Originally posted by Dr. Davis on 2015-01-28
on the Wheat Belly Blog,
sourced from and currently found at: Infinite Health Blog.
PCM forum Index
of WB Blog articles.
Remember: Cultivate healthy bowel flora!
CB chimed in on the Wheat Belly Facebook page with this
interesting observation after taking efforts to cultivate healthy bowel flora:
“Added green bananas and raw potatoes to my fare: cannot believe
how much better I am sleeping and dreaming! I was not getting
enough sleep this last year. Now, every night, technicolour vibrancy and fully under.
“I also notice my running has improved, as my joints feel looser
and don’t hurt afterwards as they normally do, and I do not tire as easily.
“I was skeptical about the whole resistant starch thing, especially
as I was complacent with my food habits after 3 years on Wheat Belly.
I suppose this means old dogs CAN learn new tricks by keeping an open
mind and giving things a try. Thanks once again, Dr. D.!”
CB’s observation highlights how bowel flora affect emotional and
mental health in important ways. Not only cam sleep become deeper and be
filled with vivid dreams (reflecting deeper, more extended REM? enhanced
endogenous pineal melatonin?), but depression can lift, anxiety can be
reduced. It’s not entirely clear how healthy bowel flora
exert this effect (via butyrate, as with other metabolic parameters?),
but it reflects the profound influence healthy bowel flora species
have on the human brain.
The pro- and prebiotic approach to cultivating bowel flora is discussed
in this Wheat Belly Blog post, as
well as an extended conversation in Wheat Belly Total Health. Also bear in
mind that we try to cultivate bowel flora species diversity.
In every instance when healthier populations are compared to less
healthy populations–non-diabetics vs. diabetics, slender vs.
obese, no autoimmunity vs. autoimmune disease, primitive culture vs.
modern culture–diversity of bacterial species is a consistent
characteristic among the healthier population. There is therefore
benefit to varying your prebiotic fiber/resistant starch
routine, and not doing the same thing day in, day out. More
about this to come in future.
The relief from joint stiffness that CB experienced also suggests
positive changes in joint health and further reduction in inflammation.
Disrupted bowel flora can trigger autoimmunity and inflammation on their
own, even after grains have been removed from the diet. This effect,
along with metabolic benefits that include reduced insulin, reduced
blood sugar, reduced blood pressure, and reduced triglycerides, is
likely at least partially from bacterial metabolism of resistant
fibers to the fatty acid, butyrate. Butyrate also exerts important
effects on nourishing intestinal tissue and promoting healing (of
cellular tight junctions).
Like CB did, everyone needs to purposefully cultivate healthy bowel
flora, as we all start with bowel flora disrupted by many factors in
modern life: intermittent antibiotics, wheat and grains, sugars,
antibiotic residues in meat, chlorinated and fluoridated municipal
water, Bt toxin and glyphosate-containing corn, and others. By
“seeding” the intestinal tract with a high-potency
probiotic, then nourishing bowel flora with prebiotic fibers/resistant
starches, it’s your best chance to regain something close to
healthy bowel flora over several months of effort.