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Harm of Fiber to the Intestine. The Dependence on Fiber


  • Harm of Fiber to the Intestine. The Dependence on Fiber

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    Let's look at popular folk wisdom under a microscope. Its name is " Unlimited benefits of fiber”. Allegedly, it helps to go to the toilet regularly and cleans the intestine. Allegedly, it lowers sugar and cholesterol.

    They say it feeds good bacteria and prevents cancer. Even children know this! Everyone also blindly believes like children. More importantly, no one is interested in the origin of these properties.

    Agree, the phrase "the harm of fiber to the intestine" sounds wild. Is fiber our friend? Or are we dealing with yet another delusion that leads to errors like fat phobia?

    Harm of fiber to the bowel

    The need for such an article is dictated by the growing obsession of people with constant bowel stimulation. They too often interfere with its life, which brings more non-obvious torment than good.

    When you change your diet, your digestion goes through a period of withdrawal from old habits. During the transition to a new diet, the stool frequency is first reduced and then restored.

    This is especially true for those people whose intestine has been subjected to serious suffering. Antibiotics, medications, unconscious nutrition, industrial toxins.

    All this and much more damages the intestinal wall. It becomes inflamed and irritated. In this state, it performs its functions worse, so there are many problems. From banal discomfort after eating to inflammatory bowel diseases.

    When the inflamed mucous membrane comes into contact with food, an immune-inflammatory reaction may occur. It can also manifest as a relatively harmless allergy. But it can also trigger serious autoimmune diseases.

    How the bowel's dependence on fiber is detected

    Back to the intestine. To calm the damaged intestine, relieve irritation and inflammation, you must first eliminate external stimulation:

    Any fiber added to food. Bran, fiber in powders, tablets, and so on. All herbal laxatives are in the same category.

    This includes all enemas, washes, and other types of laxatives. But today the focus is on fiber and plant laxatives. To give the intestine a full rest, you need to give it up for a while. The more severe the bowel condition, the longer this period is.

    Just limit all sources of fiber. This move immediately reveals the problem - the dependence of the intestine on fiber.

    A bowel dependence on fiber is the loss of the intestine's ability to empty itself without fiber stimulation.

    Most likely, you are really surprised now. So deeply embedded is the idea of the need for plant foods for comfortable bowel relief.

    Fiber from the body's point of view

    To give a fair assessment of the belief about the benefits of fiber, let's turn to physiology.

    Fiber does not nourish the body…

    Fiber, unlike other carbohydrates, almost does not increase blood sugar. Therefore, it is considered a "good" carbohydrate. This is because it is not digested. Therefore, it does not carry any nutritional value.

    Most of the fiber is represented by cellulose and its analogs. It is used to make paper. For now, let's leave an open question: "What is the point of eating fiber (paper) if it does not even give energy?” Think for yourself.

    ... But fiber feeds our microflora, and this is good for health!

    Unfortunately, this is a myth. Our natural microflora lives in the thickness of the intestinal mucosa and it takes food from there! Your mucosa, if not damaged or irritated, produces enough components that bacteria use for food.

    For example, among them are Mucins - special proteins that are produced by all mucous membranes.

    Fiber irritates and damages the intestine

    Why is fiber so effective for the stool if it can't be digested? This question already contains the answer.

    The body wants to get rid of it as soon as possible because it sees no use in it. It is a gross foreign body that cannot be assimilated. Passing through the digestive system, fiber absorbs water.

    It swells, increasing in size. This greatly increases the volume of the chair. The intestinal wall is stretched. In response to irritation, there is an increased wave of peristalsis. The intestine contracts and its contents move faster towards the exit.

    So, an abnormally large mass of stool ends up in the colon, where water is pumped out of it. Now the stool is not only large but also dry. And in this state, it enters the rectum to the anus, the diameter of which does not exceed 2-3 cm.

    The described process of irritation of the intestinal mucosa should not be confused with the normal wave of peristalsis. Because what is described happens in response to irritation. Of all the nutrients, only fats normally stimulate normal peristalsis. This property is not possessed by proteins, fiber, and other carbohydrates.

    It's not normal to push

    No animal empties its bowels as comically as a highly civilized man. He's straining, grunting, sweating.

    No one does that in nature. Gorillas, cats, cows, and dogs do their business unnoticed by them if they eat a species-specific diet. For a person, this is a whole event. And now the source of the problems.

    And now you're shouting: “But my cat/dog is pushing too!” Then pay attention to what you feed your pet. Dry food contains 99% fiber, and under the most unexpected names. If you want to extend the life of your favorite animal for 2-5 years, then feed it as it would eat in the wild.

