Benefit of Dates for Colon Health

Benefit of Dates for Colon Health

August 19, 2019 100 By William Morgan


“Benefit of Dates for Colon Health” Dates are one of
the healthiest sweeteners. That’s what we use in
The How Not to Die Cookbook. You can blend them with water to
make date syrup or use date sugar, which is a whole food—just
dried dates ground into powder— and as such is packed with nutrition,
ending up with as much antioxidant power as blackstrap molasses, but
without the strong taste. Though not all brands are the same. For example, Bob’s Red Mill may
have twice the antioxidants compared to NOW Foods, though
they only tested one package each. OK, so dates are healthy
compared to other sweeteners, but that’s not saying much. Do dates have any special
medicinal properties? You’ll see papers like this
in the medical literature, touting the therapeutic
effects of date fruits in the prevention of diseases:
anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-tumor activity, complete
with figures like this of the purported pharmacological activities
of date fruits in disease control. But what they don’t
say is some of this may be based on studies like this,
where they feed dates to rats. That sounds nice, but then
induce testicular ischemia, by twisting their left
testicle clockwise 720 degrees, so like two full rotations, to
completely kink off the blood supply. So, did the dates help? Who cares if the dates helped— we’re talking about rat testicles. It’s like when researchers test
the nut-on-nut effects of pecans. What relevance does that have? Though ironically perhaps
the strangest assertion here, that dates help with labor and
delivery, is actually supported by randomized and double-blind,
placebo-controlled trials as I’ve covered before; so,
let’s keep an open mind here. What about the purported
anti-cancer effects? Researchers studied the impact
of dates on our good gut flora and colon cancer cell proliferation. Our gut harbors about 10,000
billion micro-organisms and “is considered the most metabolically
active site in the human body.” All sorts of crazy stuff
is happening down there. And we can reward our good gut
flora by feeding them prebiotics, like dietary fiber and polyphenols,
a class of antioxidant phytonutrients. And dates have high levels of both. So let’s blend up some dates
with some gut flora, fecal slurries donated by volunteers. You’ve heard of green smoothies? …more like a brown smoothie. Well, what happened? Both the whole date extract
and just the date polyphenols were able to significantly increase
the growth of beneficial bacteria, and then they also assessed
the ability of mixtures to inhibit the growth of colon
cancer cells in a petri dish. Even just a polyphenol
fraction cut cancer cell growth by more than half, and the whole
date extract nearly blocked cancer cell growth completely. “Together these data suggest
that consumption of [dates] may enhance colon health by increasing
beneficial bacterial growth and inhibiting the proliferation
of [colon] cancer” cells. It would have been nice if they
actually studied the effects of dates in the actual colon, but there had never been
such a study… until now. The impact of date consumption on gut
flora growth and large intestinal health: a randomized, controlled, cross-over,
human interventional study. Volunteers were randomized to either
a control group or seven dates a day for three weeks, and…
there were significant increases in bowel movement frequency, not
surprising eating the additional fiber, but also significant reductions
in stool ammonia concentration after consuming dates. I have a video on why that’s important. Furthermore, date intake
significantly reduced genotoxicity in human “fecal water.” What the heck is that? That’s like human stool tea. A water extract of feces from
someone eating seven dates a day causes significantly less genotoxicity, meaning is significantly
less DNA-damaging, which is good since that’s
what’s coating the inside of our colon on a daily basis. Dozens of different date
varieties have been pitted— no pun intended—against a variety
of cancer cells in vitro. Not just colon cancer
and stomach cancer, which the dates might
actually come in contact with, but also prostate cancer cells,
lung, and breast cancer cells, but of course we’d have to first
show that the active components are actually absorbed into the
bloodstream and end up in those organs.