Intestinal Bacteria and Obesity

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Before we jump into a very fascinating topic, I must first mention that my latest bestselling book (#1 of 22,000 listings in Nutrition on Amazon), Eat for Heat: The Metabolic Approach to Food and Drink, is currently available at a heavily-discounted price.  If you haven’t had the chance to read it yet, now’s the time to get it – and tell your friends about it too.  Buying it, pressing the “like” button, and writing a short 1-paragraph review while you’re there would be a big help in moving it ahead of all the constipation-inducing, sex-drive killing, and otherwise metabolically-suppressive diet books currently ranked above it.  If you’ve already purchased it, consider giving a 99-cent “donation” by scooping it up on Amazon, or buying it for a friend or family member perhaps.  Any help you can stir up would be great, as more eBooks are bought the week after Christmas than at any other time, and there are lots of icy cold people out there that really need to read it.  Without your help it will stay buried in obscurity, and ill people will be downloading Wheat Belly or something by Joel Fuhrman instead. Click the following link to participate in Operation Friends Don’t Let Chilly Strangers Go On Low-Carb Gluten-Free Low-Calorie Vegetarian Diets (OFDLCSGOLCGFLCVD) Eat for Heat

Okay, back to bowels…

It’s well-known, although not necessarily widely talked about in mainstream media, that gut bacteria exerts a great deal of influence over body weight – or at the very least obesity-proneness.  A “landmark” study was released just a couple of weeks ago discussing the role of intestinal bacteria in controlling obesity and one man’s elimination of a certain bacterial strain that resulted in relatively effortless weight loss of over 100 pounds.  There are multiple schools of thought on this.  In this post we can talk about a couple of prevalent theories and see how that relates to real-world, real-life personal experience on behalf of those reading this.

Most believe that the type of bacteria inhabiting the gut, not necessarily bacteria themselves, have a big influence over body weight.  Gut bacteria have been subdivided into two classes – firmicutes (shown left) and bacteroidetes.  Linda Bacon discusses this in her excellent book Health at Every Size

“Fatter people tend to have a significantly greater proportion of one of the two main types of bacteria found in the gut, known as Firmicutes, than the other, known as Bacteroidetes.  Detailed molecular analyses show that the Firmicutes are much better at extracting calories from food.

When researchers spent a year meticulously measuring the gut flora of the heavier volunteers as they tried to lose weight by eating low-calorie diets, they actually discovered that the proportion of Firmicutes in their digestive tracts rose and the proportion of Bacteroidetes fell.  This discovery could easily explain why it becomes harder and harder to lose weight through dieting.

Think about this.  The same bowl of pasta yields a different number of calories for each eater.  Rodents raised in a sterile environment and lacking in gut flora need to eat 30 percent more calories just to remain the same weight as their normal counterparts.”

The first interesting thing from the quote above is that the relative proportions of various types of bacteria are impacted by our greater physiology.  I have suspected for years that a reduced metabolic rate and reduced core temperature (as seen with dieting) make it more favorable for firmicutes to inhabit the intestines.  There could be other changes to the intestinal ecosystem in terms of pH and other factors that takes place during low metabolic conditions.  I would assume so at least.

An even more interesting mention from the post above is that sterile guts require that rodents eat 30% more calories to maintain weight than a normal rodent with lots of gut bacteria.  This is interesting because the researcher I hold in the highest regard, Ray Peat, just so happens to believe that gut sterility is a beautiful thing – and has been writing about the ill effects of endotoxin for ages.  Endotoxin, a bacterial by-product, is assumed to “turn fat genes on” according to this recent study released (with other negative actions as depicted in the graphic on the right).  Peat talks about other mechanisms, most notably that endotoxin and bacterial proliferation in the gut leads to a physiological chain reaction that suppresses metabolic rate…

1) Bacteria proliferate

2) Irritation and fermentation in the gut from bacterial proliferation and endotoxin release increases serotonin production in the gut (where most serotonin is manufactured)

3) Serotonin is extremely anti-metabolic (it’s the hibernation hormone), and has a known connection with many aspects of metabolic syndrome such as obesity, diabetes, and hypertension – as well as disorders such as autism, schizophrenia, asthma, and more.  You can read more about serotonin in my post entitled The Sadder Side of Serotonin.

But a huge question remains because there are two major schools of thought that seem to be in conflict…

One school of thought suggests that certain foods feed “good bacteria.”  I talk about this at length in Diet Recovery, as resistant starches (from starchy foods, beans, whole grains, legumes, chilled starchy foods, Mr. Bean) and foods that don’t fully digest feed “healthy” gut bacteria, resulting in the production of the most metabolically-stimulating of all fatty acids – butyric acid (and other short-chain saturated fatty acids – SCFA’s, thought to generally have a positive health impact).  This more than amply explains some of the metabolic effects observed from studies on high fiber diets.

While Peat might acknowledge some benefit here, he seems to believe that there is an even better strategy at addressing this problem – and suggests we eat highly digestible foods that digest completely before they reach the digestive tract, while also eating raw carrots – a food that has an anti-bacterial property that can supposedly help to sterilize the gut (carrots are roots that live in the dark, wet dirt where they must protect themselves from bacterial invasion and have thus developed antibiotic properties).

I don’t have any definitive answers here.  I’m also wise enough to know that both strategies (highly indigestible/high residue vs. highly digestible/low residue) probably have their upside and their downside.

For those who have eaten both a really high fiber, whole foods, low-glycemic diet (beans, root vegetables, vegetables, whole fruits, raw greens, raw nuts and seeds) and have also tried eating a diet comprised of more refined, fast-digesting, high-glycemic foods  (white rice, white flour, juice, soft drinks, ice cream, etc.) - what have you noticed?  What seemed to help you achieve the goal of a higher metabolic rate?  Which left you feeling better and alleviated the most health problems? Which had a more favorable impact on bodyfat levels beyond about the 6-month mark?

In my experience, a highly digestible diet has been more of a star performer.  I assume this is because more calories are absorbed and used, and fewer are excreted out incompletely digested.  It’s also due to the fact that softer, refined, low-fiber foods are more calorie dense and palatable, leading to a naturally higher calorie intake.  After all, nothing raises metabolic rate like a surplus of calories.  But I’ve seen the opposite occur as well, and suspect that eating less refined foods may very well speed the passage of food through the gut and lead to less, not more, bacterial proliferation in the gut.  And even if there was more bacterial proliferation, could these foods actually selectively feed the desirable bacteria while eliminating the types of bacteria thought to trigger obesity-proneness?

What do you guys think?

140 Comments

  1. First one, haven’t read it yet. :-p

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  2. Curious question there, Matt; I would have supported the high residue approach by conditioned (knee-jerk) response. Having read a bit of what Dr. Peat has to say about serotonin weighed against my playing with LSD in my youth (fun) and my miserable experience on SSRIs (not fun, and still having an effect over a decade later), I think I’ll explore the “sterile gut approach” a little more deeply….
    I’m looking forward to seeing what others in the 180 community have to say on this topic.

