Animal fibre

Fruits and veggies, fermented or otherwise, aren’t the only source of prebiotics in your diet.  Eat a whole sardine and some of the ligaments, tendons, bones, and cartilage will surely escape digestion to reach the distal intestine where they will be fermented by the resident microbes.  

sardines

Salmon skin and the collagen in its flesh, the tendons that hold rib meat to the bone, and maybe even some of the ligaments between chicken bones.  All of these are potential prebiotics or “animal fibres.”  And it may explain why fermented sausages are such good vessels for probiotics.


 
“Animal prebiotic” may be a more appropriate term because the food matrix is quite different from that of non-digestible plant polysaccharides.  And while I doubt those following carnivorous diets are dining exclusively on steak, these studies suggest it might be particularly important to eat a variety of animal products (as well as greens, nuts, dark chocolate, fermented foods, etc.) in order to optimize gut health.

almonds

These studies are about the prebiotics in a cheetah’s diet.  Cheetah’s are carnivores, and as such, they dine on rabbits, not rabbit food.

cheetah

As somewhat of a proof of concept study, Depauw and colleagues tried fermenting a variety of relatively non-digestible animal parts with cheetah fecal microbes (2012).  Many of the substrates are things that are likely present in our diet (whether we know it or not).

Cartilage

Collagen (tendons, ligaments, skin, cartilage, bones, etc.)

Glucosamine-chondroitin (cartilage)

Glucosamine (chitin from shrimp exoskeleton? exo bars made with cricket flour?)

Rabbit bone, hair, and skin (Chicken McNuggets?)

Depauw ferments

The positive control, fructooligosaccharides (FOS), was clearly the most fermentable substrate; however, glucosamine and chondroitin weren’t too far behind.  Chicken cartilage and collagen were also well above the negative control (cellulose).  Rabbit skin, hair, and bone weren’t particularly good substrates.

As to fermentation products, collagen, glucosamine, and chondroitin were actually on par with FOS in terms of butyrate production:

Depauw SCFAs

Glycosaminoglycans (glucosamine and chondroitin) are found in cartilage and connective tissues (ligaments and tendons) and may have been mediating some of these effects as they’re some of the carbiest parts of animal products.  Duck Dodgers wrote about this in a guest post at FTA and in the comments of Norm Robillard’s article (probably elsewhere, too); very interesting stuff.

The authors also mentioned that the different fermentation rates in the first few hours suggests an adaptive component (some took a while to get going), or that certain substrates induced the proliferation of specific microbes.  “Animal prebiotics.”

Depauw close up

This is particularly noticeable for FOS (solid line), which is a plant fibre that wouldn’t really be present at high levels in a cheetah’s diet, so the microbes necessary to ferment it were probably not very abundant (initially).  Chicken cartilage (long dashes), on the other hand, started immediately rapidly fermenting, perhaps because this is more abundant in the cheetah’s diet.


 
Depauw took this a step further and fed cheetahs either exclusively beef or whole rabbit for a month (2013). Presumably, the beef had much less animal fibre than whole rabbit.  When they initially examined fecal short chain fatty acids, there were no major differences between the groups:

SCFAs per gram

However, if you take into consideration that the whole rabbit-fed cheetahs produced over 50% more crap than meat-fed cheetahs, then some other differences become apparent.  For example, the concentration of total SCFAs is actually greater in the feces from whole rabbit-fed cheetahs:

updated table

edit: la Frite pointed out that the table in the original manuscript is incorrect; the total SCFA numbers are reversed. The excel table above is corrected.

Further, the mere fact that there was 50% more fecal mass per day pretty much confirms way more animal fibre in whole rabbits.  And while neither of these studies were accompanied by microbial analysis, a more recent study on cheetahs fed primarily meat, “randomly interspersed with unsupplemented whole rabbits,” showed low levels of Bacteroidetes and Bifidobacteria, two potentially health-promoting groups of microbes (Becker et al., 2014).  I suspect this may have been at least partially due to a relative lack of animal fibre, compared to the Depauw’s exclusive whole rabbit diet.

