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Fiber Fraud

Posted on February 10, 2010 at 11:50 AM


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 doesn’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, wreaking 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 hasn’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 bowel’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.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iz53dawDtJ8



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6 Comments

Reply scottyc33
10:35 AM on February 15, 2010 
IH - doesn't eating additional fiber with fruit for example slow the absorption of sugar, thereby normalizing insulin spikes? Isn't this a good thing?
Reply Immortalhair
11:46 AM on February 15, 2010 
scottyc33 - Yes, absolutely, in fact eating the whole fruit is far superior to drinking fruit juice because of its fiber. Fiber from fruits and vegetables is okay.
Reply Rudy Shaw
10:33 PM on October 21, 2010 
If you are suffering from IBS and are looking for IBS foods that are high in fiber, consider this: Insoluble fiber can worsen your IBS symptoms. Some of the foods that have a high content of insoluble fiber include: wheat, rice, oats and barley. Avoiding these foods can bring IBS relief. As mentioned in this post, soluble fiber can be taken in measured quantities to facilitate digestion.
Reply Richard
9:33 PM on February 10, 2011 
You're right. You've got to get the good fiber to have good results. Fiber is often recommended as a remedy for hemorrhoids, but it only works if you have the right kind of fiber. The wrong kind could actually worsen the hemorrhoids.

http://www.hemorrhoidsmedicine.net
Reply Richard Kawane
4:34 AM on April 4, 2011 
I am finding this information a little hard to digest....Could you please point out more research into this. I do agree that the right fiber must be taken in your diet but others reading this article could misunderstand you. More information would be greatly appreciated.
http://richardkawane.com
Reply Immortalhair
6:35 PM on April 4, 2011 
Fiber truly is an overrated substance. Before the USDA, the idea of ingesting grains was a fairly new idea. The existence of grains in the diet is relatively new considering the entire length of human existence.

Cereal makers and with a little help from their lobbyists may have had some influence on the food pyramid. Lots of things have been said about fiber, such as reducing cholesterol from the gut. While this is a fact, the problem is that, considering the lipid hypothesis is proven false, no longer makes this an appealing benefit.

Perhaps one of the most popular notions about fiber is that it can help reduce the absorption of sugar when compared to a more refined version of the grain. While this is true, it is the grain causing the blood sugar fluctuation. In other words, the grain itself, isn't needed.

Research has been all over the place on cancer, and ultimately, bowel cancer rates are not any better with fiber consumption.

Fiber displaces beneficial lactic bacteria in the gut. Of those who are found to live the longest, typically have the largest quantities of tis bacteria in their GI-tract. Fiber displaces this, and creates a dependence on fiber with respect to regularity.

There are some fibers that are certainly better than others. Acacia gum is a type of fiber that helps many sufferers of IBS. However, the majority of fiber such as found in those commercial products are not worth the money and provide little benefit if any.

There is a fiber called Gluccomannan, which when taken at large doses will provide improved blood sugar effects, however, if non-grain foods and no sugar is eaten, there's no real reason to take it.

For thousands of years, some of the most healthy people have existed on very little fiber. I'm afraid fiber has become an unsupportable myth, that much like everything else is more about marketing than in the best interest of health.