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  3. Very interesting indeed. A high metabolism seems to be the solution to just about anything… :p

    BTW: What would you say is a good rectal temp in the morning these days?

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  4. I don’t fit in either category yet, so I can’t really answer your question with any of my experiences yet. Sorry. I’m a little leary, I must say, of the statement that a sterile gut flora is a beautiful thing. Hmm. I have no doubt gut flora has a lot to do with health and states of unhealth, but I think we’re just beginning to scratch that surface the the whole Human BioGenome Project.

    I would love to experiment, though. After I give the highly refined stuff a try (doing that now), I will try the resistant starches for a while and see if I note any differences.

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  5. I am trying to buy the book, but it will not let me. Do I need a kindle to buy it?

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    • Hey Troy- you can read it via the free Kindle reader either online or off. No need for the device.

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      • OK great, I got it, Thanks!

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      • Only thing is, the kindle reader isn’t available for Linux (my OS). Boo…

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        • Well, its all about the cloud these days, so need to install anything anywhere. Get Chrome and the Kindle Cloud Reader should get you through it: https://read.amazon.com/about

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  6. When people say “gut” do they mean the small or the large intestine? From other articles here and a book on IBS by Mark Pimental, I was under the impression that it was the large intestine that should be colonized and the small intestine that should be as sterile as possible.

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    • The small intestine should definitely be sterile.

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      • So what if one no longer has there colon like me and has a jpouch instead? I should have no bacteria in my body and then be sterile? I am seriously asking this question as I have chronic pouchitis that I can’t get rid of. I don’t see how I could be 100% sterile and be alive. I have the wrong bacteria (pouchitis), but I can’t stay on antibiotics for life.

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  7. No kindle here either. Can we get a pdf?

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    • I bought it on Amazon – they put it on “cloud” and you can read it anywhere. I read mine from the ipad.

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  8. Are there antibiotics that target just firmicutes?

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  9. Don’t care anymore. This will just add to my neurosis. I’m going out to play with the dog…

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    • Best comment ever! :-)

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    • Yep, pretty much Tanya. Was more looking to help people confirm for themselves that it’s okay to eat yummy things.

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      • This info has helped me get well and be able to get off scd and implement your strategies. I have two of your books and was very excited to try them thinking the hed might boost my metabolism and cure the colitis. Didnt work. But I came across the study you mention and then went everywhere on the internet where I could read more about zhao lipings work. I think it was at the paleo hacks forum maybe where there was a longer more detailed article about how he is manipulating gut flora, and the only agent other than pre and probiotic foods he mentioned being very impressed with is berberine. I happened to have some, and had tried to take previously but one capsule a day gave me vicious headaches after about three days. I didnt think that just one capsule should do that, and assumed I was reacting allergically or something. So after I read lipings work, I realized that maybe berberine is so powerful maybe even one little capsule of 450 mg which is about an eighth of a teaspoon was more than I could handlr without herxing. So I decreased to half a capsule and could tolerate. Oh I could still feel some die off symptoms but could tolerate. This was a couple of weeks before christmas. Every few days I would raise by a half capsule. In less than a week I started experimenting with eating things like potatoes, breads, etc that would give me mush stools or diarrhea. No bad reaction, so I slowly started eating more. Still good. When xmas came totally pigged on the sweet potatoes, desserts, everything and did great. Sometimes I was afraid I was dreaming, I was so happy. You have no idea what a prison it is to have to be so restrictive about what you can eat. Anyway, here it is going into second week of january and still doing fine eating whatever I want. Anyone else who frequents this site who has been stuck on scd, I hope they will see this and give it a try.

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    • This shouldnt add to a neurosis, it is another tool in your belt. You can fairly easily manipuulate your gut microbes for the better to improve your metabolism with pre and probiotic foods as well as natural antimicrobials, like berberine or berberine containing herbs such as barberry, oregon grape root etc. Some say the whole herbs woork better even though you get less berberine because the berberine works synergistically with many other compounds in whole herb. There are many other natural antimicrobials, but berberine has a particularly strong effect on the gut. It also lowers insulin and increases leptin sensitivity and boosts thyroid function. Maybe all because of reducing gut bacteria and parasites.

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  10. Wouldn’t higher rates of calorie extraction be a good thing, aside from being fat?

    Or is it more metabolically stimulating to have low-extracting bacteria and eat more food?

    I’m still kind of a home made kefir junkie, but I’ve got my habit down to 8oz a day. I wonder if kefir bacteria contribute to fatness?

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  11. Some time back I emailed Mr. Peat and asked for his thoughts on butyric acid/scfa production, his response: “Butyric acid has some good effects, but along with it the bacteria are likely to make propanoic and lactic acid, and they produce inflammation and increase serotonin production. Animal experiments with fermentable fiber showed that it made them fearful and aggressive. ”

    ks

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    • OMG Lactic acid!!! Danger! Danger! Danger!
      While i really like Ray Peat, he throws out so many foods due to small amounts of certain, potentially slightly problematic compounds.

      Even Ray Peat cannot be completely open minded and realize that certain compounds he’s trying so hard to avoid even in miniscule amounts could have positive or at least relatively neutral effect.

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  12. I am doing the highly palatable diet along with regular carrot fiber lately. I have also been minimizing the liquids and mostly drinking when I feel thirsty. So far I am indeed warmer. But I find that I get really, really thirsty at night after dinner and drink 2-3 large glasses of water between about 7-9pm. This doesn’t seem like a good thing just before bed. Also, I have never limited salt, but now salt is actually very unappetizing. Eating anything noticeably salty seems gross.

    Also, regarding endotoxin, Peat recommends activated charcoal. I tried taking some ultra pure stuff called Takesumi Supreme. I noticed some improvements right away but on the fourth night I began having a very rapid heart rate, feeling that my body was very heavy and I couldn’t sleep. I’m wondering if anyone else has tried activated charcoal and what was their experience. And, Matt, what do you think?

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    • I have huge thirst after dinner too. Very curious about that.

      Doesn’t activated charcoal absorb more than just toxins? Not sure it would be a good thing long-term as it might absorb necessary nutrients as well. Maybe timing of the dose is important here.

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      • I asked Peat about the activated charcoal and he said:

        “Charcoal can destroy nutrients, as well as bind them, so it should be used only when you think there’s a special need for removing toxins or disinfecting.”

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    • My husband has food sensitivities. He takes activated charcoal when he’s really gassy.. it helps a lot. Very methane reducing.

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    • Thirst should peak in the evening for most people, with appetite for heavy foods and salt bottoming out in the evening – coinciding with the peak in metabolic rate that occurs at roughly 6-8pm.

