Monday, May 26, 2008

The Mucoid Plaque Scam

What is it? 

Mucoid plaque is a hoax invented by quack “nutrionalist” Richard Anderson. In Anderson’s words mucoid plaque is an “unhealthy accumulation of abnormal mucous matter on the walls of the intestines.” A lot of bogus health companies, like Blessed Herbs, DrNatura, and Millan's Home Colonic Cleansing Kit, have capitalized on Anderson's invention in order to sell "Colon Cleansing Kits." These kits claim to "remove old accumulated waste" called "mucoid plaque" that is passed from the human body in the form of long, rubbery bowel movements.

Acually, this "mucoid plaque" is simply the result of ingested powdered psyllium and bentonite clay bonding with the natural mucous lining of the intestinal walls.

Ingested powdered psyllium and bentonite clay?

Yes – psyllium is a naturally occurring plant whose seed husks are highly absorbant and become mucilaginous (gooey) when wet. It is used as a gelling agent in products like Metamucil and has been used in manufacturing ice cream and frozen desserts as it can increase its volume by tenfold or more through absorbing water. 

Bentonite is a very absorbant clay with dozens of industrial uses such as drilling, lining landfills, cement, adhesives, and cat litter.

But why do people ingest powdered psyllium and bentonite clay?

Ingesting powdered psyllium and bentonite clay is the basis of Richard Anderson’s scam to convince health-concious consumers that their bodies are full of mucoid plaque. A lot of bogus holistic health companies perpetuate this fabrication by selling an expensive psyllium and bentonite "colon cleansing kit" that you consume over a period of a few days, often while fasting.

How does it work?

The typical colon cleansing kit requires that you mix powdered psyllium and bentonite with liquid and consume the contents over a period of a few days. As the concoction is passed through your system the psyllium and bentonite clay react and bond to the mucous lining in your intestines to form a thick, rubbery product that is ultimately passed as a bowel movement. The more psyllium and bentonite you consume, the more "mucoid plaque" you will pass. You could eat nothing, drink only your psyllium / bentonite smoothie and have 6 bowel movements a day for a month - the colon cleansing kit simply turns your body into a rubber poop factory.

A lot of people get completely scammed by these companies, buy into the "rubber poop factory kit" and then take pictures of themselves and their new rubber poop and post them online.

Wait, people really take pictures of their rubber poop and post it online?

Yes, they do. You can see some of their pictures here:

Rubber Poop Suckers at

Rubber Poop Suckers at

Why do people buy into this mucoid plaque nonsense?

Because “there’s a sucker born every minute”. We want the latest greatest cure-all, and con-artists are successful because they know how to stay one step ahead of the general consumer. Every year there are new scams, and every year consumers figure out they’ve been scammed. Mucoid plaque is 21st century snake oil.

That's a helluva business idea!

It sure is!

1. Invent an imaginary health problem (aka "mucoid plaque").

2. Invent an all-natural remedy that actually causes the non-existent health problem (aka a "colon cleansing kit").

3. Sell the health problem and the remedy to suckers for 100 bucks a pop.

Why has my doctor never heard of mucoid plaque?

Your doctor has probably never heard of mucoid plaque because she's busy helping sick people instead of staying up to date on the latest holistic health scams.

This doctor has heard of mucoid plaque though and calls it "a complete fabrication with no anatomic basis."

Who is Mucoid Plaque Scambuster and what's your story?

I too am a sucker. Blessed Herbs got me pretty good. I bought into their "Colon Cleansing Kit" per a friend's recomendation (yes, suckers know suckers) and tried it for a week.

Here's the catch though - I'm a 30-year-old male, 125 lbs, 5'7". I have about 2% body weight. There's not a lot to me - any bodily changes I notice immediately. I was eating nothing but my psyllium / bentonite / apple smoothies (the juice becomes thick fast) for days, and having 5-6 bowel movements a day. Pounds and pounds of rubbery poop ("mucoid plaque") were coming out of me. My cheeks got a little gaunt, but curiously my abdomen never fluctuated in shape. That wasn't enough to pull the holistic health blinders off just yet. But then I accidentally left a little bit of the psyllium / bentonite powder from my rubber poop kit at the bottom of a glass of water and came back a few hours later to notice that it had spiralled up in a little rubbery shape that strangely resembled a miniature version of the "plaque" that I had been passing for days. But, no, I was still proud of my new poop.

Then a doctor friend of mine called to see if I wanted to go to dinner. I told him I couldn't because I was on this new "colonic cleansing fast" to rid my body of dangerous "mucoid plaque." My doctor friend had never heard of "mucoid plaque." I was still a sucker though.

Then my sister called me. I had talked her into doing the same Blessed Herbs cleansing scam, and she was calling to say she had a sneaking suspicion that all her rubbery poop was simply the same stuff she was putting in her body, aka psyllium / bentonite / apple smoothie. I told her to rest assured there was no scam and that we knew what we doing.

No, she really thought it was a scam. In fact, she had just talked to our uncle and he had told her he had heard about these mucoid plaque scams before too. OK, fine, I thought. I'll go google "mucoid plaque" and put this to rest once and for all. Wham! Pretty much all the top results in Google for "mucoid plaque" were message board postings from people who got scammed, how doctors have never heard of mucoid plaque and how this Richard Anderson guy is a total quack.

You see, for all you non-suckers out there, it takes us suckers a while to figure out that we're a sucker. And for all you suckers out there - hey, if you want to turn your body into a rubber poop factory for a week, there are lot of companies readily accepting your $100 today.

Get scammed by

Get scammed by

Get scammed by Millan's Home Colonic Cleansing Kit.

Get scammed by Detox Hawaii.

Get scammed by MyAfya.

Get the Facts:

Confessions of a Quackbuster: Mucoid Plaque - a dubious idea

The Detoxification Myth