5

votes

Does Fiber interfere with the absorption of other nutrients?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 16, 2010 at 5:50 PM

Lets assume the paleo worldview and diet (which we all do believe by definition of our being on this forum)...

Does fiber interfere with the absorption of other nutrients in food?

Specifically: I want to start adding sunflower seed and flax seed to my diet. Both taste good, are plentiful and cheap in my part of the world (Argentina!), have a lot of fiber (which my diet lacks), and supposedly many other nutrients/health benefits. However, I'm wondering if I add sunflower/flax to my usual food (paleo meat! broccoli!) if it will reduce the absorption of the nutrients from these.

Thoughts? Thank you all!

morgan

0d821bf7d4028b84a6838062db0e9ce0

(754)

on September 27, 2010
at 06:28 PM

what kinds of fiber was it in the African diets? I know your gut bacteria can adjust over time to it (E.G. gorillas eat almost all fibrous plants, yet their gut bacteria changes tons of it into short chain fatty acids so their actual nutrients absorbed is almost all fat from the fiber + bacteria), the fiber that seems to be most harmful is the non soluble fiber that your body's enzymes and your gut bacteria both cannot do anything with. info from gutsense.org, marks daily apple, PaNu, cooling inflammation, and whole health source, each of which linked multiple studies, lots in pubmed as well.

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on September 19, 2010
at 06:59 PM

The original question is about sunflower seeds and flax seeds specifically, not about fiber in general.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on September 19, 2010
at 05:02 PM

I didn't say fiber is specifically good for you (certainly not adding bran) just that it is a normal part of the foods that make up our species evolutionary diet.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on September 19, 2010
at 01:43 PM

its silly to say its good for you too, none of us know for sure yet... your opinion is as much an assumption of how it has been... we are questioning it, for the same reason, we've found much of what we assumed, is indeed wrong. Not everything. But dont assume that its perfectly alright, when theres no proof. Its absolutely not silly to ask.

Fcaeaac15cf6568f2825b230731d5a7d

(529)

on September 19, 2010
at 01:41 PM

ben...I definitely agree with you on gelatin. I was struggling with bowel problems recently, until I re-incorporated some broth into my diet.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on September 19, 2010
at 10:07 AM

Traditional African diets had 5-10 times the fiber of modern diets with good gut health and very low levels of colon cancer.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on September 18, 2010
at 05:46 PM

You can get away with no plant fiber it you eat like an Inuit. If you eat carbs you should have fiber with them as you find in any wild food like veg, fruit of nuts. But it is just silly to say that fiber is bad for you. I think it is eating the processed carb-laden and low-fiber foods that cause the problems.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on September 17, 2010
at 07:00 AM

"All fiber is not created equal", so talking about fiber is just like talking about fat. Is fat deadly (trans fat) ? Yes. Is fat good (saturated fats) ? Yes. Inulin is recommended by both Stephan @ WHS and Dr. Ayers @ CI as an important gut flora player.

5de2fffda92c0bf2be7ede10cad55546

(1781)

on September 17, 2010
at 02:22 AM

Just to add to my comment above, I also used bran and psyllium fiber to ensure regularity I found I was straining to pass these huge bulky fibrous stools. Since ditching the grains and upping the fat I've found perfection.

5de2fffda92c0bf2be7ede10cad55546

(1781)

on September 17, 2010
at 02:18 AM

I couldn't agree more with ben1820, I haven't eaten a fiber containing anything in over a year and my bowel movements have never been better. Small, soft and easily passed. I think lots of fat helps too.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on September 17, 2010
at 12:46 AM

i havent eaten anything other than animal products since July 12th. I have had the same bowel movement schedule as i ever had. I am now firmly firmly in the fiber-is-not-necessary camp. I think gelatin (which i get from drinking daily bone broth) from animal cartilage is a very important component in our bowel health, that you hear almost nothing about, even within the paleo community. I first learned of gelatin's benefits form the Weston Price Foundation.

7df8f3cc7f1475c3ecbbd4a4feb87d04

(514)

on September 16, 2010
at 10:56 PM

Any studies you could link to? Where did you hear this?

F5698e16f1793c0bb00daea6a2e222a4

(678)

on September 16, 2010
at 07:22 PM

Anecdotally, this has not been my experience, at all. I struggled with persistent constipation for 10 years before I started taking a small amount of psyllium fiber with my meals. Zero problem now.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on September 16, 2010
at 07:20 PM

That Fiber Menace guy is seriously obsessed with poo :) and can publish any old nonsense on the web.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on September 16, 2010
at 06:24 PM

Agreed, not a real fan of either. If you must fiber, coconut flour

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4 Answers

4
A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on September 16, 2010
at 06:06 PM

My understanding is that both sunflower seeds and flax seeds contain lectins and will inhibit gut health. Use in limited amounts or avoid.

From Fiber Menace:

"...fiber from fruits, vegetables, grains, bran, and laxatives is the PRIMARY cause of chronic, persistent constipation and related colorectal disorders."

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on September 16, 2010
at 06:24 PM

Agreed, not a real fan of either. If you must fiber, coconut flour

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on September 19, 2010
at 06:59 PM

The original question is about sunflower seeds and flax seeds specifically, not about fiber in general.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on September 16, 2010
at 07:20 PM

That Fiber Menace guy is seriously obsessed with poo :) and can publish any old nonsense on the web.