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    • Don’t tell me I have to give up sauerkraut as well LOL

      Well I’m not goint to buy into ferments= obesity or wholegrains= obesty, and refined carbs= weightloss. Has the Western world switched from a refined and processed food diet to a wholefoods one recently, and that is the cause of the rapidly increasing rates of obesty. I don’t think so.

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      • Obviously sauerkraut has nothing to do with obesity. Fermented foods are so prevalent in world food history. I think a mix of harder to digest and refined foods is good, with a greater emphasis on refined. Just a gut feeling. Seems staple foods tend to be of the refined kind.

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  13. The research on gut bacteria and obesity is still in the early days so way too early to draw any conclusions yet. Some studies found increased Bacteroidetes in obesity –

    “The most abundant bacterial groups in faeces of lean and obese subjects belonged to the phyla Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes. The ratio of Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes changed in favor of the Bacteroidetes in overweight (P = 0.001) and obese subjects (P = 0.005).” – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19498350

    But doesn’t seem to be important anyway –

    “Diets designed to achieve weight loss in obese subjects can significantly alter the species composition of the gut microbiota, but we find no evidence that the proportions of Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes among fecal bacteria have a function in human obesity.” – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18779823

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  14. Dang, I paid $9.99 for it last night. Oh well…that’s the way I usually time things.

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    • Total revenue seems to increase the lower the book prices get. Hopefully all the books will get cheaper and cheaper instead of increasingly expensive. Didn’t mean to upset anyone. Wasn’t expecting things on Amazon to go so well.

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      • If only Danny Roddy would take the hint. $47 for an e-book?!?

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      • That’s what Sam Walton knew, and that hardly anyone gets – lower the price and you’ll make more money. Thanks for the 99cent book!!

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  15. What do you think in regards to SIBO? Do I starve em or feed em? Eating Peat style for the 18 months hasn’t done a thing for me. Suggestions?

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    • Is this Senneth from paleo hacks ? I would always come across one of your comments on paleo hacks whenever I was googling on Peat stuff :) Its strange that so much of what he says makes sense but his ideal diet of quarts of milk and OJ works for very few. If feeding them for 18 months did not work, perhaps the starve em approach might – unless you have already tried it.

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      • Yes, Narain, you are right. I have mostly given up on fixing my health. I still follow a few blogs, but I don’t participate on forums. I mostly just don’t eat. I get by on Coffee during the day, then pig out at night right before bed so I don’t have to deal with feeling so rotten. (Still sort of Peat style foods though). I know I should eat more small meals, but I just can’t handle feeling bad all day while I am trying to commute and work. Sigh.

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        • Dont give up! It can take time sometimes a long time to figure out things and what works for u but its worth it when you get there. I have struggled with digestive problems my whole life that only got worse. For a few years I had stuck as best I could to the scd because I had complex carb intolerance, it gave me diarrhea, and the specific carbs limited to monosaccharides allowed on scd were the only ones I could eat without diarrhea. I read the articles on zhao lipings work on bacteria and obesity and metabolism and that he mentioned berberine as proving very effective in his work for eliminating gut infections so I tried it and it had completely eliminated my problem. Can eat anything and feel great. It would probably eradicate sibo too. I use swanson brand berberine. It is much cheaper than any others, but is the same, berberine hcl. Also, barberry root has been used historically by the chinese for gut infection. You can get it by the pound and take off of a measuring spoon like a heaping eighth of a tsp 4 or 5 times a day or encapsulate yourself. U can get herbs at bulk herb stores online like herbco.com which is monterrey herbs and spices in california. Amazon has capsule machines and capsules. Doing this really cuts your cost over,buying capsules. In the spring im going to plant a barberry bush so I can have medicine from it no matter how bad things may get, like if our stupid politicians crash the economy or make restrictions on herbal remedies or something Ill have my own.

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          • I didnt mention that barberry root contains high amounts of berberine. Many say it works better than the isolated berberine because of other antimicrobial and immune modulating and mucous production balancing agents in it that work synergistically with berberine.

          • Also forgot to go low in dose and slowly build up or can make u sick from die off. I coild only take 1/2 cap once per day at first, then after a few days added another half cap in divided dosages now im up to two to three whole caps over several weeks time. I alternate taking barberry root with straight berberine.

          • Lisa, I was wondering if you could give me an update on how you are doing now with the berberine. Is that something that is safe to take long term? I’m desperately looking for something to cure SIBO.

    • I found this site after a misguided attempt to starve SIBO. Some symptoms were improved, but I got myself into a whole world of trouble. Anyway, speeding up the metabolism cured the problem fully. I took probiotics liberally at first, which helped at the beginning. I still avoid high fiber cereal and nuts though, mostly because of a lack of interest.

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  16. I have eaten the high fiber low glycemic route for most of my adult life and the low fiber, easy to digest starchy diet since meeting Matt,. I can say for sure that the low fiber diet makes me feel so much better in terms of my belly alone. All the beans and whole grains and resistant starches caused me so much bloat, gas and agony! I looked 9 months pregnant every night. While some think all the gas is a good thing because the good bacteria are having a nice meal, I just can’t believe that! It seems to me there should not be such constant gas and bloat! But in terms of weight, I can’t say yet, but I intend to find out. I need to give the highly digestible diet a good long run to see what happens, but it very well could be that the gentle nature of this sort of diet would actually quell inflammation which could, in and of itself, lead to internal balance and weight loss. Let’s hope!

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    • Yeah, can’t say that the whole food approach did anything more for me. However, I still bloat with refined grains (wheat not so much, but white rice for sure). There must be a reason why people fermented their grains whenever they could, including white rice. Why else would you go through such trouble if it didn’t make you feel better?

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  17. The Hygiene Hypothesis Part Poo
    All of Mr. Peat’s arguments make tons of sense in a vacuum, but then you read articles like this one http://jezebel.com/5946543/poop-transplant-saves-womans-life and realize that this is all a lot more complicated then just sterilizing one’s self, or gut or what-ever, you know what I mean.

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    • Dr. Ayers at Cooling Inflammation talks alot about gut flora and fecal transplants.

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      • and then there’s Aajonus Vonderplanitz, prescribing animal poop eating…. curing cancer with pieces of duck poo.

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  18. I eat a load of yogurt. bananas and potatoes and digestion stays fine. whereas if I eat too many veggies, mainly the green steamed variety and beans digestion goes all over the place…

    also it’s worth noting if you are going to the toilet regularly you should be balancing out gut bacteria or at least flushing out a load. it’s bloating and constipation that lead to issues… anyway I do find that yoghurt does occasionally lead to anxiety so peat could have a point being so anti..

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    • I think yogurt should go with something sweet.

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  19. Perhaps one of the variables here might be the length of an individual’s intestines? My anatomy teacher told us that some people have intestines that are significantly longer/shorter than others (and perhaps this has something to do with race… I heard from Sally Fallon that East Asians tend to have longer intestines than Europeans…). Perhaps those with shorter intestines might benefit more from low-residue low-fermentation diets, whereas those with longer intestines might benefit from high-residue high-fermentation diets. Just a thought.

