But I bet my bottom dollar you’ve never considered the speed of your BMs.
Otherwise known as your bowel transit time.
Your bowel transit time is simply how long it takes food to go from your mouth, down through the GI tract and come out the "other end."
Believe it or not, it makes a huge difference in your health whether your bowel transit time is too fast, too slow or just right.
Here's what I mean:
If your bowel transit time is less than 12 hours, in most cases that's too fast, and that means you're likely not absorbing nutrients like you should.
It’s also very likely that diarrhea is a frequent companion of yours, since your colon doesn’t have a chance to absorb water from your BM if it’s rocketing through you at the speed of light.
This can cause nutrient deficiencies and related conditions like fatigue, anemia, osteoporosis, depression and even heart disease and cancer.
It can also lead to overweight and obesity, since your body's hunger signal is triggered by a need for nutrients. If you're not properly absorbing nutrients, your hunger bell will clang more often regardless of how much food you've eaten...and that means overeating and expansion of your waistline.
If you're on the other end of the spectrum and have a bowel transit time of more than 24 hours, that's likely too slow. You could have serious constipation and waste buildup going on.
This is the perfect recipe for disease. Toxins, heavy metals and old worn-out hormones and cholesterol that should have long ago been eliminated in your feces can get reabsorbed into circulation.
That can cause inflammation, raise your cholesterol levels, increase your risk of hormone-related cancers and allow dangerous heavy metals to attack your organs and impair their functioning—especially vulnerable is your brain.
Also, having waste buildup can encourage harmful bacteria overgrowth (dysbiosis) which can hamper your immune system functioning and make your gut wall leaky--further impairing your ability to absorb nutrients and opening the door for poorly digested food molecules to get into circulation and trigger allergic responses.
Between 12 and 24 hours is the optimal bowel transit time for most people. This is a pretty good indicator that you're absorbing nutrients like you should, and that your intestinal tract is operating relatively well.
So where do you stand?
So...at this point you're probably curious about what your bowel transit time might be.
Well, it’s easy to find out.
Here are a couple ways:
1- The beet test
Eat a few small whole red beets (preferably fresh and steamed, with a dab of butter) and note the day and time that you ate them.
It will be abundantly clear when they make their way through your GI tract because your feces will be a deep garnet red.
Note the day and time you see your "ruby BM" in the toilet and calculate your bowel transit time.
Now, if you're one of those people who has just one "certain time" when you have a bowel movement every single day, that can throw off the calculation of your transit time.
Let's say you have a bowel movement every day at 6 am.
You ate beets at 5 pm on Day 1, had your one daily bowel movement at 6 am on Day 2 and didn't see a ruby color. Then you had another bowel movement at 6 am on Day 3 and saw the beets.
You would calculate your transit time as 37 hours, which might not be accurate--it may be more of a reflection of the fact that you simply don't have a BM any other time than 6 in the morning.
In that case, it helps to repeat the beet test a few times, each time eating the beets at a different time of day and seeing what happens.
Going back to the example, let's say you had beets at noon on Day 1, then had your bowel movement at 6 am on Day 2 and saw a ruby BM.
Then you would know your bowel transit time is really closer to 18 hours--not 37.
2- The charcoal test
If you're not a fan of beets, you can get some charcoal tablets at a pharmacy or health food store. Take 5-10 grams (5,000 - 10,000 milligrams) on an empty stomach and note the day and time you took the tablets.
The charcoal will turn your feces jet black, so note the date and time you see "shoe polish BM" and calculate your bowel transit time accordingly.
And like the beets, if you're like clockwork and have a BM at exactly the same time every day, you may need to do the test a few times, changing the time that you take the charcoal.
What to do now
If your bowel transit time is too fast (less than 12 hours) or too slow (greater than 24 hours), it may be “normal” for you, but it’s not healthy.
A less-than-optimal bowel transit time is a perfect indicator that something is awry with your digestion.
And in the absence of any other explanation (such as a diagnosed condition or side effects of medication), poor digestion is most frequently the result of:
- The food you eat
- Inadequate digestive enzymes
- Imbalanced intestinal flora
The most common cause of inefficient digestion is your diet - specifically, eating foods that are difficult for your stomach to break down.
These include foods that are inherently difficult for your stomach to break down (especially highly processed foods) as well as smorgasbord-type meals made of every kind of food known to man.
The great news is that when you modify your diet to include more fiber-rich, real foods and eat meals that are easier for your stomach to break down, your digestion can improve DRAMATICALLY.
The Great Taste No Pain health system can guide you with this important step.
Great Taste No Pain shows you how to construct meals that are less taxing on your system, and gives you over 100 delicious, easy recipes to enjoy—you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how tasty good-for-you foods can be!
Poor digestion can also be the result of inadequate production of digestive enzymes.
As we age, our body’s ability to produce enzymes gradually diminishes—and you can reach the point where your body can’t produce enough for your needs.
But Digestizol Max digestive enzyme formula can give your body the supportive enzyme support boost it needs to comfortably carry out digestion.
Digestizol Max is a natural blend of 15 plant-derived enzymes that come to your body's aid and help it break down whatever you've eaten -- protein, fats, carbs, you-name-it.
Intestinal flora support
The friendly flora in your gut help to break down certain starches and fibers in your diet, but they can only do their job when there is a healthy enough population of them.
There’s nothing like probiotic supplementation to help ensure your important flora balance is where it needs to be.
Let Super Shield multi-strain probiotic formula take care of this crucial need for you!
Super Shield contains 13 well-studied probiotic strains that will help repopulate your supply of helpful good guys, encouraging sound digestion and supporting your immune function too.
See where your transit time measures up, and help your body carry out digestion the way it should.
I’m sure you’ll see a difference in how you feel!
PS: The day is fast approaching for the release of our new multi-vitamin formula Super Core! I’ll let you know as soon as it’s available!