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How to Prevent Gut Inflammation

When you count all the little folds, the total surface area of our gut is about 3,000 square feet. That’s larger than a tennis court. Yet, only a single layer of cells separates our inner core from the outer chaos. The primary fuel that keeps this critical cell layer alive is a short-chain fatty acid called butyrate, which our good bacteria make from the fiber we eat. We feed the good bacteria in our gut, and they feed us right back. As shown in my video, Prebiotics: Tending Our Inner Garden, our good gut bacteria take the prebiotics we eat, like fiber, and, in return, provide the vital fuel source that feeds the cells that line our colon—a prototypical example of the symbiosis between us and our gut flora.

How important are these compounds that our good bacteria derive from fiber? Researchers have explained that a condition known as diversion colitis “frequently develops in segments of the colorectum after surgical diversion of the fecal stream.” What does that mean? If you skip a segment of the bowel (like with an ileostomy) so food no longer passes through that section, it becomes inflamed and can start bleeding, breaking down, and closing off. How frequently does this happen? It can occur up to 100% of the time, but the inflammation uniformly disappears after you reattach it to the fecal flow.

We didn’t know what caused this. Perhaps it was some kind of bacterial overgrowth or bad bacteria? No, it was a nutritional deficiency of the lining of the colon due to the absence of the fiber needed to create the short-chain fatty acids. This was proven in a study wherein researchers cured the inflammation by bathing the lining in what it so desperately needed: fiber breakdown products. Severe inflammation was gone in just a few weeks, demonstrating that when we feed the good bacteria in our gut, they feed us right back.

It makes sense that we have good bacteria in our gut that feed us and try to keep us healthy—they have a pretty good thing going. Our guts are warm and moist, and food just keeps magically coming down the pipe. But if we die, they lose out on all of that. If we die, they die, so it’s in their best evolutionary interest to keep us happy.

But, there are bad bugs, too, like cholera that cause diarrhea. These have a different strategy: The sicker they can make us, the more explosive the diarrhea, and the better their chances of spreading to other people and into other colons. They don’t care if we die, because they don’t intend on going down with the ship.

So, how does the body keep the good bacteria around while getting rid of the bad? Think about it. We have literally trillions of bacteria in our gut, so our immune system must constantly maintain a balance between tolerating good bacteria while attacking bad bacteria. If we mess up this fine balance and start attacking harmless bacteria, it could lead to inflammatory bowel disease, where we’re in constant red-alert attack mode. Researchers explained, “The mechanisms by which the immune system maintains this critical balance remain largely undefined.” That was true…until now.

If you think about it, there has to be a way for our good bacteria to signal to our immune system that they’re the good guys. There is. And that signal is butyrate. Researchers found that butyrate suppresses the inflammatory reaction and tells our immune system to stand down, so butyrate “may behave as a microbial signal to inform [our] immune system that the relative levels of [good] bacteria are within the desired range.” Butyrate calms the immune system down, saying in effect, “All’s well. You’ve got the good guys on board.” This ultimately renders the intestinal immune system hyporesponsive, (i.e., accommodating) to the beneficial bacteria. But, in the absence of the calming effect of butyrate, our immune system is back in full force, attacking the bacteria within our gut under the assumption that those are obviously not the good ones since butyrate levels are so low.

We evolved to have butyrate suppress our immune reaction, so should our good bacteria ever get wiped out and bad bacteria take over, our immune system would be able to sense this and go on a rampage to destroy the invaders and continue rampaging until there were only good bacteria creating butyrate to put the immune system back to sleep.

But what if we don’t eat enough fiber? Remember, our good bacteria use fiber to create butyrate. So, if we don’t eat enough fiber, we can’t make enough butyrate. We could have lots of good bacteria, but if we don’t feed them fiber, they can’t make butyrate. And when our body senses low levels of butyrate, it thinks our gut must be filled with bad bacteria and reacts accordingly. In other words, our body can mistake low fiber intake for having a population of bad bacteria in our gut.

