Boosting Good Bacteria in the Colon Without Probiotics

Boosting Good Bacteria in the Colon Without Probiotics
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Certain good bacteria in our gut can turn the fiber we eat into an anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer compound—called butyrate—that we absorb back into our system. We may be able to boost the number of butyrate-producing bacteria by eating a plant-based diet.


Our friendly flora’s digestion of fiber also yields another short-chain fatty acid called butyrate, which may fight against cancer by slowing the growth of colon cancer cells and activating programmed cancer cell death—as well as preventing cancer in the first place. Butyrate may explain why fiber-filled, plant-based diets are so anti-inflammatory.

A recent review concluded that butyrate seems “to exert broad anti-inflammatory activities,” and might be a good candidate “to evaluate in the fight against obesity-associated and systemic inflammation in general.” Now they’re alluding to using it as some kind of supplement, but we can produce more on our own, naturally, by two ways.

Number one is eating more plant foods, since it’s a by-product of fiber digestion. And number two, we can boost the number of butyrate-producing bacteria in our colon by—eating more plant foods!

“[D]ifferent butyrate production capacity in individuals according to diet.” Not only do those eating vegetarian harbor more good bacteria, period; vegetarian fecal samples showed the highest number of copies of butyrate-producing genes.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by MaryAnn Allison.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site. 

Our friendly flora’s digestion of fiber also yields another short-chain fatty acid called butyrate, which may fight against cancer by slowing the growth of colon cancer cells and activating programmed cancer cell death—as well as preventing cancer in the first place. Butyrate may explain why fiber-filled, plant-based diets are so anti-inflammatory.

A recent review concluded that butyrate seems “to exert broad anti-inflammatory activities,” and might be a good candidate “to evaluate in the fight against obesity-associated and systemic inflammation in general.” Now they’re alluding to using it as some kind of supplement, but we can produce more on our own, naturally, by two ways.

Number one is eating more plant foods, since it’s a by-product of fiber digestion. And number two, we can boost the number of butyrate-producing bacteria in our colon by—eating more plant foods!

“[D]ifferent butyrate production capacity in individuals according to diet.” Not only do those eating vegetarian harbor more good bacteria, period; vegetarian fecal samples showed the highest number of copies of butyrate-producing genes.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by MaryAnn Allison.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site. 

Doctor's Note

This is the second of a three-part video series on interacting with our intestinal tenants. In Fawning Over Flora, I first discussed another short-chain fatty acid our good gut bacteria can make from fiber, called propionate. I conclude the series with Tipping Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes. For a sampling of other videos on keeping our colon happy, see Kiwifruit for Irritable Bowel SyndromeFlax and Fecal FloraIs Dragon Fruit Good For You?; and Bristol Stool Scale.

For further context, check out my associated blog posts: Boosting Gut Flora Without ProbioticsTreating Parkinson’s Disease With Diet; and Avoid Carnitine and Lethicin Supplements.

Update: In 2017, I released a new video on probiotics. See: Culture Shock – Questioning the Efficacy and Safety of Probiotics

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

66 responses to “Boosting Good Bacteria in the Colon Without Probiotics

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  1. This is the second of a three-part video series on interacting with our intestinal tenants. Yesterday’s video-of-the-day Fawning Over Flora discussed another short chain fatty acid our good gut bacteria can make from fiber called propionate. For a sampling of other videos on keeping our colon happy, see Kiwifruit For Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Flax and Fecal Flora, Is Dragon Fruit Good For You?, and Bristol Stool Care.

    If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

    1. Short vid, but-I-rate it (get it–butyrate ;D ) . . . sweet? 

      Well I never thought of my fecal bacteria as sweet.  But the sweetness is derived from knowing I am doing the right thing by teaching a plant based diet to all my patients who will listen.

      This is also added information to my arsenal about why I prescribe Probiotics to my patients who are on antibiotics.

      Keep the good info comin’ Dr. G. while I defend my arsenal of nuts.

    1. If you are on antibiotics then Yes!  And for about 3 days after you stop the antibiotics you should take the probiotic.

      Otherwise, if you are eating plants and not taking antibiotics then no supplementation needed.

      It has been my practice experience that this practice of probiotic supplementation tends to reduce the antibiotic associated diarrhea and abdominal discomfort.