Fcaeaac15cf6568f2825b230731d5a7d

(529)

on September 19, 2010
at 01:41 PM

ben...I definitely agree with you on gelatin. I was struggling with bowel problems recently, until I re-incorporated some broth into my diet.

5de2fffda92c0bf2be7ede10cad55546

(1781)

on September 17, 2010
at 02:18 AM

I couldn't agree more with ben1820, I haven't eaten a fiber containing anything in over a year and my bowel movements have never been better. Small, soft and easily passed. I think lots of fat helps too.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on September 19, 2010
at 01:43 PM

its silly to say its good for you too, none of us know for sure yet... your opinion is as much an assumption of how it has been... we are questioning it, for the same reason, we've found much of what we assumed, is indeed wrong. Not everything. But dont assume that its perfectly alright, when theres no proof. Its absolutely not silly to ask.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on September 17, 2010
at 12:46 AM

i havent eaten anything other than animal products since July 12th. I have had the same bowel movement schedule as i ever had. I am now firmly firmly in the fiber-is-not-necessary camp. I think gelatin (which i get from drinking daily bone broth) from animal cartilage is a very important component in our bowel health, that you hear almost nothing about, even within the paleo community. I first learned of gelatin's benefits form the Weston Price Foundation.

F5698e16f1793c0bb00daea6a2e222a4

(678)

on September 16, 2010
at 07:22 PM

Anecdotally, this has not been my experience, at all. I struggled with persistent constipation for 10 years before I started taking a small amount of psyllium fiber with my meals. Zero problem now.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on September 18, 2010
at 05:46 PM

You can get away with no plant fiber it you eat like an Inuit. If you eat carbs you should have fiber with them as you find in any wild food like veg, fruit of nuts. But it is just silly to say that fiber is bad for you. I think it is eating the processed carb-laden and low-fiber foods that cause the problems.

5de2fffda92c0bf2be7ede10cad55546

(1781)

on September 17, 2010
at 02:22 AM

Just to add to my comment above, I also used bran and psyllium fiber to ensure regularity I found I was straining to pass these huge bulky fibrous stools. Since ditching the grains and upping the fat I've found perfection.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on September 19, 2010
at 05:02 PM

I didn't say fiber is specifically good for you (certainly not adding bran) just that it is a normal part of the foods that make up our species evolutionary diet.

3
Fcaeaac15cf6568f2825b230731d5a7d

(529)

on September 16, 2010
at 06:26 PM

Once I decided to lay off fiber completely, my digestion improved dramatically. Dr. Michael Eades wrote a great thought piece on fiber: http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/fiber/a-cautionary-tale-of-mucus-fore-and-aft/

So, we have a situation where a product causes damage to the cells lining a tube, causing them to produce a lot of mucus in an attempt to protect themselves. In the process many of these cells die and are replaced by new cells. And this is perceived as a good thing.

My question is: is it really a good thing?

2
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on September 17, 2010
at 03:59 AM

Fiber speeds passage of food through the gut, which results in less digestion time, which results in less digestion. Plus, as has been said, seeds have phytic acid, which leaches nutrients out of your system. SO yes, they will reduce absorption of nutrients. I would not take fiber as long as I was not getting backed up, and even then, I would only do it for a short time to alleviate the problem but then would taper off. WHne I first went lowcarb, I noticed my digestion was a bit slow for a while, but then my body adapted and now I intake very very little fiber and yet have no problems whatsoever with gut health or motility. In fact, it's probably healthier than it has ever been in my life.

That whole thing about fiber being so important was never backed by good evidence in the first place. It was just an excuse that tried to explain why natural tribes are healthier than Americans. The story was since scientists had already (incorrectly) decided that it could not be the sunshine, meat, and saturated fat that was so good for them, that it must be that fiber is soley responsible for their health! But there was never evidence to back that up and no research since then has provided any further evidence. The real question is where is the evidence that fiber is good for you? There never was any, and that is why fiber is starting to lose it's cache and new health fads are taking its place. My advice, dont worry about eating fiber. There is no long term advantage to scratching up the interior of your gut lining.

-1
0d821bf7d4028b84a6838062db0e9ce0

(754)

on September 16, 2010
at 10:16 PM

the fibers scraping up your cells can lead to colon cancer at its most extreme, its basically the same thing smoke does to a smokers lung tissue.

however pectin and some of the soluble fibers that your gut bacteria can eat can have a beneficial effect on gut health, its the non soluble ones which are like sandpaper to your gut to avoid in large amounts.

7df8f3cc7f1475c3ecbbd4a4feb87d04

(514)

on September 16, 2010
at 10:56 PM

Any studies you could link to? Where did you hear this?

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on September 19, 2010
at 10:07 AM

Traditional African diets had 5-10 times the fiber of modern diets with good gut health and very low levels of colon cancer.

0d821bf7d4028b84a6838062db0e9ce0

(754)

on September 27, 2010
at 06:28 PM

what kinds of fiber was it in the African diets? I know your gut bacteria can adjust over time to it (E.G. gorillas eat almost all fibrous plants, yet their gut bacteria changes tons of it into short chain fatty acids so their actual nutrients absorbed is almost all fat from the fiber + bacteria), the fiber that seems to be most harmful is the non soluble fiber that your body's enzymes and your gut bacteria both cannot do anything with. info from gutsense.org, marks daily apple, PaNu, cooling inflammation, and whole health source, each of which linked multiple studies, lots in pubmed as well.

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