4

votes

Does death really "begin in the colon?"

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 01, 2011 at 9:30 PM

Does death really "begin in the colon?"

Ok, that aphorism might be an overstatement- I would more say 'disease' instead of death, cause we're all going to die someday, but I'd rather live that time in a healthy state till the end.

After copious (but seemingly never enough) research, reading and generally just doing my best to connect the dots.....

I've come to strongly suspect that one of the most important foundations of our health is the presence of a nutrient dense diet free of toxins and an optimally functioning digestive system that can assimilate these nutrients and put them into proper use in the body. (not exactly rocket science, I know!)

In this view, the manifestation of pathology/disease states/symptoms comes about as a direct result of digestive problems 'upstream' from the other bodily systems. Many issues that seem to be unconnected to the digestive system are actually intimately related to it's malfunction.

Some examples:
-Malabsorption leading to nutrient deficiencies causes other systems to be shortchanged in their resources and thus their abilities to perform their jobs. My Celiac mother's extreme osteoporosis, hair loss and macular degeneration to name a few...

-Improper diet containing toxic/detrimental substances like glutens in grains, lectins, etc can lead to intestinal permeability and potential immune and auto-immune issues (yaaay celiac, lupus, diabetes 1, lymphatic and other cancers, etc!)

-Consumption of a diet high in processed foods and refined sugars can lead both to a shift in gut biotics (away from our vitamin B and K producing lil pals and towards candida, pathogenic bacteria, etc) and to blood sugar disregulation, inflammation and stress- leading to a parasympathetic state in which your digestion is further compromised in a downward spiral.

-Excess sugars will also take up more b vitamins in their processing.- further shortchanging the other bodily systems down the line.

The list goes on-and-on-and-on... But you guys are smart enough to continue the list for yourself and this post is getting too long...on to the question(s):

So, what's your take?- does "death [disease] begin in the colon"?. If not in the digestive tract, then where?

- And if so, does the version of the Paleo diet you are currently on optimally address/improve your digestive health?

(ie: is just whatever bare bones paleo diet you adhere to enough to optimally readjust your digestive health or do you feel the need to add gut healing protocols like probiotics, versions of GAPS, Art Ayers info, etc?)

Cf599755619b0588e5e6ed4cb5cef50d

(593)

on June 07, 2012
at 04:44 PM

No my dad rarely ate sugar, all I can remember is him occasionally indulging in pistachio ice cream. I think he has probably crazy bowel symptoms for years and just chose to ignore it and never go to the doctor. I'm thinking I should start getting colonoscopies even at age 30. And since I last posted, I have begun to heal my gut flora more, trying to drink kombucha often, eat yogurt, liverwurst, etc. It has helped my digestion a lot.

5aa057aabe02e83299e1e2137eab05e2

(108)

on June 06, 2012
at 01:57 AM

I posted on a related thread, my FIL was Paleo before anyone called it that. He hunted, fished , caribou and elk from Alaska, salmon also, ate mackerel, herring, lots of cabbage and potatoes were his starch - very few grains ( he was Lithuanian) lean, muscular, strong - and dead at 52 from stomach cancer.

957a563c7e4a165663fd3c71207c39da

on September 14, 2011
at 03:02 AM

what is it about nuts that messes up the colon? the phytates? curious!

696079a860ef54810406ae25e4650863

(1623)

on July 03, 2011
at 08:24 PM

Also, looking back at my question in this light I realize I made too free use of the word 'toxins'- After living Paleo (and as a celiac) for a while now I naturally view several SAD substances as 'toxic' to me, but I'm also somewhat skeptical about the loosely definesd alternative health paradigm of 'detoxification'

696079a860ef54810406ae25e4650863

(1623)

on July 03, 2011
at 08:19 PM

Thanks for the interesting article- definitely good.

696079a860ef54810406ae25e4650863

(1623)

on July 03, 2011
at 07:52 PM

"death begins in the mouth"- love it! I agree that the epigentic expression is probably much more key to our overall health than the underlying code except in extreme cases.

