested foodstuff by microbes. This process takes place to a small extent throughout the gastrointestinal tract but with a greater gusto in the colon due to the presence here of large numbers of microbes.

The end products of microbial digestion of polysaccharides are volatile fatty acids, lactic acid, methane, hydrogen and carbon dioxide.

The colonic bacteria synthesize vitamins K and some B vitamins. Vitamin K can be absorbed into the body through the colon and is a valuable contribution.

Fermentation of some polysaccharides and resistant starch leads to the production of short chain fatty acids (acetic, propionic and Butyric acids). These acids can be metabolised by the intestinal epithelial cells and may also be absorbed by diffusion into the bloodstream and used as fuel.
Butyric acid is known to be the preferred fuel of the cells lining the colon (colonocytes) and may contribute towards the health of the colon. Propionic acid stimulates the musculature of the colon and contributes towards gut motility.

Fermentation by certain undesirable bacteria of sulphur containing foods (proteins), bile acids, Enzymes, mucus and sloughed epithelial cells produces salts and gases that may be harmful to the human body.
The gases Skatole, indole, Mercaptans and hydrogen sulphide contribute towards the foul smell of faeces. Hydrogen sulphide is a toxic gas and can cause inflammation of the epithelium of the gastrointestinal tract.
Degradation of bile salts by certain bacteria can lead to carcinogenic substances that may harm the cells of the colon.

Bacterial action on preservatives, colourants and other non food chemicals in food (nitrates and sulphates) and on bile acids and bilirubin from the digestive process may be converted to carcinogens.

How to heal and prevent Bowel disorders

Diet is not about what you should NOT eat, it’s about what you should include in the diet that matters.
As long as your diet includes the correct balance of plant foods containing soluble fibre, insoluble fibre and resistant starch your colon will produce the perfectly formed stool. The important next step is to evacuate this stool without straining so that the body does not suffer from the pressures created each time the bowel is emptied.

In order to heal and prevent bowel disorders you need to make lifestyle changes that last the rest of your life time.

1. Include more fluids and plant food containing soluble fibre, insoluble fibre and resistant starch in the diet so that the perfectly formed stool will be made in the colon and beneficial bacteria will flourish and eliminate disease causing bacteria and fungi.

2. Evacuate the perfectly formed stool by adopting the squat posture to eliminate the need to strain during bowel movements.

It is not possible or safe to squat on the modern raised toilet seat installed in all western homes and it is impossible to squat for any length of time if you have not done this from childhood onwards. This makes the use of any raised platforms impossible to adapt to.

The SquattLooStool is designed to allow you to adopt the squat posture while seated comfortably on your raised toilet seat.
The single best and easiest lifestyle change you will ever make, leading to a healthier body.