Mucoid Plaque

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Function of the Intestines
Formation of Mucoid Plaque
Removing Mucoid Plaque
     Limit Mucus Producing Foods
     Smaller Portions, Eat When Hungry, Proper Chewing and Food Combining
     More Fibre
           Dietary Sources
           Expectorants and Demulcents - Mucilage-containing Herbs
           Psyllium Husks
           Psyllium & Bentonite Shakes
           Grapefruit Fibre
           Diatomaceous Earth (D.E.)
           Weight Loss
     Phosphatidyl Choline
     Herbs to Stimulate Peristaltic Action - Expectorants and Demulcents
     Enzymes and Juice Fasts
     Sufficient Blood Circulation to the Digestive Tract
     Colonic Irrigation/Hydrotherapy and Enemas
     Oxygenating/Oxidant Supplements
     Irritable Bowel Disease and Mucoid Plaque

Function of the Intestines:

After food leaves the stomach, it passes through 6.5m (22ft) of small intestine, followed by 1.5m (5ft) of large intestine.

The latter part of the large intestine is also known as the colon or bowel. Together the small and large intestines are collectively known as the intestines. The large intestine is separated from the small intestine by a valve which periodically allows matter through (similar to the valve between the stomach and the small intestine). The large intestine consists of five basic parts, the ascending colon, the transverse colon, the descending colon (the colon is basically a large inverted U shape), the sigmoid colon, and the rectum. The anus is merely the aperture at the end of the rectum.
The small intestine is 3-4cm in diameter (1.25-1.5") and the large intestine is 5.5cm in diameter (2.5"). The walls of the intestines are not flat but are made up of individual villi, which in turn are covered with tiny microvilli. This helps to increase the surface area for absorption.

About 80% of all nutrient absorption from food takes place in the small intestine. Only 20% takes place in the stomach and large intestine. The main function of the small intestine is digestion and absorption of nutrients. The main function of the large intestine (colon) is to reabsorb water from the stool and also to prepare the stool for expulsion from the body. Because stools contain products of putrefaction (anaerobic decomposition by micro-organisms), liquids and nutrients that are absorbed through the intestinal villi and into the blood enter the Hepatic Portal System - a circulatory system that connects the GI tract directly to the liver, where toxins can be filtered out, before onward circulation to the rest of the body. This is to prevent toxins from the large intestine and indeed any toxins ingested in general from being absorbed directly into blood and damaging organs such as the brain. The liver is thus fed with both oxygenated (arterial blood at the capillaries) blood and deoxygenated (venous) blood (from the GI tract).

The liver also produces bile using the gallbladder to expel bile into the digestive tract, to the small intestine, in order to aid in the digestion of fats in the small intestine and also a pathway to expel toxins from the body (via the GI tract and stool). This direct circulation of biliary salts from the liver is known as the Enterohepatic circulation.

As food passes through the intestines, it becomes progressively firmer until it becomes the familiar stool in the rectum. The walls of the GI tract excrete mucus, known as mucin, which is alkaline in nature, in order to lubricate and clean the gastro-intestinal and colon lining, to neutralise acid build up in the intestines and to protect against toxins. A healthy colon contains many residual friendly bacteria that weigh up to 2.25kg (5lbs).

The Wikipedia pages below show diagrams and definitions of the intestine, the small intestine and the large intestine (colon) respectively.

The sigmoid colon is the very last part of the colon, between the descending colon and the rectum. It is broadly S-shaped, which is where it's name comes from. By the time stool arrives in this part of the colon, most nutrients have been absorbed back into the blood stream. The sigmoid colon is rather muscular and contracts to create a pressure, squeezing stools into the rectum.

The capillaries in the mucosa lining of the rectum are not part of the Hepatic Portal System (similarly to the capillaries under the tongue in the mouth), thus any toxins present in the stools whilst one is squeezing out the stool through the rectum and out of the anus, are reabsorbed in the main body's blood supply (bypassing the liver). This is why one tends to feel slightly sick just before having a bowel movement. Stool has just moved out of the sigmoid colon into the rectum, where toxins can be reabsorbed into the main blood circulation system. This is why this nauseous sensation disappears once the stools have been expelled. That is partly why passing stools can feel satisfying! The rectum does not possess the benefit of the hepatic portal system. This is why it is important to try to expel stools when they pass into the rectum as soon as possible and not hold them in. The circulatory system in the rectum is not designed for long term or even short term storage of stools, and the body is designed to expel stools pretty much as soon as they arrive in the rectum. In addition, if you do not empty your rectum when it is starting to fill up with stool, then you will experience a great increase in wind - this is the stool telling you it wants to come out!! It is time to 'take the kids to the pool.' Of course, the sensation in the rectum is there so we can control our bowel movements and chose when and where to pass our stools, so we do not go to the toilet whilst in a dangerous situation (hopefully!) or whilst in eating or sleeping areas (translate this into the modern scenario of an anti-social place!)

