BB2019 Week 2, Tuesday – Fiber?

What about fiber on Keto?

Do we actually need it? The whole idea of veggies scrubbing our insides is a thoughtful metaphor, but probably one to which we’ve attached far more meaning than is practical. You may not need plant-based fiber. You also may not need to “go” as often as we think. This is very much up for debate and your experience should guide you. But here’s where some of that research is going.

An argument for fiber is that it helps you stay regular. There is a flip to that coin though as fiber intake has also been demonstrated to cause more harm. This can be troubling for those with bowel issues. What you need is butyrate. And what is clear is that you can get butyrate, “In the absence of dietary fibre.” That summary gets into the deeper research and is a good read with many original sources cited. If you have or have had intestinal issues, please dig through it. The 3 most pertinent conclusions:

  • β-hydroxybutyrate triggers many of the same mechanisms that butyrate does; those very mechanisms thought to explain its role in preventing colon cancer and the intestinal degradation seen in diseased colons or the colons of those receiving reduced fibre diets to promote bowel rest.
  • β-hydroxybutyrate may even be the pathway through which butyrate exerts its beneficial effects, given that it is a direct metabolite of butyrate, and that systemic butyrate appears to be as effective or even more effective in treating colitis, than direct application of butyrate to the cells.
  • Even without eating fibre, our intestinal microbes produce butyrate from amino acids. If systemic ketone bodies supplant or even just reduce the need for butyrate, amino acid derived butyrate may supply this need, even if the quantities turn out to be less than we would get from fibre.

Want some more on short chain fatty acids?? Of course you do! How to get things moving see references to peristalsis section 7. Two tablespoons of butter and you have the butyric acid you probably need for the day. I’m not saying ditch your veggies yet. But maybe our idea of a little everyday isn’t quite right.

Short chain fatty acids, also known as volatile fatty acids, are those typically produced by the microbial community of the intestine. These fatty acids include most abundantly, butyrate, propionate, and acetate generated as by-products of dietary fiber fermentation by the gut’s symbiotic microbes [98]. These gut microbes are recognised as pivotal contributors to health in ways that reach beyond even complex immune system support. It’s very clear that commensal bacteria partake in the synthesis of vitamins [99], and they produce an important energy source in the form of the short chain fatty acids [100]. The short chain fatty acids they produce cycle back to regulate and maintain the healthy gut microbe population while altering the luminal environment to void pathogens [101102]. Luminal butyrate adversely affects pathogenic bacteria like Escherichia coliSalmonella spp., and Campylobacter spp. [103].

Some more food for thought

Extreme case: longest fast on record started in 1965 and last 382 days. He went for weeks without a movement but appeared to have no ill effects. The Fast, and the Curious.

Dr Paul Mason From Fibre to Microbiome

An explanation of how the Carnivore Diet works

Feel guilty about cutting whole grains? Don’t.  please read this.