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Ask Dr. Mike: Coffee Enemas & Is the HPV Vaccine Really Necessary?

Here you'll find the answers to a wealth of health and wellness questions posed by Healthy Talk fans.

Listen in because what you know helps ensure healthy choices you can live with. Today on Healthy Talk, you wanted to know:

Is the HPV vaccine really necessary?

There's a widespread belief among many people that vaccines are a fraud. HPV (Human Papillomavirus) is a viral infection that contains over 100 different strains, with at least 30 known strains that can cause cancer.

Dr. Mike can't really say if it is necessary or not. HPV has always been around and been linked to cervical, neck and throat cancers. Dr. Mike does want to mention that we are living in a different environment with a lot more people. Studies have shown that teenagers are having sexual intercourse more frequently and younger. Because of the combination of those factors, doctors and researchers should be studying HPV more.

Are coffee enemas as good as experts say they are?

Coffee enemas have been used in the holistic community for years. They are known to help constipation, fatigue, insomnia, and cognitive problems, and have been used in cancer therapies. However, the debate is still out there of whether or not the benefits of coffee enemas are true.

If you have a health question or concern, Dr. Mike encourages you to write him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call in, toll-free, to the LIVE radio show (1.844.305.7800) so he can provide you with support and helpful advice.

RadioMD Presents: Healthy Talk with Dr. Michael Smith | Original Air Date: May 29, 2015
Host: Mike Smith, MD

It’s time for you to be a part of the show. Email or call with questions for Dr. Mike now. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 877-711-5211. What are you waiting for? The doctor is in.

DR. MIKE: My first question I am going to be pretty quick with because I think to really get into this would take a longer time and I’ve got some other questions that I want to do. The question from a listener is

“Is the HPV vaccine really necessary? We’ve never seen problems with HPV until ‘now’.”

And the person did now in quotes. I think I understand what they mean by that. There is this belief among some people that the whole vaccine industry is a fraud or whatever and they are making up diseases. Pretty soon, we are going to be taking hundreds of vaccines throughout our lives to prevent all kinds of stuff. The theory of vaccines…They work great. My degree was in immunology and microbiology before I went to medical school. I have studied vaccines probably more than most doctors. They do work. They do have benefit and they have done some great things for us as humans over the past few decades. The question specifically here is about HPV--human papillomavirus. In girls it can cause cervical cancer. It also has been linked to cancer of the esophagus and the soft tissues of the neck and that happens in boys more than girls. Is it really necessary? I am not ready to say “yes” or “no” at this point. But I want to really address the second part of this where is says, “We’ve never had a problem with HPV until ‘now’ ” and this person puts that in quotes. I understand what the listener means by that. HPV has always been around. It has always been linked to cervical cancer and neck cancers. We’ve always done just fine. Is the vaccine really preventing a lot of these cancers from happening? Is it really necessary? I get all that. What I want to mention to this listener is this: but we live in a different time today. We live in a different environment. We have a lot more people. We have teenagers having sex at younger and younger ages and a lot more often. That has been shown in lots of different epidemiological type studies when they ask about smoking and drinking and drugs and sex. All of it is happening younger and younger. Girls are going into their first period younger and younger. It is a different time and a different place. It is not a fair comparison to take today and say, “Why should we do this vaccine today when HPV has always been around?” Twenty years ago was very different then today in terms of the number of people, the number of partners, the number of times teenagers are having sex before they get out of high school. All of that is different today. Because of that, we should be looking at HPV a little bit more and we should be looking at the vaccine. I am not saying it is absolutely necessary yet. I think we need some more research on it but it is just a different time today than it was 20, 30, 40 years ago. It is a legitimate question. Is HPV worse today? Not so much. The virus is more virulent. Is it just spreading more because we have more people or kids are having sex younger, that kind of stuff? I think it is a legitimate question.

Next question.

