Does Fasting Cleanse the Colon?

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Fasting can sometimes cleanse the colon when fluids are included, but generally fasting will not cure constipation. Learn to cleanse the colon safely with information from a registered and licensed dietitian in this free video on healthy eating.

Part of the Video Series: Health & Nutrition
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Video Transcript

My name is Christine Marquette, and I'm a registered and licensed dietitian with Marquette Nutrition and Fitness. And I'm going to answer the question, does fasting cleanse the colon? It actually depends. Very often fasting can cleanse the colon, but it depends on the current state of your colon. If you've been constipated, and you just quit eating, you go on a strict fast, it not, it is not necessarily going to cleanse your colon, you would really need to do something to promote a bowel movement. So rather than just a strict fast, you would need some types of fluids, something that would actually get your bowel movements started. So, often times different types of juices can get that process started. A lot of times people will refer to a fast as a juice fast, because they're not eating any solid foods. And, in that case yes, it can actually cleanse your colon. And by cleanse your colon I simply mean, remove any, any food that is still remaining in your digestive tract. In your colon and your small intestine as well. Very often when people have to have a colonoscopy done, they actually do have to avoid solid foods. They're put on a clear liquid diet for a day, and they're given various beverages to take that actually stimulate their colon to empty. So, that is a form of fasting. Again it's not a complete fast, because some, some liquid food, some semi solid food such as a gelatin are still ingested. But, it does actually cleanse the colon in a sense that it, the colon is completely emptied out, there is very little residue left in there. If you are still drinking plenty of water, that will help essentially wash out any remaining debris that may be in your colon. But, for a lot of people again, if they've been constipated, and they just go on a true fast, they don't eat anything, they don't drink anything, there isn't going to be any way to stimulate their colon to empty. So in that case, just a direct simple fast would not necessarily cleanse the colon.

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