      1. can you say to take AB’s during patient’s treatment, when this renders them less effective! They should be taken for couple of weeks ‘after’ only

        1. I don’t believe PBs render ABs less effective. But ABs kill PBs, which are essential. The suggestion then is to take a PB during a course of ABs but AS FAR AWAY IN TIME AS POSSIBLE from the AB. So if you’re taking an AB at noon and midnight, take a PB at 6pm and 6am.

  2. Good morning,

    So I have been experimenting with buckwheat grouts. I thought, ” what do I do with these?” so first I cooked them as the package suggested. 20 min. They turned out mushy. So then I thought? 20 min is nothing I bet I can just soak overnight. Sure enough, after rincIng the okra like slim they were great. I ate them mixed into my oatmeal with pastacio nuts, pumpkin seeds, and rice milk.

    And buckwheat is nutrient dense!

    1. I agree buckwheat is wonderful, but there is a compound in buckwheat grass called fagopyrin which can cause photosensitivity. How you’re prepping them now is totally fine, but if you end up sprouting them, I’d recommend doing it in the dark (so they don’t green), rinsing frequently (fagopyrin is a fluorescent red pigment you can see being washed away in the pinkish rinsewater), keeping the sprouting to under 8 days, and not making them a substantial part of your diet. But your deslimed breakfast sounds yummy!

        1. In the US buckwheat groats are sold in 2 ways: with and without hull.  Stores like Whole Foods sell with without hull, and they are light green in color.  The other kind, with hull, can be bought at Eastern European, Persian, etc. stores.  There are good instructions on how to cook it on the package (but I can’t recall if they’re in Russian…).  In Russia where I’m from buckwheat is eaten only with hull.  Bring to boil – with little salt – 1 cup of buckwheat and 2 cups of water.  Turn heat to low and cook uncovered for another 20 min or so until water disappears plus a little longer.  The grain at the bottom of the pan should be sort of dry (not mushy). It might even stick to the pan, and that’s OK, as long as it doesn’t burn.  Turn the heat off, cover and let it sit until it’s cooled down.  Grains should be separate from each other when it’s ready to eat.  It’s fine to be heated in the microwave for 30 sec or so.  I also heat it up in the skillet with small amount of olive oil for a minute or so.  It gets crispy this way.

          1.  Vera:  That’s such cool information.  Thanks for taking the time to share it with everyone.  I have had buckwheat some, but I had not known of cultural variations or that I could get it two different ways.  Neat.

    2. Some cultures toast them first, then it becomes “kasha”. The part about the fluorescent red pigment is fascinating, I wanna find my old blacklight from my hippie days! LOL!

    1. Ugh! Do a Google search on Xylitol–it’s poison.

      A search of patents online explains one process for making xylitol, tell
      me if this sounds healthy? You begin with some source material
      containing xylan. One commonly used source is corn imported from China.

      1. First the xylan needs to be broken down in a process called acid
      hydrolyzing. The results of this process leave us with xylose and acetic
      acid. The process of hydrogenation is carried out at higher pressures
      and temperatures ranging from 158 degrees Fahrenheit and higher.
      Hydrogenation needs a catalyst, so a substance called Raney nickel can
      be used which is a powdered nickel-aluminium alloy.

      2. The acetic acid needs to be removed as the material safety data sheet describes it as, “Very hazardous in case of skin contact (irritant), of eye contact (irritant), of ingestion, of inhalation. Hazardous in case of skin contact (corrosive, permeator), of eye contact (corrosive).”

      3. Then the hydrolyzing acid and organic residues must be removed, this is done by heating the mixture and evaporating it.

      4. The resulting syrup, now free of acetic acid, hydrolyzing acid, nick-aluminum and other residues.

      5. The syrup is crystallized by stirring ethanol into it.

      6. The crystalline xylitol is now separated in a centrifuge from the ethanol and from the sorbitol remaining in solution.

      7. Viola, you have xylitol.

      Health Claims

      It is obvious to me, as it might be to you, that xylitol, in addition to
      killing bacteria, will probably kill just about anything. This clearly
      explains why it is only recommended to be used in small doses. Yet if
      you go to a health food store, you will see larger sized bags of xylitol on the shelf, promoting its many health uses. Duh.

      Health Concerns

      In lab tests, xylitol will kill a rat 50% of the time in a dosage of 16.5
      grams of xylitol for every 1000 grams of rat. Medium rats weigh 100-120 grams, or say .25 pounds. That means, to kill a 100 gram rat, you need only to get the rat to consume, 1.65 grams of xylitol.

