Anti-Inflammatory Diet

All health care starts with diet. My recommendations for a healthy diet are here:
Anti-Inflammatory Diet and Lifestyle.
There are over 190 articles on diet, inflammation and disease on this blog
(find topics using search [upper left] or index [lower right]), and
more articles by Prof. Ayers on Suite101 .

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Constipation, Gut Flora and Health

“If you notice your bowel movements, they are unhealthy.”

Scatological jokes are common. The guide on my Swedish language tour of Moscow in 1976, told a joke about Russians.  She described Russian toilets that are dry, with a shelf for stools to drop upon and a lower hole in the back into which the stool is swept with water.  This was contrasted to Western toilets that partially concealed the stools as they dropped into water.  The joke was that Russians had no art, because they could easily observe their creations each morning.

You Are What You Eat and the Proof Is in the Toilet

Refer to Mr. Monastyrsky for a broad discussion of constipation and stool characteristics.  This web site has lots of information about stool types, how to get them and how to change them.  His recommendations to avoid constipation center on a healthy diet, like my Anti-Inflammation Diet, plus glutamine to help the gut heal.

Another useful perspective on gut flora is provided by a Nature web site on gut flora genomics. This site describes genomic research to show that changing diet changes relative proportions, but not the types of bacteria in gut flora.  Each person has a recognizable, individual composition of gut bacteria.

Feces Is Primarily Bacteria

What you eat and your eating/health history determines your gut flora, and feces is made up of gut flora and some undigested food.  Healthy bowel movement stools are made up of more than 50% bacteria and the consistency of the stools is determined by the bacterial content.  Less bacteria means drier, harder stools.  Bacteria hydrate stools and prevent constipation.

Pathogenic Gut Flora

Why does a total bowel irrigation with PEG, polyethylene glycol, make people with chronic diseases feel as good as if they had an antibiotic treatment (barring die off)?  I think that the answer is that both disrupt and change the gut flora and in many cases disease symptoms are supported by an unhealthy gut flora/biofilms.  In many cases, the antibiotic cannot have a lasting impact, because it is hard to kill bacteria in biofilms.  PEG may actually clean out more of the biofilms, because it should also disrupt the polysaccharide matrix of the biofilms.

Disruption of Gut Flora Leads to Disease

Babies fed breastmilk vs. formula display very large difference in inflammation and susceptibility to disease.  Formula causes gut inflammation and susceptibility to intestinal and respiratory diesease.  Formula also causes a dramatic shift in gut flora from a simple flora dominated by Bifidobacter to a complex adult gut flora. 

Gut Controls Immune System

The impact of the two different gut flora on development of the GI tract and on the newborn immune system is dramatic also.  Remember that most of the immune system of the body is located in the lining of the gut and immune organs, such as the tonsils, are outgrowths of the GI tract.  The thymus, which is responsible for producing T lymphocytes, is twice as large in breastfed babies.  Thus, feedback from the gut of formula fed babies inhibits thymus and immune system development.

Change Your Gut Flora and Change Your Health

Experiments in mice, and I think in humans, have shown that changing the bacteria in the gut changes interactions with food.  Exchanging gut bacteria between fat and lean individuals, causes fat people to lose weight and lean people to gain weight.  I think that this indicates that gut flora participate in the so called metabolic set point, that determines if it is going to be easier to gain or lose weight.  These experiments suggest that a powerful approach may be to eliminate the gut flora of individuals with chronic disease and replace it with healthy gut flora.  This healthy gut flora, along with a healthy diet may make a powerful contribution to elimination of chronic diseases.  Rosacea, which involves both the face and gut, might best be treated by topical antibiotics and anti-inflammatory agents, after the gut contribution has been eliminated by a fecal transplant with healthy gut flora/diet.

Anti-Inflammatory Diet Should Support Healthy Gut Flora

The efficacy of an anti-inflammatory diet (AID) should be displayed in reversal of inflammatory symptoms and unmemorable bowel movements.  A gut and gut flora that resist inflammation as a result an AID, should also produce a healthier immune system and contribute to a reduction in chronic inflammation and disease.  The gut may also have an impact on gut flora and a diet that does not contribute to inflammation in the body, e.g. lacks fructose and vegetable oils, may also support an anti-inflammatory gut flora.


Steve Cooksey, Diabetes Warrior said...

Love your blog doctor...I've been a lurking fan. :)

Are there any studies showing relationships between formula vs breastfeeding and Type 1 Diabetes?

Thanks for all you do!


Anna said...

I've been waiting for you to get to the bottom of these issues! ;-)

Dr. Art Ayers said...

I found a few articles on PubMed that suggest a link between formula and type I diabetes. Here are some excerpts from one abstract:
Malcova H, Sumnik Z, Drevinek P, Venhacova J, Lebl J, Cinek O. Absence of breast-feeding is associated with the risk of type 1 diabetes: a case-control study in a population with rapidly increasing incidence. Eur J Pediatr. 2006 Feb;165(2):114-9. Epub 2005 Oct 7.
There are indications that the effect of environmental factors on the risk of type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) is increasing over time. This can be documented by the rapid increase of T1DM incidence in genetically stable populations. ...The risk of T1DM decreased with increasing duration of breast-feeding, while no breast-feeding was associated with an increased T1DM risk, OR=1.93 [95% CI: 1.33-2.80], breast-feeding for more than 12 months was protective, OR=0.42 [95% CI: 0.22-0.81], both being relative to the reference category of breast-feeding for 1-3 months. A short duration of day-care attendance (none or less than 1 year) was weakly associated with the risk of T1DM, OR=1.65 [95% CI: 1.05-2.62]. ... Short breast-feeding period and short attendance to day care is associated with the risk of T1DM in Czech children.
PMID: 16211397

Thanks for watching and commenting.

Dr. Art Ayers said...

Hi Anna,
Nice to hear from you. I can't seem to get past the fecal transplant experiments. I want to see celebrities extolling the virtues of their fecal sources. The next step would be defending murderers based on the gut flora they picked up in their youth. "My colon made me do it!"

Thanks for watching and commenting.

caphuff said...

since we're on the topic:

Some very funny writing goes on there.

On the serious side, Dr. Ayers, do you think megadosing with probiotics (for a few days maybe) is a good strategy to jump-start healthy gut flora?

I have started doing that recently to deal with some lingering GI tract issues and it seems to help. But I don't know if I should keep it up for long or what.

Stephan Guyenet said...

Hi Art,

I have a hard time reconciling Monastyrsky's take on fiber with the fact that so many high-fiber traditional cultures were healthy. Do you have an opinion on this? One interesting fact that may be relevant is that grain-based cultures often removed a portion of the bran if possible. This was also done by European bakers before white flour; they would sift the flour after grinding to remove a portion of the bran. It still would have been more nutritious than white flour, however.

Monastyrsky's gut healing formula contains two types of fiber (both soluble). So he does recognize the value of fiber, just not insoluble fiber?

Dr. Art Ayers said...

Some people have too much time on their hands... or perhaps squatting.

I think that using probiotics should also be paired with trying to change to healthy gut flora using an anti-inflammatory diet, such as the one I outline on this blog. The probiotics taken a little at a time may have a continued effect, but a good dose of live yogurt (without the sucrose/HFCS) is just as good, if not better. I haven't seen any comparison studies.

Thanks for the comments/questions.

Dr. Art Ayers said...

Hi Stephan,
I think that a problem with discussions of fiber is that there are multiple components in the "fiber" that have independent actions, e.g. our favorite phytate. So when fiber is mentions, is it a reference to a Zinc or an Iron chelator? Are we talking about a modifier of butyric acid metabolism? Is it a bulk component that alters transit rates? [Increasing transit rates improves the symptoms of many diseases, e.g. rosacea.]

I think that the discussion of fiber is like tobacco smoking. Tobacco smoke has many horrendous carcinogens and inflammatory molecules, but it also has addictive nicotine, which is anti-inflammatory. After someone has smoked and survived for an extended time, should they stop cold turkey or continue using nicotine? It is not a simple question.