Human digestive physiology and gut microbes are certainly far different from that of a cheetah, but maybe we too receive some prebiotic benefits from these animal fibres… just something to think about next time you’re eating sardines or pork ribs.

calories proper

 

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  • Tim Steele

    Fills in so many gaps. I hope this line of research gets the attention it deserves. It will get us re-carbers off your backs, too!
    Makes all those recommendations for gelatin, bone broths, raw liver, crickets, and other oddball foods make sense now. The coprolite studies of 10,000 year old human poo were chock full of feathers, hair, and bones…wonder what that was all about?
    Now we just need definitive amounts. I think we somewhat pinned down a need for fermentable plant fiber at 20-40g/day, we need to know how that equates to animal fiber. It may be as easy as a packet of gelatin a day. I believe it will come down to butyrate produced.

    • http://www.caloriesproper.com/ William Lagakos

      “It will get us re-carbers off your backs, too! ”

      Ha! yeah, I do think it’s possible to maintain good gut health on a low carb diet… but it might need to be similar to what you said:

      “gelatin, bone broths, raw liver, crickets, and other oddball foods”

      Dosing is another story altogether. ymmv. I don’t think this will be a one-size-fits-all… but butyrate production is an interesting starting point.

      • gkadar

        The best part of bone broth is chewing all the cartilage, bits of meat and fat off the bones. Broth? Meh. Highly over-rated unless it turns into gelatin upon cooling. Drizzle it with lemon juice and it’s edible.
        I think in future I am going to cook the bones in minimal water, ditch the broth and enjoy the stuff I prefer. Binning the bones is worse than throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

      • Wenchypoo

        Re: cricket bars–Mark Sisson is an investor in Exo Bars. Looks like he’s putting his money where his mouth is.

      • Danny J Albers

        Funny I been blogging about a low carb ketogenic diet that includes “the odd bits” for a few years now and kept being told how dangerous it was by the same crowd now telling me how important it is.

    • http://www.facebook.com/fithacker Brad Baker

      Interesting. Coincidentally I started adding a little gelatin along with potato starch in my morning primal egg coffees – certainly an oddball food.

  • http://ashsimmonds.com/ Ash Simmonds

    Meat is just the stuff I eat in order to get to the bones and sinew and marrow and gristle and fat.

    http://pinterest.com/pin/305681893430170464/

    • http://www.caloriesproper.com/ William Lagakos

      awesome :)

      Animal fibre… this might be explain your good gut health despite extremely low plant-fibre intake!

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  • George

    I’m wondering if chewing one’s food is all that great. Grok probably bolted it down, chewing no more than necessary, like the cheetah. Meaning more resistant starch and more animal fibre reaching the lower colon if I’m thinking right.

    • http://www.caloriesproper.com/ William Lagakos

      NUTS! this might turn out to be somewhat analogous to the study that tested peanut oil vs. peanut butter vs. whole peanuts.
      Less processed = less digested = more exposure to the lower gut.

      • Wenchypoo

        Less processed = less digested = more exposure to the lower gut.

        Can I get this in billboard size? :)

    • gkadar

      Maybe that’s why people claim they get more gas and ‘upset tummies’ if they bolt down their food?

      • http://www.caloriesproper.com/ William Lagakos

        very likely! I’d bet that drinking a few cups of water after a meal would have a similar effect… diluted digestive enzymes, reduced transit time, etc…

        • gkadar

          The European tradition of consuming soup at the beginning of the meal has some significant impact on satiation. Not the American style filled with crumbled crackers.
          Alcohol will significantly increase gastric emptying time. Perhaps it has a place in improving digestion or at least slowing things down.

          • Wenchypoo

            Does the same apply to our old-timey practice of eating salad before the meal? I always thought it was to fill you up before the meat course came–that way, you’d take less.

          • gkadar

            Wenchypoo, don’t know about everywhere in Europe, but salad type foods are consumed with the entrée and not before it. For example, cole slaw, pickled beets, lettuce salad, cucumber salad, celeriac salad, green bean salad, etc. are either included on the plate or in a smaller dish.
            Soup first, then entrée with salad. Since usually soups contain vegetables and the salads, oftentimes more than one type, are also except both fresh and fermented. This way the meal has balance.

  • http://freetheanimal.com/ Richard Nikoley

    Hey Bill. Nice work.