  3. Ok, I’ve just finished your whole store of videos. What an amazing amount of information. It’s already changed my life ;-) Thank you so much!
    I’m sick right now from reacting to goat milk and gluten so I’m cleaning up my diet completely and dropping meat and fish at the same time.
    I’ve been vegan and fruitarian before but, although I loved the fruitarian best and felt good on it for a year, I realized it wasn’t working for the diabetes type 1 I have. So I went on the GAPS diet to heal my gut. 
    What I don’t understand is that the GAPS and the Dr Wahl diet and even Paleo, all have so many adherents that swear by it. I would think after watching all these videos that all 3 diets would make everyone sick. How can so many people turn around very sick, autistic children with a meat-based diet?
    It’s very confusing.

    1.  Diets like Paleo also have you eat a lot of Veggies and Fruits and Zero processed foods.  So you remove a lot chemicals and still get the phyto-nutrients.  So at the end of the day their diet is much cleaner than the average American diet which would score a 12.  Paleo also does not eat conventionally raised meats… only grass fed no hormone or wild meat.  So while they eat meat (too much in my opinion) they have eliminated all the processed stuff and chemicals that are really getting us sicker.

  4. Thank you, great info Dr. Greger.  I eat a plant based diet.  I drink 1 to 2 raw drinks every day since April and I feel great.  Growing up, my mother juiced a lot of carrots and parsley drinks for us, so i have been use to them.  Tonight I made a drink for my family made from garden fresh zuchini, cilantro (great for inflammation), mango, blueberries, banana, pineapple, coconut oil, 3 tablespoons chlorella, spirulina, wheat grass and alfalfa mix, molasses (for iron), 3 tbls chia seeds, 3 tbls lecithin and powdered mag.  Both my husband and mother also have a cooked dinner but this is my dinner and it really is filling.  I have had so  much energy since drinking this drinks.  I forgot, I also add raw digestive enzymes.  Do I need them?  Thanks for all of your great information!  I just love seeing a Doctor that believes health is the best defense from dis-ease!!

  5. Hi!

    Do u recommend probiotics for people with dysbiosis?  I had a stool analysis done and I have Klebsiella pneumoniae 3+ and low beneficial bacteria.  This is actually significantly better than my stool test a year ago, which showed much more serious dysbiosis, but I went off my probiotics and enzymes and switched to a fruit-based diet, which healed a lot of the dysbiosis. However, almost a year later, the Klebsiella is still there.  Any suggestions?  Would raw/salt-free sauerkraut help restore beneficial gut flora balance or are probiotics necessary?  If so, any brand u recommend and length of use?

    Lastly, the stool test showed some pancreatic/gallbladder insufficiencies (so, low enzyme production).  Would digestive enzymes benefit me, or is there a more natural way to fix this?

    I am currently following the 80-10-10 diet, but it is difficult to get enough cals/pro…I want to switch to Dr Fuhrman’s Nutritarian Diet…what are your thoughts on this?  My body is having a hard time making the switch to legumes/starches/fats.


  6. bee.. I haven’t been diagnosed with what you have, but suffer from a myriad of intestinal disorders. Maybe it doesn’t apply, but just wanted to say that I find digestive problems with the high fruit…might just be the bananas for me. Still testing, but I also changed a little to add some of the cooked starches a la McDougall/Bernard etc. I get a lot of gas and diarrhea with those. I do best all raw. I prefer the all produce diet with less fruit than 80-10-10, but can’t really do all one or the other. The best I have been was the 1st year I followed Dan McDonald’s ideas about raw green smoothies, some juicing, and lots of green salads. I use a lot of supergreens as salad greens, not just lettuce, although love me some romaine. Dara Dubinet has some great ideas for all raw and talks a lot about 80-10-10 too. I did lose a lot of weight, which was good for me. I am going to get off the cooked starches again and try again with the mostly raw green smoothies etc. I like them too because I can include some of my favorite herbal ingredients for stress, etc. Also, I feel I need the fiber and juices don’t give me that. Also chewing is a really important part of digestion. Just my 2cents. Lynn