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  20. A few concerns came up as I was reading this:

    1. Ray does not recommend activated charcoal. He doubts the purity of commercial products. He talks about it, but stops short of suggesting its use. Unless someone heard it from him in an email.

    2. Ray has no ideal diet. In fact, he leans more toward a fruit centered diet (ideally) than a dairy centered one. Especially nowadays, he’s more concerned with finding alternative sources of protein that weren’t so heavy in certain amino acids (tryptophan, methionine, cysteine). He’d have no problem visiting banana island with a few tweaks, in my opinion. He feels that biosynthesis of amino acids from the so called “keto-acids” in plant foods would compensate.

    3. If your main focus is endotoxin, then your emphasis on reducing firmicute bacteria is backwards. Only gram negative bacteria are responsible for production of endotoxin and that would be firmly in the bacteriodete camp. Obese people also tend toward alkalosis and the body could be using the bacteria in an adaptive way to get more glucose into the body.

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    • The thing to keep in mind with anything Peat recommends, at least dietary-wise, is that he’s also chugging down on thyroid meds and aspirin…

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  21. I do way better on a low fibre – highly refined diet. I was a junk food kid and I don’t think I ever developed the appropriate gut biota. When I eat vegetables, they mostly come out the other end undigested and my poops are always sloopy. Any ideas?

    I had depression, anxiety and chronic fatigue for many years. Paleo helped, but got obsessive about it (as is my nature) and I’ve always chronically under-eaten.

    Since ETF my energy levels have exploded! My mood is positively upbeat and after suffering from polyuria for several years… it’s getting better each day. I also don’t seem to react as much to gluten, just a slightly sore throat is all.

    My morning temp is 97.2 typically and my afternoon is 99.5! After reading Eat for Heat, I’m working on following the advice and balancing it out. Too high in the evening and some difficulties getting asleep. Expect to get better and hopefully my poops will become less sloopy and I can grow some muscle mass for the first time in my life.

    Cheers Matt, you’re a true American hero.

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  22. Several years ago I remember reading an article on Rebecca Stamos, the super hot model/actress married to John Stamos.

    I remember it because that’s the first time I had ever heard of a fecal transplant and none other than John himself had apparently gotten one on the day she was giving the interview, which is why she mentioned it.

    Now we all know John looks good for his age. That fecal transplant was done at least 5 years ago, probably more, my memory is not certain about that and I don’t want to google it.

    My point? Maybe bacteria have more to do with good health than just obesity.

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  23. Now for a change of topic, a la Ray Peat.

    In one of his many, long winded essays, he talks about how the oldest man who ever lived resided in a mountain home. Near the end of this life he came down from the mountain top to live in the city for some reason. He died shortly after making the move.

    Ray attributed his longevity to the increase of CO2 obtained at the higher altitudes. Ray also attributed his sudden death to the acute change in CO2 when moving from the high altitude to the lower one.

    Now I don’t have a horse in this race, but Ray does make a point about ‘raising CO2′ frequently.

    My point? Here at 180 we focus on the foods we consume. But we consume more than food, we consume air constantly. There’s no doubt it can cause problems:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acidosis#Respiratory_acidosis
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Respiratory_alkalosis

    I’d like to see a 180 post on this topic one day too…

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    • A correction to my other post:

      Ray really has no ideal diet. He likes to keep things up in the air and unlabeled. I’m assuming it’s because he feels that definiteness and dogma is a damaging form of thinking, but I can’t put words in his mouth. I’m sure that it also makes things easier when new information comes along. At the moment, the most optimal diet he can come up with- from my and other’s discussions with him- is one that is centered firmly on fruit. More especially on fruit that has a large amount of aromatase inhibitors in it. Anything that reduces stress will spare protein.

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      • Can you give an example of a specific fruit that has aromatase inhibitors? Also, I noticed on various blogs/webistes that prescribe to a “peatarian” diet, that the fruits that are considered “peat” approved often contradict each other. For example, there is one blog that mentions mangoes as being peat approved, but on Danny Roddy’s blog(if I remember correctly)an interview with Peat has him stating that mangoes have allergans in them,so I would assume they are not “peat” approved.

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        • I believe mangos got put into the approved list because peat recommends tropical fruits over things like berries, apples and pears. But mango is one he does not recommend because of allergens. I believe he likes citrus besides grapefruit, grapes, cherries and melons the best.

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          • Personally, I’m planning to let all my fruit rot until Raymond himself comes on here and settles this Peat-Approved, aromatase-inhibiting stuff. Once he does, I’ll eat the approved fruit and melt away all the stress that it’s caused. ;-)

          • I couldn’t resist a little humor. All that bashing of paleos in the other thread, and now a serious discussion on the ever-morphing world of Peateos.

          • Hey i eat all fruit. Just answerig the aboves question.

          • Peateos — A new Peat-approved breakfast cereal??

        • There is no such thing as “Peat approved.” If a person is thinking along those lines, then they haven’t grasped the philosophies involved. There is nothing beyond recognition, reflecting and acting. If you are looking for someone else to approve your food, then you have missed the boat. Submitting to any authority and giving away your own powers of discretion are just as damaging as soybean oil. The only approved foods in your diet should be you-approved.

          Guavas and oranges (and most citrus) have very high amounts of aromatase inhibitors. The observed ones thus far are naringenin, hesperetin and apigenin. But this is beside the point.

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  24. I tried the high-fiber thing a few times, notably in the form of brown rice, but that stuff sits like a brick in my stomach. I couldn’t put myself through it regularly, and now I don’t feel like I have to. I’ve noticed that I don’t do well with high-fiber diets in general. I love ice cream, though!

    I also can’t really beleive in the idea that a sterile gut is a good thing, especially based on all of the studies that show how important the correct gut environment is to the immune system (particularly in babies). Also, I tend to rely more on common sense than studies anyway. Look back at pictures from the late 1800′s, early 1900′s. Almost no fat people. Then it changed. Those people were not overanalyzing what kinds of bacteria were in their guts. They mostly ate food from their gardens or local producers. Sure there was rampant disease in “modern” culture and in the cities especially, but that’s beyond the point because we’re talking about obesity.

    So my viewpoint is raising a child with as balanced and healthy diet as possible, lots of exposure to various bacteria through food and the environment, sensible exercise, and avoiding GMO foods (which can change the bacteria in the gut), and that child will likely not have to worry about obesity as long as they maintain those habits. If we weren’t raised that way, then we have to muddle through and try to fix the damage, but I don’t think that sterilizing the intentionally bacteria-filled intestinal system is the way to go.
    My two kids are my little experiments.

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  25. When I ate sauerkraut everyday I definitely noticed a change for the better in my digestion, i.e., easy bowel movements. But I never did enjoy the taste or smell.

