As we begin the discussion of the digestion,
assimilation and elimination functions we need to first understand the anatomy of
The digestive and elimination tract is one long tube, approximately 30
feet long. Also known as the alimentary canal, it includes the mouth, esophagus,
stomach, small intestine (duodenum, jejunum, and ileum), colon (cecum, ascending,
transverse, descending, and sigmoid) rectum, and anus.
The digestion process
begins in the mouth. When you chew, the salivary glands produce saliva to mix with
the food. The saliva enzymes (amylase) initiate the digestion of carbohydrates.
Saliva also lubricates the food for its travel down the nine inch long esophagus
through the cardiac sphincter to the stomach.
The stomach is a muscular sac with
a mucosa lining that secretes hydrochloric acid and the enzyme pepsin to help digest
food. These juices work toward digestion of proteins.
As food leaves the stomach,
it enters the small intestine through the pyloric valve, where it triggers the
release of hormones. The digestive hormones stimulate the liver and gall bladder to
release bile and stimulate the pancreas to release pancreatin. The liver and
pancreatic enzymes continue the process begun in the stomach of breaking down
carbohydrates and proteins, but they also start the breakdown of fats. The walls of
the duodenum also secrete digestive enzymes. The wall of the entire small intestine
consists of folds that resemble accordion pleats. These folds have even smaller
folds on their surface called villi. These increase the surface area of the small
intestine to about the size of a tennis court. From the duodenum, the chyme
continues on to the jejunum and finally the ileum. The small intestine is
where the majority of food absorption takes place. Each villus contains a capillary
network that introduces the digested food nutrients into your bloodstream. The
portal vein transports this digested food first to your liver and then if deemed
acceptable, onward into your entire circulatory system to feed every cell in your
Any remaining food particles then travel from the ileum in the small
intestine, through the ileocecal valve into the large intestine (colon). The colon
is about 5-6 feet long and 2 ? - 3 inches in circumference. It continues the
absorption of water, vitamins, and minerals from the intestinal contents. This
process dries the intestinal contents and turns them into waste for release. During
this process, due to the vacuum effect that occurs as the body absorbs the final
bits of water, vitamins, and minerals, waste material is drawn to the walls of the
colon. When there is inefficient peristaltic movement of the colon to move waste
out, or if there is inadequate amounts of fiber in the matter, waste material will
continue to build up along the walls of the colon until there may be only a small
opening for it to move through. This problem may manifest itself with symptoms such
as constipation, diarrhea, or very small bowel movements.
Ideally, one should
have a bowel movement after each meal, in other words two to three bowel movements a
day. Unfortunately, for many people, a single bowel movement daily is common, for
others it may be one every few days or even one a week. We have even had some say
that they will go two or three weeks between bowel movements! This ineffective and
inefficient cleansing of the bowels has been demonstrated to contribute to many
As you can see from the description of the digestive system, there
is much that the needs to be accomplished throughout each phase of the digestive
tract. As such, it is vitally important to keep the digestive system working
optimally. If there is a problem with the way that the stomach, small intestine or
colon works, then the body is unable to digest food properly. If the food is not
digested (broken down) properly then the body will be unable to assimilate the
It is important that we keep the digestive system working well.
There are several ways to accomplish this and each compliments the other. Together
they are much more efficient and effective than they could be individually.
of the ways to help the colon cleanse quickly and effectively is through colon
cleansing and hydration (sometimes referred to as colonics). Colon
Cleansing/Hydration is a safe, effective method of removing waste from the large
intestine, without the use of drugs. By introducing filtered and temperature
regulated water into the colon, the waste is softened and loosened, resulting in
evacuation through natural peristalsis. This process is repeated several times
during a session. It is best used in combination with adequate nutrient and fluid
intake as well as exercise. Today's sophisticated technology promotes both the
safety and sanitation of this popular cleansing practice.
It is vital, in order
to keep the colon clean, to get adequate fiber in the diet. When fiber is lacking,
the movement of food through the digestive system slows. With the sluggish movement
through the system, food remains for an extended period. This can cause a stagnation
of the food, which can result in the food literally putrefying and rotting in the
tract. When this happens, there can be a buildup on the wall of the digestive tract,
which can inhibit the release of digestive juices and/or block the absorption of
nutrients into the villi and thus the bloodstream, liver and cells. If the cells do
not assimilate the nutrients, then they will not have the materials needed to
rebuild, repair, and reproduce healthy cells. In this situation, the body has no
choice but to produce inferior cells. Eventually as the body produces more of these
inferior cells, it will result in inferior tissues, organs, organ systems, and final
a complete body breakdown.
This breakdown does not happen overnight, but over a
period, various symptoms may occur which can result in a variety of disease
processes being diagnosed from a medical standpoint.
When partaking of a
healthy diet, consisting of large amounts of mostly fresh raw fruits, vegetables, (few) whole
grains, raw nuts, and seeds, many people have found that it is possible reduce,
reverse, and in some cases eliminate this type of a problem due to the high amount
of fiber, unprocessed, and nutrient dense foods that are consumed.
most people do not take in enough fiber to offset the typical "Standard American
Diet" (SAD). To deal with this, we recommend our clients changing over to a whole foods diet with the elimination of processed
foods. By including adequate amounts of usable, easily digestible fiber in the diet, it is often possible to
prevent and reverse various colon problems.
For many people though, additional
fiber is not enough. If the body has the nutrients needed to build healthy cells,
then it will have access to what it needs to keep working towards a total, optimal
health situation, but only if the body is able to assimilate the nutrients. What
this can mean is that for some people, even though they eat an optimal diet, they
may still have health issues because they are not able to utilize the nutrients. For
most people, after many years of consuming the "SAD" foods, the body may have
difficulty actually breaking down food. In order to deal with this we suggest using
Digestive enzymes assist the body with the breakdown of
foods, thus making it easier to assimilate the nutrients into the bloodstream, into
the liver and then into every cell of the body. We use the enzymes with every cooked
meal. Many people experience the best results when taking them with raw meals and
between meals as well.
In addition, due to the highly processed foods that are
consumed, the delicate balance of friendly and unfriendly bacteria in the colon can
become unbalanced in favor of the unfriendly bacteria! Many of our clients find that
by adding a regimen of good, healthy, friendly bacteria, probiotics and digestive
enzymes that their digestive system seems to work much more efficiently by
decreasing the amount of gas, bloating, and cramping that they experience.
goal is to have total health, where every body system, every organ, every cell is
the healthiest that it can be. If that is your goal as well, I encourage you to call
us today and schedule your appointment for a personal, private consultation where we
can discuss your own situation and help you to find out what your choices are in
order to improve your quality of health and thus your quality of life.