I think that different people will respond differently to dietary changes, because of their current gut flora. btw, I still think that their gut flora contribute to their weight set points. Are caloric contents of feces measured?

I appreciate your contributions to my blog.

Anonymous said...

Dr Ayers,
I always monitored my fecal matter and ate more roughage, in ignorance of the anti-inflammatory considerations of my overall diet, up until 3 years ago.
The perception given in the mainstream media is that regular, not too smelly, firm turds, are the way to go.
However, due to my almost daily intake of chillies, ginger, turmeric, garlic and fat, mainly from olive oil, mine do not resemble the above criteria.
Is there, or should there be testing facilities for faeces to determine gut health?
From your views, it seems to me that faeces analysis should be made available, as standard practice, to assess progress in overall preventative health measures with regards to AID (anti inflammatory diet). Along with 25(OH)D blood analysis for supplementation to attain optimum vitamin D levels.
Furthermore I enthusiastically support and practice squatting on the toilet, as fundamental to good bowel health.

Dr. Art Ayers said...

I agree with all of your contentions. I remember puzzling over the unusual wear pattern of the toilet seat in the restroom of colonial Fort Canning in Singapore. It took me a while to realize that many people used the toilet by squatting on the seat. Routine squatting is also a great conditioner for child birth.

I second your statement of need for the analysis of feces for health. Unfortunately, the current techniques using plating techniques doesn't identify most of the bacteria in the feces. By the way, there are also no good measures of chronic inflammation (hsCRP is only moderately useful). That is partially why blood lipid are used instead of inflammatory markers for risk of cardiovascular disease.

Thanks for your comments.

lightcan said...

Dr. Art,

thank you for your very informative posts.
Is it correct to say that following a course of antibiotics one's gut flora is changed and that a course of probiotics is necessary to rectify the situation? I am on a low carb, I think anti-inflammatory diet for a year and a half (no seed oils, wheat, fructose), but still have problems, with constipation. I took antibiotics for gum disease in 2007 and immediately after I started suffering from haemorroids. (I only see a link now) Would the regular consumption of live yoghurt and a course of probiotics (there is enough for a month I think in a bottle) help? I have a moderate amount of fibre in my diet, coming from vegetables and salads but do not drink generally more than 3 mugs of water a day. Could low T3 have an influence?
Thank you for taking the time to read.

Byron said...

Dear Dr. Ayers,
thanks a lot for your great blog.
Actually I read a lot of gut flora/digeston/inflammation and pro-/prebiotics. Matter is I have always diarrhea. I had colonoscopy but everything is fine. I´m on ketogenic since a half year (former LC) and probiotics helps only a little bit. Hard cheese gives the best result. But I have to eat a lot of it every second day. Can too much drinking water result in diarrhea? I drink up to 3liter/d. Thanks again for your interesting and informatory blog.

Dr. Art Ayers said...

I think that constipation is all about your gut flora. Too few bacteria means stools with a low amount of bacteria, which means the bacteria aren't there to provide hydration and constipation.

Your case suggests that you have starved much of your gut flora by eating efficiently and avoiding carbs. Sucrose and fructose just contribute to metabolic syndrome, so they can't solve the problem. What you might need is a carb that passes through the intestines and feeds the lower bowel gut flora. That sounds like resistant starch (RS). There are lots of different ways that starch can avoid amylase in the mouth, stomach and upper intestine: physical barriers, course seeds/grains; crystalline; chemical modification. Some RS is considered to be soluble fiber.

You can read about starch in Wikipedia. Perhaps lactose, e.g. sweet whey, might help.

Upping the probiotics and perhaps prebiotics might also help. My first choice would be a full fat, unsweetened live yogurt. Some of those are better than ice cream.

I am starting to think that some antibiotic use may lead to essentially permanent damage to gut flora. In other word, we don't have functional sources of replacement gut bacteria (there are about a thousand different species) in our diets and probiotics offer only a tiny fraction (less than a dozen) of those required for health.

Perhaps our food is too clean and too sanitary. The soil has thousands of unclassified bacteria and maybe those are the natural source to replenish damaged gut flora. Many of the needed species are also created in the gut biofilms, which promote extensive genetic exchange between species. The appendix is the typical storage organ to replenish gut flora after diarrhea, but aggressive antibiotic treatment may damage the stored flora.

The final alternative is fecal transplantation, but that is not yet readily available.

Thanks for your comments.

Dr. Art Ayers said...

There is no routine test for gut flora integrity. The colonoscopy should have provided an opportunity for a reset of your gut flora, but changed nothing.

You drink a lot of water, about ten times more than I do on average.

Unusually rapid transit suggests to me inflammation, so I would try to compensate with glutamine, omega-3 oils with saturated fats, and full fat live yogurt. Your absorption will be compromised with rapid transit, so worry about vitamins and minerals.

I usually don't suggest fiber, but veggies (don't overcook) might help to provide nutrients for the bacteria in your lower gut and slow transit.

The gut flora that you have may not be adequate to support a healthy ketogenic diet, and you may have to back off to feed your gut flora.

Thanks for your comments.

Anonymous said...

To Bill's point about stool testing, there are some newer lab tests available that utilize DNA analysis to identify microbes that can't be cultured by standard means. Here are a few links to labs doing this work:

Sample report from Genova Diagnostics:

Sample report from Doctor's Data lab:

I hope that helps.

Anonymous said...

I wish to get a total bowel irrigation with PEG, but how can I find a qualified practitioner who offers this service? Do you have suggestions? There is no shortage of chiropractors etc. offering colonics, but I cannot identify a practitioner to perform a total bowel irrigation with PEG. Appreciate any suggestions you may have.

Dr. Art Ayers said...

Anonymous- about stool analysis,

Those lab analyses are great. I wasn't aware that some of the PCR approaches had been commercialized.

The Metametrix analysis seems much more comprehensive and useful. I would like to read some feedback from patients. I wonder how expensive it is.

Thanks for your info.

Dr. Art Ayers said...

Anonymous - about total bowel irrigation,

I think that TBI could be very useful in eliminating existing gut flora and stripping off some biofilms.

It is, however, potentially hazardous for people with some GI problems and should be done under medical supervision.

The TBI to be useful, should be used when a good transit time is already established and sufficient gut flora are present, so that after the TBI there will be seed bacteria to reestablish a more normal flora in response to a new diet.

I don't think that there is much point to use TBI unless there is a goal of replacing it by using a new diet.

It may be that aging, for example, is associated with accumulation of pathogenic biofilms that could be removed by TBI, but there is no indication yet.

In most cases, I think that a series of dietary adjustments would have the same effect as TBI.

The only cases that I can think of in which TBI may be superior to diet changes, would be when the existing bacteria may pose a threat of die off inflammation, e.g. rosacea? Then, it may be better to move the bacteria quickly out.

Thanks for your query.

Garry said...

The Metametrix GI Profile costs between $350-$400, depending on what exactly is ordered, and it must be ordered by your doctor (MD, DO, DC).

Here's another link with some more specifics on which microbes are tested for:

Interestingly, they test for the 'obesity-type' microflora. Some of the research in that area is really interesting.

Right now, medicine is missing the boat almost entirely when it comes to functional GI issues. I can only imagine that this will (slowly) change over time as the importance of what happens in the GI tract is better recognized. Once someone can make money by trademarking specific strains of microflora and linking that strain by research to certain benefits, we will see more developments.

Dr. Art Ayers said...

Thanks for the info on GI flora screening.

It is unfortunate that the screening is still limited to known bacteria and is not yet a complete fingerprint of all of the gut flora.

I think that there will also be a bit of confusion in the future with the growing recognition of the extent of genetic exchange between species that takes place in the gut. Hence, looking at rRNA genes may be less of a reflection of species than is assumed.

I would also like to know the interventions used to change gut flora after recognizable pathologies are found.