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    • The smell of sauerkraut is one of the most heavenly in my opinion:). Especially when made at home and you can smell the changes. I love hanging in my kitchen when the smell turns beer-like.
      Yup, me too. With a small daily dose of properly fermented sauerkraut, I was able to digest fats more easily. But not all sauerkrauts are created equal. For some reason, the coops in my area carry an underfermented local product at the exclusion of other, better brands.
      But I’m not sure that fermented foods loose all their benefits when heated, despite the fact that the bacteria die off at a certain temp. There are so many fermented foods that traditionally are cooked before eating. I think the fermentation is mostly for making a food more absorbable by pre-digesting it.

      Reply
  26. Off topic…

    I’d like to buy the $0.99 Eat for Heat for few friends, but neither of them have Kindle and certainly do not wish to get it.

    What to do?

    Reply
  27. Without a doubt the best for me is a low residue/low purine diet. That means very high sugar, low starch, low meat, low fat, low fiber.

    Reply
    • Sounds like a good ol’ slow oxidizer diet!

      Reply
  28. Matt, did you read this study?

    They put this dude on a 1300 cals a day diet of gruel + prebiotics + bitter melon.

    I’m betting the prebiotic was inulin.

    So I’m thinking to duplicate this, stuff like oatmeal, cream of wheat, rice, grits etc. With some butter and maybe sugar thrown in. Add some powdered inulin and take bitter melon with it.

    Easy enough experiment to play with.

    And you may not even have to limit calories.

    Reply
    • The calorie count in that diet is absurd, especially when they’re trying to claim it was the bacteriological change that produced the weight loss. Let’s see them do the same thing with a 3,000 cal diet and moderate activity levels.

      Reply
      • Researchers always have sneaky tricks that make their research come out looking like some big new breakthrough. Precisely why most “landmark” studies are pretty empty when it comes to real-world application.

        Reply
  29. By the way, thanks everyone for the help with Eat for Heat on Amazon. Solid #1 rank in all books (print and eBook) in Amazon’s nutrition category (22k listings). Plan on running the 99 cent promotion a little longer to see what happens. I’m new at this whole Amazon game.

    Reply
    • Wow, amazing. So glad for this.
      I was going to promote your book on my GAPSdiet yahoo group, but this time they would surely kick me out.

      I think this 99 cent idea is awesome. There was no other way i’d be able to convince my friends to check it out,not until i get it for them.

      Reply
    • Nice work. Just donated .99.

      Reply
    • Matt, this is the fourth time I am asking this question on this forum without getting an answer. I bought your ebook and diabetes and Eat for Heat together, and I noticed your takes on white sugar and white flour are very different in the two books, i.e. in the diabetes book you advise the reader strongly against these, while in Eat for Heat you actual recommend eating these. Has something change, or perhaps the Diabetes is outdated now? I would very much appreciate an answer.

      Reply
      • Sorry. Someone else asked the same question and I answered it. I thought I had answered it.

        Yeah, the diabetes book is outdated in that sense. The approval of white sugar in reasonable quantities is a new thing. Reading Ray Peat’s articles on sugar and diabetes should comfort you that sugar itself is not the cause of diabetes or metabolic syndrome, and it may even have a therapeutic role in the improvement of the disease.

        Reply
        • Thanks Matt, I appreciate your reply. By the way, a few years ago I was placed on potato diet (lots of potato in any form except fried, plus some cottage cheese, butter and non-starchy vegetable) and my sugar levels improved almost immediately.

          Reply
      • @Centurion If you’re worried about the white sugar&diabetes,but would like to use/eat some sugar, you could maybe try some Palm Sugar. It is low GI and actually used in East-Asian countries to combat diabetes.
        It still has a lot of minerals&vitamins in it and imo a nicer flavour than plain white sugar.

        Reply
        • Thanks Dutchie, normally hogy stuff is not available in Hungary, or only at an astronomical price. But there are a couple of heallthy substituties. Actually, I’m more interested in white bread, buns, this kind of stuff.

          Reply
  30. I’ve been eating any-mother-friggin-thing-I-want-any-mother-friggin-time-I-want-it for how long now Matt? 3 solid years? I dominate in everything now, unlike back then when I nutted over getting an email from Jeff Volek telling me I needed to add in a bullion cube to my diet because I wasn’t getting enough salt in my diet. He said the 20 carbs a day I was eating had nothing to do with my migraine headaches and inability to make it through a 5 minute workout.

    By the way, I am loving eating dates (the fruit……I’m married). Tried em for the first time a few weeks ago. Those things have totally changed my bowel habits for the better. Using my Poop Log iPhone app, my ratings are approaching my RRARFing numbers, incredible. Looks like I should have listened to you sooner. I remember you eating your dates regularly back a few months ago.

    Reply
  31. I turned orange briefly after Peat’s ideas on carrots combined with a yam fry obsession and a squash habit. *Sigh* that was quite the diet fail.

    Reply
    • I’m orange right now as well from Peat’s daily carrot (along with squash/pumpkin). How long did it take you to return to normal color? It’s a shame really, I was poopin like a boss with those shredded carrots.
      I know carotenemia can be a sign of hypothyroidism. Think if we got the thyroid/metabolism working that the daily carrot wouldn’t turn us orange?

      Reply
      • Some people like Guy Schenker believe that carotene and vitamin A in general are anti-thyroid…

        Reply
        • I know Peat/Peat practitioners think too much Vit A is anti-thyroid. But again, what’s the limit? Seems that Vit A rubbed into my skin is the only thing that gets my acne to calm down a bit.

          Reply
          • Fuhrman says it’s good to be orange. Freakin’ oompa loompa.

      • At least a month before people stopped making comments to me and another month or two before I didn’t see any traces of orange. The color faded in the creases last, the opposite of a bad fake tan. I imagine with better thyroid function I would have been able to process more vitamin A. I don’t plan to test the theory, I still get comments about my ‘yellow’ period and will have to get over this orange food phobia. I wonder if Peat ever quantified the amount of carrot that he considers to be therapeutic.

        Reply
        • Just curious…did you try increasing greens to balance out the orange?

          Reply
          • Cameron,
            Does eating more greens somehow displace the betacarotene?

          • I was eating a lot of greens at the time, juicing them and such. Way too many leafy greens actually, which may have contributed to my metabolism nose-dive.

          • Thanks Nira, that’s good info. High amounts of raw greens does seem to go hand in hand with low thyroid.

            (Anna, I don’t think so, but I was curious if she had tried greens to “balance” out the color.)

          • Seems like an Irish question with all the Greens and Oranges….

            I believe leafy greens have a fair amount of orange (carotene) in them.

        • Yes, it seems the carrot should only be done for a shorter period, more medicinally rather than as a long-term food.
          I’ve never heard Peat (or his followers) gve any sort of time limit though.

