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Gut Health and Repair Thread

by (10)
Updated about 18 hours ago
Created July 30, 2013 at 9:55 AM

Hi,

I would like to eventually make this a thread about repairing gut health properly via this method:

http://paleodietlifestyle.com/you-and-your-gut-flora/

I believe that sebastian (the man who wrote the article) seems to be one of the only people around going fully in depth with repairing gut health once and for all.

Here is the email I recently sent to Sebastian as I myself am about to start with his gut repair guide:

Hi Sebastian, My name is Jai, I am 22 years old and I live in Melbourne, Australia. I have been facing similar problems as you had in your past with weight gain all my life. I have been a reader of your site for a while though I have been following a paleo diet persae for the last few years, I have a few problems which I need help on. This may be a tad long but I hope I won't bore you to death. The article I am extremely interested in is the "You And Your Gut Flora" segment you have posted on your site. The reason being is that at the end of last year I was given large doses of some pretty powerful antibiotics to cure a bladder infection I had. I was in the emergency room on three different occasions where they prescribed me three different lots of antibiotics because they couldn't fix the problem. Finally after being on the right antibiotic, my doctor wanted to make sure I got rid of the bug completely. So I was on the final dose for about 3-4 months. Taking them twice a day. You can see the havoc that this would have caused on my stomach. Ever since then I have been bloated, had stomach pains and a high amount of flatulence after eating any meal. I had read your article a few times even before I had the bladder infection or taken the antibiotics because I was having a few minor issues with digestion etc. I was amazed that you were one of the only people on the web to have a proper natural insight on how to fix things properly for good. That is one of the main reasons I am approaching you for help. It hasn't been a great run but recently I decided to get my gut and general health tested to see what the exact problem was instead of playing guessing games like I had been doing for so long. It turns out I have zero good bacteria in my stomach at the moment. The good news is there is no sign of yeast or other nasties, just an absence of good bacteria. I have tried for ages with changing my diet and eating fermented foods, taking probiotics etc but nothing seems to help. So I feel my only option is to go the full way and follow your guide by wiping out all the nasties and starting fresh. I had all my tests done with a licensed naturopath but as soon as my results were in she started trying to force products down my throat and it didn't seem right to me. I wanted a way that would actually work instead of buying a whole bunch of products and hoping for the best. Let me tell you a bit more about my eating habits so you better understand my position. I am willing and do regularly eat Liver and Bone Broth. I am a very adventurous eater and am willing and able to do anything or eat anything to fix this problem. I am looking for the most help possible in this situation due to a lack of knowledge. My questions to you I guess would be: Is there anything you would change or update since writing that article? It seems that yours is the only guide of its kind out there that I have found but are there any other new materials or guides you think I should read before diving into it? I was wondering if you think it would help if I had a series of colonics before starting the process? What are your views on this? Do you think that maybe as I am doing it we could email back and forth if I had any concerns? As you already know the whole process is pretty full on and I am fairly confident in doing it all thoroughly, I guess I just need the confirmation from someone else to which is the right approach and correct way of fixing everything for good. I look forward to your response.... Thank you in advance! Regards, Jai Felinski Melbourne, Australia

Anyway that is pretty much my story. I was hoping that people could chime in with their knowledge and maybe answer some of the questions I have sent to Sebastian or add extra info about the topic that they have found useful or think would help. It would also be good to see everyones view on this subject too.

I will post up the answer email if and when sebastian hopefully replies.

Thanks

Jai

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3180 · August 14, 2013 at 8:27 PM

I think you are confusing resistant starch with another prebiotic...inulin. Although inulin is a great prebiotic, and should be consumed, RS is the preferred food of bifidobacteria. Inulin is much more 'fartogenic' for this reason.

208ed7fa2063991f973413a160aa0df0
10 · August 14, 2013 at 1:31 AM

Hi Lauren. Yes, Stool quality is a major part of it all too. What are your thoughts on the guide from Sebastian?

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1262 · August 14, 2013 at 12:42 AM

akman, I congratulate you for an excellent post, but there are better sources than green bananas. Yacon, root chicory and I believe cardoon have much more. Virtually all the traditional root crops have substantial amounts, and turnips and beets can be grated into salads, and parsnips and rutabagas are cheap. Yacon is so easy to cultivate, anyone with a place where to place a 5 gallon container in the sun could grow it.

