Monday, March 9, 2015

Did Ketogenic Diet Kill My Beneficial Bacteria?

I'm starting to look more into gut flora and probiotics.

  1. Most probiotics made up of species that are not dominant in the healthy adult human gut.
  2. Although not dominant in adults, they are common in infants.
  3. Infants gradually adjust their gut flora to the adult biome over three years.
  4. The diet you regularly eat affects the ratios of the types of flora in your gut.
  5. The types of flora in your gut affect how well you digest different foods that reach your gut.
  6. Some categories of foods that are broken down by gut flora are: carbohydrates, disaccharides, monosaccharides, alcohols, fructose, lactose
  7. There is a high correlation between foods you need gut bacteria to break down and foods forbidden on some Paleo diets.
So it is pretty well known in Paleo circles that when you give up wheat you become more sensitive to it over time, but I've not seen a satisfactory explanation for why.  But if I'm understanding gut flora correctly, as you stop eating a particular food that is digested by gut flora, the relevant gut flora die out and next time you eat that food there may not be enough relevant gut flora left to digest it.

Did my stint trying to eat ketogenic kill off most of my FODMAP digesting bacteria?  If so, what is the best way to get them back?

I'm still trying to figure out the role of probiotics.  They have a pretty good track record in research, but yet they are not the normal guys in our gut.  In years past we ate a lot of preserved foods in winter, and many of those foods were preserved with lactic acid loving cultures, cheeses, sausages, sauerkraut, pickles...  There are entire alternative healing diets based on these lactic acid loving bacteria.  But they are not the dominant species in the gut, implying that the other species are more efficient at digesting most of the food that reaches them.  Do they do a "good enough" job when our other bacteria are not doing so hot?  Do they foster an environment friendly to the other bacteria and stimulate them?