    By any chance have you looked into the issue of liver and muscle glycogen for a fresh kill and what sort of a carb load carnivores might be getting and opposed to humans, once it has all been degraded?

    • http://www.caloriesproper.com/ William Lagakos

      I don’t know about bona fide hunters dining on a fresh kill, but flash-freezing a rodent liver preserves significantly more glycogen than excising it and dropping it into liquid nitrogen. Huge difference in a matter of minutes… in other words, measuring glycogen in the lab is a pain in the ass… I doubt conventional store-bought meat has very much glycogen.

  • http://www.facebook.com/fithacker Brad Baker

    I’m surprised to mention of the term “resistant protein” sorta the animal corollary to resistant starch.

  • http://grasspunk.com/ grasspunk

    Interesting to read this when I just ate tête de veau yesterday: rolled up skin and cheeks of a veal. Very high in collagen. Maybe it is the secret of the long healthy life of the Gascon?

  • http://itsthewooo.blogspot.com/ Jane Plain (Woo)

    I should photo the chicken I bought, before and after. Wings, back, legs, the only thing I left was the breast meat. Most of the bones I ate. Not all of course as that is dangerous, but certainly the spongy ends and the cartilage, it’s my *favorite* part. I also love the cartilage at the tip of the breastbone, or the hip bones, acetabulum area. I eat the vertebral bones.

    I’ve always felt a bit guilty about this, ironically because I assumed it added more energy to my diet that I was not accounting for, lol! Relatedly, I hate HATE hate eating meat in public because it is expected you just eat the meat and leave the bones and truthfully my favorite part is the skin, cartilage , soft bones and marrow. Wing tips! I am seeew mad if I buy a chicken and they trim the wing tips.

    Shrimp, love eating the tails.

    One of the reasons I don’t like steak very much is because there are no bones. It’s just like…meat. Sometimes if you’re lucky you have a nice fat marrow bone but that’s rare, more common in lamb cuts it seems (and one reason lamb > beef IMO).

    NOTHING UPSETS ME MORE THAN HAVING PLATE OF BUFFALO CHICKEN WING AND IT IS EXPECTED YOU CANT EAT THE BONES. It just is frowned upon in polite company, chewing and spitting out pieces of hard bone shards etc.

    What is the mental illness code for ppl who prefer eating non-digestive waste products of meat? I has this illness.

    • http://itsthewooo.blogspot.com/ Jane Plain (Woo)

      Also, these parts of meat are much better tolerated for keto mood benefits relative to protein. Can eat all the skin , connective tissue, zero problem. Likely because not well digested, and also because glycine.

      • http://ashsimmonds.com/ Ash Simmonds

        Yep, I don’t do so well on the lean of chicken, but that’s cool cos my GF is like Jack Sprat and I’m the wife haha.

        I can and semi-regularly do eat the WHOLE chicken apart from the breast meat, which she then uses in her salads etc.

    • http://www.caloriesproper.com/ William Lagakos

      this is me too! Not much wasted from chicken, pork ribs, etc…

    • Wenchypoo

      I used to eat the rinds of lemon wedges when we had iced tea at restaurants. Now we no longer go out OR have iced tea. My teeth haven’t suffered for my indulgence.

  • la Frite

    Hi Bill, cool article! All I have been reading about nutrition for many months confirms me that the traditional french diet is one of the best ever :D (if you remove the grains, but even then, the reliance on grains is not overwhelming, as long as it is the “traditional” diet).
    The French eat everything in the animal (from nose to tail). Have you ever been to e.g. Lyon ? See what they do with the pig ;)
    And Caen (Normandy): “les tripes à la mode de Caen”, famous tripe soup enjoyed by William the Conqueror himself, washed down with fermented apple juice!

    Anyway, some numbers in the table comparing amount of SCFAs from the exclusive diet of whole rabiits vs supplemented with beef are odd. The total sum of SCFA in both columns does not equal the arithmetic sum of the different fatty acids listed in the table. While I can assume that only a select few FAs are listed (in which case the total SCFA amount reported would be greater), the column “supplemented” is really odd : the total SCFA amount is lower than the sum of the 3 SCFAs reported in it. Any explanation ?

    • http://www.caloriesproper.com/ William Lagakos

      Thanks! and good catch. This is a mistake; the numbers are reversed! The excel table is corrected.

