If you walk into any drug store, you’ll see multiple shelves lined with a colorful array of laxative options. From bottles to powders to tablets, the number of choices is mind-boggling. And that’s just the ones sold over the counter; laxative drugs are widely prescribed and frequently used.
All of this confirms the prevalence of constipation, a condition that is not only inconvenient, but can have a profound impact on your health, including your bone health.
If you suffer from occasional or chronic constipation and would like to avoid taking bone-damaging laxatives, many of which can create an unhealthy dependence and are quite toxic, then you’ll want to read today’s post on natural, bone-healthy, effective alternatives to OTC and prescribed laxatives.
At this point, you might be wondering…
What Is The Problem With Laxatives?
Because they are so common and doctors consider all of them “safe,” it’s easy to assume there’s nothing wrong with taking laxatives whenever you want to (or your doctor tells you to). But the regular use of laxatives – particularly the stimulant type – can cause you to become dependent on their continual use.
Stimulant laxatives work by causing intestinal contractions, which can be very painful and ultimately inflict damage on the large intestine. According to a 2003 study:
“…stimulant laxatives can cause structural damage to surface epithelial cells that line the rectum.”1
These harsh laxatives can create dependence as the bowels rely more and more on artificial stimulation in order to move.
Another common type of laxative causes the bowel to absorb water, softening the stool and allowing for easier passage. These laxatives are typically taken as a granular powder stirred into liquid and drunk, and they have no taste and little noticeable texture. But as benign as these laxatives seem, they are made from a toxic chemical known as propylene glycol.
Propylene glycol begins as ethylene glycol, which is strung together into a long polymer chain to become propylene glycol (PEG). Ethylene glycol is a known toxin, and now PEG laxatives have a warning posted on the label: ingestion of propylene glycol (PEG) may result in “neuropsychiatric events.”
That means the rather alarming fact that…
Laxatives Can Affect Your Brain…And More
“Neuropsychiatric events” are the FDA’s euphemistic way of referring to autism, Alzheimer’s, depression, dementia, and other devastating neurological conditions. PEG is a neurotoxin, causing problems in two ways: by directly damaging cells, and by causing malnutrition. The latter is particularly problematic with regard to bone health, because nutrient absorption is the very basis for rejuvenating bones through a pH-balanced, nutrition-based diet.
As if that weren’t frightening enough, PEG ingestion in also connected to kidney damage and urticaria (hives),2 as well as perforations of the esophagus. Savers undoubtedly know that functional kidneys are indispensible for bone health.
According to the leading manufacturer of PEGs, they have a multitude of uses: as a plasticizer in adhesives and other materials, in ceramics, industrial lubricants, and toilet bowl cleaners, and to prevent drying and shrinkage of wood3 (to name a few).
The bottom line is, PEG is highly toxic and is not meant to be ingested.
Thankfully, there’s a better way that not only avoids harming your bones; the following alternatives actually help build and nourish your bones and whole body.
Bone-Healthy Alternatives To Toxic Laxatives
Constipation is a matter of healthful digestion. Bowel movements are your body’s way of ridding itself of poisons, so healthful elimination is absolutely crucial for your bone health. Thankfully, there are quite a few delicious foods – many of them Foundation Foods in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program – that can aid and soothe this vital body process to promote healthful elimination and optimal nutrient absorption. So if you’re on the Program, chances are you’re already getting plenty of these foods.
Remember, all of the following laxative alternatives should be accompanied by drinking plenty of pure water. Your bowels need water to soften stools and process nutrients, and your bones need hydration for healthy remodeling.
So get your glass of water, and let’s get started with two sweet, alkalizing fruits that have been around since antiquity.
- Figs and Raisins*
Raisins are excellent sources of the Foundation Supplements boron and silicon, and both figs and raisins contain calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Like their equally-beneficial cousin, the prune, figs and raisins are good sources of fiber. A note about prunes – they’ve been hailed as a “miracle food” in the recent past4, but the key to their reputation as bone-loss-reversers is found in their high antioxidant polyphenol content. Plenty of fruits and vegetables contain these important antioxidants, including figs and raisins (and they’re alkalizing, while prunes are acidifying).