149af6e19a06675614dfbb6838a7d7c0

(3202)

on July 02, 2011
at 03:15 PM

Ok....eat a high fat/moderate protein/low fat diet. Whole foods please. Your risk of all disease will drop by 75%. You are not doomed. You are not your parents. It is not your genes that determine health but how they express themselves. Eat Paleo, no sugar, take herbs like turmeric, ginger, coffee, red clover daily. Death begins in the mouth.

696079a860ef54810406ae25e4650863

(1623)

on July 01, 2011
at 11:53 PM

Cool- thanks for the input. By the way, I'm not looking for a 'magic bullet' for disease- just noting that the body is an interconnected system and there is a seemingly high correlation betweenpoor digestive health and poor overall health. Of course not every disease is due to diet/digestion, but it does seem to be a significant causative factor in many health issues- I would argue that even if it's not directly causative, a good diet will help you at least cope better with genetic or pathogen based disease enough so that I would definitely consider it something pretty important to address...

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on July 01, 2011
at 11:26 PM

Was your dad into sugar at all?

696079a860ef54810406ae25e4650863

(1623)

on July 01, 2011
at 11:20 PM

Interesting that digestive issues were so prevalent among the elderly. When I lived in Germany I was interviewing elderly WW2 survivors for a paper and they all also seemed to have moderately to severly compromimised digestion (we talked about a LOT of things- I made a lot of friends by visiting often and I really miss them)Anyway,it would be interesting to do a study among nursing home residents correlating overall health/disease types with types of digestive complications. Correlation is not causation.... But still...

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5 Answers

2
Cf599755619b0588e5e6ed4cb5cef50d

on July 01, 2011
at 10:40 PM

my father passed away from colon cancer at the age of 52. this was in 1995, and he never went to doctors and even then, colonoscopies were in their early days of use. i'm sure he had symptoms, like but chose to ignore them when the disease could have been dealt with much earlier. he died two years after being diagnosed, and towards the end had a colostomy bag, and all of that other awfulness.

the strange thing is though, as far as i can remember he lived a semi-paleo life compared to others. he ran every morning, and every night my mom grilled him lambs or steaks or swordfish, with sides of things like peas, green beans, or potatoes.

he was very lean and muscular, but maybe he didn't eat enough fat, maybe he ate too much processed bread. and some things that probably really contributed to his cancer were his fondness of wine and smoking of cigarettes quite often. also i think he would eat like a bag of mixed nuts a day, which i've read can really mess up your colon.

all in all i'm worried ive inherited bad colon genetics, and am trying to use paleo to prevent colon cancer and all around live a healthy, primal life. i believe strongly that digestive problems, even 'masked' ones, are the causers of all the things you listed (cancers diabetes, celiac, osteoporosis, arthritis, hair loss, sight loss, vein/circulatory problems...) and we should all by trying to maintain a healthy gut flora. i don't feel the need to add probiotics to ward off cancers. i have had a lot of problems with constipation when i was young and being raised a SAD-diet, but have been doing a lot better thanks to paleo, exercise, eating more fat, etc.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on July 01, 2011
at 11:26 PM

Was your dad into sugar at all?

957a563c7e4a165663fd3c71207c39da

on September 14, 2011
at 03:02 AM

what is it about nuts that messes up the colon? the phytates? curious!

5aa057aabe02e83299e1e2137eab05e2

(108)

on June 06, 2012
at 01:57 AM

I posted on a related thread, my FIL was Paleo before anyone called it that. He hunted, fished , caribou and elk from Alaska, salmon also, ate mackerel, herring, lots of cabbage and potatoes were his starch - very few grains ( he was Lithuanian) lean, muscular, strong - and dead at 52 from stomach cancer.