Our body doesn’t know about processed food—it evolved over millions of years getting massive fiber intake. Even during the Paleolithic period, humans ingested 100 grams of fiber a day. So, on fiber-deficient Western diets (Spam on Wonder Bread, anyone?), when our body detects low butyrate levels in the gut, it doesn’t think low fiber. As far as our body is concerned, there’s no such thing as low fiber. So, instead, it thinks bad bacteria. For millions of years, low butyrate has meant bad bacteria, so that’s the signal for our body to go on the inflammatory offensive. That’s one reason why fiber can be so anti-inflammatory and one of the reasons it’s said that “[f]iber intake is critical for optimal health.”

It’s important to note that we’re not referring to fiber supplements here, but whole plant foods. Fiber supplementation with something like Metamucil may “not replicate the results seen with a diet naturally high in fiber.”

For additional background on the advantages of fiber-rich whole foods over fiber supplements, watch my video entitled Is the Fiber Theory Wrong?

There is plenty more evidence supporting the role a fiber-rich diet—that is, a whole plant diet—plays in maintaining optimal health, which you can learn about in these videos:

For even more on gut flora, see:

In health,

Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live, year-in-review presentations:


Michael Greger M.D., FACLM

Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM, is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial.

80 responses to “How to Prevent Gut Inflammation

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  1. I eat lots of vegetables and fruit. Is that enough fiber for the bacteria? I can’t eat oatmeal, gluten or corn….become bloated, crampy, and gassy.

    1. Beans, peas, lentils – in short, all legumes – provide both fiber and protein. They will probably cause gas in the beginning, but if you persist eating them daily you will be rewarded with a better balance of good bacteria over the bad guys. Dr G has videos on the subject, showing how an important changing of the guards, so to speak, happens in just a couple of weeks after dropping animal protein and replacing it with healthy whole plant foods.

      Even after making this changeover, it can take a long, long time to get back on track following the taking of antibiotics, so be sure they are needed for a bacterial infection before taking them. They don’t work on viruses.

      1. Raw garlic for gut upsets, three days of it first thing in the morning, couple of cloves crushed, leave for a few minutes and then swallow with water. This is good for killing off the bad boys, and then most people can manage grains and legumes well cooked in the pressure cooker. Often the gassiness problem and cramps just go away.

        But a bit of bloating and wind is normal….. Big pharma has been pathologising the ordinary workings of the body to flog drugs. And medicines for the gut are really big bucks because it is a chronic worsening problem that requires treatments for life (or so you will find)… and when those stop working the surgeons come along…. Hell.

      2. I highly recommend that new and nervous bean eaters buy a package of Kombu at your natural foods market (it’s a kind of seaweed that helps soften beans during the cooking process). After soaking beans, put a 2-3 inch piece of Kombu in the bean cooking water. Don’t throw the Kombu out after cooking — chop up this green sea vegetable and mix into the cooked beans. It *really* helps with gas (including with pulses that don’t normally get soaked, like lentils).

        Also, Epazote (a culinary herb) has been used to flavor beans in Mexican cooking for generations. It’s traditionally believed to reduce the gassiness of beans.

    2. The gut loves cooked beetroot, well cooked. But what a pity you cannot eat whole grains and pseudo grains. If you are otherwise vegan you need the starches, the full range, to make up the nutrients and for satiation. Otherwise you will be eating junk to fill up, or animal products. Have you tried cooking them in a pressure cooker- to the point of mushiness, just about- which is really good for digestibility.

    3. Have you tried rinsing beans once, then soaking for a few hours before cooking? I tried this for my mum and she didn’t get bloated like she usually does.

      1. I soak my beans overnite before cooking & it works great! Occasionally i get some wind especially if i also eat cruciferous like cauliflower.

    4. There is plenty of fibre in fruits and vegetables. just make sure that you do not eg peel apples, kiwifruit, potatoes, carrots etc before eating. Just give them a good wash before consuming instead.

      You could eat black, purple, red or brown rice instead of oats, maize etc. Plenty of fibre there and rice is a gluten-free grain. Just make sure that you avoid rice grown in contaminated soil eg France, the Southern US etc.