One of the beneficial flora is H. pylori, which stimulates Treg development. It would be nice to know how it does it and how to keep H. pylori from causing trouble (constrain hydrogen-producing Klebsiella?).

Thank for your help.

lightcan said...

Thank you very much, Dr. Art.
I had problems with hard stools before, so I don't think it is due to lower carb per se. I was hoping that by eating low carb (for example not eating wheat fibre from heavy soda bread) the digestion becomes more efficient. I used to take psyllium husk to help transit but it would increase volume too much.
Anyway, probably damaged flora. I should eat the organic root vegetables with the soil on and more beans.

Unknown said...

Dr. Ayers and Stephan - re. Stephan's fiber question above: I was curious about this, so I did some perusing on Mr. Monastyrsky's site. I found the following...

- - - - - - - - -
"Healthy intestinal bacteria reside and procreate inside the protective layer of the mucosal membrane, and derive their nutrients from mucus. To give a good home to existing bacteria and provide a head start to supplemental flora, your mucosal membranes must be healthy and well-nourished. For this reason GI Recovery contains small quantities of FOS (fructooligosaccharides) and acacia fiber, natural soluble fibers which are preferred by normal flora, but do not “appeal” to pathogenic bacteria. In small amounts, neither cause the bloating or flatulence associated with fiber in food and/or laxatives. It also includes N-Acetyl-D-Glucosamine (NAG)—a naturally occurring amino sugar which helps in maintaining the intestinal mucous production. NAG is derived from the exoskeleton of shell fish (crab, shrimp, lobsters), and should be avoided by people with known allergies to shell fish. In this case you should take pure pharmaceutical-grade L-Glutamine instead." - From:

"FOS and ulmus fulva are prebiotics, or substances that provide starter feed for these bacteria—just like fertilizer for plants. Other supplements may include inulin, pectin, or psyllium. In their tiny amounts per capsule, these soluble fibers are harmless." AND "Supplemental bacteria require minor quantities of soluble fiber to survive the trip and procreate inside the large intestine. If you are on a very low-carb diet for medical or weight loss reasons, take several recommended doses of FOS or apple pectin daily. Many supplements already have minor amounts added in." - From:
- - - - - - - - -

Do either of you have any further thoughts on any of these statements?

Dr. Ayers, does this jibe with some of the things I've read on your blog recently re. pectin? Does any of this have to do with the 'Resistant Starch' that you mentioned earlier? Do you have any thoughts re. the need/methods to heal/seal the gut lining (in addition to trying to modify and multiply gut flora)?

Stephan, thanks for all the material you've been posting at your wholehealthsource blog. I'm still wading through the discussions in part 3 of your 'body fat setpoint' post, and am looking forward to reading part 4.

Cristian said...

It seems that magnesium deficiency affect the gut bifidobacteria content, the intestinal permeability and inflammation:
Changes in Intestinal Bifidobacteria Levels Are Associated with the Inflammatory
Response in Magnesium-Deficient Mice. J Nutr. 2010 Jan 20. [Epub ahead of print]
PubMed PMID: 20089787.

Dr. Art Ayers said...

Thanks for the info on the use of prebiotics (fructose oligosaccharides) and acidic polysaccharides (pectin) to augment gut flora development. That should be useful in therapy for sick gut flora.

I think those approaches make sense. It should support Bifidobacteria, similarly to breastmilk. The glutamine is there to help heal the gut.

I only mentioned the resistant starch as another compromised possibilility for getting food to the gut flora. It still potentially feed Klebsiella.

Thanks for finding this info on Gut Sense.

Dr. Art Ayers said...

Hi Cristian,
So minerals are also important in maintaining healthy gut flora. This is especially important if people are trying to use typical probiotics and the fructose oligosaccharides, since the target Bifidobacteria seem to be sensitive to magnesium deficiency.

Thank for your input.

rps said...

This reminds me of a project I did in college that involved observing chimpanzees in a zoo for hours. Mostly they would poop and communally pass the poop around, eating it. Maybe this was an artifact of living in a zoo, but maybe it's adaptive, somehow helping them have the right gut flora.

Next diet fad?

Krissie said...

Does the chlorine in tap water cause any problems for gut bacteria?
Wouldn't whey (or other bacterial) enemas work to populate the lower gut?

Thanks for your posts and your 'middle aged middle' updates, too!

Dr. Art Ayers said...

Chlorine is inactivated by all of the biological components of your upper GI tract. It wouldn't get far and your bacterial would be protected.

I don't hold much stock in enemas. They are afterthoughts and for emergency use. Your good bacteria have already done their work and adding more bacteria with an enema, is a waste of effort. It makes more sense to eat properly to begin with and feed your gut flora with a low carb, high fat diet plus lots of leafy vegetables. Fructose (in sucrose and high fructose corn syrup) and vegetable oils are the major culprits in modern diets.

Thanks for the comments.

Raymond said...

Dr ayers, thank you so much for the great blog.

I'm interested in you thoughts on stomach acid in repairing guy flora. I have had some recent personal experience that makes me think it is also very important.

Like one of your other commenters I also have been dealing with ongoing gut flora problems which started 10 years ago after a large dose of broadspectrum antibiotics. Since then I have had ongoing problems including many food intolerances, increase in alergies and artheritic joints (particularly around previous injuries). Gluten, diary and also night shade vegetables amongst others have been a bane, withever more seeming to be added to the list.

About a year ago I came across a book about the importance of stomach acid. It was mostly focused on people with chronic relux--which I was getting but only mildly--but it discussed the idea that the problem with reflux wasn't too much acid, it was not enough. The book also went on to talk about other benefits including improved gut flora as you are creating the right environment for good bacteria to florish. It suggested two things that have changed my life since then. Digestive bitters and digestive enzymes containing some of the precusors to stomach acid.
It suggested that the bitters, through tasting bitter, start a normal reaction in the stomach generating more stomach acid. This is apparently as most poisons have a bitter taste. The acid in the stomach create an acid barrier that neutralise the poisons.
After about 6 months taking the bitters (the digestive enzymes which I only took for about 3 months), a considerable number of my symptoms have gone. The other amazing thing is that I can now eat diary with pretty much no I'll effect. While not completely cured, I am feeling so much better than I have before. I also have to note that upping my vit D intake (also from the sun) has also helped quieten down my reactions and also very low carb intake is also valuable.
I'm interested in your thoughts on this topic, particularly as a means to re-establish a healthy gut flora long term.

The book I mentioned was called "Why stomach acid is good for you" by Jonaright Wright and Lane Lenard.

Krissie said...

Dr. Ayers,
Great about chlorine, thank you.

I don't mean to harp on this but...

Fecal transplants are given by enema...whey is all 'good' bacteria, so why couldn't it work in a similar fashion?

Also, if the appendix is the storage for good there a chance that it was filled with the wrong bacteria from the beginning, so when it does re-populate the gut after an infection, it just goes back to the same, not-so-good bacteria? Like a baby who gets antibiotics and formula from the minute they are born - what kind of storage does their appendix have, and could it be fixed? (not asking for personal reasons, just theoretical)

Dr. Art Ayers said...

Thanks for your detailed input.

I think that a well functioning stomach is very important to healthy gut flora. I expect that bitters are a mixture of plant alkaloids and most alkaloids have broad toxicity. Our intestines and gut have P450 polyfunctional oxidases to detox and protect against these compounds. The brain has an unprotected region to detect and respond to these compounds by inducing vomiting. Pregnant women/fetuses are especially sensitive to these toxic compounds and that is the basis for morning sickness -- to avoid eating veggies during early pregnancy.

So, it would not be surprising if the bitter taste in the mouth also triggered stomach changes to provide alkaloid protection. The stomach doesn't produce acid directly, but rather uses some complex chemistry involving both iron and salt to lower the pH. It is that complex chemistry that probably leads to the chemical modification/detox of alkaloids.