This property of the rectum is utilised in suppositories, for example EDTA suppositories (e.g. Detoxamin) for chelation therapy. Enemas work via a different principle, they involve the introduction of liquids up the rectum and into the sigmoid colon. Here they are absorbed and travel via the hepatic portal system directly to the liver. Coffee enemas are used for this purpose to stimulate the liver, to speed it up, mainly through direct absorption via the rectum (to the outside of the liver via other organs in the body first) and the rest by absorption through the sigmoid colon and descending colon wall to the inside of the liver (via the hepatic portal system). Enemas are also used to treat the colon of various adverse conditions, but introducing medicinal liquids into the colon directly, without having to ingest them and have them arrived much later, partially or fully digested, e.g. herbal enemas containing soothing herbs and oils for IBD cases (slippery elm, linseed oil, aloe vera etc.)

The bottom of the ascending colon (i.e. the upper part of the colon) is most prone to congestion and stool build up, partly because of gravity and it's shape, which can impede the flow of stools through the colon and also lead to considerable reabsorption of toxins and putrefaction products. In addition, overeating can actually stretch the walls of the colon, meaning that it is larger and will fill up with more stool than before. These issues are examined below. Overeating is a Motivation problem and unwillingness to break previous negative behaviour patterns.

Sometimes one may feel a sharp pain in the anal area which may last for a couple of seconds or up to ten seconds. This is an indication that stool is moving in the colon or rectum and that it is dislodging or grinding against mucoid plaque that lines the lines of these passages. Whilst unpleasant, this is a good indication that something positive is happening (in terms of mucoid plaque removal) but also an indication that mucoid plaque and congestion is present.

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'Peristalsis is the rhythmic [wave-like] contraction of smooth muscles to propel contents through the digestive tract...In much of the gastrointestinal tract, smooth muscles contract in sequence to produce a peristaltic wave which forces a ball of food (called a bolus while in the esophagus and gastrointestinal tract and chyme in the stomach) along the gastrointestinal tract. Peristaltic movement is initiated by circular smooth muscles contracting behind the chewed material to prevent it from moving back into the mouth, followed by a contraction of longitudinal smooth muscles which pushes the digested food forward.'

Peristalsis is controlled by the nervous system, and in some individuals, who have Abnormal Spontaneous Brainstem Activations (ASBAs), dysmotility (uncoordinated movement of the muscles in the GI tract) may arise. Of course peristalsis may be assisted with the use of herbs but to what extent this helps with the coordination of muscle movements, I am not sure.

Low levels of peristalsis may be evident in those individuals who do not exercise sufficiently. Exercising more, if possible given one's health etc., generally improves peristalsis.

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Formation of Mucoid Plaque:

Modern diets are often low in natural fibre and also high in mucus producing foods, such as dairy products, white flour, meat (especially processed meats), eggs, potatoes, beans, rice, grains, fish, peanuts and fats (and low in fresh vegetables and fruit), and food, drink and drugs high in toxins, for instance coffee, alcohol, recreational drugs and pharmaceuticals. When we talk about mucus producing foods, we mean that they tend to stimulate the digestive tract to produce more mucus, rather than mucus in the nasal passages.

However, a large number of people have a very mild immune system reaction to certain food proteins that resemble viruses to the immune system, mainly dairy and wheat, which may well cause nasal congestion as well as adverse immune system activity in the digestive tract. This is a separate topic and is discussed on the Food Allergy and Intolerance page.