          Reply
      • Anna, you can remove a lot of the carotene from the shredded carrots by thoroughly rinsing them. They will lose their orange color somewhat and if you keep them in the fridge for a few days, I would imagine the carotene will degrade even more. Just something I’ve found from my own experimenting.

        Reply
  32. Love your book so far (it’s 3.44 now, still a good deal).

    I find it interesting that you have breakfast and a mid-morning snack before a full lunch. I got this wonderful book about food traditions in the Swedish speaking parts of Finland, and that’s how they ate throughout the day. First meal a half to full hour after waking, accompanied by a shot of hard liquor. Then a heavier breakfast a couple hours later, followed by a heavy lunch around 2 pm. And then a smaller evening meal.

    When reading this I realized that perhaps it wasn’t so strange that I always felt so much hungrier in the earlier hours, despite eating a bigger breakfast (I could never last till lunch it seemed). It’s definitely not how most people eat nowadays, but makes sense.

    Reply
    • And I also wanted to add that breakfast nr 1 was dairy and heavy on grains, breakfast nr 2 preserved fish protein with grains, and lunch was meat with root veggie (rutabaga or potato). ‘Dinner’ was porridge I believe. Porridge usually had a root veggie pureed with it.

      If anyone’s interested;).

      Reply
      • Jag är intresserad!

        Reply
    • What is the namn of that book? And author, please.

      Reply
      • Hej Susanna! Vad kul! Boken heter Finlandssvenska Matboken. Om du är i Sverige kan du hitta den på biblioteket, även de mindre. Jag ångrar att jag inte köpte en innan jag flyttade! Den är helt underbar:). Finlandssvenska Marthaförbundet är utgivare. http://www.v8biblioteken.se/work?workId=ed0ec13d-db89-4ef5-a9cb-a04c016bcad3

        I’m just gonna skip the translation since the book is not available in English anyhow!

        Reply
  33. Pretty complex stuff. I personally prefer foods that are easy to digest. Fruit and veggies are still good. But I dont like whole grains, beans and certain veggies.

    Oh and I also like to snack on the occasional raw carrot. So I guess I lean more towards the Peat side.

    Reply
  34. This is a very very interesting post.

    Every couple of years I blow about $300 to get a comprehensive digestive panel done by Metametrix – one of the things they test for is the balance of firmicutes and bacteroidetes.

    I’ve always had significantly more amounts of the later than the former – except over the last year when it reversed itself. During this time – when i was eating a lot of kimchi, kombucha, probiotics, etc, i was also diagnosed with SIBO and a colleague of mine and I decided that I should go on a GAPS or specific carb diet “to starve the bacteria” and my symptoms became much much worse, as did my constipation.

    In fact, my condition deteriorated so badly that I had to take regular enemas and was wondering whether I’d ever have a normal bowel movement again. I had to drop an internship I was in and my life revolved around my gut drama.

    My levels of “normal” bacteria via the Metametrix test were all high-normal or high. This was interesting. My TSH was about 5.0, even though my T3 and T4 levels were so-called low-to-normal. I was cold. I was weight about 148 pounds (I am about 6’2”). It was a total disaster, and it was even a worse disaster because I am a licensed acupuncturist and practitioner of “natural” medicine, and everything my naturopath buddies and I did – that is – the prevailing wisdom of the time – made thing worse.

    However, I kept coming back to basal body temperature and my TSH and – after perusing some of Ray Peat’s work – kept thinking about the effect of thyroid/metabolic rate and bowel transit time (constipation is a major hypothyroid symptom) and SIBO. I read Pimental’s book on SIBO, but it seemed symptomatic, like he wasn’t getting the big picture – typical of western doc specialists who miss the forest for the trees. For me, I was NOT about to start taking doses of Cipro to “kill the bacteria.” Most people relapsed after time and needed more antibiotics. That told me that this was a symptom-based approach and not getting to the root issue.

    To me the root issue was peristalsis – which is why there was bacterial overgrowth in the first place – the lack of migrating motor complex activity – and I suspected this had to do with my thyroid and overall metabolism. My morning basal body temperature was 95.5-96.5 degrees, my resting supine heart rate was dipping into the 40s (that’s awful), my blood pressure was about 105/65. Nice work for a health practitioner who had been living on fish and lean meat, cooked cruciferous vegetables, coconut oil, olive oil, salads all the “good” stuff.

    Then I did a food journal for a few days and estimated that I was probably getting 1200-1400 calories a day AND I bike commute about 2 hours to work a day. Nice.

    So, after re-asssing Peat’s work and then stumbling on to 180 degree, I realized that I was neither crazy nor alone. Since mid-November I have been eating lots of potatoes, ice cream, buckwheat pancake with syrup, rice, and also experimenting with some Lugol’s and herbal adaptogens – and I have gained 10 pounds. My morning body temp is up to around 96.8-97.5. My heart rate is up into the mid-to-high 60s. I have been having mostly regular daily bowel movements. My gut pain is far less, even rare, though I am eating a lot more “bad” foods.

    I am still experimenting with high versus low residue carbs, but I am leaning toward low residue now because they are easy to digest.

    As for the sterile gut theory – this is interesting. I’ve been taking oral Lugol’s at about 2.5-5.0 mg a day. My h.pylori problem has vanished and I wonder how much the iodine/iodide is keeping bacteria in check. I also use turmeric and asafoetida pretty freely as a supplement with meals, and it seems to help my gut issues because they both have significant anti-microbial, pro-digestive qualities. My gut issues are much better when I am using anti-microbial herbs and essential oils regularly AND eating a high-calorie, high carb diet.

    When I took expensive, high dose probiotics my symptoms got worse. I actually quit an internship with a doctor who was prescribing the SCD and high-dose probiotics to all of his gut-dysfunciton patients because I could no longer ethically prescribe that given my awful personal experience with them both.

    I know this is a bit of a long post! Sorry ’bout that.

    Reply
    • Hey Sean,
      You might already be aware of this, but asafoetida is high in iron. Just to provide an anecdote, my sister was cooking pretty liberally with it (can’t remember exact duration). She had a blood test done and her iron was off the charts- way too high. Lab called her freaking out. She’s pretty sure it was asafoetida causing the high iron, as she hadn’t changed anything else in diet/lifestyle. If you read/believe Peat, you know that excess iron is not so good. Not saying it will do the exact same thing to you, but just thought I’d give you a heads up on that in case you weren’t aware. Might not want to go overboard with it.

      Reply
      • Hey Anna Banana – That’s interesting – I had no idea. It’s been good for my gut, but i have been using it very liberally. Will keep an eye on that and perhaps find an alternative!

        Reply
    • Thanks Sean. That all sounds about right.

      Reply
  35. P.S. sorry for the typos and poor writing – no time for a copy edit!

    Reply
  36. I think a really interesting issue here – in regard to bacteria in the gut – is how much the general lowering of basal body temperature and metabolism effects the gut bacteria and their potential overgrowth.