Cf599755619b0588e5e6ed4cb5cef50d

(593)

on June 07, 2012
at 04:44 PM

No my dad rarely ate sugar, all I can remember is him occasionally indulging in pistachio ice cream. I think he has probably crazy bowel symptoms for years and just chose to ignore it and never go to the doctor. I'm thinking I should start getting colonoscopies even at age 30. And since I last posted, I have begun to heal my gut flora more, trying to drink kombucha often, eat yogurt, liverwurst, etc. It has helped my digestion a lot.

1
149af6e19a06675614dfbb6838a7d7c0

on July 03, 2011
at 03:39 PM

For those of you who want a great read on the subject, Evolify.com led me to this.

http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/fashionable-toxins/#more-12750

I am "Top Siting" www.Sciencebasedmedicine.org. After I read the article and watched the mentioned video I had to shower, brush, sanitize, floss, scrub and sleep for 8 hours. You'll see...

696079a860ef54810406ae25e4650863

(1623)

on July 03, 2011
at 08:19 PM

Thanks for the interesting article- definitely good.

696079a860ef54810406ae25e4650863

(1623)

on July 03, 2011
at 08:24 PM

Also, looking back at my question in this light I realize I made too free use of the word 'toxins'- After living Paleo (and as a celiac) for a while now I naturally view several SAD substances as 'toxic' to me, but I'm also somewhat skeptical about the loosely definesd alternative health paradigm of 'detoxification'

1
149af6e19a06675614dfbb6838a7d7c0

on July 02, 2011
at 03:08 PM

Does death really "begin in the colon?" Only if your nose is there too.

696079a860ef54810406ae25e4650863

(1623)

on July 03, 2011
at 07:52 PM

"death begins in the mouth"- love it! I agree that the epigentic expression is probably much more key to our overall health than the underlying code except in extreme cases.

149af6e19a06675614dfbb6838a7d7c0

(3202)

on July 02, 2011
at 03:15 PM

Ok....eat a high fat/moderate protein/low fat diet. Whole foods please. Your risk of all disease will drop by 75%. You are not doomed. You are not your parents. It is not your genes that determine health but how they express themselves. Eat Paleo, no sugar, take herbs like turmeric, ginger, coffee, red clover daily. Death begins in the mouth.

1
66974b2cb291799dcd661b7dec99a9e2

(11121)

on July 01, 2011
at 11:01 PM

Well if health begins in the gut then it stands to reason death can begin there too. If the gut is diseased or damaged or the flora is out of sync one can die a slow death, perhaps no symptoms for decades then the body hits a wall and says 'I can't take this anymore' and now a disease is diagnosed.

I had a family member in a nursing home far a number of years and one of the most prevalent issues for the elderly was digestive issues.

696079a860ef54810406ae25e4650863

(1623)

on July 01, 2011
at 11:20 PM

Interesting that digestive issues were so prevalent among the elderly. When I lived in Germany I was interviewing elderly WW2 survivors for a paper and they all also seemed to have moderately to severly compromimised digestion (we talked about a LOT of things- I made a lot of friends by visiting often and I really miss them)Anyway,it would be interesting to do a study among nursing home residents correlating overall health/disease types with types of digestive complications. Correlation is not causation.... But still...

-3
425aa4bfb79556ed50ea693c3edd7e13

(609)

on July 01, 2011
at 11:17 PM

Stop looking for magic. This answer isn't exactly new - people have been asserting such simplistic, feel good answers for 100+ years.

BRCA1 and BRCA2 hav nothing to do with diet but the disease they'll cause is going to kill a woman just the same.

696079a860ef54810406ae25e4650863

(1623)

on July 01, 2011
at 11:53 PM

Cool- thanks for the input. By the way, I'm not looking for a 'magic bullet' for disease- just noting that the body is an interconnected system and there is a seemingly high correlation betweenpoor digestive health and poor overall health. Of course not every disease is due to diet/digestion, but it does seem to be a significant causative factor in many health issues- I would argue that even if it's not directly causative, a good diet will help you at least cope better with genetic or pathogen based disease enough so that I would definitely consider it something pretty important to address...

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