208ed7fa2063991f973413a160aa0df0
10 · August 07, 2013 at 7:45 AM

My bad, Ctrl C + V and emails don't go well together.

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3180 · August 01, 2013 at 5:37 PM

http://www.pillscout.com/2013/07/29/an-introdution-to-resistant-starches/ Here's a good place to start--follow the four links at the end. The main article you cited (http://paleodietlifestyle.com/you-and-your-gut-flora/) is severly flawed in my opinion, in that he totally neglects the impact of fermentable fiber and resistant starch. Those are the only two things that feed beneficial gut microbes, anything you do without ingesting lots of these is just pissing in the wind.

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15400 · August 01, 2013 at 7:19 AM

Jai, the most important thing is a combination of PREBIOTICs and PROBIOTICS. For Probiotics, check out Paleohacks - they recommend a number of different options. For prebiotics - sweet potatoes, Jerusalem artichoke, onions, garlic and maybe you can get both prebiotics and probiotics in the same jar? Good luck!

208ed7fa2063991f973413a160aa0df0
10 · August 01, 2013 at 6:42 AM

That sounds very interesting, has anyone else followed this? can you elaborate at all on RS eating? I am totally open to ideas but it sounds too good to be true?

208ed7fa2063991f973413a160aa0df0
10 · August 01, 2013 at 6:37 AM

Thank you, I have been tested for gut flora via a Complete Digestive Stool Analysis and it has been shown I have zero good bacteria currently in my stomach due to the antibiotics!! Scary stuff. The good news is there is no sign of yeast, candida, infection etc

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2944 · July 30, 2013 at 12:25 PM

paragraphs are your friend ;)

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4 Answers

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3180 · July 30, 2013 at 9:51 PM

I think gut health is probably THE most important factor in overall health and an area where we can make a huge impact with minor tweaks.

Didja know: - Gut flora is responsible for producing most of the serotonin in our system? - Newborn babies receive their gut flora from their mother's birth canal--babies born by C-Section lack certain gut flora and it can cause problems many years later?
- Sorting out gut flora issues can resolve things like obesity, ADHD, Alzheimer's, diabetes, and a host of other metabolic and psychiatric disorders?

We have been hearing all this for years! Who can tell me what the proper mix of gut flora is? Nobody! Who can tell me how to ensure my gut flora are thriving? Nobody!

I have worked out a way to ensure you are doing all you can do for your gut microbes, though.

The gut microbes we are concerned with are the ones that live in the large intestine. These guys eat anything that didn't get digested in the small intestine. The most beneficial microbes (called bifido bacteria) specifically thrive on a diet of plant fiber and resistant starch. The bad bacteria (entero) thrive on the SAD diet eating mainly undigested sugars, protein, fat and vegetable oils.

Feed the bad guys, they immediately take over your large intestine, crowding out all prime real estate from the good bacteria. Feed the good guys--they do the same thing.

If we eat a really clean paleo diet (high or low carb), we are not necessarily providing the food needed for good bacteria to thrive. What is needed is about 20g/day of fermentable fiber.

Dietary Fiber listed on nutrition labels is a misnomer. It includes fermentable and non-fermentable (mostly non!). Using this as a guideline to get the recommended 20-40g/day of fiber will leave you well short of fermentable fiber for your good gut microbes to thrive.

Fermentable fiber, AKA, inulin, fructo (and other) oligosaccaharides, and the whole range of FODMAPs are needed to support proper gut health. Unfortunately, relying on fermentable fiber solely from eating the FODMAPs will only get you 5-10g/day. More is needed.

The other fermentable substrate you may have heard of is known as resistant starch. It acts like fermentable fiber but has many more properties and is only limited by it's relative scarcity in food. Raw tubers, nuts, legumes, underripe fruit, and cooked then cooled starches all have RS in them. The SAD provides 3-5g/day of RS, hardly enough! A typical LC paleo diet provides 1-2g/day. Shameful!

Here's how to solve all these problems: Every day eat an underripe banana--one that is still green. A really, really green banana can have about 15g of RS in it for a medium sized banana. As it ripens, that RS goes to zero. So eat them as green as you can tolerate.