  7. The beneficial chemicals manufactured by lactobacilli and bifidobacteria which cause weight loss and prevent cancer include propionate, acetate, butyrate, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), and conjugated linolenic acid (CLNA). These beneficial bacteria convert linoleic acid (LA), which tends to cause weight gain and, at least in animals, cancer, into the beneficial conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which does just the opposite:

    Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids also cause weight loss and prevent cancer:

    Unlike the “bad” omega-6 fatty acid, linoleic acid, conjugated linoleic acid works well at helping us to live longer by preventing cancer, heart disease, and a dozen other killer diseases. CLA softgels, which are made from Non-GMO (high linoleic) safflower oil, work well at building bone strength, muscle strength, and causing weight loss. Make sure that the CLA softgel you buy is at least 80% CLA and not more than 20% unwanted fatty acids that cause weight gain and cancer:

    1. I am confused…lactobacilli and bifidobacteria are fermicutes. I thought we needed more bacteriodetes?
      It seems most of the probiotics I thought were ‘good’ are fermicutes.

  8. I have a question about candida and the relationship between candida, sugar, specifically fructose, and fat. Is it better to reduce the about of fat consumption to eleminate candida overgrowth or is it better to eliminate all sugar including fructose to eleminate candida overgrowth? I have hear a lot about fat being the culprit and not the good healthy fruit sugars when it comes to candida overgrowth. I look forward to hearing from you and your thought on the matter.

  9. Xylitol supplies butyrate and propionate to the digestive tract, yet it is (if memory serves) listed as “harmful” in one of your artificial sweetener videos. Am I missing something? I thought you considered both of these substances extremely beneficial.

    1. AC: Dr. Greger listed xylitol as harmful because the product is not absorbed properly and causes diarrhea. In other words, while I do not speak for Dr. Greger, I believe he has decided that the bad outweighs the good.

      When determining the healthfulness of any food, the goal when possible would be to look at the whole food and weight the pros and cons. So, while a food may have some benefits when looked at one way (say, has butyrate), if the pros don’t outweigh the cons (say, diarrhea) , then the food would be listed as harmful. Of course, we don’t always know all the pros and cons and also, pros vs cons can be a matter of personal opinion. The devil is in the details. Dr. Greger gives his opinion. We can decide what we do with it.

      Another thought: sometimes it is helpful to keep in mind that Dr. Greger’s videos are often focusing on a single issue – say antioxidants or whatever – and the statements in that video need to be understood within that focus. In other words, not all videos are (or can) take every health factor into account.

      That said, since the amount of xylitol that I personally eat doesn’t seem to cause digestive upset, I’m not concerned about it since I understand what Dr. Greger’s issue with xylitol is.

      Hope that helps.

    2. I do not remember Dr. Greger discussing the benefits of these 2 compounds, but perhaps the risks outweigh the benefits. Xylitol has a dehydrating effect in that is leaches water out of the intestines which can lead to diarrhea.

  10. The lethal dose of xylitol is around 22g/kg, which means I have to eat around 500 teaspoons. That’s ten cups of straight xylitol. Xylitol kills some bacteria because they absorb it as they would glucose for energy, but they cannot metabolize xylitol for energy, so they use energy trying to expel it, only to absorb more xylitol and have to use energy to expel it again. At some point they run out of energy and die. Xylitol also metabolizes into propionate and butyrate in the digestive tract, and as far as I know these are extremely beneficial for human health.

    1. I haven’t found much research on it, and it isn’t a sweetener, but an amazing fiber… konjac or glucommanan, a starch made of a specific yam-like root, essentially flavorless on it’s own, and easy to use, it seems to have great promise. It’s used to make the non caloric shirataki or “miracle noodles” and is a great fun ingredient to play around with! It will thicken sauces, dressings, and gravies, make vegan gel like desserts ala jello, all kinds of applications! It comes as a powder that you dissolve in liquid, and it swells, not needing cooking like cornstarch, etc. Heating it does make it swell faster and dissolve quicker, but it isn’t needed. No calories, fiber filled, and so far very healthy, incredibly versatile, what more can you ask for?

      1. Charzie: That’s very interesting. I vaguely remember hearing about konjac before, but I haven’t looked into it. As you say, sounds promising!

  11. I have a question on the best probiotics on the market, I live in Quebec City we have many type of probiotics and I heard from one of my friend, that the best is from plants, not from human or milk extract. He tell me about the probiotics: BB from USA…
    Can you help me?

