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Meat, colon length, colon cancer, that old chestnut

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  • Meat, colon length, colon cancer, that old chestnut

    I was just searching around for stuff on Mark's site, and saw this comment from a reader:

    I can’t resist, although I have commented on being vegatarian previously. I am 71 and have been a vegetarian for 15 years. I did it originally because of marrying a vegan lady, but then I (sumultaneously) got colon cancer and eventually learned that colon causing polyps were no longer forming inside. Previous to veget. diet my colon could have as many as 8 polyps a year; after becoming vegetarian, I have never had another polyp (in ~15 years). Also, I had an oncologist tell me at an annual exam that meat is the main cause of colon cancer. Lastly, I learned that the human colon is some 16+ ft. long, yet a carnivorous cat (all cats?) like a lion might have only a 6 – 8 ft colon. Our problem is the meat, slow to digest, stays inside too long. A cat dumps it much faster and doesn’t suffer as many consequences (that we know of).
    But I did enjoy your column, and I plan to check out and watch the problems with too many grains and sugars. My weight? 155 – 160 at 5′10″ and always has been since high school. Health? Great! with no problems and especially no medication, no pain pills and no soft drinks! Ah – life is easy.
    So, I'm wondering why this guy saw his polyps had stopped showing up after he ditched meat. I'm assuming he still ate grains and sugars because he doesn't mention ditching those. Also, I've heard the bit about meat decaying in our intestines/colon and causing problems, but I've also heard the contrary, that meat is completely dissolved & absorbed fairly quickly..but that can't be, if it were ALL completely absorbed, doesn't that mean there would be no waste product?

    Someone clue me in on this stuff, from a scientific standpoint. Thanks!

  • #2
    there was a post similar to this one some where else on here. most people dismissed the notion saying it was similar to your mom telling you that if you swallowed a watermelon seed it would grow watermelons in your tummy...i'm not so sure, but am definitely curious. i have been reading "the tao of sex, health, and longevity" - a book sisson cites in his book and lists for recommended reading. it's very interesting, and it explains the eating practices of those who follow the taoist lifestyle. they believe that meat ingested with other things namely starches, sugars, milk etc will leave the meat undigested to putrify in your tummy....yikes. now, the tao is ancient ancient stuff. i have no idea whether it's true or not, but would like to find out too. they talk about the ancient tao sages who were writing this stuff lived to be 111 years old, i guess they were on to something
    i will maintain the truth
    i knew naturally as a child
    i won't forfeit my creativity
    to a world that's all laid out for me
    i'll look at everything around me
    and i will vow to bear in mind
    that all of this was just someone's idea
    it could just as well be mine - ani difranco

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    • #3
      I think it has more to do with the bacteria in the gut (both lower and upper GI). The bug population demographics of your gut is determined by the food you eat. Both the type of food you eat and the gut bug population determine the health of not just your gut, but your whole body.
      “It is a truism that almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creeds into law if it acquires the political power to do so, and will follow it by suppressing opposition, subverting all education to seize early the minds of the young, and by killing, locking up, or driving underground all heretics.”
      —Robert A. Heinlein

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      • #4
        I asked a similar question about meat and the colon. I was told that meat never enters the colon. Anyways... I feel a billion times better ever since I went primal 3 months ago.
        Find me at aToadontheRoad.com. Cheers!

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        • #5
          yes our guts are longer than a big cat's (who is purely carnivorous), but they are on the short side for animals as a whole, much shorter than the purely vegetarian animals in nature. we are omnivores, and most of our waste is the fiber from veggies, water, bacteria, and probably some yams and potatoes or whatever your carb source is, and (maybe?) some fat. meat does not clog your colon or cause polyps. my mother has to have them removed fairly often, and she eats very little meat, as she thinks thats where they come from too. They are extremely hereditary, so hopefully i will not have to deal with it. I plan on being uber strong and healthy for the rest of my life so polyps can kiss my ass, pun intended!

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          • #6
            Here's an article that compares the digestive tract of a human to that of a sheep and that of a dog. I'm not sure how reliable some of his information is, but it's an interesting read:

            http://www.second-opinions.co.uk/car...omparison.html

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            • #7
              Interesting.. thanks for the info, guys. I'll have to do some more reading up on this. Mostly so I know what I'm talking about when vegans try to tell me eating meat is so horrible for me.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by CaptSaltyJack View Post
                Interesting.. thanks for the info, guys. I'll have to do some more reading up on this. Mostly so I know what I'm talking about when vegans try to tell me eating meat is so horrible for me.
                you talk to vegans?!?! that must be fun!

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                • #9
                  Also, I had an oncologist tell me at an annual exam that meat is the main cause of colon cancer. Lastly, I learned that the human colon is some 16+ ft. long, yet a carnivorous cat (all cats?) like a lion might have only a 6 – 8 ft colon. Our problem is the meat, slow to digest, stays inside too long. A cat dumps it much faster and doesn’t suffer as many consequences (that we know of).
                  Honestly I never know what to make of anything nowadays as there is so much conflicting information out there. I cant believe that meat doesnt enter our colon, that just doesnt seem to make sense to me for some reason, surely everything passes through our colon that isnt being used by our body?. Surely our stomach acids cant break everything down (or can they). It does make some sense to me though that given the colon is so long, if it isnt getting enough fibre (from veges of course!) and fat and water then it will slow things down perhaps and maybe that causes problems. I dont really know, I'm just thinking out loud here.

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                  • #10
                    Yeah, I don't buy the whole "meat doesn't even enter the colon" bit. That means 100% of the meat product is getting absorbed by the intestine.. ALL of it. Theoretically, you would never go poo if you ate 100% meat. That just doesn't seem to make any sense.

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                    • #11
                      yes I totally agree CptSJ. We need an expert to tell us how the body works, I've got no idea!

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                      • #12
                        I shall do your homework.

                        http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/179259.php
                        http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/abst...n.2008.26838v1
                        http://carcin.oxfordjournals.org/cgi...ract/8/12/1881
                        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20093284
                        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20164369
                        http://www.nutritionandmetabolism.co...-7075-7-56.pdf
                        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12419846
                        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9...ubmed_RVDocSum

                        Considering that there is no good evidence in support of the red meat hypothesis, plenty to falsify it, and plenty of real substantiated risk factors, I see no point in continuing to blather about this sort of stuff. That won't stop vegans though. Looks like keeping vitamin d high (which nobody does), getting enough magnesium (nobody does this either), eating grass-fed meat (not because the grain-fed is necessarily disease-causing but because the grass-fed is highly preventative), getting enough omega 3 fatty acids, and likely keeping gut flora healthy and getting some inulin.

                        So there you go. I would like to see experimental studies that don't use processed meats. Alas, no such studies exist and the little bit of evidence that people will wave around was flawed and not representative of what anyone on this site does. So there.
                        Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

                        Anyone who wants to talk nutrition should PM me!

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                        • #13
                          I've always like someone that does their homework! thanks stabby. Interesting links. I'm going to get my vit d levels tested I've finally decided. And start taking some magnesium and probiotics.

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                          • #14
                            Thanks, Stabby! Very interesting.. might have to hit up the supplements aisle next time I go shopping.

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                            • #15
                              lol, I like someone who does MY homework even more! Thanks Stabby!

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