If you eat potatoes (if you don't, you should start), eat a few slices of raw potato while preparing them--peel well and eat--won't kill you, may save you. Cook and eat as you like, but save some leftovers to eat cold the next day--the RS doubles as it chills. Same for rice.

Eat some beans, a paleo no-no, but I don't know why... Soak them for 24 hours to remove toxins via fermentation at room temp, rinse well and cook slowly for 4hrs or until tender. Cook up a whole bag--freeze leftovers. Freezing beans causes RS to double. A cup of beans, any beans, will contain between 5 and 10g of RS. Canned beans are crap--no RS--not fermented--don't eat canned beans!

Don't like those ideas? Try this: Buy some unmodified potato starch. Easy to find and cheap. Must be unmodified! Not potato flour, starch! Every tablespoon of this stuff contains 7-8g of RS in it's raw state. Heat it above 160 degrees F and it has none. Put 2TBS in a smoothie or mixed in yogurt and you have over half the daily requirement for fermentable gut food!

So, to recap for the tl/dr crowd: For excellent gut health, eat fermentable fiber and resistant starch.

208ed7fa2063991f973413a160aa0df0
10 · August 01, 2013 at 6:42 AM

That sounds very interesting, has anyone else followed this? can you elaborate at all on RS eating? I am totally open to ideas but it sounds too good to be true?

61a27a8b7ec2264b1821923b271eaf54
3180 · August 01, 2013 at 5:37 PM

http://www.pillscout.com/2013/07/29/an-introdution-to-resistant-starches/ Here's a good place to start--follow the four links at the end. The main article you cited (http://paleodietlifestyle.com/you-and-your-gut-flora/) is severly flawed in my opinion, in that he totally neglects the impact of fermentable fiber and resistant starch. Those are the only two things that feed beneficial gut microbes, anything you do without ingesting lots of these is just pissing in the wind.

B82f2515ba5a800bed018c9536f9108d
1262 · August 14, 2013 at 12:42 AM

akman, I congratulate you for an excellent post, but there are better sources than green bananas. Yacon, root chicory and I believe cardoon have much more. Virtually all the traditional root crops have substantial amounts, and turnips and beets can be grated into salads, and parsnips and rutabagas are cheap. Yacon is so easy to cultivate, anyone with a place where to place a 5 gallon container in the sun could grow it.

61a27a8b7ec2264b1821923b271eaf54
3180 · August 14, 2013 at 8:27 PM

I think you are confusing resistant starch with another prebiotic...inulin. Although inulin is a great prebiotic, and should be consumed, RS is the preferred food of bifidobacteria. Inulin is much more 'fartogenic' for this reason.

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720 · August 13, 2013 at 11:50 PM

This is all really interesting as I've been dealing with horrible gut issues for years. I've done lots of testing as well and nothing comes up except "ibs" which I think is BS. Are we talking about stool quality here as well? Because that's my main issue...

Done all the probiotics, digestive enzymes, fiber, chia seed, cutting out everything under the sun, nothing helps at all.

Curious about this unripe banana :)

208ed7fa2063991f973413a160aa0df0
10 · August 14, 2013 at 1:31 AM

Hi Lauren. Yes, Stool quality is a major part of it all too. What are your thoughts on the guide from Sebastian?

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15400 · July 30, 2013 at 8:46 PM

Jai, just so you know - sometimes diet and supplements are NOT enough. I think you should start by figuring out what you are up against. Testing is highly beneficial.

Good luck! I am in the same boat.

208ed7fa2063991f973413a160aa0df0
10 · August 01, 2013 at 6:37 AM

Thank you, I have been tested for gut flora via a Complete Digestive Stool Analysis and it has been shown I have zero good bacteria currently in my stomach due to the antibiotics!! Scary stuff. The good news is there is no sign of yeast, candida, infection etc

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790
15400 · August 01, 2013 at 7:19 AM

Jai, the most important thing is a combination of PREBIOTICs and PROBIOTICS. For Probiotics, check out Paleohacks - they recommend a number of different options. For prebiotics - sweet potatoes, Jerusalem artichoke, onions, garlic and maybe you can get both prebiotics and probiotics in the same jar? Good luck!

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