VegSource.Com maintains that it provides advice for living a healthy vegan lifestyle but more often than not it simply promotes the same old lame quack health advice that has been debunked over and over again but never fails to find adherents alternative health circles. Exhibit A is a bizarre article by Roopa Chari, M.D., “The Key to Longevity: Cleansing the Colon.”
To get a firm idea of the quackery involved in Chari’s article it is necessary to start reading in the middle with these two sentences,
Many people’s colons are packed with a lifetime of old, hardened feces leading to toxemia or the accumulation of poisons. Dr. Tilden said that diseases were crises of toxemia.
The first sentence is a claim that was long ago disproven through analysis of the colons of people undergoing surgical procedures and autopsies (although simply disproving a hypothesis is never enough for the true believers).
But Dr. Tilden is the real focus of interest. She is referring to Dr. J. H. Tilden, a world-class quack who became moderately famous in the early part of the 20th century for his view that, as Chari gleefully repeats, all disease was caused by “toxemia.” What did this mean in practice?
Tilden rejected the germ theory of disease, arguing instead that all diseases were caused by toxins that were normally evacuated from the body but that which, in diseased persons, were retained in the body and polluted the blood. In fact, Tilden rejected the idea that there were different diseases. In his view, everything from cancer to the common cold to syphilis was but the outward manifestation of a single phenomenon — toxemia.
Consider a disease such as diptheria. Tilden dismissed the idea that diptheria was a bacterial infection and advised against vaccination. Rather, Tilden believed that diptheria was caused when children were overfed and that the only sensible treatment was washing out the bowels 2-3 times per day “using as large enemas as can be put into the bowels.”
VegSource.Com gives Chari a platform for warmed-over Tilden-style views. According to Chari,
Often the main cause behind sickness and disease is the retention and reabsorption of this toxic waste. A major benefit of a good cleansing program is that you digest food better, eat less and smaller quantities of food are more satisfying. A pot belly and bloating is another indication of an expanded and inflated colon that is full of fecal matter.
Chari also repeatedly cites Dr. Richard Schulze and recommends his herbal methods of bowel cleansing. Schulze, like Tilden, maintains that just about every disease known to man can be cured with such methods. He claims, for example, to have had patients reverse their Alzheimer’s by taking his herbs. Schulze has even gone so far as to claim that AIDS can be cured by a regimen of juice and enemas.
Perhaps Nelson should change VegSource.Com’s tagline from “All are welcome” to “All types of quacks and frauds are welcome.” That would certainly be more accurate if Nelson is going to continue to publish nonsense like this.
The Key to Longevity: Cleansing the Colon. Roopa Chari, M.D., VegSource.Com, August 2002.