The question is why you were low on stomach acid to begin with. In most cases, I would think that the problems was Helicobacter pylori. Hp infection decreases stomach acid production and the stomach infection is spread by anti-acid treatments. Hp is fed by hydrogen producing bacteria in the lower bowel and starch feeds those bacteria. Low carbs/starch lowers Hp growth and returns acid production.

Hp growing normally (low starch) actually stimulated Treg production and these lymphocytes bring autoimmune/allergies under control. I think that Hp are normal gut inhabitants and may actually be necessary for good health. Hp plus a standard Western diet lead to ulcers and gastric cancer. It is the high carb/starch/sugar plus vegetable oils that actually causes the problem.

It all seems to make sense. I am glad that you got to the source of the problem rather than simply attacking the symptoms with drugs.

Thanks for your comments and let me know if you have some more insights.

Dr. Art Ayers said...

I don't think that you are harping.

I think that the whole area of fecal transplants needs to be explored and fully exploited for health benefits. The way that medicine treats the bowels is certainly dysfunctional, so I favor new/traditional? approaches. I just wish that there was money available for clinical trials.

Whey should contain lots of the prebiotics from milk, if they haven't been removed with the lactose. There are no bacteria/probiotics in whey. Also the prebiotics should support the lactobacilli that I think normally inhabit the upper GI tract, and not the lower. So, I am still skeptical of working from that end.

I think that you are right about the appendix. I think that some antibiotics may damage the storage of healthy gut flora in the appendix. Then it may be difficult to reset the appendix and a lasting gut malaise may ensue. The appendix is still ignored, even though people without appendices are at increased risk for particular diseases, e.g. MS.

Thanks for your comments and please persist when you think that I have got it wrong.

mtflight said...

Dr. Ayers,

Great informative post, as always. I have a curious question about polyols (sorbitol, maltitol, etc) and their known gastrointestinal effects. How does their "excessive consumption" relate to gut flora?

Also what about "prebiotics" such as inulin?

Glycerin has also been used as a low-glycemic sweetener. I wonder if it may work as a substitute for glucose, when it comes to glycerol backbone of FFAs and subsequent fat-storage?

Regards and thanks for the blog!


Dr. Art Ayers said...

Some of the gut flora will be able to use the polyols, but others will not, so I expect that the presence of another potential food source would shift the gut flora composition. I doubt that anyone has measured the results or knows what health impacts the gut flora changes have. These polyols may be prebiotics.

I think that the probiotics will change the gut flora by contributing to the accumulation of more lactobacilli and I think that those contribute to a more normal gut flora associated with health and lower inflammation.

Glycerol is just a three carbon poylol, so it can't contribute easily to blood glucose levels. I don't know how efficiently it is transported into various cell types, phosphorylated and used in triglycerides. I would think it would be readily used by bacteria.

Thanks for your comments.

MontyApollo said...

Dr. Ayers,

Do you have any thoughts on how coconut oil might affect gut flora. The makers often seem to claim that it kills the "bad" bacteria and leaves the "good". I have heard of it being used to control yeast, but I don't know if this is the bad "bacteria" they are talking about.


Dr. Art Ayers said...

I am sorry that I can't contribute much to lipid-gut flora interactions. I expect gut flora to metabolize all of the lipids and that a change in dietary lipids will change the gut flora, but most of the lipids should be absorbed, if the gut has had experience with lipids and responds with adequate bile production.

There is probably no actual distinction between good and bad bacteria. After all, they readily exchange genes. I would go so far as to say that species of bacteria don't exist in the gut, but rather niches produce different bags of genes that we identify as species by the biochemistry required to inhabit a niche. The problem is that we are producing unhealthy niches.

A major health risk may be having too little fat in the diet and compromising the fat absorption process. This may be a significant contributor to the disease-promoting quality of high carb diets.

Thanks for the comments.

Dr. Art Ayers said...

I neglected to discuss inulin, which is a fructan. Normally, I would resist eating fructose-containing carbs, because fructose is a metabolic problem. Also, sucrose can be used by bacteria as an activated intermediate in the production of fructan polysaccharides for biofilms, e.g. dental plaque.

Inulin is a different category, because it is not hydrolyzed by human enzymes and thus moves on to the lower GI tract, where it is food for gut flora. It would seem that inulin would be a nice accompaniment to pectin for increasing gut flora in the case of constipation. One would expect some traditional remedies and perhaps meal combinations to include, for example leeks and apples.

Thanks for your comments.

Krissie said...

Dr. Ayers,

Sorry, I forgot to say that it was kefir whey...not just milk whey, so it should have lactobacilli and other probiotics (at least in small amounts?)

Although I have some nutritionist friends that are very pro-enema and I was never interested...until I started reading your blog...and now I could see the place in healing for a probiotic enema, especially if there are still lasting symptoms (of a condition)even after prolonged ingestion of an anti-inflammatory diet. (because maybe there is a biofilm unable to be dislodged or good bacteria unable to take hold).
Do you think that e-coli are a strain of probiotics that we are very deficient in?
or maybe a better question would be do you think there are any strains of bacteria that we are not able to get anymore as abundantly as lactobacilli that we evolutionarily are accustomed to having reside in our insides?

and do you think that exposing yourself to these missing strains may cause illness initially, but it would be worth it for the resulting inhabitation?

I agree with you that this area does need to be exploited in medicine, it is a fascinating twist after years of rigorous hygiene...maybe surgeons will start scrubbing their hands with a beneficial bacteria wash before surgery - lol - ok speculations are getting out of hand.

Thank you,

Dr. Art Ayers said...

I think that those are all good points. I think that a big problem is the assault on gut flora by antibiotic use. Our hygienic surroundings are all that prevent us from being vulnerable to numerous pathogens. Perhaps that contributes to problems with common food poisoning.

Probiotics, in the form of lactobacilli are only a rough approximation of actual gut flora. We need better sources, but there does not appear to be much research to provide cheap, natural sources. I guess that we will have to let pharmaceutical companies patent food.

taipilsons said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dr. Art Ayers said...

I don't see any disconnect between the destructive and constructive use of antibiotics. Antibiotics are powerful and need to be uses knowledgeably. They are used negligently.

Antibiotics have their greatest impact on gut flora and are used for this purpose in the meat industry to control weight gain and fattening. Coincidentally they have the same impact on people.

Antibiotics can also be used to save lives, if they are used responsibly.

It is difficult to attack problematic bacterial communities. Antibiotic attack is rather simplistic and scattershot. Medical care does not include monitoring of healthy gut flora and is blind to most of the impact of treatment. Select symptom modification and not curing is the goal. Pharmaceuticals and the placebo effect are effective modifiers of symptoms. Surgery also modifies symptoms. Neither approach cures.

The article that you provided shows understanding of some of the basic components, e.g. biofilms, vagus nerve impact, but it doesn't show any insight into the underlying molecular biology. There are also numerous product disclaimers, suggesting that there is no foundation of clinical research to support their particular approach.

Thanks for your comments.

Garry said...

New study in Nature finds 1000 species of gut flora:

Another study in same journal suggests flora affect appetite:

Dr. Art Ayers said...

I have been working on the Nature article, since it came out a couple of days ago. It is very exciting.

Thanks for the news articles.

Kath said...

Dr. Art-

I have suffered from constipation for years, and only maintain any form of regularity through regular use of polyethylene glycol (2-3 times a day). I have eliminated gluten and dairy from my diet as I suspected they might be part of the problem. I also believe that unhealthy gut flora is playing a big role. I don't know where to start in terms of repair, however. What do you suggest? My diet is low carb, almost entirely based on plants, nuts/seeds, meat, eggs, and oils (coconut, olive).

Thank you!

Dr. Art Ayers said...

I would start by reviewing the anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle that I suggest at the top of the blog.

With your dysfunctional gut flora, you will probably also have numerous vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

You can start by shifting from PEG to lactulose. The PEG strips away good and bad biofilms as well as destabilizing all of your gut flora, so you won't be able to make any progress if you keep taking the PEG.