    Peat talks about sterilization. Other talk about supplementing with lots of “healthy” bacteria, but it seems like the missing link here – and in gut dysfunction in general – is probably general thyroid function and metabolic vitality.

    I’d be really really curious to look at thyroid panels, basal body temperature studies, etc of people with IBS, IBD, etc.

    Reply
    • Are there any basal body temperature studies relating to digestion? My experience so far, has been a direct correlation between digestive health and body temperature. I have to imagine that if this is unknown to modern medicine, it just hasn’t been documented.

      Reply
      • No, but lots of things are known in terms of pure physiology. I write about the metabolism-digestion connection extensively in 180 Digestion. And I know a lot more about it now than when I wrote it in 2009.

        Reply
        • Hi Matt, I’m confused btwn 180 metabolism n eat 4 heat. I don’t know which one to follow. I’ve been following eat 4 heat but now I think I need ur digestion book :/. I’m planning to book a consult w u

          Reply
        • Matt, do you still use your sacredself account? I just read eat for heat and sent you an email with some questions I had after reading it. thanks

          Reply
  37. Matt, what are your thoughts on this:
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/managing-your-mitochondria/#axzz2GPUIN53f

    mitochondria, the cellular organelles responsible for energy (ATP) production, also produce free radical as a by-product. I know that you’ve been emphasizing maximizing cellular energy production and metabolism as a key to great overall health. But what about the fact that the mitochondria producing ATP also generates free radicals?
    Actually what’s more interesting is that mark sisson notes that producing more energy by burning carbs produces more free radicals than burining energy with fat/ketones.
    he uses the following two articles:
    http://evolutionarypsychiatry.blogspot.com/2010/08/your-brain-on-ketones.html
    http://www.nutritionandmetabolism.com/content/2/1/30#sec4

    Reply
    • If she is chugging on tryptophan meat and polyunsaturated fats, no amount of thyroid will prevent her weight gain.

      Reply
  38. Here’s my digestion input.

    My digestion became really bad because of an extremely slowed metabolism from extreme under-eating. I was really skinny, but not to such a dramatic point. Obviously, in a disordered view, I did not understand my digestion was off because of restriction (ED consequence here) and started taking laxatives to have BM’s. It was unknown to me as I always had the steel stomach and never even thought about digestion as it was so normal, pain free, etc. All in all, I ended up in a bad place digestion-wise and had really painful BMs rarely, extreme bloating, pain, gas, all the good stuff. It made me eat less and less, and the problem got worse and worse for 2 years. Then, I found this blog.

    I started eating again and things slowly started to get better. I had been restricting myself for so long that I ate like I never did before, even forcing myself at times. (I struggled with extremes, was not able to listen to my body but eventually, it got better). So with tons of eating, things started flowing, bloating disappeared, pain lessened and the two years of probably haemorrhoids slowly healed over the course of 8 months or so. I had started eating whole foods first, and I was still having problems. Then with Matt’s suggestion, I incorporated more refined foods. I then had unformed bm’s and diarrhoea for about 4-5 months every day. Then, things got better eventually and my bm’s finally started to look more normal. I was eating tons of food then, and lots of ice cream and at times pizza and my metabolism was going better and better. I kept going like this, but slowly giving up the refined foods as they were less and less appealing to me. Now I have to force myself to have a cookie, as it’s the last thing I would choose to eat, unless I’m really hungry.

    So, things were better bowel-wise during the months I was eating a lot, with some added refined foods but only after several months of adjustment. Less pain, daily toilet-trips, less bloating. However, the weight-gain was intense and hard to handle. I gained about 50 lbs over 6 months doing that. I freaked out and told myself I am probably overdoing it, so at some point, I stopped “trying” to eat so much, started to exercise again. This was about 4-5 months ago and since then my bowel habits have gone downhill again. I still eat to apetite most of the time, but sometimes I don’t. I am just not focusing on getting a ton of calories in which I was doing before, and in general lost that intense interest I had for food.

    Constipation has returned, but not as bad. Bowel movements are irregular, often painful. I get more cramps too. I never had achieved perfect digestion like I had prior to the restriction, but it was better when I was consuming a lot more food. The only thing is that I think the amount of food was too much for me, since I gained so fast. Perhaps my bacteria are altered that now I need more food to have a better digestion… but that’s not sustainable and I can’t keep it up. I don’t want to eat all day, and don’t want to eat refined foods anymore since I lost interest in them completely. The best I can do is some white rice and bread, and a bit of ice cream when I really have a crazing. Oh and I still love tons of honey in tea and warm milk.

    So all in all, the whole foods was too hard on my digestion when my metabolism was in a critical state. Things improved steadily with more refined foods despite having a long adjustment time. Once I lost interest in refined foods and started exercising and consuming less calories, I lost 10 lbs or so but my digestion became worse. However, lots of other things improved such as my lung capacity, my endurance, my moods and feelings about myself, my muscle mass so it’s something I can no longer give up. I eat mostly whole foods now and tolerate it well compared to before. I also don’t restrict if I want refined foods. I notice substantial differences if one day I don’t eat enough, or on a few days, I get bloated, gassy, and get lots of cramps. If I eat a more, things get better again. Matt is definitely on to something but for me, very hard to find that balance.

    I’m also wondering if the lack of salt with the whole foods also contributed. I did better with refined, because it had more salt as well. I think it was mostly volume of food and calories that helped digestion, but maybe salt helps in that regard. Eek, sorry this is really long.

    Reply
    • Curious what type of whole foods you eat now. Was it sugar you lost your appetite for mostly, or any type of refined foods like white flour?

      Reply
      • Hi Josephina! I eat lots of fish and some meat, usually with steamed or roasted veggies, potatoes (mostly sweet), rice sometimes. I eat sandwiches with black bread . I love cheese and yogurt. I eat oatmeal in the morning and still do buckwheat pancakes. Lots of fruits too. I lost apetite for things that are very sweet, especially with white sugar. Honey is still okay and maple syrup. But cookies or cake is yuk now! Unless I haven’t eaten enough. Processed stuff sounds awful too, like breakfast cereal. And it’s no longer cuz I’m afraid of it! I ate them for a while but now, my taste has really changed.

        Reply
    • Thanks for sharing your story. I get you about your digestion going to crap (!) on a calorie restricted diet. I think so many of us here are going into unknown territory.

      People like Ray Peat and Matt – as well as our own observations via the feedback we get from our bodies – are providing a map for us all, but essentially we’re in a experiment heading into the great unknown. It’s so much easier to “be” paleo or “be” macrobiotic or “be” atkins, because you can defer responsibility to some approved blueprint. You can follow orders. It becomes part of your identity. It gives you hope and it’s like a religion that you have faith in to deliver yourself from cancer or heart disease or diabetes.

      Wouldn’t it be nice if it were that simple. That foods were “good” and “bad” and all you needed to be healthy was enough will power and, apparently, a brain, to figure it out, ya big dummy.