  2. Resistant starch can also do the job. See Dr. Greger’s other posts “Getting Starch to Take the Path of Most Resistance” and “Colon Cancer and Resistant Starch”

  3. Dr Greger has stated in the past that we need to eat BOTH Soluble and Insoluble Fiber. I assume both types of fiber produce Butyrate. If you don’t eat enough of BOTH types of fiber, health issues arise. It would be nice to have a BLOG Part 2 explanation as to why. I notice some grains are better for my gut than others, but not sure why. Steel Cut Oats are the best at breakfast and Hulled Barley for supper, all pre-soaked. I wonder if there is a balance ratio of soluble to insoluble fiber that minimizes gut inflammation. i.e. too many whole grains (insoluble fiber) in the diet vs greens/fruit (soluble).

    1. Oats will work wonders when they are prepared with enough water (not dried) and turns jellylike. Also fiber stimulates glutathione which detoxifies and lowers inflammation too.

      PS: I don’t have any relation to supplements but I’d look into a special supplemeny for those in need of extra help in this subject. Fulvic acid. It needs to be gold color (never brown) to avoid contamination. This is an example:

      This is an explanation of fulvic acid:

      1. “Oats prepared with enough water (not dried) and turns jellylike”
        I cook my oats in a small slow cooker/croc pot over nite and they turn out just like that!!
        Throw in a tblspoon of ground up flaxseed and it’s great… A great big lump of fiber cleaning out the “inards”..

    2. I wonder if there is a lag between low butyrate and the inflammatory response, such that when taking antibiotics and the all the gut flora is cleaned out, the body gives us time to restore the flora before it goes all infalmmy on us.

    3. Deb,
      >>>Processed means there is no real fiber left, perhaps?
      Processed foods often have fiber added back into them, so they can advertise “high fiber”, but the health benefits are not the same as eating whole foods, e.g. the glycemic index will typically be higher, meaning it would, all other things being equal, raise one’s blood sugar more. One common example of this is low-quality/-cost “whole wheat” bread. The health benefits have only been demonstrated for whole foods. Cf.
      “Dietary fiber that is intrinsic and intact in fiber-rich foods
      (eg, fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains) is widely recognized
      to have beneficial effects on health when consumed
      at recommended levels (25 g/d for adultwomen, 38 g/d for
      adult men). Most (90%) of the US population does not
      consume this level of dietary fiber, averaging only 15 g/d.
      In an attempt to bridge this ‘‘fiber gap,’’ many consumers
      are turning to fiber supplements, which are typically isolated
      froma single source. Fiber supplements cannot be presumed
      to provide the health benefits that are associatedwith dietary
      fiber from whole foods. Of the fiber supplements on the
      market today, only a minority possess the physical characteristics
      that underlie the mechanisms driving clinically meaningful
      health benefits.

      >>>Not all that worried, because I am eating vegan.
      That’s great, just make sure it is primarily whole foods. You mention eating starches. I assume you mean starchy whole foods like sweet potatoes.

      If you stick with whole foods including legumes/beans and some nuts/seeds as well as the others, you should get plenty of fiber, if you are eating a well-balanced and sufficiently caloric diet. I typically get something like 60-70 grams per day from about 2100-2200 calories.

  4. We are not what we eat. Nor are we what our gut bacteria eat. We are, in fact, the waste product of what they have eaten. We are built of microbe poop.

    Or short-chain fatty acids, as we ex-Corpsmen say.

    1. Not exactly. The gut flora and butyrate story takes place in the colon. Most of the nutrient absorption goes on in the small intestine. That’s where the vitamins, minerals, macronutrients, etc. are absorbed into the blood stream. Man (and woman) do not live on butyrate alone. Most of the butyrate feeds the cells that line the colon. It is not a major food/nutrient source for the body.

  5. Dr. Greger wrote: “As far as our body is concerned, there’s no such thing as low fiber. So, instead, it thinks bad bacteria. For millions of years, low butyrate has meant bad bacteria, so that’s the signal for our body to go on the inflammatory offensive. That’s one reason why fiber can be so anti-inflammatory and one of the reasons it’s said that “fiber intake is critical for optimal health.”

    In his book, “The Second Brain”, Dr. Michael D. Gershon MD (a Gastroeneterologist who studied neurogastroenterology), tells us that over 85% of neurotransmitters like serotonin are made in the gut.