    More fiber - more effort and straining

    The more fiber in the diet, the more dependent the intestine becomes on it. Here you can highlight the stages.

    1. The stool is too large in volume and slowly passes through the anus. Straining increases the pressure in the abdominal cavity and squeezes out the contents of the rectum. If this happens rarely, it is not terrible. But systematic straining necessarily leads to problems. The large intestine not only gets used to conscious help from outside but also stretches!

    2. The intestine is “tired” from constant stimulation and irritation and becomes lazier and waits for outside help. Also, at this stage, it is already stretched with large volumes of feces. This is where you start to "help" it with fiber even more - more vegetables, psyllium, bran, or whatever?

    3. The intestine finally “forgets” how to contract - does it weakly and reluctantly because now it can be stretched so much that the nerve fibers are damaged. Therefore, they do not feel stretching and do not give commands to work the smooth muscles of the intestine. At these stages, the feces literally stands in the colon as a continuous railway train.

    Sometimes this fecal column stretches all the way to the small intestine. Here begin cleansing enemas, laxatives. In fact, paralysis of the smooth muscles of the intestine develops. The rectal nerve plexus may also be damaged. In such cases, you do not feel the urge, or it is very weak.

    4. Complications. They can occur at any stage. It depends on your genetic stamina. Constipation, hemorrhoids, diverticulosis, fissures, bleeding, hernia, cancer of the rectum. The simplest demonstration of this fact is senile constipation. It is obvious that all processes slow down with age.

    Something tells me that those who abuse fiber in their younger years suffer from bowel problems in their older years more than others. And constipation is the most harmless of them.

    Even this we do wrong

    A healthy trip to the toilet takes a few minutes. Feces should easily slip out and be small in size. If you constantly have to work in the toilet, then this is the first bell that the intestine is no longer in the best shape.

    The problem is that we consider it normal to push, to force the intestine to empty. While bowel contraction is a reflex beyond our control. When there is a natural urge to defecate, it is usually impossible to keep a person in place.

    Thus, the property of fiber to “help with the stool” is dictated by the fact that it irritates the intestines. And it tends to get rid of it sooner, whether it's time for a natural urge or not.

    Stimulation of the intestine with fiber leads to forced emptying, not to a natural urge.

    So you can eat stones — the effect will be the same. And when does the normal urge to defecate occur? As with all animals in nature, it occurs during or after a palpable meal!

    Because the work of the upper parts of the gastrointestinal tract causes reflex peristalsis in the lower parts. Therefore, there is no point in laughing at those who stop eating and go to the toilet. Here you can only be happy for such people that they still have natural reflexes.

    The intestine doesn't need fiber to work

    If this is not enough, then we will ask for help from children. A newborn baby eats only its mother's milk for the first 6-9+ months. And only then do the complementary foods begin: vegetable and fruit purees, favorite porridge (because dependent behavior needs to be brought up from childhood).

    I have a question for you! Until all these "achievements" of the food industry appear in the diet, how does a child manage to poop several times a day without any problems? Why doesn't a child get constipation without fiber?

    How can this be explained:

    1. The child's intestine has not yet been damaged by fiber, medications, sugar, gluten(if sensitive), industrial toxins, or anti-nutrients.

    2. The microflora of the intestine has not yet been beaten by antibiotics. The ability of the intestine to empty efficiently is closely related to the health of the bacteria living inside its mucosa. Because up to 40% of the stool volume is formed by bacteria that provide its humidity. When there are no bacteria, their function of moistening the stool is partially replaced by fiber. Because it absorbs a lot of liquid, while greatly increasing in size.

    And don't forget that children most often develop appendicitis in response to fiber. Therefore, vegetable baits start with mashed potatoes. And for good reason. Stones are easier to eat when ground into dust / puree, especially when your intestines are not meant for them.

    I remember a terrible scene when a child is put on a pot and taught to push unnecessarily, making specific sounds.

    Fiber impairs the work and condition of the intestine

    Isn't that enough? Here is the study

    63 patients with constipation of unknown etiology were selected. Different diets were tested on them. With a lot of fiber, moderate amounts of fiber, and a complete lack of fiber.


    1. The increase in fiber in the diet worsened constipation, straining, bleeding, bloating, and pain.

    2. Cutting back on fiber has led to noticeable relief of these symptoms.

    3. The complete absence of fiber led to the disappearance of these symptoms.

    If these patients have passed all the symptoms after excluding fiber, then it is no longer constipation of unknown etiology. This is constipation caused by fiber! But in medical classifications, there is no such nosology " Constipation caused by fiber”…

    So, we have an interesting situation:

    1. Fiber does not have the functions in the human body that make it indispensable.

    2. Fiber irritates and damages the intestine.

    3. In the long term, the use of fiber leads to the disability of your own intestinal peristalsis.

    4. It is important to understand that constipation does not occur due to a lack of fiber in the diet.

    Fiber is also related to all other inflammatory bowel diseases. By the way, there is also a link between fiber and bowel cancer. It is simple to the point of banality.