So, assuming that you have corrected any vit.D deficiency (check serum levels before and after supplements) start with probiotics (you can probably also tolerate live yogurt with full fat), lactulose, pectin (apples, tomatoes, etc.), inulin (leeks, etc.). I would stick to a high fat/low carb diet. That means no vegetable oil (only olive oil, butter, coconut oil), most of your calories from saturated fat in meat/dairy/fish/eggs, and lots of diverse leafy vegetables. Veggies fresh from the garden or farmers market are preferred, because then you won't over wash or cook them to remove too many of the bacteria that you need to reconstitute your gut flora.

You are going to have to be patient with your gut, because you need to accumulate more than a hundred different species of bacteria to have a healthy gut flora that can digest all of the vegetable polysaccharides in a healthy diet.

You probably couldn't tolerate dairy previously, because you eliminated the bacteria that can metabolize lactose. Get used to live yogurt first and then slowly add more milk to increase your gut flora's ability to digest lactose. It takes about two weeks.

Remember that most nuts and seeds are high in inflammatory omega-6 oils, that's why veg. oils are so unhealthy.

Let me know how your gut normalizes.

legend_018 said...

Hello. Your site is very interesting. My husband got diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome. Is this lifestyle something that would benefit him? His chiropractor recommended at one time that he concentrate on eliminating wheat or even gluten and explained to him how wheat was very bad. He didn't recommend eating a diet high in white(s), but did say that he would be better off eating white bread if he was to eat any bread. IF he or we were to continue eating some breads in moderation, is white bread actually better for us than the wheat breads out there?

Thank You So much!!!

Dr. Art Ayers said...

Legend )18,
I would take your husband's IBS seriously and change diets. I think that it is wise to avoid grains in general. There is nothing healthy about them. They are high in starch, high in gluten and most people have difficulty with them. If your husband already has gut problems, why would you want to irritate his gut more?

The diet that I outline is designed to be healthy for everyone and is particularly supportive for people who suffer from inflammatory diseases such as IBS.

Others have asked the same question, so read the other comments. Adjust vit.D, eliminate vegetable oils, use olive oil/butter, eliminate grains, increase saturated fats for majority of calories, eat veggies/fruit high in pectin and inulin. Lactulose is supposed to help with IBS and I would start it after normal bowel movements are achieved with the other treatments.

The diet that I recommend is consistent with the current biomedical literature and will gradually be adopted by nutritionists over the next decade. It is simply a low carb/high fat/meat/fish/egg/dairy diet with a more normal omega 3 to 6 ratio and plenty of leafy vegetables.

Let me know how it works.

legend_018 said...

Thanks so much for your advise. The only other question that comes to mine is a see a lot of references toward approximately 2,000 ui of Vitamin D. My doctor told me there are only a few vitamins you can overdose on and Vitamin D is one of them. They recommend only 1,000 per day. Can you actually overdose on vitamin D?

Dr. Art Ayers said...

Legend 018,
It is possible to overdose vit.D3, but only at 100X the doses typically recommended, e.g. a child taking 100,000 IU/day. I have read that 10,000 IU of vit.D3 is safe for pregnant women.

Most people who are vit.D deficient (more than half of the population) don't show much improvement in their serum vit.D with supplementing less than several thousand IU/day. These people also don't improve with sunlight, probably because of high chronic inflammation.

There appears to be a threshold for people with vit.D deficiency and inflammation, such that the vit.D level needs to be supplemented until it stifles the inflammation, and then the serum vit.D can increase up to 60-70 ng/ml. At this point sunlight is effective in providing skin production of vit.D.

It is safest to get your serum vit.D level measured, supplement with vit.D3 and then measure again to make sure that the supplement achieved a healthy level of higher than 60 ng/ml. (Most people remain deficient after supplementing and never check again.)

Thanks for your comments/questions.

legend_018 said...

thanks for the advise. I like my doctor, but they only test stuff like Vitamin D levels 1ce a year during my check up.

Kath said...

Dr. Art -

Do you have any advice for finding a practitioner who buys into any of this? I've seen 4 different GIs and 2 allergist for my chronic constipation and for help getting off a daily regimen of miralax. Each doctor told me to continue the miralax, and add fiber into my diet via all bran (or another high fiber cereal) or metamucil/benefiber. I'm developing food allergies/intolerances as well, and I know this is all related (I tested positive to 20 different foods a month ago, including many fruits and vegetables).

Any advice?

againstthegrain said...


The beauty of what Dr. Ayers suggests is that you can try it yourself without much, if any risk. And you don't need a practitioner's blessing. My experience is that few practitioners are really interested in learning about novel approaches from their patients even if seemingly intractable conditions improve dramatically or reverse - they put it down to placebo or spontaneous remission for the most part. We hear a lot about "taking charge of our health" from the powers that be - this is an excellent area to put that into practice and it's probably far safer and more beneficial than even OTC drug remedies.

I know I had worse results (than no treatment) when I followed the conventional advice of my doctors: bran and other grain fiber supplement, etc. - the insoluble fiber simply increased bulk (& stool width), which cause painful fissures and more difficult elimination (possibly due to my pelvic prolapse condition). I did not want to take the prescription Rx that were then suggested. I've had very good results so far with my efforts to "tend my inner garden" using Dr. Ayer's recommendations.

Given the low risk of adverse effects, consider trying the non-bran/non-grain, soluble fiber approach to improve the number and quality of your colon bacteria (i.e., regular consumption of inulin and pectin-containing foods or even using supplements of inulin & pectin; consumption of a wide variety of local/seasonal leafy greens & herbs to provide beneficial soil-borne bacteria such as lactobacillus; a variety of spices; the anti-inflammatory lower carb diet of saturated fat, high quality protein, and varied produce he describes on his blog; and so on). He has mentioned the details on numerous blog posts as well in quite a few comments, though this will take some time to find and read thoroughly, but it's well worth it.

I think there is very little risk to such an approach (esp compared to OTC and Rx drug therapies) though the inulin powder supplements and some of the high inulin-containing foods (Jerusalem artichokes/sunchokes for example) can initially create a lot of intestine "noise" and gassiness until the bacteria adjust in species and numbers - it's best to go slow with those items to build tolerance until the beneficial bacteria population catches up.

Hope that helps.


Kath said...

Thanks for your thoughts, Anna. I had been following the diet for a while... was following Mark Sisson's primal blueprint for about 10 months, but when I was told I had all of the food intolerances (20), it greatly limited what fruits & veggies, and proteins I can eat. I'm also not supposed to eat anything more than 2 times per week. I don't know if gut issues are causing the intolerances or if the intolerances are causing the gut issues. Either way, I walk around looking pregnant, have no energy, and am trying to figure out what is causing what.

Dr. Art Ayers said...

I think that Anna is on the right track. Most M.D.s don't read the biomedical literature and aren't aware of more than the guidelines for their specialty, which are not based on science or even their own literature. I don't know how to find physicians who are up to date and try to make sense to cure, rather than just treat their patients.

I don't think that avoidance of foods that trigger intolerance makes sense, because it ignores the cause of the problem and pins it on some vague idea of personal genetics or history. Food intolerance based on defective gut flora makes sense and responds to simple changes of diet and acquisition of new bacteria.

I hope that you can follow the suggestions on this blog and comments like Anna's to mend your gut flora and get passed constipation and eliminate intolerances.

Keep me informed of your progress.

Alexander said...

Dr Ayers,
Thank you very much for this blog!
I have IBS and don't tolerate red meat, coffee, orange juice, chocolate among other things. When I eat /drink this I produce a lot of stomach acid and get diarrhea. So I have avoided those for 3 years, and now I have been on your anti-inflammatory diet for 3 months. And I am beginning to wonder if things like red meat can be made tolerable for me again, maybe by re-introducing it slowly (like maybe just put the fat from the bacon on my food in the beginning). It's a little constrictiong being on the Anti-inflam. diet when I'm only eating fish and poultry, and they're not very fatty, mostly.
What are your thoughts, can I make my self re-tolerate red meat (I can do without the coffee and orange juice), will my gut have to go through some processes, or will it never happen, you think?