    So when I am reading that paragraph copied from the article above, I think, “hmm…the gut does “think” and respond appropriately to what it sees is lacking- all the more reason to give it the tools to “think” efficiently and responsively”. You’ve heard the term, “Gut instinct”. It may not be an exaggeration.

    Me? I want my gut thinking and managing my health 24/7!

    A healthy and proud monthly supporter of

  6. Okay, can I make a confession that, once you take out the fiber products, I don’t have this internal picture of fiber sources.

    If I close my eyes and picture “fiber” it isn’t a picture of fruits and vegetables and grains and starches, I mentally see all the fiber products.

    I am eating tons of fruits and vegetables every day and just had a friend give me enough rice for the next year, but I genuinely have never taken a nutrition class other than the food pyramid when I was a child.

    Not all that worried, because I am eating vegan and maybe a few too many soy veggie burger products, which I am going to guess would be not fiber? Is that how it works? Processed means there is no real fiber left, perhaps?

    I ask, because the whole sprinkling wheat bran on oatmeal not working means that something happened.

    My apologies to Dr. Greger.

    Trying to learn, but I am an oldie, but newbie and have half my brain tied behind my head.

    1. Extracting fibre and then taking it like a food supplement (eg bran, psyllium) is now well established as a bad thing- a gut irritant in fact. Just eat the whole range of grains and nuts and seeds and fruit and veg and you will get enough fibre of the right kind in the right place. We all need to stop thinking supplements- that is medical brainwashing.

      1. Laughing, yes, we have to wash all the medical and cultural brainwashing out of our heads.

        There is a whole lifetime of it.

    1. Yes Lonie, I’d also like to know as I have a spoon on Inulin in my hibicus tea in the mornings and feel that it keeps me well balanced in the bathroom area each day. Looking forward to a reply to your question.

    1. There is a difference in that the latter tends to be higher in CLA fats and some vitamins like vitamin K. But frankly the difference isn’t big enough to be meaningful. I have not seen any actual evidence that it is less harmful than regular butter although I have seen all the claims

      Despite all the hype though, the point remains that even with grass fed etc butter,100% of the calories come from fat and it is basically all saturated fat.

      Experiments have shown that reducing saturated fat in the diet reduce cardiovascular disease and according to Harvard “When dairy fat was replaced with the same number of calories from vegetable fat or polyunsaturated fat, the risk of cardiovascular disease dropped by 10% and 24%, respectively. Furthermore, replacing the same number of calories from dairy fat with healthful carbohydrates from whole grains was associated with a 28% lower risk of cardiovascular disease.”

  7. I love the posting and agree most people will benefit from eating more fiber.
    However, I try to eat plant based foods as much as I can, and often, I get bloated and with pain to the point I can’t work.
    I have no know allergies to food and I am not intolerant to gluten or fructose.
    What else can I check?
    I want to reach a balance between being healthy and being able to function.

    1. Normally the gut flora takes a bit to accommodate the new diet. You did not mention how long this has been going on.

      Are you skipping back and forth between a plant based diet and a normal American diet?
      Do you have some intestinal malady you have not mentioned?
      What general age category are you? Older younger middle aged?
      Any other significant medical history?

      I personally can not give any medical advice but perhaps others may.
      I personally react differently to different foods. Maltodextrin a sweetner bothers my stomach. As does some others, stevia for instance if I eat them to excess. They function by being indigestible really, Are you using any of them?

    2. Hi I’m a RN health support volunteer with thanks for your question. It can take time to adjust to a new diet. So you may need to give it some time.

      One healthy thing that can help with gas and bloating is to sip caffeine free, peppermint herbal tea. It is rich in antioxidants and counts as a serving of fluid as well.

      The other thing you could try to help narrow down specifically what might be causing your symptoms is an elimination diet. Start with a very basic diet and then slowly add one thing in at a time. This is something Dr. McDougall (mentor/colleague of Dr. Greger’s) recommends:

      Hope that helps.

