I've got some relatives who say that they can't eat leafy greens because it makes them very gassy. I recall reading some posts from Dr Ayers (Cooling Inflammation blog) describing the problem as one of the microme. Bacteria in our gut need time to adapt to consuming the byproducts of veggie digestion. Does anyone have some good references that I show covering this topic? I'd like some convincing evidence that it exists and possibly some guidelines about what type of diet needs to be maintained for how long for the effects to dissipate.
asked bybalor123 (3747)
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on May 25, 2013
at 04:09 AM
Some of the studies on Resistant Starch may be of interest (and hopefully of relevance to your question),
quite a few relate to changes to gut (fecal) bacteria and fermentation (a pubmed search will reveal plenty of results).
This one has has a lot of info;
Resistant Starches Types 2 and 4 Have Differential Effects on the Composition of the Fecal Microbiota in Human Subjects,
Have a look at Figure 3 for a quick idea of changes to "human fecal microbiota in response to the consumption of crackers containing RS2, RS4, and native wheat starch (control)".
Here's a study that showed that daily excretion of fecal nitrogen (flatulence) increased during a high RS diet; source ...
....but the good news could be that this is only temporary during an 'adjustment' period;
currently there are a few people commenting over here who are 'supplementing' with unmodified (raw) potato starch (which is very high in RS2).
A few (possibly most?) have experienced increased gassiness/flatulence, but it improves (reduces/normalises) over time. & can possibly be mitigated if the RS2 (unmodified potato starch) is initially introduced in smaller amounts and increased slowly.
on March 12, 2013
at 01:33 PM
I think you're conflating two separate sources of possible stomach pains.
First, it's true, some people don't handle large (or much at all) quantities of leafy greens. This is often explained away as irritation from insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber or "roughage" is harsh on the system, and those with other ailments or with IBS or related issues usually avoid it.
Second, gas can be caused by specific types of fermentable sugars/carbs in various foods that are digested (or not digested) by bacteria in the gut microbiome. Many here, for example, have found success identified foods which trouble them using a FODMAPs type elimination diet (which focuses on fermentable oligosaccharides). For example, I have issues with diary (lactose) and raffinose (broccoli/related and beans), but I can eat most fruits. Others may have issues with fruits, but not dairy. The types of bacteria in the gut can change how we handle these sugars.
Some people, especially those only hurt by lactose, have had some luck supplementing with courses of probiotics. However, many people rely on products like "Lactaid" and "Bean-o" if they want to indulge in these foods.
So, for further study, I would suggest finding research on "trouble with insoluble fiber" as well as "FODMAP" or "fermentable oligosaccharides".