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Researchers discover bowel movement secrets at long last

After centuries of scientific inquiry, researchers have discovered the secrets of how bowel movements work according to a report by gastroenterology scientist Jan Huizinga and his team from McMaster University, investigators at Wuhan University in China, and colleagues at the University of Toronto published in the Feb. 24, 2014, edition of the journal Nature Communications.

Two images of the "Shrine of Venus Cloacina" in the Forum Romanum from Hülsen, Christian (1906), The Roman Forum — Its History and Its Monuments, Ermanno Loescher & Co: Publishers to H. M. the Queen of Italy, pg 138.
Public domain; all copyrights expired.

The researchers discovered that there are two pacemakers involved in digestion and bowel movements that must work in a coordinated manner to produce nutrient absorption and the movement of the food mass through the system with a consistent rhythm.

Diarrhea is produced by too low a level of activity between the two pacemakers and the muscles and nerves of the digestive system. Constipation results from too high a level of activity.

Huizinga states, "It's like when a stone is dropped in water, it creates waves or motion that pushes things along, but when a second stone is dropped in the water, the movement changes to up and down, appearing to stay in the same place."

The point of the exercise is developing drugs or treatments that produce the correct rhythm and the proper coordination between the two pacemakers to produce the perfect bowel movement.

The target patient group is people that suffer persistent constipation, diarrhea, bloating, and lack of nutrient absorption. The researchers are also seeking nutrients that offer the opportunity to have regular bowel comfort.