    3. You may have Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth or SIBO. This can be diagnosed through a breath test with help from a gastroenterologist. This condition is caused by many things, but it happened to me after taking many courses of antibiotics. I could not tolerate many healthy fiber rich foods such as broccoli, onions, garlic, apples, legumes etc., and had severe pain after eating them. After learning as much as I could and getting treatment, I am back to eating normally. I learned about it from watching Summits on the Internet on SIBO, from my gastroenterologist, and from a wonderful Naturopath. If you have SIBO, eating healthy foods that feed the bacteria which have translocated to the small intestine is actually making one sick and damaging cells. If you are in pain, that is not normal.

    4. Oh I so agree with you “Thanks” – I’m just searching Dr Greger’s videos to find out as much as I can about this very problem. After watching so many this afternoon, I can see that my gut flora was so unbalanced from being on a very ordinary diet for many years. Although I haven’t eaten meat in a very long time, I have been a cheese eater and occasionally ate fish….no longer though. I’ve been Whole Food Plant Based Health Promoting eater for over 5 weeks now (I know, very new to the ‘total’ thing) – and already I feel good, except for this bloating and pain after eating such high fiber The same…..the pain can stop me in my tracks and I have to lie down until, excuse me, but it seems like a balloon releasing air! I’m hoping, after reading and listening to Dr Greger that by sticking to this way of eating, my gut bacteria will change for the better and one day it’ll feel GOOD. Just got to stick it out – which is what my tummy looks like after eating such great fiber!

  8. I appreciate the insight about the role of fiber and butyrate signal. Thanks!
    I don’t understand why it is necessary to offend the Creator-God by suggesting that we were made by millions of years of chance as if atoms can think for themselves. He made us and He made plant foods as the foundation of our diet. All is not as it once was because of man’s sin, but God sent His son to to die for our sins and defeat death and restore all things.
    “O LORD, you have searched me and know me! … I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” Psalm 139:1,14

  9. Amen! No one said we’re made by chance. NF has helped a lot of people eat the original an best diet as in Gen 1.29
    God bless them all!

    1. The best diet is that which produces less harm.
      Pray your god and his followers to produce first less harm.
      Good result will have him then blessed and we then be followed in this not him.
      He it is best he leave us and this place alone. His blessing cause but pain. And his name evoked enmity not peace nor love excepting for those who bare his brand.

      A dog as well loves their own…what pleasure found in one who acts as dog.Love unconditionally means love for all, not if they worship this or that. bowing to this notion or that, praying to this feature or that. .

  10. Don’t be ridiculous. Even regular churches accept that evolution is a fact.

    There is no acceptable reason for you to offend the intelligence of rational people – believers or non-believers – with this kind of primitive notion. What’s your next objection – Dr Greger thinks the Earth is round and not flat?

    1. I appreciate the benefits of scientific research and applaud Dr. Greger for communicating the results for our benefit. However, there is a risk in assuming that the theory of evolution is factual in this service. Is there really science support that non-living chemicals became a living cell which became the origin of all living things? Natural selection, genetics, speciation, and how living things operate, can all be studied and taught without any reference to evolution.

      1. What risk….” there is a risk in assuming that the theory of evolution is factual in this service.
        What is this a threat? Are you going to now hack the site? Are you and your followers now going to troll all comments until you get what you want?
        Specify this risk.

        1. Why are you here causing trouble for these poor innocents?

          They are as all humans frail a bit simple but wanting really just to be loved.
          Why do you cause trouble here?

          Why are you bringing your thoughts on evolution here. Who summoned you?
          I would to speak to those who sent you…name them.

        2. Here are some risks to consider: (1) Offend God and Jesus who sits at the right hand of God with all authority in heaven and earth. It is only by His common grace that this service thrives. By assuming evolution is fact, one is saying that God’s word is a lie. (2) Unnecessarily alienate a third of the population that believe that God’s word is a reliable account of the origins of life . I want Christians to know the latest science about health and nutrition.
          (3) Undermine the credibility of the organization, limiting its potential for good.

          1. Isn’t it very presumptious of you to claim to know what will offend these supposed supernatural beings? Or to claim that they are prey to the very human emotions of being offended? Especially when many religious leaders disagree with you

            And I sincerely doubt whether a third of the human race shares your delusions on this issue However, even if they did, why should anybody offend the other two thirds of humanity by pretending that evolution is not real?