    The other question concern some acne that have begin few months ago in my back, mostly the upper back. Do you have any idea of what it could be? Is it food allergies (i’m vegan) or my liver??

    Thanks a lot and have a beautiful day :)

  12. Probiotics are expensive but I have really bad farts. I may have dysbiosis and high levels of bad bacteria. What can I do to increase the good bacteria as I’m vegan and eat very little processed food. Would fermenting veggies help? Thanks!

  13. On a related topic: I cannot find anything addressing Candida or Yeast Overgrowth in you subject index. A recent stool culture puts my yeast levels at +4, and my doctor has me on Amphoteracin B, an anti-fungal, as well as probiotics and The Candida Diet. The diet is difficult for a vegan to follow as it becomes extremely limited. How can I know I really have a problem, and how can I tell if this protocol is working?

  14. Hi, I am trying to find information or resources for whole food, plant based eaters that have been diagnosed with SIBO/intestinal permeability (likely is a form of damage done from prior animal products consumed and SAD diet habits before going plant-based?). None of the functional or traditional practitioners I have seen thus far support plant-based diet and keep telling me the only way I can heal is to eat animal products and saturated fats. I have experienced the benefits of a plant-based diet firsthand and will never go back to my former poor dietary habits as I believe firmly that it was my poor diet that caused the inflammation throughout my body in the first place. Any resources or references would be greatly appreciated, as I just don’t know where to look and am at my wits end. Thank you for your time.

    1. HI Natasha. I am not sure what is best? Here is some information I researched about SIBO.

      Small intestinal bacteria overgrowth (SIBO) may be linked to a lactase deficiency. Celiac disease can make SIBO worse. Some research suggestsmalabsorbed fat may increase SIBO in subjects with tropical sprue (TS), which “is a common cause of malabsorption syndrome among adults in tropical countries including India. TS is diagnosed by specific criteria, which include biochemical tests showing malabsorption of two unrelated substances, abnormal duodenal histology, absence of other causes of malabsorption and persistent response to antibiotics and folate. Pathogenesis of this disease is unknown. Bacterial infection has been proposed to cause this syndrome in view of small bowel bacterial colonization in most patients and overgrowth in a proportion, which responds to antibiotics4. In fact, frequent occurrence of small bowel bacterial colonization, overgrowth and predictable response to treatment with antibiotics might suggest that the name TS or tropical malabsorption is a misnomer. It should rather be considered as a condition associated with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and colonization in the tropics in absence of an anatomical cause.” I included that explanation because of the possible link between TS and SIBO.

      This study shows how gut bacteria can be manipulated to help gut-related diseases. The study is free. It may be the best one I’ve seen on the topic. Hopefully others can weigh-in. More videos on the related topics: Boosting Good Bacteria in the Colon Without Probiotics and The Leaky Gut Theory of Why Animal Products Cause Inflammation. So to me eating animal protein doesn’t make much sense. What is the theory or research behind that? I am not saying there is none but I am curious. Maybe try it out, see how you feel? No harm in that. I always encourage folks to work with their healthcare team even if they disagree on a few points. If you find the practitioners are not helpful after your trial, consider seeing a dietitian who specialized in plant-based diets. Good luck!

      1. Good info, thanks! Any new research on this topic? I’ve been vegetarian for 25 yrs and vegan for 5+ months…diagnosed with SIBO and acid reflux. The SIBO diets I’ve found out there are hard to follow if you’re a vegan (especially one with fat malabsorption and underweight already :( ). Any info would be greatly appreciated!

        1. Kerri,

          For an excellent overview of SIBO I highly recommend the work of Drs. Pimentel and Siebecker. A good site is
          In reference to the acid reflux I would ask that you consider a trial of, yes , HCL acid tablets as often times we find SIBO patients lacking this essential digestant and have the paradoxical acid reflux symptoms. A conversation, after reading through the website, with your clinician would be a good idea and encouraged. Keep in mind that there are also associations with B-12 issues and low hcl so keep aware of the other absorption issues and supplement appropriately. Dr. Alan Kadish moderator for Dr. Greger

          1. I am in the same boat as Kerri!
            After reading through material from Dr. Siedbecker as well as listening to talks on the best course of action for SIBO seems to follow the SCD diet and combine it with antimicrobial herbal treatments.
            Being vegan however, adds an additional restriction to the SCD diet, which makes it incredibly hard to follow. (Especially if one is also very active and needs the calories)

            Do you know of any dietician out there that is able to combine SCD + vegan (+ physical activity) into a diet?