    Any place of damage can become a source of neoplasm. Especially if these foci are chronic, as in the case of intestinal irritation.

    Fiber in adequate amounts

    Concerning the dependence on fiber and its harm, the effect is dose-dependent! The more fiber in the diet, the more problems it causes. In a totally healthy person, an adequate amount of fiber should not cause problems.

    It will pass through in transit. And the benefits are also not worth waiting for. Remember that fiber has no real functions and nutritional properties! This is the same as eating paper!

    The problem is that fiber is presented as something not only harmless but very useful. Supposedly, you can't overdo it. This trigger works perfectly in the psychology of the modern crowd: "If there is no harm, then you can not observe the measure".

    And now, a basin of lettuce or apples is already consumed in anticipation of the benefit.

    In the end, let's imagine that fiber is really healthy and harmless. Then forced vegetarian countries like India should be healthier than all the others, where fiber is malnourished.

    But Hindus suffer from the same diseases, and some even more. India now has the highest incidence of type 2 diabetes.

    If you feel good eating vegetables and everything suits you, then I'm just happy. However, my article will help those who already have real health problems. On the other hand, the harm of fiber is not always felt immediately.

    When to suspect a dependence of the intestine from fiber

    If without plant food, the regularity of the stool decreases, then it's time to think. Here's a simple home experience: eliminate all plants for a week.

    If a week at least once there is a break between stools for more than 72 hours, then the dependence on fiber is already there. And this is a serious stage. After detecting this effect, you need to return some of the fiber to the diet, so as not to harm yourself. More on this below.

    And behind the dependence on fiber is a tired, damaged, irritated, and even paralyzed bowel.

    When to suspect a tired / worn out bowel

    1. The harder you have to push, the higher the fatigue of the intestine, and its walls are stretched.

    2. Pain, discomfort during defecation, and prolonged defecation indicate intestinal damage.

    3. Hemorrhoids, bleeding, cracks, hernias, and the like – 100% signs of fatigue and bowel wear. As well as any inflammatory problems: enteritis, colitis.

    4. If you need enemas, laxatives, washes to go to the toilet.

    In all these cases, I recommend limiting fiber in any form as much as possible. Until the natural function of the intestines is established. After that, it will be possible to gradually return the sources of fiber in very low amounts and then not all of them.

    At the same time, it is important to understand that as a result, everyone will have their own individual tolerable rate of fiber per day after eliminating the consequences of excessive consumption. Rehabilitation of the bowel after addiction and damage can take a long time.

    How not to make your constipation worse by reducing fiber

    IMPORTANT! It is not necessary to exclude all fiber from the diet at the same rate. The more age and health problems (especially from the intestines), the slower you need to do it!

    Only relatively young and healthy people can dramatically reduce fiber without consequences! How do you know that you were too quick to turn on fiber?

    If after eliminating fiber, you lost your stool for 3+ days and constipation only worsened, then you have too radically excluded fiber sources from the diet.

    Hurry slowly to prevent this from happening! You need to first measure the initial amount of fiber in your diet. The more accurate, the better. And then gradually reduce the amount of it.

    The most secure will be the rate of 5-10% every 2-4 weeks or even slower. Yes, I agree that it sounds very slow. But I deliberately choose the safest speed. B

    How not to destroy the intestines with fiber: what fiber we can eat and how much

    Additional fiber in the diet is not allowed. Do not eat bread, bran, etc. No fiber powders or tablets. Any artificially added fiber is a road to disaster.

    Natural fiber is acceptable if there is no dependence of the intestine on fiber, irritation, and inflammation of the intestine. The amount should be very moderate. 0.35 - 0.45 oz (10-12 g) in terms of pure fiber. This is the absolute maximum for the average person. More only for super tough champion intestines.

    0.35 - 0.45 oz (10-12 g) of fiber are contained in two apples, three bananas, one and a half oranges, one large carrot, ~ 7 oz (200 grams) of berries.

    Sources of acceptable fiber: the flesh of vegetables, fruits, nuts, berries. Don't forget pre-processing! In order not to run into “heavy " fiber, you need to clean the fruit from peel and seeds. Here as with salicylates — the closer to the outer edge of the plant, the more problems.
    Last edited by Mike Hendricks; 09-04-2020, 07:14 AM.

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