Welcome Guest, Give the Gift of Health to Your Loved Ones
Originally posted by Dr. Davis on 2015-01-17
on the Wheat Belly Blog,
sourced from and currently found at: Infinite Health Blog.
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of WB Blog articles.
I can hear the titters now. But, seriously, do you
have a deficiency of wood fiber, i.e., cellulose?
No? Then why were you following the common advice
to include breakfast cereals such as All Bran, Fiber One, and Raisin Bran
that, yes, are rich in fiber, but mostly rich in the cellulose
fiber that is a constituent of wood? Cellulose in small quantities, as
occurs in green vegetables and fruit is harmless, perhaps modestly
beneficial. But there is no need to “supplement” with large
quantities, as occurs with such bran or fiber-rich cereals.
Cellulose fiber undoubtedly bulks up bowel
movements, as humans lack the digestive apparatus to break it down.
Likewise, very little cellulose is broken down by bowel flora.
Cellulose therefore simply passes through, relatively inert, though
suspected to yield a damaging abrasive effect on the delicate
intestinal lining in its passage when consumed in high quantities.
The discussion surrounding fibers has been
confused by the more recently appreciated fact that fiber is not just
one thing, but several different varieties. Just as
“nutrients” can mean everything from vitamin C in
citrus fruit to vitamin K2 in fermented dairy products to
carotenoids in yellow/orange fruits and vegetables, so can the
term “fiber” refer to a range of different things.
The popular notion of fiber is therefore
that of cellulose. The poop-bulking effect of cellulose can fool you
into thinking that you have achieved bowel health. In the case of
wheat and grains, for instance, wheat germ agglutinin and gliadin
peptide fragments are highly toxic to the intestinal wall, block
gallbladder and pancreatic function, and induce alterations in bowel
flora. Cellulose and phytates bind minerals, such as iron and zinc,
and make them unavailable to you. But the cellulose provides the
appearance of bulky stools despite the toxic damage incurred,
causing you to believe that you’ve had a healthy BM. It is clear
that the cellulose fibers of grains do not
provide protection from colon cancer, despite the popular notion
that they are protective. (The studies that document the health
benefits of fibers did not break them down into the various forms,
lumping all fibers together.)
We therefore need to get rid of the notion that
cellulose fibers are necessary for gastrointestinal health. There is,
however, a form of fiber that you will miss when you eliminate grains:
arabinoxylan. Minus wheat and grains in your diet, you
will lose about 3 grams per day of this beneficial (I hate
to admit!) indigestible but prebiotic fiber, i.e., a fiber
that is indigestible by you but is metabolized by bowel flora. Because
most people obtain only a total of 8-9 grams per day of this hugely
beneficial class of fibers, losing the 3 grams per day of
arabinoxylan can yield constipation, abdominal discomfort, result in
metabolic distortions such as higher blood pressure and blood sugar,
and increased potential for colon cancer.
So, if there is a fiber to replace, it is to
amp up your intake of prebiotic fibers, AKA “resistant
starches.” Even better, increase your intake to a level higher than
the average 8-9 grams per day intake to the ideal intake
of 20 grams per day. We accomplish this by adding foods such as
raw potatoes and green bananas to our daily routine, detailed in this Wheat Belly Blog post.
We therefore need to rid ourselves of the notion
that wood fibers–cellulose–are necessary for health, and
replace this with the notion that our bowel flora require a specific
class of prebiotic fibers to support the health of their host: you.
Take care of your bowel flora and they will take care of you. By obtaining
a healthy intake of such prebiotic fibers, you not only achieve bowel
health and regularity without adding cellulose, but you also enjoy
wonderful metabolic benefits, as bowel flora metabolize these fibers
to metabolic mediators, such as butyrate, that reduce blood pressure,
reduce insulin and blood sugar, raise HDL, reduce triglycerides,
reduce LDL values, improve mood and reduce anxiety, and deepen sleep.