MMC- The cleansing waves of the body












The Cleansing waves of the body called Migrating motor complex ( MMC) are body’s natural mechanism to reduce the bacterial overgrowth in stomach and small intestine.

When things are not moving downwards, it can lead to symptoms such as bloating, distension, constipation, belching, nausea, abdominal pain, reflux, difficulty swallowing etc. We often see this in conditions such as SIBO, IBS, functional dyspepsia, GERD and other motility related disorders.

What helps stimulate MMC?

Agents such as Prokinetics stimulate these waves in the GI tract and coordinate movement downwards.  They do this by co coordinating muscular contractions and thereby improve GI motility and transit. Prokinetics are not laxatives and Laxatives are not prokinetics.  

These agents act on different areas of the Gastro intestinal system such as esophagus, stomach, Small intestine and the Large Intestine.  They do so by acting on various receptors in the gut.

There are various prokinetic agents – Prescriptive drugs and Natural prokinetics.

Natural prokinetics herbs such as Iberis amara, ginger, caraway etc and nutrients such as 5-HTP have shown to be effective in studies. My favourite prokinetic that is naturopathic is Prokine (Vitaaid)and  motil Pro ( Pure encaps).

I strongly believe that grazing can block the cleansing waves. So, spacing your meals 3-5 hrs apart is also important.

If you suffer from abdominal symptoms, give us a call or check with a qualified naturopathic doctor to get to the bottom of it.


Sources :

Prokinetics in Gastro paresis , Gastro enterol Clin North Am 2015 Mar;44(1):97-111.

Sheptulin AA, Belousova IB. Modern Prokinetics And Their Role In The Treatment Of Gastroenterological Pathology. Klin Med (Mosk).
2016;94(3):178-82. Review. Russian. PubMed PMID: 27522721

Ottillinger B, Storr M, Malfertheiner P, Allescher H. STW 5 (Iberogast®)—a safe and effective standard in the treatment of functional
gastrointestinal disorders. Wiener Medizinische Wochenschrift. 2012;163(3-4):65-72. doi:10.1007/s10354-012-0169-x

Effects of Ginger on Gastroduodenal motility  GH Micklefield, Y Redeker, V Meister, Int Journal of Pharmcology Ther  1999 Jul;37(7):341-6.

Camilleri M, Parkman HP, Shafi MA, et al, “Clinical Guideline: Management of Gastroparesis,” Am J Gastroenterol, 2013, 108(1):18–37

5-Hydroxytryptophan Activates Colonic Myenteric Neurons and Propulsive Motor Function Through 5-HT4 Receptors in Conscious Mice L Wang

PMID: 16990446 10.1152/ajpgi.00289.2006



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