For anyone who has had a colonoscopy, you know that the very worst part is the prep- which is the fault of that terrible drink! In order to clear your colon and rectum for doctors to examine, you have to first drink a HUGE amount of a salty, nasty-tasting drink and laxative.

So, while many patients avoid the procedure because the prep process is so horrendous, 40% of all colon cancers could be prevented if people underwent regular colonoscopy screenings, according to the Harvard School of Public Health.
The CNN article quotes Dr. Douglas Rex as saying:
“Bowel preparation is the most commonly cited reason for not undergoing colonoscopy, and this is true even for patients who have never had a colonoscopy. This means the word is out that bowel preparation is generally unpleasant, and efforts to improve the tolerability of colonoscopy bowel preparation are an important aspect of the drive to lower colorectal cancer incidence and mortality.”
So, to combat people NOT getting their colonoscopies, Boston-based ColonaryConcepts is attempting to develop bowel-clearing food bars and drinks that taste more like fruit smoothies and chocolate (although more research is needed before the products will be available to the public).
The bars, smoothies and beverges all come in a couple of different flavors and contain the same purgative active ingredient, called polyethylene glycol (PEG) 3350, that is often used in colonoscopy prep products (no thank you).
From the article:
“I’m really proud that we’ve invented something different that makes the experience so much easier,” said Dr. Corey Siegel, a gastroenterologist at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, who is a co-founder of ColonaryConcepts.”
Doctors conducting colonoscopies who used the top three most effective bars and drinks by ColonaryConcepts, rated the bowel cleansing of around 90% of the patients in the test group as “excellent” or “good”, in terms of effectiveness.
More from the article:
“The results showed that a formulation of three food bars and two shakes containing PEG plus three glasses of electrolyte drink provided the best cleansing,” he said. So, instead of fasting for 24 hours before a colonoscopy and having to drink a salty, distasteful liquid, patients could start their pre-colonoscopy process with eating the bars and a beverage for lunch and dinner, and then a smoothie for the morning.”
This new product is scheduled to begin phase 3 trials early next year and if it does well, the products could be on the market as soon as 2018 (the bars are also being tested separately to see if they could be used to treat constipation).
There is a third group of patients, though: those who opt to use virtual colonoscopy. This manner uses x-rays and a computer to create scanned images of a colon for doctors to examine. The only downside is that doctors can’t immediately remove any colon polyps or small clump cells if they find them.
Happy Friday Health Nuts!
XO- Erin
Source: CNN