- Seeds* and Nuts*
Seeds and nuts make delicious snack foods that are excellent at improving digestion. Sunflower, sesame, and pumpkin seeds contain magnesium, copper, and zinc (pumpkin seeds also have bone-healthy manganese), and flax seeds contain calcium.
Almonds boast calcium, boron, copper, and silicon; and unlike other nutritious nuts, almonds are alkalizing.
- Sweet Potatoes*
These orange root vegetables contain lots of fiber, beta-carotene, and Vitamin B6, as well as bone-building manganese and magnesium. Both B6 and magnesium naturally and gently encourage intestinal contractions, and these nutrients also promote neurological health (in direct contrast to PEG-containing laxatives).
- Cooked Pumpkin*
Pumpkins are a Foundation Food for silicon, and their sweet orange flesh also contains magnesium, Vitamin A, calcium, potassium, and fiber. You can include cooked pumpkin in baked goods, smoothies, and soups.
Delicious and widely available, greens like kale, collards, chard, beet greens, and spinach are excellent constipation remedies. These nutritious, leafy vegetables are also some of the best sources of plant-based, organic calcium. Greens make flavorful additions to soups, salads, and stir-fries.
- Beans* and Legumes*
While most beans are acidifying, the humble and delicious lima bean is alkalizing, and just as good a constipation remedy as its acidifying cousins. Containing no fewer than 12 Foundation Supplements, lima beans can be eaten cold in salads, pureed into dips, and cooked into soups.
Green beans and peas are also alkalizing, and contain bone-smart Vitamin K and magnesium. Green beans also offer folate and Vitamin B2, and green peas contain copper, zinc, and are a low-calorie source of Omega-3 fatty acids.
Rich in Vitamins K and C, broccoli is an alkalizing cruciferous vegetable that’s full of fiber. It also contains folate, Omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, and calcium. Like many cruciferous vegetables, broccoli is an exceptional detoxifier, and not just because it helps cleanse your bowels. Broccoli contains valuable phytonutrients that promote your body’s own detoxifying enzymes.
Broccoli is not the only Foundation Food with cleansing properties. Foods like sour cherries, artichokes, grapefruit, apples, and carrots all have various cleansing properties that give them a place in OsteoCleanse™: The 7 Day Bone Building Accelerator.
OsteoCleanse™ Includes Specific Foods That Cleanse And Support The Body’s Detoxification Process
While cleansing the body is important for bone health, the concept can seem intimidating. But cleansing with OsteoCleanse™ is not the same as fasting; you don’t need to starve yourself, nor do you take tablets or capsules that “clean you out.” And there are certainly no harsh laxatives involved!
Instead, OsteoCleanse™ is a 7-day journey rich in Foundation Foods chosen for their cleansing benefits: artichokes for liver health, parsley for kidney support, broccoli and arugula for enzymatic detoxification, and onions, grapefruit, and red grapes for quelling inflammation. Of course, these are just a few of the many varied foods in OsteoCleanse™, all of which have been scientifically proven to cleanse and support key detoxification organs and processes.
Accelerated Bone Remodeling In Just 7 Days!
Discover how OsteoCleanse™ can flush osteoporosis drugs and other bone-damaging toxins from your system – in just seven days.
And one of the best “side effects” of OsteoCleanse™ is improved digestion, which includes better bowel health.
Till next time,
1 Wald, A. “Is chronic use of stimulant laxatives harmful to the colon?” J Clin Gastroenterol. May-June 2003. 36(5): 386-9. Web. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12702977
2 “Citizen Petition to Investigate Polyethylene Glycol 2250 Product Safety for Use with Pediatric Patients.” June 6, 2012. PDF. http://www.pharmamedtechbi.com/~/media/Supporting%20Documents/The%20Tan%20Sheet/20/28/Polyethylene_glycol_citizen_petn_120603.pdf
3 “Carbowax Polyethylene Glycols: Innovation, Performance, Flexibility and Quality from the Global Leader in PEGs.” Dow Chemical. PDF. http://msdssearch.dow.com/PublishedLiteratureDOWCOM/dh_0865/0901b8038086527b.pdf?filepath=polyglycols/pdfs/noreg/118-01789.pdf&fromPage=GetDoc
4 Hooshmand, Shirin and Arjmandi, Bahram H. “Viewpoint: Dried plum, an emerging functional food that may effectively improve bone health.” Ageing Research Reviews 8(2009) 122-127.