Chris Kresser and Jeff Leach on Gut Health

Chis and I have known each other for a while. He first contacted me way back when he was just making his Internet presence known, thinking I might be interested in a series on GERD he was doing. Being a lifelong sufferer myself, I checked it out, judged it reasonable, and promoted his series on the blog.

Since that time, I’ve seen his series referenced around and about more times that I can count. If it helped anyone and I played a role in that, then such is too cool.

In the meantime, I’ve had my many dramas as a result of my style and Chris is always pro, which I never fault. Everyone has every right to not be associated with me. Still, from time to time, and especially recently, Chris has been “unable to resist my allure.” I wrote that while grinning. Hopefully, you get it.

Simple fact: he helps people personally, face to face or in whatever medium used to have a personal caregiver to individual relationship. And, I’ve met Chris personally and nothing I learned viscerally contradicted anything I assumed with less information. He’s a standup pro and I’ve never had a moment or reason to think, assume, or judge otherwise.

Jeff Leach is leading the American Gut Project where, basically, they are getting poop samples from tons of people and mapping out the bacteria populations.

They just did a podcast. Here’s a portion of the transcript.

Chris Kresser: This is an interesting topic, too, from a clinical perspective because there are people who benefit from ketogenic diets and very low carb diets. For example, as you probably know, Jeff, there are several studies that suggest that ketogenic diets can be beneficial for people with neurological conditions, like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, epilepsy, etc. And then some people who have type 2 diabetes and are extremely sensitive to glucose and have poor blood sugar control and insulin resistance, leptin resistant, and don’t do well with starch and foods that contain a lot of fermentable fiber often find themselves needing to follow a really low carb diet. In those situations, I’ve been, as a clinician, trying to figure out that assuming they’re going to stick with this really low carb diet, how can we mitigate some of the potential harm that could be caused to the gut microbiota? And again, we don’t know that it’s harmful, but I’m just speculating based on the same factors you just mentioned as well as some clinical data, like the stool testing that I mentioned before that. So, what I’ve been trying to do in those situations is get people who are doing a ketogenic or very low carb diet on some prebiotics and some resistant starch in the form of potato starch, which doesn’t seem to have any negative impact on their blood sugar and, in fact, actually has the opposite effect in many cases. Richard Nikoley over at Free the Animal has been writing a lot about resistant starch, and a lot of people with blood sugar issues have seen drops of, like, 10 or 15 mg/dL of their fasting blood sugar just from taking 4 tablespoons a day of potato starch, which has, as you know, a lot of resistant starch in it. And in my patients, I’ve seen a similar response and also with people with long-term constipation and gut issues. Of course, it makes sense that resistant starch could play a significant role there. So, I would say at least tentatively now that if anyone is on a ketogenic or very low carb diet, that you might consider some prebiotic fibers or resistant starch just to make sure that you’re feeding your gut bugs what they need to survive.

Now, once this blog marathon is over, you’ll get to see the difference between the “shit profile” of someone who’s been supplementing RS for months vs. the profile of someone who basically eats the diet you are recommended to eat.

I’m not even going to give you a clue, maggots. :)

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3 Comments

  1. bornagain on November 24, 2013 at 23:07

    I’ve often wondered why one of the Paleo gods like Sisson or Devany don’t sell their shit for fecal transplants. Surely there’s a market for it.

  2. Richard Nikoley on November 24, 2013 at 23:20

    Ok, this is going too far. :)

  3. Spanish Caravan on November 24, 2013 at 23:26

    Bornagain, first, they’re too old, especially DeVany. You want your stool sample from a younger person who’s full of vitality and free from infections. Second, how would you know they’re healthy? They look healthy but that doesn’t mean they actually are. Looks don’t mean health. Third, most people who do fecal transplant have autoimmune issues. Autoimmunity is latent and could be asymptomatic for years before you ever become positive for antibodies. You’ll never be tested for it unless you have symptoms. So De Vany and Mark won’t qualify as a potential donor until they’ve been thoroughly vetted and have gone through Metametrix’s GI Effects stool test themselves.

    The worst thing you can do is get an unhealthy stool sample; you’ll end up with more diseases. That’s why fecal transplating is for institutional use; it’s not for retail. Don’t try it at home.

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