  • Wenchypoo

    The curious housewife checking in–and I now see the REAL reason for consuming bone broths. Also, a question about the rabbit meat fiber: could it be what the rabbit EATS…as in greenery, compared to the other animals mentioned, which are carnivores? In other words, I think this proves that if the animal ate the vegetation FIRST, you don’t have to worry about eating it yourself–that an all-carnivore diet complete with ruminants (and plant-eating fish) supplies just as much fiber as a couple of dives into a salad bar…with a lot fewer carbs.

    I regularly read Depauw’s blog and his friend’s (http://primalnorth.blogspot.com/) , but for some reason, cannot get the UK link he posted with his experiment results, so thank you for posting this.

    Do you have any idea how much this will save on the food bill? No more perishables to buy just to go bad in the bottom of the fridge. Think of all the low-income individuals who are being pressed into buying and eating more produce for the fiber and nutrients–they could eat a rabbit and get it all…and it would be SNAP eligible! Now all that’s left is to find a vendor who takes SNAP…some do exist.

    My how the future refrigerator would look–no more crisper drawers!

    Now I can give this article to the doctor who performed my last colonoscopy, and fretted over me eating a keto diet…“You’ve GOT to eat more vegetation–preferably raw!” he said. I passed the test with flying colors, but he was still upset at the seeming lack of (known) fiber I took in. I wonder if he knew how much rabbit, sardines, wild boar, and bison I eat.

    • http://www.caloriesproper.com/ William Lagakos

      dark chocolate, red wine, and coffee can probably cover for some of the polyphenols found in veggies…

    • http://www.caloriesproper.com/ William Lagakos

      There seems to be two components to the animal fibre:
      1) relatively non-digestible protein; and
      2) glycans (eg, glucosamine & chondroitin).

    • http://ashsimmonds.com/ Ash Simmonds

      The evidence for consuming any more fibre than what you get incidentally is about as robust as the evidence against eating saturated fat and cholesterol.

      • http://www.caloriesproper.com/ William Lagakos

        Paradigm shift: NO studies have accounted for the potential animal fibres in their dietary interventions!

        That fibre-free ketogenic diet I wrote about was only free of plant fibre, but might have had loads more animal fibre.

        • http://ashsimmonds.com/ Ash Simmonds

          Just been thinking about this more, as just tonight at the market I bought a couple slabs of guanciale, which is supposedly basically bacon from the jowl (cheek) of a pig.

          I may have inferenced previously my love for pork face bits…

          Hmmm, I don’t even know what I’m eating here… But what I can tell you is that I can sit there chewing a piece for 15 minutes and it doesn’t change. It’s basically bacon flavoured chewing gum.

          Now, apart from HOW IS THAT NOT THE BEST THING EVAR??? – I took some consideration about this whole “animal fibre” discussion, and have decided to swallow the stuff I can’t chew enough to feel like it’s swallowable.

          Difficult to get across. Basically, think of bacon that you’re chewing it and chewing and chewing etc for 15 minutes – obviously it’s something fibrous. Dunno?

          • http://www.caloriesproper.com/ William Lagakos

            YES! I think that’s definitely a sign it’s some form of “animal fibre.”

          • http://ashsimmonds.com/ Ash Simmonds

            Well that solves it! :p

            I would put guanciale up against resistant starch. See what lands in the bum and creates the most cool butyrate bits and stuff.

          • http://ashsimmonds.com/ Ash Simmonds

            Let me put the emphasis on “and stuff”, which are >90% of the unreported benefit.

          • Thomas Hemming Larsen

            Besides that, the head of the pig makes the absolute best ‘pork rinds’ when roasted because you get a thin layer of skin which becomes very crisp without burning. The ears and snout are great! I often buy the complete head and eat all of it.

          • http://www.caloriesproper.com/ William Lagakos

            Woe. Brains & eyes & stuff, too???

