Digestive Myths: What's True?

Better to have a schnapps after dinner for digestion? And should the intestines be purged again? Some digestive myths persist. We clarify what is right and what is not

Lemon lie: The fruit provides a lot of vitamin C, but does not detoxify

© W & B / Philipp Nemenz

Does it help to purify the intestines?

"In a healthy human body there is no accumulation of waste products and deposits of metabolic products. Substances that cannot be used are excreted through the intestines and kidneys," according to the German Nutrition Society. The intestine tries to get rid of harmful things such as germs through diarrhea. Tea, enemas and fasting cures therefore do not detoxify, at best they relieve the digestive tract.

Does schnapps stimulate digestion?

Quite the opposite: studies such as those from the University Hospital Zurich show that the comforting feeling arises because alcohol relaxes the stomach muscles. Although then the feeling of fullness subsides, but that is a deceptive effect. Because the pumping movements that transport the stomach contents towards the intestines are also inhibited. And high-percentage alcohol irritates the stomach lining.

Does bad breath come from the stomach?

This only applies in ten percent of the cases. Heartburn, food intolerance or an inflammation of the gastric mucosa can then be the cause. In the vast majority of cases, the cause can be found in the oral cavity or in the nasopharynx. Possible reasons: inadequate hygiene, dental disease or purulent tonsillitis.

Does all the blood move to the intestines after eating?

Fifty years ago, US researchers disproved the thesis that muscles are not adequately supplied after eating because the blood is used for digestion. Nevertheless, one should absolutely observe the rule "do not go into the water with a full stomach".

But for another reason: the sudden cold stimulus stresses the heart and can lead to vomiting. There is a risk of choking on vomit in the water. The German Life Saving Society advises waiting about half an hour after eating.

Does every fart stink?

The intestine releases up to 1.5 liters of air a day. Most of it is an odorless mixture of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, water and oxygen. Only one percent of the so-called flatulence stinks, which is due to fermentation and putrefaction gases in the large intestine. Meals with beans, cheese or meat increase the effect. Usually it is the quiet farts that are uncomfortable for the nose.