      It’s with no small amount of irony that I find myself eating maple syrup gorged pancakes, using sugar again (thanks to, first Ray Peat’s articles, and second, Matt’s experience). Everyone knows sugar is just plain bad! But, I had to face the fact that tons o’ kale, carb avoidance with lots o’ meat, etc, etc was just making me really really unhealthy. As my M.D. told me, I was his “healthiest unhealthy patient”.

      Listen to your body.
      Get rid of all the “goods” and “bads.”
      If what you are doing or have been doing is NOT working, then you have to do something differently
      This might mean butchering some sacred cows (like carbs or sugar is evil).

      Ha – for me, and I mean this jokingly, it’s almost like i have to do a “dietary guru exorcism” and cast out Gabriel Cousens, Barry Sears, Robb Wolf, Michio Kushi, etc, etc from my mind. Healthy diet exorcisms — that might make for a funny Youtube video! “Gabriel Cousens! Out! Out! I banish ye back to your super-food compound in Arizona, never again to return to my mind!!”

      : )

      Reply
      • Love your post, Sean.

        You’re so right – diet exorcism is a must. In reality, my digestion never seems to be better or worse because of a diet, but eating not enough makes it worse. Oh, and just like you said, stuff like Kale, too many raw veggies and the like feel terrible! I’m glad that I know now, that’s it’s not a diet or a secret ingredient that is going to bring me health – but being healthy in general, all around. This, to me, means good food, calm mind, and enjoyment of the little things in life every single day. No more “goods’ or ‘bads’, but what I feel like. I know that my body leads me back to natural, whole foods in the end, even if I indulge in something else once in a while. And that came with a few goods months of eating whatever the heck I wanted.

        Reply
      • Love your post and thanks for sharing your experiences with your digestion and health

        Reply
        • oops that was meant for Sean.

          Reply
      • Love your post and thanks for sharing your experiences with your digestion and health.

        Reply
    • Thank you so much, Josefina! I have made a reservation for the book at the community library. Looking forward to reading it!

      Reply
  39. Oh and nice acronym. Stole that from me probably.

    Reply
  40. I got Eat for Heat and read it. I like it. Thanks for puttiing it together in a book. Very easy to understand and start to apply. I’ve been adding salt to things… even my milk drink and fruit. I’m eating for heat!

    Reply
  41. I’ve been RRARFing for over three months. So far I’ve gained 12 pounds and had a major Candida flare-up. My doctor asked if I was eating more sweets. I said “Yes!”. He was quite alarmed and thinks I’m crazy to try speeding up my metabolism this way. Now he wants me to add more fiber back into my diet to help deal with the candida. Maybe it’s just different for me since I was never a low carber. I’m not even sure what to do now.

    I must say I’m enjoying the coconut oil and milk though.

    Reply
    • If you’re still reading – I had that too for a good few months, along with inflamed red angry spots on my face like a teenager, and it all passed and has not come back. And I’m someone who had chronic candida for many years until a year or two ago. So I’d say, it’s worth giving it some time.

      Reply
  42. I started taking on some of the suggestions in the Eat for Heat ebook, and I noticed a few interesting things within a day or two:

    I have been able to tolerate dairy for the first time – before I either had to limit or completely avoid dairy because after eating it I would be on the toilet with a belly ache without fail. Now I am eating it to my heart’s content with no ill effects.

    Secondly, my skin is clearing up – I used to have quite blotchy, dehydrated skin and it has become less sensitive, smoother and clearer

    Thirdly, I am less bloated in the tummy and don’t wake up busting for the loo every morning

    And lastly, I wake up earlier feeling less tired and fall asleep easier

    However, I have noticed some not so nice side effects:

    I have been experiencing a bit of heart burn, which I am thinking is from overdoing it on the salt and have switched to Himalayan crystal salt to see if that helps. How much salt is too much?

    I’ve been a bit more aggressive, anxious and restless and my sex drive isn’t as strong

    Any tips for finding the right balance?

    Reply
  43. This may be off topic, but has anyone studied the connection between magnesium status and stress-response? I know you talk about extracellular/intracellular fluid a lot Matt, and I just read an article that talked about how the physiological change that allows the stress response to occur is a sudden influx of calcium into the intracellular space, creating a low magnesium to calcium ratio. Conversely, when in a low stress state, the magnesium to calcium ratio in cells is high. I’ve had a LOT of success dealing with panic/anxiety/depression just by supplementing with magnesium. Anyone else had this experience?

    Reply
  44. I think Peat is brilliant, but his special intelligence has to do with gathering information. I think his diet is pretty ridiculous. However instructive experimenting with it might be, it definitely doesn’t move one in the direction of adaptability and being less neurotic about food and eating. “I’m sorry, I can’t eat that, it has fiber in it.” “are those carrots grated? how small” “does that ice cream contain seaweed gums?” “I’m starving because its winter and I can’t find a good watermelon from South America.” “My girlfriend will have the hashbrowns and eggs, but could you juice my potatoes, and then cook the juice… thayayayanks….”.

    I like your stuff Matt, because you generally seem to have the goal of being able to eat almost anything (types of foods, not quality) (something you share with Natascha Campbell). Ray Peat is so far the opposite. I think his diet illustrates the dangers of relying heavily on research and losing sight of the big picture. People all over the world thrive on hugely diverse diets full of fiber, and have had to for ever. The paradigm we live in now where we have all these choices, like to live on watermelon, potato juice, ice cream, liver, watermelon, only the youngest summer squash and etc… is a new phenomenon. As a therapeutic approach, maybe this kind of thing is worthy of consideration, but otherwise it doesn’t seem- practical or fun, or probably that healthy, either psychologically or physically if there can be drawn a line between the two.

    What about poop transplants? Thats fascinating. If the early results are as good as they say they are, that becomes a viable option. Gut bacteria not working? Just get a new set from some, good looking, active, happy, genius, super pooper and it’s back to work and play.

    Reply
    • Please read/listen to Peat before dismissing him. Almost everyone who talks about Peat gets their information from second-hand sources (like matt or people on forums), or has not been able to grasp his philosophy. I’m not trying to be rude or a smart-ass, I just think that Peat gets misrepresented (even by his “followers”) and it is a shame because he has a ton of valuable information to share. I think when people come to his work they are too focused on the “diet mentality”, but his work is so much more than that. It is really a philosophy about life.

      This is a great interview to start: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/22195338/Environmentalenrichment_kmud_130816_190000fritalkFPS.mp3

      It is well worth the time to listen.

      Reply
      • Peat is never strict or fanatical. He is also never neurotic and does not promote a restrictive diet, the idea that he does is a myth that is unfortunately perpetuated by online forums and people that have learned helplessness. He has been writing since the 1980′s, it takes a long long time to read all of his articles and his references. Anyone who thinks ray peat = milk + oj has not read his work in full,

        Reply

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