          • Thomas Hemming Larsen

            I’m not sure if its allowed to sell the brain. But I do eat the eyes, tongue, snout etc. I’m a firm believer in nose to tail eating literally. When I get pig tails I also try to eat as much of the bones, cartilage etc. as possible. I also buy whole livers so that I can get as much of the tissue as possible.
            I really enjoy all the ‘obsolete’ cuts which makes my dad so sorry for me when I’m eating with ham because he wants to also eat the ‘prime cuts’ :)

    • http://ashsimmonds.com/ Ash Simmonds

      DePaw has done a ton of work with this stuff, this might be the page you’re interested in – hitting RDAs as a carnivore:

      http://mostlymeatiswhatieat.blogspot.com.au/2014/01/carnivore-rda-version-2.html

    • DuckDodgers

      Wenchypoo,

      If you were trying to maximize animal fiber you would need to eat your animals raw and as fresh as possible. That’s the biggest difference between the “Cheetah” diet and a Western human diet. When a cheetah eats a rabbit, it has only been dead for a few seconds, or at most, minutes by the time it’s eaten. It’s all consumed before any bacterial decomposition takes place.

      Interestingly, hyenas and other scavengers that don’t often eat fresh animals are omnivores and get supplemental fibers elsewhere.

      Highly-carnivorous cultures ALWAYS consumed lots of raw animals and raw blood. I have yet to find an exception to this rule. The animals would either be extremely fresh, or immediately frozen or hydrolyzed (rotted) for the winter. Eating raw animals is what maximizes the prebiotic glycans. The same goes for plants as well. And this is also why one doesn’t cook Resistant Starch.

      In the West, all meats are chilled and aged for about 10 days or more to allow lactic adic-producing bacteria to consume those glycans and animal starch (glycogen) so that the lactic acid tenderizes the meat. In other words, many or most of the glycans disappear from meats by the time you get them home and then cook them.

      However, due to the nature of glucosamine & chondroitin, those glycans appear to last longer and are more resistant to cooking. I’m not entirely sure why that is. Probably just the robust structure of those compounds. Or maybe the fact that they have less moisture (like dry RS in a bag lasting forever). Of course, the question I have is how can those glycans better resist heat and degradation but are somehow easily fermented in the guts of a Cheetah? Perhaps acid/moisture has something to do with it. I don’t know.

      At any rate, check out this guy who eats his meats raw and fresh (he self-slaughters).

      http://www.vice.com/en_au/read/this-guy-has-eaten-nothing-but-raw-meat-for-five-years

      He solved his gut issues by eating nothing but fresh (and hydrolyzed/rotted) raw meat. Lots and lots of glycans in his food. Pretty amazing.

      Gut bugs forage on glycans. Oligosaccharides, polysaccharides, polyphenols, glycosaminoglycans are ALL different kinds of glycans and gut bugs secrete enzymes to metabolize these. The metabolites can cause changes in the flora and can also be absorbed into our bodies.

      Once we understand that “glycans” are what defines a flora-friendly superfood, it’s not so surprising to see that polyphenol-rich foods and raw meats and raw plants are chockfull of glycans, and are therefore all full of prebiotics.

      • http://ashsimmonds.com/ Ash Simmonds

        You can read tons more by that guy in the Vice article here:

        http://www.rawpaleodietforum.com/infonews-items/vice-article-featuring-me/

      • http://www.caloriesproper.com/ William Lagakos

        My only problem with that Vice article is that the images are nauseating!

        • DuckDodgers

          Agreed. They were going for shock value and didn’t care about the health aspects. It’s too bad though. I bet there’s a lot to learn there.

  • http://www.caloriesproper.com/ William Lagakos

    “…significant reductions in hs-CRP concentrations were associated with regular use of glucosamine (17%, 95% confidence interval (CI): 7, 26), chondroitin (22%, 95% CI: 8, 33), and fish oil (16%, 95% CI: 0.3, 29).”
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23139249

  • http://cristivlad.com Chris

    so this basically means that we’re doing a benefit to our gut while feeding with these kinds of fats when following the high-fat diets…Jack Kruse is probably right when advocating for the consumptions of oysters and shrimps

  • Matthew Dalby

    That is some very interesting research from the point of view of the cheetahs diets. But I wonder though how relevant it is to us as we usually eat our animal products cooked?

    Meats and fish products that are eaten raw tend to be those that are very low in connective tissues. Tissues high in connective tissues like oxtail would be rather difficult to eat raw for us.