Thanks again,

- Alexander

Admin said...

Dr. Ayers - people squat on the toilet seats in Singapore (and elsewhere in Asia) not for health reasons but because the seats are filthy. I live in Malaysia and I've seen one being cleaned where the cleaner dipped the mop into the water in the toilet (which still had faeces floating in it), then mopped the floor, dipped again and mopped the toilet seat. (Sorry, did I just make you puke?)

Interesting observation about fecal transplant. In animal husbandry, they give cows and pigs lots of antibiotics because this increases their weight, although they said they didn't know why. How does that work? The animals are constipated and hence more of the food is absorbed because it sits in the intestines longer?

Magnesium deficiency can be caused by too much mercury, as mercury binds to the binding sites of magnesium (and other metals). Mercury also causes inflammation on its own.

I read that Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease triggered by the proteins in cow's milk.

Admin said...

Oh, and what about candida (yeast)?

MonaVie said...

Interesting post. I can't help but ask whether yogurt can improve gut health. Is there any truth to this?

Anonymous said...

Dr. Ayers - I could listen to you talk sh*t all day...

I'm curious, what are your views on fruictooligosaccharides and would you recommend supplimenting with FOS to improve intestinal flora?

Thanks in advance,


Dr. Art Ayers said...

I eat full fat, live GreekYogurt, because it is as tasty as ice cream, low in carbs, high in saturated fats, and provides some probiotic bacteria.

Probiotics are helpful for transitory stimulation of the immune system and to supply some genes that may be useful for my established gut flora. (Gut biofilm bacteria scavenge genes from other bacteria, such as probiotics.)

To really help your immune system via a healthy gut flora, you should concentrate on the gut flora in the colon, which are not the probiotics, but rather the anaerobes that digest and use soluble fiber. That means eating, for example apples for pectin and leeks for inulin.

Remember that diet cannot help to develop your gut flora without also eating the bacteria that you are missing. You also need to eat the bacteria clinging to vegetables and avoid killing the beneficial bacteria by heating/cooking or washing. You also need to be reasonable to avoid parasites and pathogens.

Dr. Art Ayers said...

Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) are just another soluble fiber to feed gut flora. It would seem to be a waste of money to buy purified FOS, when a leek or onion would be a better source of FOS for pennies.

Also, you need to eat both the soluble fiber and the bacteria that you are missing.

Candice said...

Dr. Ayers,
How are you supposed to eat the bacteria on unwashed food while at the same time avoiding pathogenic bacteria and parasites? I contracted Toxoplasmosis 2 years ago (perhaps an underdone steak?) and had the leading Toxo specialist in London "worried" because there was the possibility I might at the time be pregnant-I was not, but the issue for my doctor and the specialist was big. The advice you give is good and valid, but for those with lousey immune systems to begin, exposure to soils etc, will also put them at risk for other potential problem like Toxo, and a child with birth defects as a result. It would seem this situation is a catch 22. That is unless there is something I am not seeing that I ought. Is there some way of ensuring the passing of intact useful bacteria into the gut, while keeping out the pathogens? Is there such a food that might supply this ability, such as Horseradish? Vinegar? Mango? I mention these three since I have read that Mango can destroy viruses in test tube, Horesradish kills bad e-coli and other bacterias and Vinegar has a similar ability. I would assume however that if this were true then these foods might also kill the good along with the bad, No?

Candice said...

Also, what about snogging, as we call it in England? If you kiss someone with good gut flora, do they pass some of these bacteria into u?
I am curious because I've spent my entire life being super clean. So much so that I don't even kiss my husband on the lips (to his chagrin). I have hideous gut flora with constipation issues, esp since going on low carb. He on the other hand is quite healthy.

Alison said...

DR, I see you recommend a high fat diet to re-establish good gut flora. How does this gel with the research that showed a return to a high fat diet from a low fat diet in mice with healthy flora (more bacteriodes than firmicutes)resulted in a swopping of the ratios to an efficient gut flora for weight gain with a few days.

blogblog said...

@Alison said...

DR, I see you recommend a high fat diet to re-establish good gut flora. How does this gel with the research that showed a return to a high fat diet from a low fat diet in mice with healthy flora (more bacteriodes than firmicutes)resulted in a swopping of the ratios to an efficient gut flora for weight gain with a few days.

Nutrition studies on mice and rats are utterly irrelevant to humans. These rodents naturally eat an ultra low fat diet (<5% fat) diet based mostly on seeds. Rats and mice require a very low fat, very high carbohydrate diet with a lot of insoluble fibre. This is the exact opposite of humans.

Rodents also have a gut that is basically the reverse of the human gut. They ferment their food in the fore-gut rather than the hind-gut (colon) fermentation that occurs in humans.

Anonymous said...

Probiotics from yogurt and pills are all very well and good, but they are very temporary. They simply can't repopulate our gut bacteria and heal up a bad gut.

Why? Because they do not contain the right flora. The right flora exists in OTHER healthy peoples guts, and surrounds us (air, soil, even in insects). In point of fact the people who have the healthiest and most diverse flora in the world live in Africa, and westerners (with their advertising based cleanliness obsession) have the lest healthy gut flora.

Now scientists have know for quite a while that the gut has about 3 pounds of bacteria in it. They have also known that the entire body is filled with bacteria - in fact there are 9 non-human cells in the human body for every 1 human cell. Despite this, there has been little to no interest in understanding the cooperative nature of our internal biology, and doctors (as always) lag the furthest behind and are the most resistant to taking this on board. For ages I have said that nobody ought to be allowed to BE a doctor unless they have a PHD in microbiology or genetics - otherwise we get what we have now ; doctors who don't even know what the scientific method *IS*, never read science and who base their decisions on 'tradition'.

Keep in mind that the human gut is only *one* part of the body where the cooperative nature of human life comes into play.... and making treatment choices on these facts, is being regulated out of existence by the FDA.

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile for the last 20 years advertisers have been trying to make us all scared to death of germs so that we will buy their unnecessary AND DANGEROUS, with the result that kids have terrible immune systems, having not been exposed to the innocuous bacteria (the majority), a small amount of harmful bacteria to bolster their immunity (which MUST be done in early childhood when the thymus is still working), and also having ben de-populated of the bacteria we need for HEALTH (the ones that cooperate with us, regulate our inflammatory response system & immunity, and are a part of our epigeneitcs .. RUNNING the systems that keep us healthy).

Keep in mind that those anti-bacterial hand wipes and soaps usually make use of Triclosan; a PESTICIDE which is listed with the US EPA as a serious danger to human health. It is not picky about which bacteria it kills (like the nice ones we need in our gut) and *YET* the manufactures are putting it into all sorts of items without even listing it as an ingredient.

Triclosan isn't even limited to soaps and hand wipes either. They put it into kids plastic toys, and many of the plastic item in kitchens, like kitchen cutting boards. As a result of the anti-bacteria hysteria fostered by advertising, Triclosanis now fills the entire western worlds basic ecology. It is in our water and our soil (which means it is INSIDE OF our food too). Every time a person uses Triclosan, the stuff absorbs into the blood stream through the skin (skin is *not* a water-proof membrane).

Anonymous said...

Triclosan is not alone either, It is very LIKELY that many other common agro-chemicals are also bocidal, and our killing off our internal flora (bacteria that we still do not understand and won't for many many decades). It just amazes me that with 9 out of 10 cells in a human being NON human, nearly all scientists and doctors have been acting as if we were 100% human... as if 90% of the cells we "port around" with us, were meaningless.

For an example of a common NON TRICLOSAL agent that *is8 biocidal, here is a very common one. Take RoundUp (glyphosphate) as an example. The company that first sold the stuff claimed it degraded rapidly in dry conditions & was not harmful. Neither half of that statements is true.

RoundUp (glyphosphate) is a biocide which kills soil bacteria (the plants need that bacteria) and contrary to the manufacturers statements, Glyphospahte does *not* degrade rapidly (not even on dry soil with full sun in a desert).