            1. Hey Matt! I have been researching this exact question for a year — and, unfortunately, I can’t find a single WFPB-sympathetic doctor or treatment plan for SIBO. That being said, it seems to me the best way to think about SIBO is to break it into 2 components:

              1. Kill SIBO
              2. Heal Leaky Gut
              3. Stop SIBO from recurring

              In part 1, your focus is doing whatever it takes to kill the bacteria in your small intestine only. To do this, you might use antibiotics or herbal antimicrobials. My doctor is putting me on the ‘gold standard’ 2-week course of Rifaximin (Xifaxan) and Neomycin. These antibiotics work only in your small intestine and are not supposed to kill off bacteria in your colon, so that’s good.

              After the 2 weeks of antibiotics, my doctor wants me to take Candibactin AR and BR for 4 weeks. This is an herbal antimicrobial that is supposed to act as a ‘second front’ against the SIBO.

              While you are working to kill off the SIBO, it is okay to eat a WFPB diet (I like Dr. Fuhrman), because Dr. Pimentel’s studies (look them up if you like) have shown that it is best to feed the SIBO while you are taking antibiotics/antimicrobials. So, paradoxically, you would not want to eat a SCD or Low-FODMAP (or similar) diet while on antibiotics/antimicrobials

              If (and that’s a big if) the combined 6 weeks of antibiotics/antimicrobials works to eradicate SIBO, unfortunately, that does not mean that it will not recur, possibly soon. That is because the underlying initial cause or mechanism has yet to be addressed. And that’s where we come to:

              2. Do you have autoimmune/systemic inflammation issues? If so, you probably have Leaky Gut. In my research, SIBO is shown to cause Leaky Gut, but Leaky Gut is not shown to cause SIBO. So that puts SIBO upstream (no pun intended) of Leaky Gut in the causal chain.

              However, because Leaky Gut is downstream of SIBO, that means that even if you eradicate SIBO, it may take significant time for your Leaky Gut to self-repair. And, hell, it might not even self-repair at all without help.

              Unfortunately, as I mentioned up top, I can’t find a single WFPB-sympathetic doctor or treatment plan for SIBO or Leaky Gut. This means we’ll have to improvise a little bit: We may have to forget about a WFPB diet while we are repairing Leaky Gut. (Once it’s repaired, it could/should be fine to eat normal, WFPB again.)

              Consider forgetting about WFPB part of your treatment plan. Just like you might not want to do chemo, but might do it anyway, should you be diagnosed with cancer, you may have no choice but to temporarily forget about WFPB while you are working to heal Leaky Gut.

              I consider healing Leaky Gut an intermediate treatment process that starts in full only after eradicating SIBO (see point 1). This process of healing Leaky Gut should be completed before moving onto step 3, preventing SIBO from recurring. This is because the approach we might use to prevent SIBO from recurring could exacerbate Leaky Gut if Leaky Gut is not addressed first. Once Leaky Gut is healed, we can transition into preventing SIBO from recurring.

              In my research, I believe the best way to heal leaky gut is probably with a modified Paleo Autoimmune Protocol (as much as it pains me to say that), which does a thorough job of removing foods that may exacerbate existing leaky gut conditions and/or trigger systemic inflammatory/autoimmune responses — but, from AIP, I’d eliminate red meat and greatly reduce saturated fat and heme iron intake. In addition, I’d couple AIP with a Leaky Gut Protocol. The Leaky Gut Protocol would likely include supplements such as L-Glutamine, DGL, bone broth, etc.

              Assuming 1) SIBO is killed, and 2) Leaky Gut is repaired, it’s time to think about 3:

              How do we stop SIBO from coming back? This is the million dollar question. We have to understand where it came from in the first place, and there are many theories. Then, we need to alter or eliminate these conditions so that we reduce/eliminate our chances of relapsing.

              But first, we have to figure out 1 and 2! :-)

  15. Do you know of any research into the vegan diet and fighting candida? Any help would be appreciated, as I keep reading about paleo/low carb diets being the only way to beat it and I presume that you would prescribe a fairly high carb diet?

    I’ve been following your videos for a while and love all of the fascinating topics that you cover, but feel utterly lost when it comes to beating candida.

