Bowel Toxins Accelerate Aging

Also see:
Ray Peat, PhD on the Benefits of the Raw Carrot
Protective Cascara Sagrada and Emodin
Fermentable Carbohydrates, Anxiety, Aggression
Protective Bamboo Shoots
Endotoxin-lipoprotein Hypothesis
Endotoxin: Poisoning from the Inside Out
Protection from Endotoxin
PUFA Accumulation & Aging

Quotes by Ray Peat, PhD:
“Another process with potentially deadly results that increase with aging and stress, is the passage of bacteria from the intestines into the blood stream.”

“The intestine is source of toxins,, and some studies have found considerable life extension by keeping the intestine free of bacteria. At the beginning of the 20th century, Elie Metchnikof (The Nature of Man, 1894, Prolongation of Life; Optimistic Studies, 1907) believed, basing his ideas on comparative biology, that intestinal toxins caused aging by disrupting the immune and endocrine systems’ functions in tissue maintenance and renewal. He noticed that the intestine of short-lived herbivore such as rabbits had a strong odor of putrefaction and a great variety of bacterial species, but that the intestines of long-lived birds such as parrots and ravens had no unpleasant smell, even when he had fed the ravens with rotting meat, and contained only a few species of bacteria.

Metchnikof’s ideas about intestinal toxins as a source of sickness and aging were widely attacked in the US medical journals. In 1907 he wrote “Even at present there are critics who regard me as incapable of sane and logical reasoning.””

“The food industry is promoting the use of various gums and starches, which are convenient thickeners and stabilizers for increasing self-life, with the argument that the butyric acid produced when they are fermented by intestinal bacteria is protective. However, intestinal fermentation increases systemic and brain serotonin, and the short-chain fatty acids can produce a variety of inflammatory and cytotoxic effect. Considering the longevity and stress-resistance of germ-free animals, choosing foods (such as raw carrots or cooked bamboo shoots or cooked mushrooms) which accelerate peristalsis and speed transit through the bowel, which suppressing bacterial growth, seems like a convenient approach to increasing longevity.

In the years following the publication of Methnikof’s book in the US, there was a campaign in the medical journals to deny the validity of his idea of life-shortening “auto-intoxication” from the bowel. Warnings about the dangers of laxatives and enemas became common, and it was argued that a daily bowel movement wasn’t necessary. Max Gerson’s use of enemas in cacer therapy was ridiculed. Finally, the FDA banned the sale of cascara as a laxative. Recently, the kidney industry has been realizing that the bowel is the source of the major toxins of uremia, so there might be a gradual change of attitude toward the intestine in medicine generally.”

“Our innate immune system is perfectly competent for handling our normal stress induced exposures to bacterial endotoxin, but as we accumulate the unstable fats, each exposure to endotoxin creates additional inflammatory stress by liberating stored fats.”

“In aging, stress, and malnutrition, the barrier function of the intestine is weakened. Vitamin A and magnesium deficiencies allow macromolecules to enter the blood from the intestine.”

“Aging and stress increase some of the inflammatory mediators, tending to reduce the barrier function of the bowel, letting larger amounts of bacterial toxins enter the bloodstream, interfering with energy metabolism, creating inflammatory vicious circles of increasing leakiness and inflammation.”

“The gerontologist, V.V. Frolkis, recently found that mice lived 43% longer than animals on the standard diet when they periodically had activated charcoal added to their food. This is the clearest evidence I have seen that “bowel toxins” make a major contribution to the aging process.”

Biomater Artif Cells Artif Organs. 1989;17(3):341-51.
Effect of enterosorption on animal lifespan.
Frolkis VV, Nikolaev VG, Paramonova GI, Shchorbitskaya EV, Bogatskaya LN, Stupina AS, Kovtun AI, Sabko VE, Shaposhnikov VM, Muradian KK, et al.
Experiments were performed on Wistar male rats, starting from the 28th month of age. The effect of dietary sorbent (non coated nitrogen-containing carbon administered as 10 day courses at 1 month intervals in dosage of 10 ml/kg) on lifespan and a number of biological indices were studied. Enterosorption resulted in the increase of mean and maximal lifespan by 43 and 34% respectively. Analysis of the effect of enterosorption on activity of microsomal enzymes, intensity of total RNA and protein biosynthesis, lipid metabolism, formation of free radicals etc. showed that it produced a positive influence on the functional state of the studied systems and increased the organism’s adaptive capacities. Enterosorption was found to delay the rate of onset of age-related structural changes in the organs and tissues.

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