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It used to be Viagra, body parts enlargers, mortgages, hair tonics and diet products, but lately spammers want to tell you to get your colon cleaned.

The average person contains five to 25 pounds of "waste" build-up in their colon, we keep reading in dozens of spam messages. This can lead to colon cancer, deadly toxins and even 'parasite build up'.

The growing amount of colon-cleansing spam has already led to obsessive debates in some news groups. "Dishwasher detergent works best for me. Any brand," a helpful reader comments. "If you leave too much detergent on the dishes, it will REALLY clean out your entire alimentary canal".

Another contributor suggest yous should swallow a tooth brush tied to a lead sinker.

So, what have these cleansing companies on offer? Most advertise their products - pills, herbs, powder and programmes with electro-diagnostic devices - as the cure to all diseases. They let you believe that a healthy colon is the vital underpinning factor for good health.

Which can't be said about the companies promoting these products. Healthcolon.com, responsible for a large part of the colon-cleansing spam, is already out of business, or maybe banned for spamming.

Others scare you to death with messages like these, obviously written by a once- talented copywriter gone astray:

'Let me ask you this...which is worse:

A. The engine on your Lexus freezes up at 160,000 miles instead of 300,000. You take a financial hit and you are forced to buy a Toyota this time.

B. You start bleeding during bowel movements. You go to the doctor and get poked, prodded, X-ray'd, biopsied, etc. Three days later you get a call for a consultation. The doctor informs you that you have advanced colon cancer at 45 years old.

This site, Quackwatch tells you that a company called Girourd and Colon Therapeutics were notified that their colon-cleansing devices require professional supervision and cannot be legally marketed directly to consumers. The Wood Hygienic Institute of Florida and its owner were warned by watchdog FDA about quality control violations and the use of unapproved therapeutic claims in marketing their devices. And that is just the tip of the iceberg.

Another site, HealthFactsandFears.com warns that the continued use of products for internal cleansing can lead to cramping and dehydration. More severe side
effects may include cardiac arrhythmias, heart attack, kidney problems, and even death. If you want more regularity to your bowel movements, medical experts say, try eating more fibre.

We don't have a satisfactory explanation for the sudden rise of colon-cleaning spam, other than the fact that the market isn't regulated.

Now that pharmaceutical companies are fighting counterfeit products such as Generic Viagra more vigorously, and unlicensed online pharmacies are getting
caught more often, snake oil profiteers appear to be taking their chances with a less familiar product. Hopefully, not for long. ®

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