    Please help shed some light on this topic – it would help so many women,

    1. I would love an answer for this aswell. I have had many of the symptoms of candida overgrowth including eczema all over my back, neck and basically everywhere else. It seems to flare up when I have carbs and especially fruit. I also get bloated and gassy.

      Please help, I am tired of living this way

      1. Anton,

        You might be experiencing the candida like symptoms from the extra fructose in the fruit…… or actually have candida or even hereditary fructose intolerance (HFI. Some testing would be in order before assuming the eczema is caused by candida.

        There are certainly other potentials including allergic reactivity…. see: as an example.

        My experience is that if indeed the cause is candida, the diet does need to be modified with low levels of sugars, regardless of source and for an extended period of time and…. unfortunately dependent on the severity I clinically have found using the prescription azole antifungals, not nystatin, to be very helpful.

        Dr. Alan Kadish moderator for Dr. Greger

  16. I’d love a video that covers the benefits or risks of various fermented foods. It’s helpful to know kimchi & kombucha are harmful, but what about the vast universe of other fermented foods like sourdough breads, fermented pancakes like dosa/idli, fermented veggies like sauerkraut, soy-based miso/natto/tempeh/soy sauces/Braggs aminos, cultured soy yogurt or fermented plant-based “cheeses” etc. Prebiotic foods are terrific if the biodiversity of our microbiome is still intact. Then our bacteria can still bloom. But if we were born in the post-War America, the biodiversity of our gut bacteria probably has already declined. Are there beneficial probiotic foods we should incorporate into our diets?

  17. i have a question about cichorei coffee. I read it is good for your gut. But i also heard something about inuline and triglycerides.
    i have symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome but i dont think it is that bad. so i want to try cichorei coffee in stead of normal coffee. Is this a good idea?

  18. My question relates to topics being discussed here. Would there be a published guide somewhere on what food types help the microbiome and which actually harm it. I have watched Dr Gregor deliver lectures with a cup of green tea on the podium and he states it’s antioxidant properties are healthy. He also has stated that tea (all types) are usually safe from insect predation due to natural defenses and therefore these same defenses may not be beneficial for our microbiome. How much damage does tea or coffee for that matter do to our gut bacteria, given the obvious fact that hundreds of millions of people drink it regularly every day?

  19. I have been batteling with many of the symptoms of candida for a couple of years now. I have some pretty bad eczema, fatigue bloating, etc… I feel like my only option is to do the candida diet cleanse because when I eat any amount of carbs i get really bloated and my skin flares up, but I’ve read about and try to follow the plant based diet because of how animal products are no good for us. With all the information provided about animal products and their negative inpacts on our health, how can a diet such as a candida diet possibly be beneficial

    1. Hi, Anton. I am sorry you are struggling with health issues. Have you been tested for candida infection? If not, you might want to be tested. It would be good to know whether or not you actually are battling candida infection or something else.
      When you talk about carbs, I am not sure what you mean by that, since all plant foods include carbohydrates. It is important to remember that carbs are not a food group, although some people talk about them as if they were. Do you have this problem with all fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, or just certain foods that people refer to as “carbs”? I have a friend who says she never eats carbs, but she eats ice cream, and there are definitely carbohydrates in ice cream.
      In the long term, I do not think that some of the diets promoted as candida cleanse diets are beneficial for overall health. Whole plant foods without sugar and yeast may, in time, reset the gut flora. You may also find it helpful to drink pau d’arco tea and take a saccharomyces boulardii supplement. If legumes are difficult for you to digest, try soaking overnight before pressure cooking them with a very small piece of kombu seaweed, and then eating them pureed in small amounts until you become accustomed to them. Chewing a few fennel seeds may also help with gassiness and bloating. I would definitely avoid breads and baked goods, as well as sugars and sugary fruits. I hope that helps!

  20. I would like to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in writing this blog.
    I’m hoping to view the same high-grade content from you later on as well.

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  21. I’ve just completed a 5-day course of penicillin (to treat a root canal infection) and am now looking for a cite to any peer-reviewed study (no anecdotal or clinical observations) purporting to show that probiotic supplement intervention post-AB provides benefits greater than without PB supplementation.

    1. Hi John, Dr. Greger is working on this topic, though the videos wont be out for several months. But stay tuned!

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