A reader sent to Well Being Journal editors a fascinating article first published in the Saturday Evening Post in 1982 with the above title. The article noted how doctors at one time blamed all sorts of diseases on constipation, which causes toxic waste to build up, enter the bloodstream and affect various organs of the body; however, these early physicians were dismissed as believing in unproven theory. The author noted that physicians Nicholas L. Petrakis and Eileen B. King of the University of California, writing later in Lancet, “have found that women who have two or fewer bowel movements per week have four times the risk of breast disease (benign or malignant) as women who have one or more bowel movements per day.” Petrakis found that past researchers failed to identify constipation as a factor in the development of malignancies. Petrakis: “We found that 5% of women having one bowel movement per day would have abnormal dysplastic cells, while 10% of women having fewer than one bowel movement a day would have this abnormality and 20% of women having two or fewer bowel movements per week would show these dysplastic changes in cell character of the breast fluid.”
Petrakis continued by saying, “We found that 70% of the women we tested had exogenous (foreign) chemicals in the breast fluid. We don’t know why they are there, but we do know that the breast cells are in contact with the bloodstream, which will contain foreign substances absorbed into the circulation system from the skin, lungs, and the gastrointestinal tract.” He also pointed toward dietary factors, noting that the bowels of people who eat [much] meat contain greater amounts of mutagenic substances than do the bowels of those who abstain from eating [much] meat.
This health note is from January/February 2006, Vol. 15, No. 1, out of print, but the digital format is available.