T Nation

Gut Health Thread


After overhauling my diet and seeing the tremendous results that can be produced from such change, I am now turning my focus towards gut health and its overall improvement and maintenance.

I know that in regards to gut health and digestion there are some very knowledgeable, well studied members in this community, and would hope that they can contribute generously to this thread.

Any and all information related to this topic is more than welcome. My first questions would revolve around: Best/Worst foods for your gut? What's the word on prebiotics/probiotics? Digestive enzymes? Foods that can irritate/inflame/constipate/upset/heal you gut? Anybody else who has questions please post them as well!

Ultimately some of what comes in must come out, and I want to know how to keep my system in optimal shape.


I have poor digestion for anything that isn't meat, is there a way I can improve it?


I think one of the key factors that many people overlook is simply eating natural food. Since I've even been hospitalized due to my inflamed gut I'm going to take a good hard look at what I eat daily and see how I can improve it.

Right now I'm thinking about cutting down on meat and increasing fruit intake. From the information I have gathered so far ripe fruit is among the easiest digestable foods available to mankind so I'm going to focus on that, see how my gut reacts and see what happens to my stool.


Research irritable bowel syndrome. I had that for about a year and it was hell. A dude in the T-Cell started a thread about it and it will be exactly what your looking for.

edit/I'm not a t-cell member but if I'm really quiet and don't make any noise whilst poking around there no one says a word :wink:


I'm also trying to get my guts healthy and efficient. So far I've had some success, but it's only due to trial and error.

Those twinlab super enzymes mentioned in another thread have been a godsend. Also got some of their super probiotic with ganedenBC which was also mentioned somewhere.

So are the enzymes something that you stop taking eventually?

For what it's worth, my diet is 3 whole food meals and 2 shakes per day. Pretty much just buckwheat, flaxseed, and chicken/meat with fruit/veggies thrown in on occasion. Shakes are whey, malto, EVOO.


What helps my gut is having a cup of yogurt a day, and also taking some bioperine with my peri-workout, and naturally fiber does wonders for your gut.

Caffeine, and any stimulant get's my insides rolling and stirring too. It seem's to mess with my insides, same with sugar alcohol, I won't touch the stuff.


All good information. I know fasting has helped me tremendously. I would always have gas and feel bloated. Especially when I was hungry (which is ironic). The first day I tried fasting and I didn't get that "hunger gas". Ever since then, I have not had it, and the only time I get bloated is when I eat too much, which is normal for everyone. I think its a good idea to give the digestive system a regular break from well......digesting food.


I think that's a good idea.

After 4 years of horrible diet in college (no veggies, everything fried in oil changed once a semester, tons of sugar, etc.), and high stress (triple major, music performance, little sleep), my digestion was really messed up. I started following Fit For Life which recommends nothing but raw fruit before noon. FFL is negative about meat and all animal products, so if you follow what they say is best, you're pretty much vegan. I followed that for a couple years, where the only animal product I used was butter. So the rest of the day I ate vegetables sauteed in butter and EVOO, and brown rice. Lots and lots of brown rice. Well, I got very healthy on this diet. I was probably eating half a gallon of fruit before noon. I was also using a VitaMix to make soups with pulverized veggies that are probably easier to digest.

All these years later and much healthier gut, I don't follow this diet any more, but I do believe it's good for people with impaired digestive health. And I still think I do great eating lots of fruit in the morning. (Nowadays I also have yogurt or protein powder with it.)

So, raw fruit, cooked veggies (and puree them too), rice/brown rice. Soak the rice overnight before slow cooking to make it more digestible.


What's the word on pre and probiotics? Should they only be used by people with severely messed up digestive tracts or are they a good addition for someone that is in great health?


I would assume that eating foods rich is probiotics would be good even for people in good digestive health, but would not be necessary in supplemental form. I mean I buy the occasional activia or cottage cheese enriched with live cultures, but there's no need to buy additional supplements since my gut flora seem fine. As they say, you can have too much of a good thing.


