People are really getting good at refinements. Including myself. I now ingest probiotics (when I do, which is occasional, high dose) first thing AM with water, and wait hours before eating anything. The reason is simple. Your aim is to get them to the colon to establish as floral community members. You don’t want them being held up by food in transit, nor sidetracked by meals en route. So, one of my favorite mega-dose probiotics that you only take from time-to-time for six day, is Elixa Probiotic. Here’s a back-&-forth between Elixa’s creator, and Wilber, a commenter who’s a fiber menace to society.
In all the time I have taken Elixa (which is hundreds of doses during development and hundreds in the past 1-2 years), I never once felt nausea. Even when I experimented up to 3 or 4 daily doses per day. Never felt it. Not once.
Several weeks ago I decided to run a normal 6-day course alongside a slowly tapering up dose of Inulin. THAT was the first time I ever felt it. Very mild but I was in no doubt.
I stopped the inulin and it went away. I’ve taken inulin separately in the past (post-Elixa but not DURING an Elixa course) and was totally fine.
Even going all the way up to 90 grams per day. (yes, ninety grams of inulin!).
(As an aside – prior to developing and taking Elixa myself, even a bit of onion would give me intestinal pain. Now here I was taking a pint glass of *90* grams dissolved inulin with zero problems!)
And to re-clarify: I was only taking a mere 2 to 5 grams per day in the recent scenario when I experienced this sensation.
Anyway, my point is this: Before I started seeing the nausea mentioned on here, I had never heard from any users having that effect. When I saw it spring up on here a couple times, I thought there might be some ‘common thread’ that may be present in most readers of Richard’s site which could possibly predispose them. The only one that sprang to mind was the awareness and consumption of prebiotics (potato starch being a prime example on here).
The majority of my customers will come from elsewhere, some with no knowledge of what a prebiotic even is. That probably explains why I hadn’t heard that feedback before.
So this is what lead me to experiment with taking inulin in parallel with Elixa. And the result was some very mild… well… I wouldn’t say ‘nausea’. For me it was more like I wasn’t in the mood for food. Like someone could have put a big tasty deep-pan pizza in front of me and I would’ve preferred to push the plate away and reach for some water instead…
Not experienced it since discontinuing prebiotic consumption *during* Elixa courses.
Having said that, the majority of people who I know are taking prebiotics in parallel with Elixa, have been totally fine. But certainly something to be aware of and to inform people who may ask.
Elixa is potent stuff. It packs a punch. Disruption is caused. Usually beneficial. Sometimes (temporarily) disconcerting.
I won’t spin the old BS line: ‘It’s a sign it’s working!’ The question is only answered truthfully by the steady-state *results*, not words :)
90 g of Inulin is amazing!
By way of introduction, I have been supplementing 120-150 g of prebiotics per day for a year and a half. About 30 g of that is pure inulin supplement. My philosophy is to get a broad array of types of prebiotics in hopes of getting a diversity of gut bacteria. I take about 20 different types of fiber every day. On top of this, I eat a high fiber diet, including lots of raw garlic, raw onion, beans, raw fibrous greens like collards and broccolini, etc. My supplement drink includes dandelion root and yacon root, also high in inulin.
I lost 40 lbs without trying, and my weight is unchanged over this time. I lost horrible seasonal allergies, hypoglycemia, many signs of autoimmunity, high blood pressure, and on and on. My bloodwork went from statin-worthy to beyond stellar. My bowel movements have been perfect every single day for months. I eat anything I want (pasta, bread, carbs) and as much as I want, but truthfully I only want the “bad” things occasionally. I never touch food preservatives or processed oils, except when unavoidable in restaurants.
This is an extremely intriguing and informative post. Thank you for sharing your observations and thoughts on the topic!
I agree completely with all the points you have made.
Your health improvements sound phenomenal and it sounds like your gut microbiome is so robust you could drink a gallon of Clostridium Difficile and barely break a sweat. ?
You are indeed spot on with your observation of varying fructan length in the commercially available inulin. I myself happened to be experimenting with inulin derived from chicory root. However, I am not sure of the chain length in that particular product as it was also labelled as FOS which may imply they had degraded the fructan’s length during extraction.
I agree with your final musing regarding different FODMAPs potentially having differing effect in parallel with an Elixa course. I should add that I have not seen a strong correlation between consumption of potato starch (plus Elixa) equalling the temporary odd effects – but my earlier hypothesis may certainly explain things IF it were the case. I’ve heard a very limited number of people report this (infact, as I recall, the 3 or 4 within the comment sections of this site are the only incidences I’ve heard about in total). I’m always looking for feedback though, and considering various theories to explain all the data.
Some side thoughts for us all to consider:
Another thing about ‘ease-of-fermentation’ may be that chain-length might not be the largest factor. Perhaps the bond-types, the tertiary structure, and/or the physical structures (in which the entire thing is consumed) are more/equally as impactful!
What I mean by ‘physical structure’ is, for example; refined inulin in a powder is different to inulin stored in a cellulose bound plant cell, that one would be munching down when you eat various root vegetables (inulin being a storage carb for many plants, ofc). While the former is a very simple solution of water and inulin (prime for bacterial consumption) the other one is a complex array of organic forms which inulin will slowly make its way out from, as mechanical action (and limited cellulase activity) gradually lower the structural integrity of that particular block of plant cells.