Not Everyone Needs Probiotics, Suggests Study of Hunter-Gatherer Guts

    This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to our Cookie Policy.

    Welcome to our Australian Low Carb Forums. Join us for free support, information and recipes to help you with your low carb diet. We're a friendly bunch so please register and join in the fray, but most of all have fun! If you like us please share and spread the love!

    • Not Everyone Needs Probiotics, Suggests Study of Hunter-Gatherer Guts

      Very interesting read about their findings and comparisons with the guts of hunter gatherers and western people. If only they could examine the guts of various cultures as well as various societies within each culture to get a better picture of what our gut bacteria actually means!

      Not Everyone Needs Probiotics, Suggests Study of Hunter-Gatherer Guts

      After taking an antibiotic or catching an intestinal bug, many of us belt down probiotic drinks to restore the “natural balance” of organisms in our intestines. Probiotics are one of the fastest growing products in the food industry, now added to yogurts, drinks, and baby food. Yet, not everyone needs them to stay healthy. A new study of the gut bacteria of hunter-gatherers in Africa has found that they completely lack a bacterium that is a key ingredient in most probiotic foods and considered healthy. What’s more, the Hadza don’t suffer from colon cancer, colitis, Crohn’s, or other diseases of the colon that are found in humans eating modern diets in Western nations.

      Read the rest here on Sciencemag
    • Sherrie, I think that could well be true for people not eating much plant matter. Barry Groves wrote about this in his book, Trick and Treat. He put similar information at his site, Second Opinions. Here is the article, which he humorously named The Best Detox Diet.

      Here is an excerpt:


      The digestive systems of carnivorous and herbivorous animals operate in quite different ways: the former is specifically designed to digest animal proteins and fats, while the latter is constructed to process plant materials. Whereas the bacterial fermentation of plant starches and fibre, with the production and absorption of short-chain fatty acids, contributes between 60% and 90% of all the energy requirements in plant-eating animals, the colonic fermentation in humans is of minor importance for nutrition, with less than 10% of the energy requirements available from colonic digestion of starch, fibre and protein not absorbed in the small bowel, if the intestine has a normal length and function.

      When plant materials enter our digestive system, the cellulose of which plant cell walls are made, which constitute a large proportion of the plant and which we cannot digest, passes through the stomach and small intestine to end up in the colon (large intestine) in an undigested state. Other carbohydrates, even though they have been processed to some extent, will also end up in the colon.

      What happens to them is of considerable importance. Together with the food we eat, the saliva we swallow, the mucus from our noses that we swallow when we sniff, are myriads of bacteria. The vast majority of these will be killed by the strong hydrochloric acid in the stomach and the juices of the small intestine. But a few will inevitably escape and end up in the colon. If the climate there is to their taste, they will take up residence and start families. If it isn't, they pass out in our excreta.

      The bacterial flora living in the intestines of herbivores and carnivores are quite different from each other.[1] The digestive process of a herbivore is continued in the colon by a process of bacterial fermentation. It is a vital part of a herbivore's digestive system, designed to get the most out of what is a pretty poor source of nutrition. But no useful digestion takes place in a our colon. All our digestion has taken place in the small intestine and our digestion is close to 100% efficient when we eat foods of animal origin. So what is left is only a small amount of pure (if that is the right word) waste.

      Within our colons are quite different species of bacteria compared to a herbivore's. Ours are — or should be — proteolytic (meaning they break down protein) bacteria that live on proteins and fatty acids, breaking them down in a similar way to the proteolytic enzymes that digest proteins in the small intestine. In the colon, these bacteria attack any protein and fat that has escaped digestion and convert these substances into amino acids, glycerine and conglomerates of amino acids called proteoses and peptides — exactly the same process as happens further up the gut.

      But these bacteria are also capable of operating on carbohydrates. And when this happens, acid and gas are produced.

      A pure carnivore should eat no plant material, so there should not be any carbohydrate in its colon to support fermentative bacteria.

      With no fermentative bacteria to produce acids, the proteolytic bacteria thrive there in a healthy alkaline environment.

      When I copied the text into this post, the line and paragraph spaces disappeared, --so I, just added a few to make it easier to read.

      I heard a talk on the radio once, by a cattle rancher who raised pastured beef. He spoke of how the intestinal flora of pastured cattle is different than grain-fed. Apparently, the grain fed cattle have inflammation due to the acid-forming diet. I don't remember all the details, but it got me thinking more about our digestive systems. I don't know if he addressed how eating grain-fed and soy-fed beef changes the intestinal flora and digestive systems of humans.
      LCHF Maintenance, Goal: Health First.
      Daily averages of 50-60P: 110-130F: 30-35C

      UTC -5 hours