T Nation

Fiber...Fraud?


Fiber Fraud
Posted at 11:52 AM on February 10, 2010

Fiber is not necessary for human health. Fiber from fruit and vegetables is just fine, however what isn’t necessary and even detrimental are fiber cereals, grains and psyllium.

So if what I say is true, then why do most doctors recommend to eat more fiber?

The recommendation to use fiber for constipation originally began as a way to cover up the side-effects of antibiotics, dental amalgams, and most other prescription drugs. Physicians themselves believe this lie, so it isn’t any fault of their own.

Pharmaceutical companies in the United States control almost all aspects of medical education, either directly, by publishing references, textbooks, and curriculums for continuous education courses as well as designing and administering licensing exams.

The belief of fiber has been so well ingrained that it has become somewhat of a religion. Moreover, enormous amounts of advertising have promoted this view in every possible medium.

It’s only natural that doctors will recommend fiber for constipation because that is what is written up in all medical references and textbooks, even though every single piece of independent research states emphatically that fiber causes constipation and related colorectal disorders, it doesnâ??t relieve constipation or improve motility.

While medical schools teach that bowels contain innate bacteria critical to health, the antibiotics frequently prescribed today, routinely kill this bacteria along with their intended target, wreacking all kinds of havoc.

Most everyone has little idea that almost all of the stool is dead bacteria, it is not undigested food. If undigested food is found in abundance, that is indicative of an inflammatory bowel disease or malabsorption problem.

Most physicians are not familiar with disbacteriosis, which is an imbalance between different types of the intestinal microorganisms, leading to inflammatory disease. This is ignored because it is so pervasive in the westernized diet, and it is becoming more difficult to find an American child or adult who hasnâ??t taken antibiotics at least once or twice, much less been exposed to traces of antibiotics in meat, dairy, poultry, and farmed fish.

That said, most are vulnerable to disbacteriosis. To complicate matters, those who are exposed to mercury in dental amalgam are also subject to the destruction of gut microflora.

Beneficial bacteria protect the bowel mucosa from inflammation, polyps, and cancers, as they synthesize essential vitamins K and biotin, and regulate the process of phagocytosis, where pathogens are engulfed.

In addition, beneficial microflora allow stools to remain soft, while still retaining a solid shape and moisture.

In the medical literature, the intestines contain over 450 strains of bacteria, which comprise somewhere between 50 to 75% of dry stools by weight. In contrast, in the absense of beneficial flora, stools become small, dry, and hard.

Physicians believe a constipated patient needs more insoluble fiber, commonly found in fruits, vegetables, and grains, because fiber enlarges stools by retaining water in them. However, the larger stools caused by added fiber only serve to narrow an already narrow canal even more.

As constipation resumes after a while, patients are told to add soluble fiber, acting as laxative and blocking the absorption of fluids inside the bowel.

Psyllium is a very “popular” form of soluble and insoluble fiber, and it is definitely something to avoid, because eventually it can diminish the bowelâ??s peristalsis (involunary muscle movement in the colon), causing the suppression of the “need to go” urge.

All this fiber is really “doing” is substituting bulk for beneficial bacteria, creating an unhealthy stool.

Before the cereal “killers” came along (the industrial cereal food giants), fiber wasn’t even on the nutritional “radar.” Fiber gradually leads to dependence and addiction by stretching and expanding the colon, narrowing down the anal canal, creating nerve damage. Ever wonder how hemorrhoids develop? It’s the nerve damage from this pressure of large stools.

Eating fiber will not damage you right away, yet in decades to come it will, as irreversible changes complicate constipation matters, creating colorectal damage, such as diverticular disease, inflammatory bowel disease, polyps, and cancers.