    Cooking effectively denatures the collagen, causing gelatinization and solubilisation of the connective tissues that should allow access by the digestive actions of the gastric acids and proteolytic enzymes. These seem likely to be readily digested and absorbed in the small intestine, as gelatin seems to be. I suspect little of the connective tissues in tinned sardines or cooked pork ribs makes it to our colon, but I’d be interested to see if there is any evidence.

    A much larger source though of fermentable animal products for our colonic bacteria is the proteins, bile acids, mucin, enzymes, and shed epithelial cells from our own small intestine.

    • DuckDodgers

      Yes, eating raw meat, particularly freshly killed raw meat, would have the most prebiotic glycans in it — not to mention being rich in the right kinds of probiotics necessary to break down proteins.

      Every highly carnivorous culture ate their meats raw. Every one. Even homo erectus which was known to have relied heavily on meat was believed to have eaten its meat raw.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homo_erectus#Cooking

      Jeff Leach witnessed the Hadza kill an impala and eat its stomach and stomach contents raw and they ate the intestines and colon mostly raw:

      http://humanfoodproject.com/please-pass-microbes/

      So those Hadza hunters were eating lightly toasted mucins and raw stomachs. Very rich in animal fibers.

      • http://honey-guide.com/ Matthew Dalby

        I think I’ll pass on the mostly raw intestines :)

    • http://www.caloriesproper.com/ William Lagakos

      that’s a great point about cooking. I’ve tried eating the tendony parts of a drumstick and it still seems very hard/chewy… so, maybe at least some of the structural components are still intact? …might leave some of the GAGs and collagen physically inaccessible to digestive enzymes (?).

      • http://honey-guide.com/ Matthew Dalby

        It would be interesting to know. I wouldn’t underestimate the digestive power of our gut though. It can digest even quite large chunks of swallowed meat into amino acids with surprising speed.

        • http://www.caloriesproper.com/ William Lagakos

          ? truth

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  • http://freetheanimal.com/ Richard Nikoley

    Bill, don’t you find it the slightest bit amusing that so many people who’ve been “you don’t need fiber” are now suddenly all in love with it?

    BTW, did you catch the blockquote in my post about “The Numbers Count and Only the Numbers Count?” Three studies on Inuit, unable to turn up above normal blood ketones amongst any of them, and yet you have…what should I call them… [] going around measuring ‘nutritional’ ketones.

    It is to laf.

    • http://www.caloriesproper.com/ William Lagakos

      Similarly, I think rebranding RPS as prebiotics will be much more palatable for a lot of the same people.

      I didn’t know that about the Inuit (but I’m far from a paleo-anthropologist)… pretty interesting. Puts a whole new spin on: so rare it’s still moo’ing! (or whatever sound the animals they were eating made).

      • DuckDodgers

        As far as the Inuit intake of prebiotics goes, in a freshly killed animal, glycans are everywhere in the animal. And these glycans tend to be indigestible carbohydrate compounds that make up “animal fiber”. These glycans are found in the muscles, in the blood, in the skin, and all of the hard parts of course. These ingestible glycosylated carbs are everywhere and constitute various forms of animal fiber.

        So, for instance, drinking the fresh raw blood tapped from the side of a cow — as the Masai do — is chock full of glycans. In fact, blood has about 150 different kinds of glycans in it!

        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16052617

        Some of those 150 glycans include glycophorin, glycocalyx, glycoprotein IIb/IIIa, and immunoglobins just to name a handful.

        That means fresh blood is likely an extremely prebiotic drink.

        I think people are getting the idea that “animal fiber” is just in the connective tissues and “hard” pieces. But that’s not true. The glycans are in every single bite of a freshly killed raw animal. Every bite the Inuit ate was full of animal fiber, since they usually consumed their meats fresh and raw.

        So the only glycans that really survive over heat AND time tend to be the dry/hard pieces. Better than nothing, but not much compared to what the Inuit and Masai consume when they eat/drink fresh and raw animal products.

        Really any piece of fresh/raw animal should be full of prebiotic glycans. Sushi included. Come to think of it, the retrograded rice and fresh/raw fish should make sushi a highly prebiotic food!