The wide-spread use of RoundUp /Glyphoshphate has caused a number of vital soil bacteria to come quite close to extinction in North America. It has also been very well proven to cause serious disease in humans (it causes over a dozen illnesses).

Glyphosphate is also a persistent organochlorine. The few biologists left that LOVE "DDT" are scared to death of RoundUp and consider it to be far more dangerous. You see, SOIL is not just non-living dirt. It is filled with bacteria, fungi and many things that are not quite either one (prions, etc). Using this stuff makes it easy to farm (for a while) but glyphosphate kills the bacteria in the soil indiscriminately - including bacteria that plants REQUIRE for absorbing minerals from the soil!

This means that food raised using RoundUp is going to be very low in minerals... and it also means that the soil that it is repeatedly used on becomes a "low microbe" desert over time. The food raised using glyphosphate will also CONTAIN the actual because ALL agro chemicals get inside of the actual plant. The huge trend toward the use of MONSANTO's "RoundUp ready" crops has only made this worse.

Keep in mind here that Agro-chemicals (including Roundup/Glyphostphate) are also not just on the OUTSIDE of plants. They are absorbed INTO the plants cells, and cannot be simply washed off and it stays in the soil and water and gets into the entire food chain.

If this was not bad enough, there is NEW tre3nd even worse that "RoundUp Ready". There is also a new effort to produce "2 4-D" 'ready' crops and remember that "2 4-D" was one of the major ingredients in the highly toxic substance "Agent Orange" which was used in Vietnam and caused a lot of soldiers to die long after they came home.


Unfortunately we CANNOT use probiotics to fix an ailing gut because the bacteria in probiotic mixes are **NOT** the same bacteria that exist in a normal healthy gut.

We also cannot do a nice *sterile* bacterial transplant into a sick person using *only* bacteria that is fully understood and vetted via hard science. Why not? Because we have no idea which bacteria in the gut are meaningless... which are vital for our health and which are bad for us. We do not know this because there are hundreds of thousand of species of bacteria JUST in the gut! That number (which already seems huge) is rising as the (very new) investigation continues.
Now think about all those other bacteria that live in a human's body.

The investigation into the bacteria that live inside of us has only just started. It was utterly ignored by medicine and by hard science until quite recently.


Among illness that have gone into total rapid remission from a faeces based gut flora transplant (our only current choice) - are total remission from

* Chrones
* Ulcerative Colitis
* Advanced M.S.
* late stage Cancer

Anonymous said...

Short version:

The nausea you get after a coffee enema is a healing crisis/herxheimer reaction. A Coffee Enema (ALWAYS use pure chlorine-free water and organic

coffee) cause the glutathione detox pathway to produce about 7 times your normal glutathione levels, and pushes your body to make and release bile

(which carries toxins out of the liver). This can have consequences if you are toxic (high body burden of toxins). Since the coffee also carries

the toxins away, immediately renewing the coffee enema can relieve the symptoms; it may take 2 or 3 to get through the amount of toxins you've

triggered your body into releasing. This won't hurt you. My wife and I both have severe Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (with a VERY high toxic load - hers far worse than mine) and we do at least 3 long-retained coffee enemas at least every other day... and the reduction in PAIN is wonderful as well.
(From barleySinger) - to be continued

Anonymous said...

Long version (read this if you can, there's a lot of valuable information here):

The coffee enema causes detoxification, but it MUST be made the right way in order to be safe. This means using ORGANICALLY-GROWN coffee, and pure untreated water (MUST BE CHLORINE-FREE -- either buy distilled water (and even then, it's good to filter out any plasticizers that may have leached into it if you buy it in a plastic jug), or use filtered or boiled rainwater if you live in the country or have reasonably clean rain where you live -- I wouldn't do this in the city, at least not without more than just a simple dedicated Brita filter).

Taking the coffee enema will force your body to to begin dumping toxins rapidly -- that's the main reason for using it for many non-pain-control purposes -- but it also means that if you have a high toxic load you can occasionally have nasty symptoms. My wife used to call hers the 'going to die shits', before we learned about the more technical terms "dumping" and "Herxheimer reactions", but there are several ways this symptom set can manifest -- nausea, sweating, headache, gut cramps, and thermal dysregulation (being too hot or cold for the room temperature) are the most common ones.

The answer to this is to have MORE coffee enemas. I know it sounds wrong -- or at least counter-intuitive -- but the REASON for the reaction is that you no longer have any coffee in your bowel. The coffee enema's detox action is in two parts, and understanding this is CRUCIAL to avoiding problems from it if you're toxic. It TRIGGERS detoxification -- and it SUPPORTS it, allowing you to pass the toxins out of your body without being made sick by them.

- continued

Anonymous said...

Part 1: Detox stimulation -- While it *IS* there, the coffee is increasing your glutathione output (a 700% increase, according to the research

I've read), which increases the activity of your biochemical detoxification system, AND it stimulates the output and release of bile, by the liver

and gall bladder respectively. Because bile is one of the primary output pathways from the liver, it is one of the primary places the liver has

available for storing and ridding itself of the toxins that it cleans out of your blood. This means that the more toxic you are, the more toxic

your bile is (and, given the high rate of gall bladder illness in people with toxin-related illnesses, my wife and I have suspected for years that

this is one of the primary reasons that gall bladder failure occurs in highly toxic people -- storing toxic bile poisons the gall bladder more

directly and in a more concentrated form than almost any other organ in the body).

Part 2: Toxin removal -- However, with the coffee enema, you are pulling the toxins from the released bile directly from the small intestine into

the coffee-laden large intestine, by way of osmosis; once there, the coffee is able to carry the toxins out of your body when you void the enema.

This means that each coffee enema can be held for only so long before it is "full", having reached the maximum amount of toxins it can absorb

without "re-uptake", which just means re-absorbing the toxins out of the coffee into the bloodstream, by way of the large intestine. As soon as

you start experiencing any sudden urgency, or any of the above symptoms, it's time to void that enema... ...but in our experience, if you ARE

experiencing any of these symptoms, either during the enema, or within a short time thereafter, it's a good idea to follow it up with at least one

more. Your body can only make and release so much bile in a given period of time, so additional coffee enemas won't just keep restarting the detox

process, but they WILL keep absorbing the toxins from the bile you've already released, so that you can get them out of your body before they get

reabsorbed and make you sick.

In our case, my wife is so toxic that the only way she can tolerate things like Milk Thistle, alpha lipoic acid, l-glutamine, and neblulised

glutathione, is to take them WITH her coffee enemas.

- continued

Anonymous said...

Last but not least, there are a few important things to bear in mind about how you USE the coffee enema:

*) it's important to make sure that you're holding the enema long enough to do you good, but not so long that you're reabsorbing the coffee and

the toxins it now contains. A good guideline is to aim for at least 15 minutes (your entire blood supply circulates through any given point in

your body once every 3 minutes, so this gives the coffee time to pull the toxins out of your blood through osmosis, as well as out of the toxic bile you've released), but never keep it more than an hour or two (which may sound like a long time, especially if you're new to enema use, but the pain relief can be so great that you fall asleep with the coffee in you).

*) It's important to make sure that you're not dehydrated when you start; if you are, you'll absorb liquid out of the coffee, and it won't have as much volume in which to absorb and carry away the toxins.

*) And, for the same reason, it's important to make sure that you're using an appropriate enema volume to start with; most people have to work their way up on this, from a smaller volume when they first start using enemas, to a REASONABLE volume -- bigger is only better up to a point.

After years of doing this, we tend to use anywhere from 0.6 to 1 litre (normally about 650ml). MY wife's volume tolerance started out higher, and actually went down over time, as her bowel function improved as a result of the detoxification.

*) By the same token, if you're having problems with constipation, retained fecal matter, or slow bowel function, you may need to do an initial clearing enema before your main coffee enema session. We tend to use a more dilute coffee enema for this; it will gently stimulate bowel function, helping you clear out the solids, but shouldn't cause cramping or use up your coffee as fast.

