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Why do I get diarrhea from animal fat such as tallow and butter but not from coconut oil?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 21, 2011 at 2:59 AM

Sometimes I have perfect bowel movements but other times when my BM's are a bit slow I increase my coconut oil intake to no avail, but when I increase my animal fat intake I spend 5-10 minutes in the toilet with diarrhea and accumulated crap from days before. Its great that animal fat gets things going but does it always have to be diarrhea? If I increased my animal fat consumption and decreased my coconut oil consumption would I adapt? Is this reaction to animal fat normal or is it some type of allergic reaction? I have been Paleo for quite a while, but in the six months I have been "paleo" most of my fat came from coconut oil.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on April 23, 2011
at 11:24 AM

Jack, there are also some people who can't eat any beef. Grass fed or grain fed. Are you suggesting people with celiac disease have problem with grain fed beef ? If so, anything beyond n=1 ?

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on April 22, 2011
at 07:52 AM

Jack, there are also some people who can't eat any beef. Grass fed or grain fed. Are you suggesting people with celiac disease a have problem with grain fed beef ?

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on April 21, 2011
at 02:54 PM

Right. If your gallbladder if not sufficiently secreting enough bile acid then it may be a problem. Also, strange as it sounds, the opposite is true. If your gallbladder is not regulating correctly and dumping too much bile acid, it can cause diarrhea. This is usually what happens to someone who had their's removed. Bile dumping = bathroom problems. There are some things you can take to experiement. But this may be something that you want to see a doc about so he/she can correctly determine what's going on.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on April 21, 2011
at 02:33 PM

All my food is grassfed/finished.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on April 21, 2011
at 02:32 PM

Paul Jaminent suggested it might be a gallbladder issue or insufficient bile production which would explain why I seem to only handle coconut oil with no issues.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on April 21, 2011
at 02:29 PM

it's a very *slight* possibility that if the tallow was from grain fed cows that you could have a reaction to it, if you are very intolerant of gluten. It seems like a real stretch though, since usually people who have trouble with beef are allergic to the proteins in the meat, not really the fats. Anyway... just thought I'd throw that out there for ya...

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on April 21, 2011
at 02:22 PM

Ikco, you shouldn't disagree too strongly. Some people who are highly sensitive to grain (gluten intolerant) cannot eat grain fed beef. I know someone personally who gets a terrible reaction from beef.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on April 21, 2011
at 02:21 PM

as for the tallow, I have no clue. That's just beef fat. butter is pretty low in lactose, although not as low as ghee, which has virtually zero. when I make ghee, enough milk solids come out of there that I could see someone reacting to that amount that butter has. Maybe it's just that the coconut oil MCTs are handled better.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on April 21, 2011
at 01:14 PM

While I totally disagree with this statement (sources, experience ?) no "downvote and run".

045d514991fa6d0a9247e8950a1831dc

(30)

on April 21, 2011
at 04:58 AM

He asks about tallow and butter specifically, butter does not have significant amounts of lactose, why should it be a issue for just being dairy fat? Just curious.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on April 21, 2011
at 03:16 AM

Thanks a lot. I already consume in small quantities the mentioned fats, I just don't make them a big part of my diet because of their high Omega-6 content.

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4 Answers

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1
Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on April 21, 2011
at 04:35 AM

Not sure why the dairy is having that effect on you, but my first thought is that your body doesn't know what to do with it, and more specifically, you're probably short on the necessary gut flora to digest the dairy fat. If you really want to be able to do dairy, you might want to try building up more diverse bacteria. I can't say that it will surely be effective. Some people have had success doing that, but others say no matter what they try, they can never digest dairy. Every night when I go to bed, a shed a wee little tear just thinking about it. Seems so sad to me, since I love good pure dairy and do quite well on it.

As for the coconut oil fats, you likely digest that more easily due to the same reason that people without a gallbladder can. It's because they are MCTs, and although it's still a saturated fat, it's metabolized differently.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on April 21, 2011
at 02:32 PM

Paul Jaminent suggested it might be a gallbladder issue or insufficient bile production which would explain why I seem to only handle coconut oil with no issues.

