Editor-s Choice: Oxy-Powder®

Dark Stool

In the second half of the 1960’s, a Pennsylvania physician awaited the arrival in her office of a young female patient. The physician did not then know she would soon be speaking to her patient about an unusual subject matter—dark stool.

What Causes Stool to Become Dark?

The teenager, a girl who attended the local high school, soon walked through the office door. The patient began to relate her brief and questionable menstrual history. The girl had had spotting for a couple of months at the age of 14; but now, two years later, this young lady did not have a regular period.

Since the girl was short and thin, the doctor suspected she might suffer from an iron deficiency and she prescribed a supplement to that effect. However, the doctor also warned about the possible appearance of dark stool.

The physician explained the iron pills would cause the girl to ingest more iron daily than a body typically needs. The doctor informed her patient the unneeded iron would pass through the girl’s digestive system, whereupon the unabsorbed iron could cause the formation of a dark stool.

Today, one can often obtain iron pills in a health food store. No notice and no salesperson in such a store normally inform the customer about the possible appearance of dark stool following use of iron supplements. But an even greater mystery yet remains. What changes in the American health system led to the manufacture and sale of a product that causes dark stool?

The Invention of Iron Supplements

It is significant the above story transpired during the 1960’s. The American Chemical Society has called that decade the “Pharmaceutical Decade of the Pharmaceutical Century.” Pills of all sorts seemed to be everywhere for the first time, and society was just beginning to learn how to deal with the benefits and potential dangers of a large variety of prescription drugs.

Discovery, during the 1960’s, that some substances cause cancer led to passage of the Toxic Substances Control Act. According to the provisions of the act, the Environmental Protection Agency had the authority to inventory all chemicals marketed in the United States. By the 1970’s, the United States Congress had realized that testing for toxicity involved a bit more supervision than what had originally been written into law. In other words, the responsibility of the public’s safety could not always be left in the hands of the manufacturers which stood (and still stand) to profit immeasurably from sales of prescription drugs.

In the 1970’s, the Congress mandated the use by certain manufacturers (including pill makers) of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). Companies adhering to the GMP would, Congress believed, ensure the American public of quality product as long as the production facility satisfied the FDA regulations. As the American interest in holistic health grew, the pill manufacturers began producing tons of dietary supplements for every “ailment” real or imagined, and those supplements included pills containing large quantities of iron. Since such pills could be purchased without a prescription at that time, consumers did not always know how much iron any one person needed to consume daily.

Iron Overdose Can Lead to Dark Stool

The stores selling the iron-containing supplements seldom posted information regarding anything like the modern RDA. Hence, women over age 50 and adult men did not realize they needed only 8 mg of iron each day. Adult women under age 50 likewise did not know they should limit their iron intake to 18 mg per day.

As a result, too many people ingested iron-containing pills when they weren’t necessary and also high amounts of iron when small amounts would have sufficed. Those individuals invariably experienced the symptoms accompanying the excess intake of iron. They undoubtedly noticed dark stool as one of the immediate results; but may have remained unaware excess iron has the ability to damage the heart and liver.

Neither excess iron in the body nor the presence of dark stool poses a severe health danger if temporary in duration. If, however, one continues taking an iron supplement for a long time (despite the appearance of dark stool) they could encounter additional problems. For example, someone ingesting an unneeded iron supplement can suffer from severe constipation in addition to the dark stool.

Colon Cleansing to the Rescue!

Fortunately, the arrival of the Internet a few decades later allowed people to easily obtain a product to help prevent constipation. Oxy-Powder® contains oxides of Magnesium and Citric Acid—that’s it! These natural ingredients work with your body’s digestive system to liquefy the fecal contents of the colon even when the waste has become highly compacted. The liquid material then passes easily out of the colon. Once your digestive system is cleared of this putrefying debris, it can begin working more efficiently to process nutrients and eliminate waste.

Nowadays, the makers of iron supplements recommend no one take them before consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. If you want to avoid the risk associated with iron supplements, the produce department at your local market contains a number of iron-rich foods. Artichokes, parsley, spinach, broccoli, and green beans are all great sources of iron. You can also obtain iron by eating tofu, clams, shrimp, and beef liver. Don’t forget—buy organic or locally grown foods to receive the most nutrients and avoid pesticides, preservatives, hormones, and other chemicals found in processed foods. Stick to natural methods to obtain your iron, so you can avoid having dark stool, and then try Oxy-Powder® if you need help with colon cleansing to keep things running smoothly!

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