*) Administering the enema as high up in the colorectal area as possible is the best option for home users, who can't use commercial colonic equipment; instead of just using an enema bulb, which puts the liquid into the rectum, we get good results using a 60cm tube to place the enema higher up, past the top and bottom rectal sphincters, into the sigmoid colon. The tube is highly flexible, and will NOT cause damage to the colon walls if used with common sense (as with anything, don't try to force it if it seems to be running into something). These tube tips can be purchase fairly cheaply online, and are compatible with many different kinds of enema administration systems.

- continued

Anonymous said...

*) Also, lying on your right side for the enema helps it flow backwards up the colon, making it easier for it to reach optimal positioning for

effective osmosis of the bile across the bowel walls.

*) If using any enema for detox purposes, it's important not to introduce toxins with the enema process; so, just as you SHOULD NEVER ingest or

bathe using chlorinated water (it's just crazy - more later) don't !!!EVER!!! use chlorinated tap water, or coffee filled with pesticide and

herbicide residues. Use only pure water and organic beans. Doing otherwise can seriously hurt you.

You also want to avoid using enema kits that will leach toxins into the coffee (and then into you). This particularly applies to the old rubber

hot-water-bottle style of enema kit. These are made out of 100% artificial petrochemical rubber these days. The things *reek* of volatile organic

petrochemicals. Anything made of vinyl or rubber is best avoided for this purpose. We each use a dedicated 60cc hard plastic syringe (the same

kind used for giving shots, only large), which can be out-gassed before use, and re-sterilized between uses with boiling water (* SEE NEXT POINT).

The tubes we use are phthalate free. You can buy the tubes and syringes on ebay at much lower prices than you can get it at most enema supply

shops. There are also metal bucket-style enema systems available as well; these tend to be gravity fed, using a long tube with a stopcock,

allowing even a person with less hand strength to control the amount they're receiving, and how fast. This can be important because the syringe

enemas (implant kits) require have a 60ml syringe. This mans having more than one filling of the syringe (probably 10 syringes full, once you get

used to the volume), This requires using EITHER : a technique of bending and pinching off the tube (up near the nipple connection) in order to keep

the coffee inside of you while you work the syringe with one hand... or obtaining a quality tube clamp.

*) NEVER sterilize ANY enema equipment using anything poisonous, like bleach. Some enema supply houses (Wilson's included) carry a special

cleaning product. We use boiling water. If you do choose to use a soap or other cleaning agent (one made for the purpose) make sure you remove even

the slightest trace of the soap residue from the enema equipment before use, because soapsuds damage the epithelium. **Remember**, anything on

your enema equipment, it's in your enema will wind up in your colon and in your blood.

If these basic precautions are followed, coffee enemas are a remarkably safe and effective method of treating stored toxic load, acute toxic

reactions, and chronic pain.

- continued

Anonymous said...

- Now my note on chlorine -

Chlorine is a terrible and dangerous method for the treatment of water. There are several others that work better, many of which are less expensive and are also not dangerous at all. Chlorine does it job (stopping water born diseases) via a chemical reaction that produces both Dioxins and PCBs (two very potent carcinogens). The small amounts of plant matter in *all* water always reacts to the presence of chlorine by producing dioxins - in the EXACT same manner that dioxins are produced by bleaching paper with chlorine, or using chlorine bleach to whiten your clothing.

Chlorinated water (from any method - chlorine gas, chlorine salts, chloramine or Chlorine Dioxide generators) is just a bad idea for any living thing. Exposure to chlorinated water (internal or external) is bad. Humans absorb far more chlorine from treated water, through their skin from bathing and showering (and through our lungs due to the steam of a shower aerosolizing the chlorine) than we so from our drinking water.

HUMAN SKIN IS NOT AN IMPERMEABLE BARRIER. Anything that is on our skin, is also in our bloodstream. This is even more true for our colons.

Exposure to chlorine (from drinking treated water and bathing in it) causes much higher rates of spinnabiffida, miscarriage due to "failure to implant", and also from cancer. It is also linked to a variety of mood disorders including suicidal ideation. Our local water district even had a web page up telling people about ALL of these issues for a while - and - announcing their efforts to switch to a less dangerous treatment method.

The LA Water district stopped using standard chlorination about a decade or so ago.

It is also a fact of the rapid evolution of microbes, that Crytosporidia, Giardia and Amoebic Dysentery have ALL adapted to chlorine and so using it against them against is useless (just as it is useless to try and kill cockroaches using DDT ... because to them it is FOOD).

Crypto and Giardia have been immune to chlorination since the 1950s.... yet for the sake of appearances (and politics) city water suppliers STILL react to unacceptable levels of crypto & giardia levels by raising the level of Chlorine in the water; often to levels so high that the chlorine contaminated water burns peoples skin on contact.

For example, in 1999 the Sydney Australia area had rather high levels of Crytosporidia in the town water supply. Officials eventually released the information to the TV news outlets to warn warn people (especially those with compromised immunity) to use only bottled water. The officials then RAISED the chlorine levels so high that the water was unusable, ad caused obvious and rapid chemical burns on contact with human skin. This is 'normal' behavior for city officials.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous,

re: coffee enema

I was trying to look for the 700% increase in glutathione following the coffee enema.

I used PUBMED and the only reference I found was this:

Hum Exp Toxicol. 2012 Jul;31(7):643-51. doi: 10.1177/0960327111432499. Epub 2012 Jan 16.
Antioxidant effects after coffee enema or oral coffee consumption in healthy Thai male volunteers.
Teekachunhatean S1, Tosri N, Sangdee C, Wongpoomchai R, Ruangyuttikarn W, Puaninta C, Srichairatanakool S.
Author information
We designed an open-label, randomized two-phase crossover study to investigate the antioxidant effects after single and multiple doses of a coffee enema versus coffee consumed orally. Eleven healthy subjects were randomly assigned to either receive a coffee enema (3 times weekly for 6 visits) or consume ready-to-drink coffee (2 times daily for 11 days). After a washout period, subjects were switched to receive the alternate coffee procedure. Blood samples were collected at specific time points for the determination of serum levels of glutathione (GSH), malondialdehyde (MDA) and trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC). The findings showed that either single or multiple administrations of the coffee enema or orally consumed coffee doses seemed not to produce any beneficial effects to enhance serum GSH levels or to decrease serum MDA levels over the study period of 12 days. In contrast, mean serum TEAC levels at day 12 after the coffee enema and at days 6 and 12 after oral coffee consumption were significantly reduced from their corresponding baseline values. Thus, no beneficial effects with respect to an enhancement of serum GSH and TEAC levels or a decrease in serum MDA concentrations were demonstrated after coffee enema or orally consumed ready-to-drink coffee.

Could you please cite some sources? I do not mean to discredit what you're saying. I am open to the idea but I would like to see something more positive than the abstract posted above.

Random Ponderings said...

+++++ QUOTE ++++++
Krissie said...

Dr. Ayers,
Great about chlorine, thank you.

I don't mean to harp on this but...

Fecal transplants are given by enema...whey is all 'good' bacteria, so why couldn't it work in a similar fashion?

Not true. Some Faecal trannsplants are give as freeze dried (triple gel-capped) ORAL courses, and studies indicate they work just as well. Of course this is all moot now that teh US FDA has regulated the entire field into non-existence (so unless you have ONE disease, you can only get it done at home using donor faeces that has not been tested, as a doc testing your donor would get them in legal trouble). The FDA has also totally outlawed "brown banks" in the USA, right after the first one finally opened.

So if you want the safety of a faecal transplant via colonoscopy with a tested sample (so you know that person is safe to use as a donor) - and you do NOT have the ONE form of bacterial infection the FDA allows for .. or even if you do have that infection but have no close family member willing to donate for you ... you can no longer legally get help from a doctor in the USA (making what is a SOLID SCIENCE based approach, which has even cured late stage MS, into a 'back room' DIY medicine).