Such diets lead to more mucin being produced in the gastro-intestinal (GI) tract. The mucus can indeed be cleared away by pancreatic juices (from the pancreas) but mucus-forming foods form such a large proportion of modern, western diets that the pancreatic juices are not effective in clearing it away. As the mucus and food particle solution passes through the intestines, moisture is removed and absorbed back into the blood stream. As more moisture is removed and reabsorbed, the mucus becomes sticky and gluey. In passing, it leaves a coating on the intestinal wall. Layer tends to dry out over time, compacting and hardening. Over the years, layer after layer of gluey faeces builds on the intestinal lining. It gradually forms into a tough, rubbery, black substance (hardened faeces mixture) found in lumps in the corners of the intestinal tract and covering the walls and villi themselves. This is known as 'mucoid plaque', and causes constipation, a reduction in the absorption of nutrients through the intestinal wall, and is a breeding ground for candida, harmful bacteria and parasites.

Toxins are absorbed into the mucoid plaque over time, including biotoxins and heavy metals. The liver relies on the colon being clear in order to effectively eliminate toxins from the body through the digestive tract. The build up of mucoid plaque and congestion in the colon (affecting the normal passage of stool) results in the build up of large amounts of toxins in the digestive tract. Harmful micro-organism activity also produces additional toxins. The body tends to produce more mucin to try to wash away the mucoid plaque, which mixes with the mucoid plaque to exaccerbate the problem. Low fibre diets slow down the movement of food in the GI tract and do not act to remove mucoid plaque and prevent mucoid plaque formation.

A gallery of mucoid plaque can be viewed at the link below.

Please note that some mucoid plaque that one excretes will float in your toilet, partly because of the psyllium husks it contains (Psyllium being used to help remove it). Mucoid plaque tends to thick, dark and rubbery, and hard to penetrate with a set of chop sticks or fork (should one wish to have a go). It is harder than the psyllium that often accompanies it - when removing it of course. It does not tend to come out of its own volition.

Dairy products are most mucus-producing of all foods. After this comes meat, fish and eggs, which are almost as mucus-forming. Soy is the most mucus producing plant-based food. Other pulses and legumes are not quite as mucus-forming. Nuts and are also major mucus producing foods. Next come grains. Millet is the least mucus forming of all grains. Fruits and vegetables are virtually free of mucoid-forming activity, depending on which one is talking about.

Dr Richard Anderson claims to have coined the phrase 'mucoid plaque', with covers a number of different medical terms. He states that acid forming foods are a major contributor to the production of excess mucin, which ties in with the general trend observed above.

Sprouted grains, seeds and beans are closer to vegetables in composition, whilst retaining the protein content (in more complex forms) and are much less mucus-forming. However they are largely composed of water, depending on how large they have grown. As little photosynthesis occurs with sprouts (depending on how long they are left), then their growth is largely water and bean/seed nutrient conversion. So to get the same protein and fibre content, with mung beans, one would need to eat 3 to 4 times the weight of sprouted to get the same protein and fibre content of cooked mung beans. Proper length bean sprouts have up to 10 times less protein than boiled mung beans. This is why if one eats a large portion of bean sprouts, one becomes hungry much quicker than if one had eaten a large portion of mung beans. In general, the longer the sprout is left to grow, the less mucus producing it becomes (and easier to digest it becomes). Please note the comparative data below is based on different serving sizes.


Digestion times in the stomach for various food types can be found below. Soy is close to meat in its digestion time, compared with other pulses and legumes.

It is likely that fermented foods are easier to digest than their non-fermented counterparts, e.g. Tempeh may be easier to digest than soy beans etc. Predigested protein supplements may be easier to digest than their non-predigested counterparts. Soaking nuts, as discussed on the Digestion page, is very important too, as it helps to remove the indigestible compounds and enzyme-inhibitors. Thoroughly soaking, cooking and washing/rinsing beans is also important if one is not sprouting them, to ensure they are as easily digestible as possible.

Other factors that can contribute to mucoid plaque formation or excessive mucus production are overeating or eating large meals, eating without being hungry, improper chewing and inappropriate food combinations. For more information, please see the Digestive Disorders page.

Mucoid plaque formation and general clogging of the colon may also occur as a result of a lack of peristaltic movement. A lack of Peristalsis may be a result of poor diet, build up of mucoid plaque and a low blood supply and 'qi level' of the small and large intestines.

Some articles below on mucus producing foods, in particular dairy products may be found below. These may however be looking at the effects of commercially produced dairy products rather than organic or grass fed sources.

Faeces is supposed to simply pass through the colon, where moisture is reabsorbed back into the body before eliminating the faeces through the anus. Faeces is not supposed to get stuck around the walls of the colon or build up inside the colon. The liver relies on the colon being clear in order to effectively eliminate toxins from the body through the digestive tract. The build up of mucoid plaque and congestion in the colon results in the build up of large amounts of toxins in the digestive tract.