045d514991fa6d0a9247e8950a1831dc

(30)

on April 21, 2011
at 04:58 AM

He asks about tallow and butter specifically, butter does not have significant amounts of lactose, why should it be a issue for just being dairy fat? Just curious.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on April 21, 2011
at 02:29 PM

it's a very *slight* possibility that if the tallow was from grain fed cows that you could have a reaction to it, if you are very intolerant of gluten. It seems like a real stretch though, since usually people who have trouble with beef are allergic to the proteins in the meat, not really the fats. Anyway... just thought I'd throw that out there for ya...

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on April 21, 2011
at 02:54 PM

Right. If your gallbladder if not sufficiently secreting enough bile acid then it may be a problem. Also, strange as it sounds, the opposite is true. If your gallbladder is not regulating correctly and dumping too much bile acid, it can cause diarrhea. This is usually what happens to someone who had their's removed. Bile dumping = bathroom problems. There are some things you can take to experiement. But this may be something that you want to see a doc about so he/she can correctly determine what's going on.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on April 21, 2011
at 02:21 PM

as for the tallow, I have no clue. That's just beef fat. butter is pretty low in lactose, although not as low as ghee, which has virtually zero. when I make ghee, enough milk solids come out of there that I could see someone reacting to that amount that butter has. Maybe it's just that the coconut oil MCTs are handled better.

2
8f87a7b5497ad1dae9880f40bcbbc4b8

on June 18, 2011
at 11:58 AM

I knew (lived with them as a roommate) someone who inherently have difficulties digesting animal fats. The intestines themselves were damaged. That would include ANY type of animal anything; milk, meats, soups, etc. She had to live with better food/health habits than most people. Like she had to go out for a morning jogs to jump start her digestive system for 30 minutes each day, and if she did eat animal fat (like when someone would serve chicken noodle soup) she had to sooner or later use an enema bag to flush it out. She would be fine with plant-based oil/fats like olive and coconut oil. Sparingly she could have deli meats and cheeses, but that was the only type that she could safely eat. In her case was that her whole family had difficulties eating animal fats, but it was made worse when she had food poisoning in (Italy? No sure, somewhere in Europe.). Food allergies, intolerences, etc., are most like the culprit, but if you have and serious enough food poisoning, it's a possibility. So I just wanted to throw that idea out there.

2
427c8cbb9c2492d74b887fc5cf7a8ce0

on April 21, 2011
at 05:07 AM

Do you eat grass fed meats/butter or grain fed? If you have an issue with grains it is likely to affect you.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on April 21, 2011
at 02:33 PM

All my food is grassfed/finished.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on April 21, 2011
at 02:22 PM

Ikco, you shouldn't disagree too strongly. Some people who are highly sensitive to grain (gluten intolerant) cannot eat grain fed beef. I know someone personally who gets a terrible reaction from beef.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on April 21, 2011
at 01:14 PM

While I totally disagree with this statement (sources, experience ?) no "downvote and run".

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on April 23, 2011
at 11:24 AM

Jack, there are also some people who can't eat any beef. Grass fed or grain fed. Are you suggesting people with celiac disease have problem with grain fed beef ? If so, anything beyond n=1 ?

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on April 22, 2011
at 07:52 AM

Jack, there are also some people who can't eat any beef. Grass fed or grain fed. Are you suggesting people with celiac disease a have problem with grain fed beef ?

1
072488956ded3163ca0344ae2fb06cf9

(130)

on April 21, 2011
at 03:11 AM

I'm not sure why the BMs are going that way for you but one thing I would recommend is having more variety with your fat intake. Nuts, avacado, olive oil...rather than just coconut oil. Just a thought and I hope it helps.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on April 21, 2011
at 03:16 AM

Thanks a lot. I already consume in small quantities the mentioned fats, I just don't make them a big part of my diet because of their high Omega-6 content.

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