I beg to differ on probiotics forbes - I had a major hit from eating out once (reason I no longer eat out) that required my diet to suck for a pretty long time in terms of variation. Yogurt all day and literally dozens of probiotic pills a day. A bottle of simple acidophilus pills or something simple isn't expensive and should last you a few weeks, give a few a day a shot (on an empty stomach, try it when you first wake up) and see how your digestion feels. It can't hurt, but only help to correct any imbalances in your gut-flora ratios.


L - Glutamine

Poliquin & Berardi both recommend high dose glutamine for gut repair, and I was just watching a show about Celiac Disease in which the 2 Naturopaths highly recommended glutamine for repairing the gut (obviously, second to avoiding gluten/wheat).


How much bioperine are you guys taking? I was looking into it and it looks like an awesome supplement.


POST I MADE IN PRADABOYS THREAD, this protocol is what i used when working with a board certified nuerologist/functional medicine specialist...EVERYTHING starts in the gut...most "disease" that afflicts man could be stopped though whole food nutrition and proper gut health maintenance. The following protocol will clean up a toxic gut and get you back on track and feeling great.

You need to clean the gut up as well, this is the protocol i followed from my nuerologist/functional medicine practitioner

take in a series not all at once

  1. Metagenics canbactin ar (one bottle till gone)

  2. Metagenics candibactin br (one bottle till gone)

  3. Olive leaf extract (for one month as directed)

  4. Capryllic acid (two months as directed)

Stay on GOOD probiotic for life...i use metagenics ulta flora plus df
fish oil (Flameout is all i use) 2-4 grams per day

glutamine (or jsut healthy serivings of Metabolic Drive which has plenty and also covers the rest of your aminos)


I second the notion that even someone in seemingly great health should be taking a probiotic supplement.

I would also recommend everyone do a test like the CSAPx3 from Doctor's Data to find out how healthy their GI tract really is. It's not a fun test by any means (you poop in a french fry tray and dig out pieces with a tiny plastic spoon), but it will give you a ton of information about your gut health.

More info on the test here http://www.doctorsdata.com/test_info.asp?id=25 and a sample report here http://www.doctorsdata.com/repository.asp?id=1951


I've been reading up on Glutamine as a supplement and it sounds amazing. I used to get it through shakes, but since I don't utilize those anymore, I think adding Glutamine in looks like a smart move.

How many people here supplement with Glutamine? How do you do it and what have you thought?


I just began using it (literally, day 3. Based on what I've read from guys like Poliquin and Berardi)
I just bought 1kg, I'm taking 80 grams/day, for 5 days(10 grams/6X + 20 grams in my PWO shake, then I plan to use 5 - 20 grams / day after that.
Poliquin stated that it was one of his "dirty tricks" he used to help his hockey players gain muscle mass.

When all the hype about glutamine was "it's great / no it's a waste", the argument about how much was gobbled up by the gut kept coming up. I even read this 12+ years ago in Muscle Media 2000, pertaining to Cytovol or something.

This seems relevant to gut health.


It's definitely related as many, including Poliquin himself, have stated that glutmaine consumption can have a very positive effect on gut health.

How did you decide on your dosing? and when is the optimal time to consume?


Initial interest came when Berardi recommended researching Glutamine and GI health on pub med(from an old forum post) ("It should keep you busy for a WHILE." J.B). He first stated that there was little/no evidence on it's benefit to muscle building, but that "in some GI cases, glutamine can be quite beneficial, reducing ileal inflammation and other problems."

Then one of Poliquin's tips on his facebook page was that high dose glutamine was a trick he used to increase his athletes' muscle mass. There were plenty of nay-sayers(no surprise there), but he responded with his thoughts.

All in all, I'm not expecting to get Hyyyooooge from it, I just think there's little harm in trying it. I don't really suffer from GI issues either, but again, I doubt this will cause any problems.

Poliquin recommended 80 grams for 5 days, and people asked why not 2 weeks, 1 month, and he responded that it wasn't necessary, and that after 5 days, 20 grams would suffice.
He recommended 10 grams/8 times a day to prevent the Hershey squirts. I just take it 45 minutes before my meals.


A close member of my family has unfortunately fallen ill with leaky gut syndrome and glutamine a few times a day was prescribed along with a few other not-OTC items.