            Your religious fantasies are your business but there is no good reason why they should govern what other people may say or write.

            1. Tom, What I share is from the Bible. When I say “offend God” I mean, what causes his wrath. Here is an example: &version=ESV . He is the source of whole plant-based foods and health and worthy of honor. “In all your ways acknowledge him [God]. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.” Proverbs 3:6-8. I want to proper and reach its full potential. Neal

      2. Well said, Neal. I also took Tom up for an uncharacteristically sloppy post. The theory of evolution is probably non falsifiable in principle (nothing more than an ex post facto rationalisation of the living world, rather than an empirical explanation of it) which puts it in the same bag as those anti scientific approaches he appears to deplore. Probably worse, since his approach is a pretence to science, while theirs is not, and so it is dishonest.

      3. “Natural selection, genetics, speciation, and how living things operate, can all be studied and taught without any reference to evolution.”

        I have no idea how that could be done and it makes no sense anyway. As for your remark about an alleged risk in assuming the theory of evolution is factual, I can do no better than refer you to the US National Academies of Sciences

        “In science, a “fact” typically refers to an observation, measurement, or other form of evidence that can be expected to occur the same way under similar circumstances. However, scientists also use the term “fact” to refer to a scientific explanation that has been tested and confirmed so many times that there is no longer a compelling reason to keep testing it or looking for additional examples. In that respect, the past and continuing occurrence of evolution is a scientific fact. Because the evidence supporting it is so strong, scientists no longer question whether biological evolution has occurred and is continuing to occur. Instead, they investigate the mechanisms of evolution, how rapidly evolution can take place, and related questions.”

        About 10 years ago, New Scientist did a nice Noddy’s Guide to evolution which is still worth reading today

    2. I thought you were a man of science, Tom, but clinging to any empirical statement as an article of faith is unscientific.  Nothing is ever definitively proven. There is much that is questionable in the theory of evolution, and I mean questionable from within the scientific model. There is also a problem of falsifiability because if you cannot present the criteria for falsifying this belief then it belongs in the bag with other religious fundamentals, and the only difference between you and Ron is that your belief system is nihilistic while his is not.
      Go back to Popper and Hume on the nature of truth. The most you can claim for any theory is a degree of probability that it might be right, you will never know for sure, and even the probability argument falls away if your position is in principle non falsifiable.

      1. Gillian

        Sorry but that is a transparently thin and unconvincing justification for claiming that one particular superstition should be accorded the same respect as science and reason. There is no evidence whatsoever for creationism or for the existence of some deity or other or group of deities, for that matter whereas there is strong evidence for evolution. It is also falsifiable.

        And if you want to argue that accepting evolution as a scientific fact, and declining to accept one religious sect’s beliefs as scientifically credible, is somehow unscientific or incompatible with certain philosophical notions propounded by a couple of famous philosophers, you should take it up with the US National Academies of Sciences. In any case, Hume was widely regarded/acknowledged as an atheist and Popper wasn’t exactly a fan or organised religions.

        1. Tom NB is a decon at a congregation in Colorado. He has prior work history with Monsanto and a food company. He was personally responsible for the creation of some bacon and cheese processed product. Though both . are from several years ago. His position in his church is current.

          I don’t think any argument is going to be well received.
          I mentioned to you earlier where some people on this site were coming from, and provided a llnk. Perhaps you may have noticed the like function seems to be more reasonable as a modification to the sign in process has been implemented.

          I am now claiming…I told you so….nah nah nah nah…;)

          A particular poster on this site had the same idea about evolution which may be quite a coincidence. or not..
          These who feel this way rarely act alone in expressing their views. ..

          1. Most of my experience in this particular was drawn by in a personal nature and personal opinion reflected…. of a different groups interaction on the issue of climate change, on the weather underground. Differing in congregation but of the same type.

            So this may be particular to America and unfamiliar with it may be inclined to prior summarily dismiss it. But it is a real thing and explains discourse at times in this place.