The Harvard School of Public Health has stated and I quote, “Fiber intake has also been linked with the metabolic syndrome, a constellation of factors that increases the chances of developing heart disease and diabetes. These factors include high blood pressure, high insulin levels, excess weight (especially around the abdomen), high levels of triglycerides, the body’s main fat-carrying particle, and low levels of HDL (good) cholesterol. Several studies suggest that higher intake of fiber may somehow ward off this increasingly common syndrome.”

The references given for such statements included, below.

Diabetes Care 2004; 27:538-46.

Am J Clin Nutr 2002;76:390-8.

I must confess that I have felt some reluctance to write this topic due to its unpopular message, however after years of research, I had come to the absolute conclusion that fiber isn’t needed in the diet. Moreover, the existence of grains is relatively recent considering the history of human beings.

Finally, I should state that up until recently, scientists have grossly underestimated the critical importance of our intestinal microflora, which constitute ten times the number of cells of the human body.

In contrast to my earlier statements, there are actually some forms of fiber that appear to be quite beneficial, and one of these is called Acacia gum (Acacia Senegal). Acacia gum is a soluble food source type of fiber, and in fact, is considered to be medical food for treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Acacia gum has a clinically proven prebiotic effect, which improves bowel motility and stimulates the growth of healthy gut flora, which in turn reduces bloating, gas, and bowel irregularities.

So if you’re currently taking a fiber, please consider switching to Acacia gum instead.

A recent study released in February this year, revealed a novel effect of Acacia gum on the ability to decrease glucose transport in mice. In other words, it reduced the negative impact of glucose!

Treatment with Acacia gum at 100 grams per liter of drinking water for four weeks significantly blunted the increase in body weight, fasting plasma glucose and fasting insulin concentrations. Essentially, Acacia gum counteracted glucose-induced obesity. If this translates to humans, we could have a real useful fiber to use during parties and the holidays when eating sugar is too hard to resist.

Back to the “bad” fibers, along the way of my research, I had stumbed on to a few anti-fiber advocates in recent years, only adding weight to my own conclusions. Take a look at this entertaining and informative video, courtesy of an anti-fiber avocate, Konstantin Monastyrsky.

Your source is the definition of non-reputable. The ‘sources’ it listed are the worst citations I have ever seen and after link hopping for a while, I found one of them.

As for the logic in the post, here are a few observations.(Correct me if I’m wrong, as that was freaking long and hit me with different angles of some stupidity and pure disregard of any coherent flow from one point to the next).

The writer says that ALL reliable ‘medical literature’ claims that fiber causes constipation, this shit isn’t really something that I would even consider a half-truth. People eat fiber and shit because of it, kinda universal there.

The poster seems to categorize fibers not by soluble/insoluble, but by what food they come from. Which leads to problems when her ‘sources’ talk about the former, and her the latter. (Comprehension errors here)

She makes a ton of claims about how MD’s and GP’s are stupid, they don’t know what dysbacteriosiss is, the government wants to kill you by hiding the ‘real’ research, just conspiracy bullshit.

And to top it all off:

Read that last line, the write put in a contradictory statement.

I would love to actually discuss the harmful effects of fiber, since that is an overlooked area of nutrition. Articles like this, however, make me want to kill people. They are completely full of misinformation and only do more harm than good giving a ‘black and white’ picture to the completely grey field of nutrition and physiology.

And OP, in the future, apply some critical thinking before people take shit like this for truth.

silverhydra, good reading comprehension on the Harvard Med school quote directly contradicting the whole point of the quoted essay.

Fiber improves the quality of my poops, and you can pry it away from my cold dead hands.

[quote]EasyRhino wrote:

Fiber improves the quality of my poops, and you can pry it away from my cold dead hands.[/quote]

x2000

“Fiber is not necessary for human health. Fiber from fruit and vegetables is just fine, however what isn’t necessary and even detrimental are fiber cereals, grains and psyllium.”

I think the whole idea behind fiber supplements and cereals, is that most Americans do not eat enough fruit and vegetables. It’s kind of like protein powders – a supplement one would not need if they ate more meat…

jpb