        • http://www.caloriesproper.com/ William Lagakos

          I just replied to you over at FTA :)

          cut & paste:

          I guess the “fresh & raw” aspect is rather important here. Stefansson and Andersen developed ketosis at various periods during their 1 year of a meat-only diet, although for the most part they were eating: “ordinary, refrigerated, butchers’ meat. The meat was usually boiled or stewed, the inside being left rare…”

          Fresh & raw =/= rare.

          http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=267994

          http://www.jbc.org/content/87/3/651.full.pdf

      • Michael

        What’s also to ‘laf’ is the near exclusive focus on pre- and probiotics as the be-all and end-all to the near exclusion of all else.

        I had – unbeknowingly – a ‘real food’ diet very high in prebiotics: lots of sushi and other japanese foods (incl. lots of fermented stuff at that: natto, nukazuke, miso, etc.), black rye bread (never white wheat bread), and lots and lots of favourite items like kala chana, burdock root, artichokes, sweet potatoes. This was standard fare, not some occasional food. If I did eat breakfast cereal it was always soaked, raw oat muesli. Also prebiotic I would think. And yet I got very sick… and conversely do great on VLC.

        Another thought: my great grandmother lived without her entire colon for well over 30 years to a very ripe old age in the deep 90s. Likewise, many UC patients find enormous relief from the same procedure. A brute force method for sure, but it works. That raises some questions to my mind.

        So yes, it’s to ‘laf’ really. Or did I say that already?

        • http://www.caloriesproper.com/ William Lagakos

          That’s interesting, Michael, thanks. VLC works well for a lot of people! I’m glad it’s working well for you, too.

      • http://ashsimmonds.com/ Ash Simmonds

        It’s not really news – Stefansson covered all this about a century ago.

        Every year someone comes in thinking they’ve found some amazing diet trick that nobody thought of before and citation wars run rampant.

        Nope: fat; bones; broth; guts; skin; meat; and if you can tolerate them (or upon hard times), stuff you pick.

        It’s not going to change in our lifetime.

  • Wenchypoo

    Today, I saw a new show on Hulu called “In the Kitchen With Hannibal”–speaking of Satan’s refrigerator! :)

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  • Thomas Hemming Larsen

    I might be disgressing slightly here but I wanted to pick your brain on something fibre and digestion related.

    Does that mean that something like cocoa nibs, which are almost all fibre, would actually have a lower caloric value than what can be calculated? They have around 50g of fat per 100g but does the fibre affect the digestion so that I effectively can only use an amount less than the 50g as actual energy?

    • http://www.caloriesproper.com/ William Lagakos

      my guess is yes; not sure by how much, though.

      2 reasons:

      1) some of the fat might be physically inaccessible, similar to nuts; and

      2) long chain saturated fatty acids aren’t as well absorbed as shorter or more unsaturated fatty acids.

      • Thomas Hemming Larsen

        1) do you mean because of the fiber?
        2) I wasn’t as much thinking about the type of fat but if some of the fibre binds the fat during digestion (using the same ‘logic’ as saying fibre lowers cholesterol)?
        Thanks Bill!

        • http://www.caloriesproper.com/ William Lagakos

          1) yes. and I’m guessing that similar to nuts, this could be bypassed with thorough chewing…

          2) I don’t know. Maybe. Long chain saturated fatty acids readily form salts (soaps), for example, with calcium, which reduces absorption efficiency.

          Also, maybe this is partly related to #1, although I’m not really sure how to visualize… fatty acids stuck to the outside or trapped inside, of fibre granules or indigestible cellular structures…

          • Thomas Hemming Larsen

            Thanks again Bill.

            1) some would argue that that would be an argument against chewing :)

            2) Ok

            That was actually more my question. Some of the fiber will bind fat in the food by nature so that the usable fat content of that particular food might be lower than what is on the label.
            But I’m wondering I’m some of the fiber can bind fat that is from another food and simply pooped out so that the usable fat content of that will also be lower than labelled.

          • http://www.caloriesproper.com/ William Lagakos

            1) haha not me (or rather, us)! calories from cocoa butter are good calories!

          • Thomas Hemming Larsen

            Hehe, definitely. It just made me think if I was actually getting less energy than I thought I was when eating nuts, seeds and things like cocoa nibs or beans

  • http://www.caloriesproper.com/ Bill Lagakos

    Chitin microparticles for the control of intestinal inflammation.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22241684