“Are coffee enemas really as good as some experts say they are?” I looked at this question and I said to myself, “I don’t know a lot about coffee enemas.” I had some of the Life Extension advisors put together what they believe to be the pros and cons of coffee enemas. I am going to go over the pros and cons. In doing this, I asked a health advisor at Life Extensions who I know does coffee enemas and really believes in them to give me the pro part. For the con part, I asked an advisor who I know is absolutely against coffee enemas. I have heard them having little debates at lunch about this. I wanted to get the pro from the person who does it; the con from the person who doesn’t like it and let’s just see where we are at with that. By the way, I know a lot of people in the industry who do them and they swear by them. Historically speaking, anecdotally speaking, people love them. They say they feel better. They have more energy. Suzanne Somers, a good friend of mine – I have been on her show. She has been on my show. She does them. She swears by them. Let’s just see what the Life Extension health advisors had to say.

Here is the pro person. This is from the health advisor that does them: “Coffee enemas are used by holistic physicians for all sorts of conditions including cancer. Lots of people find help with constipation, fatigue and liver detoxification concerns. I know this sounds bizarre because you prefer to taste your coffee, not insert it rectally. Agreed.” I’m not going to read everything, but, seriously, coffee enemas may help to relieve constipation, insomnia, cognitive problems. They may eliminate or control parasites, yeast infections, other pathogens. “Coffee enemas are frequently used in natural cancer protocols such as the Gerson therapy,” which is a type of natural cancer therapy that was done many years ago by a guy named Dr. Gerson. “Coffee enemas were outlined as a treatment in the Merck manual, in the mid-1970s.” It’s not the enema as much as it is the coffee that helps. You are exposed to a barrage of toxin compounds in your life and you can easily become overloaded. Some of you cannot detoxify properly. Coffee enemas help you make glutathione, an antioxidant that sends poisons packing. Ultimately, what the person who has done coffee enemas is saying is there is some historical use, even in conventional medicine. “The coffee itself helps to boost glutathione levels which is critical to detoxification pathways.” I don’t know if that is true. I am not sure. There are a lot of different types of antioxidants in coffee. There is obviously caffeine. I would have to review the literature to see if some of those antioxidants in coffee or the caffeine is linked to glutathione production. I haven’t seen that before, so I’m not sure. But that is what is being stated here. I am going to play devils’ advocate as I read the pros and cons. I am questioning that. “Coffee enemas can be done at home inexpensively.” That I’ll go with. “You just need a comfortable spot on the floor in your bathroom or bathtub. As the coffee is retained in your bowel, the fluid goes through your intestinal wall through the portal vein into your liver.” Even that connection, I’m not sure about. So, large bowel, specifically rectum, through the intestinal wall. We do know the colon can absorb some fluids like water. Whether or not that gets into the portal vein or not, that’s questionable. The portal vein is usually more connected to the small bowel. So, I don’t know about that. “The stimulating effects and healing compounds in coffee jump start your liver and gall bladder. Bile will flow and help you get rid of toxins.” There are some of the pros. I question that whole thing about glutathione and I question the whole thing about getting into the portal vein. That’s the pros.

This is from the cons health advisor. “Coffee enemas are considered unsafe and should be avoided.” Pretty straight forward. Knowing this health advisor that is exactly how this person would say that. “Rare but serious adverse effects like septicemia, ”--which is bacteria in your blood—“rectal perforation”—Oh, come on. That is pretty rare. “And electrolyte abnormalities have been caused by coffee enemas. “All of that, yes. Septicemia, perforation, electrolyte – all of that can happen with any kind of enema, but let’s be honest those are rare, rare, rare events. He even says, “Deaths from the administration of coffee enemas have been reported.” I have never seen that before. I have to question that. “Coffee enemas are based on a pre-scientific idea called autointoxication - the belief that we are being poisoned by toxins because we are not digesting and eliminating waste products from our colons. This concept is not new and has roots as far back as our records of medicine. Autointoxication as a concept was discarded over time as the scientific basis for disease was discovered.” That is not true. Autointoxication is still something being studied and thought about even in conventional circles. That’s not true. So, here we have the pros and the cons. I’ll let you decide. I’m personally not going to do it. I am going to stick to drinking coffee. But the debate is still out.

This is Healthy Talk on RadioMD. I’m Dr. Mike. Stay well.