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    wilberfan's Avatar
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    The Increasing Awareness of the Gut Biome

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    Fascinating how 'primal' topics end up in the mainstream press...eventually. This, from the NY Times today.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/20/wo...ling-book.html
    Vegan from 1993 until Oct 16, 2010. "D'oh!!"

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    I actually think primal is a bit behind when it comes to the microbiome. Still a big insistence from some that plant food is basically unimportant and that the lower carb you can go, the better...

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    I agree! Completely behind actually. This emphasis on fats being 1/2 to 2/3 of your macros is unfounded. To nourish your gut biome, you need plenty of carb sources containing a diversity of fermentable fibers, and that can include whole grains and legumes, yes. At least 2/3 of your foods should be composed of these carb sources. You can complete the diet with animal based stuff (dairy, fish, eggs, meat and organs).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Urja View Post
    I actually think primal is a bit behind when it comes to the microbiome. Still a big insistence from some that plant food is basically unimportant and that the lower carb you can go, the better...
    Circular argument.

    I'll come back to that.

    Now research into "the [gut] microbiome" is not an idea of Mark's to be sure - and would have been going on even if Paleo and Primal Diets had never been mooted. C.f. Metchnikoff:

    Recycling Metchnikoff: Probiotics, the Intestinal Microbiome and the Quest for Long Life


    Moreover, so far as that goes, even within Ancestral Health it's been most strongly urged by the Weston A, Price Foundation. I don't believe, FWIW, that there's a single mention of fermented foods in any of Professor Cordain's books.

    Neither has Mark ever said "the lower carb you can go, the better". That's not how the Primal Blueprint works. Rather he mooted a "Carbohydrate Curve" with the suggestion that an individual eat at the place on it where he or she needs to be. (This is rather similar to the Atkins idea of titrating up to a personal tolerance, and to Professor Noakes' approach of low-carb for the IR and diabetics and up to 200g of carbohydrate a day for the rest of us.)


    I'll pick up the comment on circularity again. A lot of the argument for high carb diets being beneficial for the gut microbiome is based on saying that the particular range and frequency of species that you find in the faeces of a person eating a "healthy" high-carb diet must be right, because we "know" that diet is healthy. If you then turn it round the other way. Well ... you're back where you started. (I won't open the further issue that what you find when sequencing, to some extent, also depends on how you treat the sample.)

    The fact of the matter is that while Burkett could point to African populations that ate a lot of cereal and say that that was why they had no bowel cancer - and now we, although not Burkett in those days, would link that back to the gut microbiome - Burkett would also have found a low incidence of the same condition if he had thought to look at African herders, such as the Maasai, who (in the past) ate very little. What really protects both populations Tom Cowan, the WAPF doctor, suggests is consuming fermented foods. (Amasi in the case of cattle herders).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amasi


    Eric Westman, asked about the gut microbiome, actually says:

    “By taking away the carbohydrate in the food, I can pretty much fix every gastrointestinal problem that affects people today.”
    Eric Westman MD – Low Carb, Health & the Microbiome | Me and My Diabetes

    That ought to give people pause for thought. Evidently what all the silly people who are "behind" are doing, which the ideologues tell us will damage their gut microbiome, is found clinically to actually fix their gastrointestinal problems.


    The fact of the matter is that we know very little about this area as yet, and the people who know most - those actually studying it - tend to be the most reluctant to make definite statements upon matters that are as yet uncertain.

    One can certainly eat a low to medium carb diet that is also high in fibre in any case. Dr. Perlmutter just published a whole book on the subject:

    http://www.amazon.com/Brain-Maker-Mi...dp/0316380105/

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    I'm not talking about what Mark says (though he doesn't really talk about the importance of the microbiome, which I think is a huge oversight), I am talking about what people on the forum say. Steak and eggs diet, "oh you don't actually need to eat plants at all", family eats meat alone for x number of years, number of people who want to do keto for whatever reason.

    And I didn't mention that you had to be "high" (whatever that is) carb to have a healthy microbiome. But you do need to eat plants. And personally I have found that the wider the range the better, and a significantly important thing for me has been eating starchy veg. No point in eating probiotics or taking supplements if you don't give the little bugger something to feed on.

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    I feel like I should expand what I mean a bit more. I am not talking about whether or not primal lifestyle is good for the microbiome. I am taking about awareness in the primal community.

    A few common topics on this forum are weight loss, cravings, energy levels, and particular ailments including skin problems and mood problems. There is however surprisingly little discussion of how our gut bacteria influence how we feel and think, what we choose to eat, our appetite, our energy levels and our immunity. So regardless of whether being primal helps encourage gut bacteria, there is very little awareness of how important that is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Urja View Post
    Mark … doesn't really talk about the importance of the microbiome, which I think is a huge oversight
    First, there is no "microbiome". There is a gut microbiome; there is a skin microbiome; there is a nasal microbiome; there is a vaginal microbiome; and so on, and so forth.

    As for Mark's supposed omission:


    Gut Flora and Inflammation | Mark's Daily Apple

    16 Things That Affect Your Gut Bacteria | Mark's Daily Apple

    7 Things You Had No Idea Gut Bacteria Could Do | Mark's Daily Apple

    How to Give Your Baby Healthy Gut Bacteria | Mark's Daily Apple

    What’s Living on Your Skin? | Mark's Daily Apple


    And many more, as regular readers will know.


    I'm not talking Mark up for the sake of it - nor, for the matter of that, am I trying to overrate him. I just think it's important that we inform ourselves before making statements, actively seek to be informed before opening our mouths, and really try to tell the truth.

    And - yet again - the more people know about the area - I'm talking about people who actually study it - the less they are inclined to give others instructions on what to eat or not eat. And I'm not about to tell people with insulin resistance that they need to eat high-carb diets because of some "meme" that is going around the paleosphere about their supposed effect on the gut microbiome - or whatever the latest excuse for maintaining the status quo is.

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    I'm talking about the whole microbiome, hence why I wasn't specific.

    I see nothing in what you say that particularly contradicts my point.

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    And then there's the title of the thread...
    "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

    B*tch-lite

    Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Urja View Post
    I feel like I should expand what I mean a bit more. I am not talking about whether or not primal lifestyle is good for the microbiome. I am taking about awareness in the primal community.

    A few common topics on this forum are weight loss, cravings, energy levels, and particular ailments including skin problems and mood problems. There is however surprisingly little discussion of how our gut bacteria influence how we feel and think, what we choose to eat, our appetite, our energy levels and our immunity. So regardless of whether being primal helps encourage gut bacteria, there is very little awareness of how important that is.
    you joined less than a month ago?

    i think there is frequent discussion and common recommendations here for adding fermented foods to one's diet.

    as mentioned mark has published numerous posts about gut health -- he can only cover so many topics, ya know?

    if you want to discuss this more, start a thread... much of it remains a vast unknown at this point.
    As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.

    – Ernest Hemingway

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