            1. A place like this is bound to draw attention by religious and by more formal industrial agricultural sponsored interest.
              I am glad to see they at least have taken care of the bots but really feel a membership process is inevitable. You tube comment should suffice for the general public and special interest groups.
              This place should be for the true believers in a sense, but that is a personal opinion and probably not held by those who manage this site.
              The bigger Dr Greger and this site gets in popularity the more will be the dilutive influence upon content of discussion.
              And the guy is on fire… veganism in the UK….so it is bound to trend that direction with increase in popularity.. .

              I sure do like saying I told you so…::) So I do again….

              1. I long for the day long long gone now..when they thought the internet was the devils tool.
                This was quite a neat place in the beginning, mid 90’s or so. No government operatives no overt religious themes no paid sponsorships from political organizations..Just lots of people having fun with it. Wikipedia was not even a thing back then.

                A lot are posing as Russians for some reason now. Geeze Louise…this place has become so strange.

              2. Thanks Ron but we are really only talking about a couple of individuals and Neal is quite polite.

                i do wish such people wouldn’t bring their opinions to evidence based sites like this though. It is not as though we patrol religious sites to point out that their beliefs are irrational. Or to ask which creator god from the thousands which humans have postulated throughout history, they are referring to.

                I’d personally prefer a comment etiquette rule which states that religious statements of any kind will be deleted.

                1. TG, great idea! I can’t believe the discussion going on. This site is usually full of educated and rational people, not weird religious fanatics who don’t believe in science. Isn’t science what this site is all about? What century is this guy Neal living in not to believe in evolution? His comments are truly laughable and embarassing for an adult, but the sad part is his religion has brainwashed him and he doesn’t even realize it. I guess his religion brings him some comfort, as they all do and that’s nice for him, but it’s utterly detrimental for the planet. (Think of Trump’s base who don’t understand climate change etc.)

  11. Speaking of gut flora happiness, which one of Dr. G’s videos has the bunnies either eating pork rinds or carrots? I thought that was such a cute little video, but I have not relocated it.

  12. Thanks,
    You can be sensitive to some foods without having being allergic. I was having gut trouble, mostly an uncomfortable bloated feeling (felt like my system was never emptying out). I realized I was eating a lot of corn and when I stopped (substituting green peas), the constant, uncomfortable bloated feeling went away. I also used to have trouble with large amounts of beans, some worse than others, but am fine now (I rinse them very well). If that’s the issue, you can build up tolerance from very small amounts (e.g. one or two tablespoons). Each person is unique, so systematic experimentation can be required.

  13. I have been a “health nut” my entire life. Eating lots of veggies and fruits and some protein, not much sugar. I had colorectal cancer 5 yrs ago, was treated with chemo, radiation and surgery. Am happy to be cancer free but was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis this past year. The thought is that my immune system took the hit during my treatment. Can this be true?

    1. They have never caused me (or millions of other people) any such problems.

      However, the US national institutes of health advise that people with GERD should avoid tomatoes and tomato products. If you have GERD, then yes tomatoes may make acid reflux more likely.

      However, I am aware of no evidence that links tomato consumption to arthritis. This appears to be just an internet myth. There are many such claims on poor quality and highly unreliable “alternative health” websites

      An alternative viewpoint is that rheumatoid arthritis (RA) may cause reflux and joint pain symptoms

      “patients with RA generally complain of gastrointestinal tract problems particularly dyspepsia (bloating, postprandial fullness, nausea, early satiety, epigastric pain, and burning and belching), mucosal ulceration, and altered bowel habits (constipation/diarrhea) (24)”

      I would suggest that you consult an MD if you are experiencing these symptoms.

    2. Sensitivity to tomatoes and other nightshade plants is relatively uncommon but some may be affected with symptoms such as joint pain or heartburn. In general, tomatoes are a delicious seasonal food with great nutrients which should be consumed unless a real sensitivity has been detected. I would encourage you to meet with your doctor or a registered dietitian to discuss this further.