Autopsies have shown that the average person carries around 3-7kg (7-15lbs) of such mucoid plaque in his intestines. Autopsies have also shown severely encrusted colons to weigh 18kg (40lbs) or more! Sometimes there is so much mucoid plaque that parts of the colon expand from 5.5cm (2.5") to two to four times their diameter in very obese people, leaving a channel of only about a pencil's width in the centre through which faeces can actually pass for elimination through the rectum.

In the UK, bowel cancer is the second biggest cancer killer, with 35,000-40,000 new cases each year. These statistics come from Cancer Research UK and the BBC from August 2006.

Quoted from Dr Schulze's web site:

'According to the Merck Manual, one of the most respected medical texts in the world, colon degeneration and disease is on the rise. The incidence of diverticulosis, (herniated sacs protruding through the wall of the colon) has increased dramatically over the past 40 years in America. It states that in 1950, only 10% of American adults had this disease. In 1955, 15%. In 1972, 30%, In 1987, almost 50% and in the latest edition it states that Every American will have diverticulosis if they live long enough.

Diverticulosis is directly caused by constipation, faecal impaction and pressure. These sacs are stuffed with trapped faecal sludge. They become infected and the rotting faeces erodes the surrounding mucousa and blood vessels. This begins bleeding, rupturing and infection, and serious disease.

Colon Cancer actually KILLS 400% more people than AIDS. It also KILLS more men and women in America than Breast and Prostate Cancer.

This year in America 60,000 people will DIE from Colon-Rectal Cancer and an additional 125,000 new cases will be diagnosed.

Up to 50% of Americans have Polyps in their colon. A Polyp is just another name for a tumor. 'Most' Polyps eventually mutate into malignant cancer tumors!'

'Diverticulitis is a common digestive disease particularly found in the large intestine. Diverticulitis develops from diverticulosis, which involves the formation of pouches (diverticula) on the outside of the colon. Diverticulitis results if one of these diverticula becomes inflamed.'

NASA research scientists have found traces of mother's milk in adult colons, indicating that many adults carry impacted faecal matter in their colons throughout their entire lives, from early childhood to death. The incidence of mucoid plaque in young children and babies is not doubt a result of modern-child rearing practices, excessive reliance on cow's milk long after a baby actually requires mother's milk and low fibre diets. No other animal consumes milk after early infancy except humans. If humans actually consumed organic, raw milk and not pasturised milk (from anti-biotic fed animals) it would not be so bad.

In most western adults, it is considered normal to grow a larger and larger belly with age. People seem to take this for granted. However, the large majority of the composition of this 'belly' is mucoid plaque which builds up over decades and also excessive gas (produced by undigested food being fermented by good and bad bacteria). The volume and weight and hardened faeces that many people carry around with them 24 hours a day in quite horrific! If you pinch the skin and subcutaneous fat from your belly, what is underneath is hard and should be flat. If it is hard and still compromises the majority of your protroding 'belly', it is highly likely that most of this is mucoid plaque.

One can feel oneself how much tension there is in the intestinal muscles by slowly and gently massaging the intestinal area, either whilst lying on one's back or leaning forwards whilst sat on a chair with one's elbows or forearms resting on one's legs. If it feels uncomfortable, aches or is painful, then this is a likely indicator that there is a considerable amount of mucoid plaque and/or excessive gas (which puts pressure on the intestinal walls) in the small and large intestines. There is a good Shiatsu morning exercise for massaging the intestines and internal organs which a qualified Shiatsu practitioner can show you.

For a totally disgusting slide show, showing pictures of mucoid plaque passed from the colon, click on the link below. If you never see this, it means you are keeping it in your intestinal tract and carrying kilos of it around with you 24 hours a day. If you see it regularly in your toilet, it may be gross, but it means you are actively eliminating it from your body and it is gone forever (hopefully)! It may of course build back up depending on your dietary habits.

Mucoid Plaque Slide Show

The purpose of the above information is not to just shock people, but to educate and motivate. It is not this web site's intention to create in people negative beliefs about modern society, which people can use to feel sorry for themselves whilst they continue to allow their bodies to be abused, but to empower people to positively take control of their health.

This all sounds very horrible! So what can we actually do about it?

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Removing Mucoid Plaque:

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