  14. Wow!! This article is sooo helpful for me. I suffer from sever airborne and food related allergies and I think this article may be one part of the jigsaw puzzle to help quieten my immune response!! I can’t tell you how grateful I am for all your video they have changed my life. I am still playing the daily dozen game but haven’t quite managed to fit all the portions in but I always hit every food group

  15. Thanks for the detailed information. It’s great to see the research you have included to showcase your expertise. Inflammation is indeed something that is often overlooked by people, may those be engaged in physical exercise or not. To be honest, I had never considered that specific foods would result in increased levels of inflammation until recently. I then made sure to avoid such foods or drinks; the biggest problem for me was coffee with milk, or latte if your prefer – I have now switched to plain black coffee. Thanks again

  16. Of course, the theory of evolution has a science basis. For one thing, the process can be observed in labs in viruses and bacteria. How do you think antibiotic resistant bacteria arose? Over time, much has been learned about the mechanisms underlying the process as well as the complexities of how organisms interact with their environments. The theory is on much firmer scientific base now than when originally proposed. Sure, gaps exist, especially when it comes to the origin of the first living organisms, but that’s to be expected given the scope and complexity of the topic. Saying it has no “science basis” is ludicrous.

    Furthermore, pace Gillian facile philosophical claim, the theory of evolution is falsifiable. Even Popper retracted in 1978, his earlier statement claiming it was not:
    Extracts to be found at from

    “The fact that the theory of natural selection is difficult to test has led some people, anti-Darwinists and even some great Darwinists, to claim that it is a tautology. . . . I mention this problem because I too belong among the culprits. Influenced by what these authorities say, I have in the past described the theory as “almost tautological,” and I have tried to explain how the theory of natural selection could be untestable (as is a tautology) and yet of great scientific interest. …

    I have changed my mind about the testability and logical status of the theory of natural selection; and I am glad to have an opportunity to make a recantation. . . . [p. 345]

    The theory of natural selection may be so formulated that it is far from tautological. In this case it is not only testable, but it turns out to be not strictly universally true. There seem to be exceptions, as with so many biological theories; and considering the random character of the variations on which natural selection operates, the occurrence of exceptions is not surprising. [p. 346]

    ” The Mendelian underpinning of modern Darwinism has been well tested and so has the theory of evolution which says that all terrestrial life has evolved from a few primitive unicellular organisms, possibly even from one single organism. [Popper, 1978, p. 344]”

    How about we get back to topics germane to this website?

    1. I think there may be a confusion about the term evolution. The recent development of bacterial and insect resistance does not support evolution as defined by information-building mechanisms that add new information to DNA. In virtually all cases, bacteria or insect resistance is a result of the exploitation of existing systems, or is due to a transfer of genes. In the rare cases where a mutation is involved, development of resistance involves only a loss mutation such as one that produces a deformed ribosome.

  17. Although I have been vegan and a nutritarian for decades (so masses of fiber) I cannot seem to overcome chronic stomach inflammation. Had Nissen Fundoplication surgery in 2016 but the stomach inflammation continues. Thoughts?

    1. Sounds like you have a complex case. Sometimes the valve between your esophagus and stomach can be very floppy, and acid just goes back up. Some folks also have a problem where their esophagus and/or stomach don’t clear quickly enough (motility disorder). A Nissen can help, as long as the wrap stays tight. Eating high fiber, low fat, nonacidic foods and avoiding caffeine and alcohol are the most helpful lifestyle measures. You’re already doing such a great job in eating in a “nutritarian” way. I suspect your gastritis would be worse on a Standard American Diet.

      Best luck!

      Dr Anderson, Health Support Volunteer

  18. I love to make green juices everyday using mostly veggies with some fruit like apples. I do this because I do not really enjoy eating veggies but I know they are important. I do eat fruit and oatmeal and beans so I am wondering if the soluble fiber that is in juices along with the other things I eat is okay?

  19. I wonder if you could suggest a natural treatment to H Pylori.
    I was prescribed a triple therapy but afraid to take antibiotics, possibly making a lot of damage to my already taxed body.
    I appreciate even just a reliable source of information on what would be the best course to take towards healing.
    I was eating vegan for 1,5 months after a full abdominal pain/ inflammation, now more or less vegetarian/vegan.
    Many thanks in advance.

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