Dry fasting is a popular way of detoxing and healing the body, but have you ever wondered how it affects the gut microbiome and the bacteria that reside within it? It's an important question that we don't yet have all the answers to.
One thing we do know is that butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid, is crucial for many of the body's cells to produce energy. What's interesting is that certain bacteria in the gut microbiome can actually convert fiber into butyrate. This new understanding of butyrate production is especially relevant when it comes to the carnivore diet, which is gaining in popularity.
Butyrate is a short-chain fatty acid that plays an important role in the human body. It is primarily produced by bacteria in the gut microbiome that ferment fiber. Once produced, butyrate is used by many cells in the body to produce energy. In fact, many cells prefer butyrate to glucose as a source of energy.
Carnivore diet and butyrate
So, how does the carnivore diet fit into this? The carnivore diet, which is gaining in popularity, involves eating only animal-based products like meat, eggs, and hard cheeses, and avoiding fruits and vegetables.
The idea behind this diet is that plant defense chemicals found in fruits and vegetables can exacerbate autoimmune diseases and other health problems. This diet can also lead to a lack of fiber in the diet, which can impact the production of butyrate in the gut. This raises questions about whether the benefits of the carnivore diet outweigh the potential negative impacts on gut health and butyrate production.
This raises an important question: are we negatively affecting our gut microbiome by following the carnivore diet for extended periods of time?
While it's true that starving out sugar and glucose-loving bacteria could potentially help with autoimmune issues and cancer cells, it's also true that losing the ability to digest fiber could have a negative impact on other bodily processes. How long can you fast without completely depleting the microbiome? Can your body maintain good bacteria while getting rid of the bad ones?
Butyrate and microbiome research
Research has shown that certain types of bacteria in the gut microbiome are responsible for converting fiber into butyrate. These bacteria include Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes. However, these bacteria are also sensitive to changes in diet. If fiber is removed from the diet, the populations of these bacteria can decrease, leading to a reduction in butyrate production.
One study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that a diet low in fiber reduced butyrate production and increased inflammation in the gut. Another study published in the journal Gut found that the gut microbiomes of individuals on a long-term vegetarian or vegan diet had higher levels of butyrate-producing bacteria compared to individuals on an omnivorous diet.
Personal Experience with butyrate and long covid
Given my personal experience, I have come to realize that certain bodily processes are reliant on the production of butyrate, and it's essential to preserve the bacteria that produce it. The gut microbiome goes through a process of trimming, much like a lawnmower cuts grass in a lawn, over shorter periods of time. While the majority of the bacteria can go into a dormant state if the levels drop, I wonder if spending extended periods without fiber could lead to their eventual death.
When dealing with chronic headaches during my bout with Long Covid, I found that taking Butyrate supplements made a significant difference. Intrigued, I started researching the potential benefits of Butyrate for the body and found that it plays a crucial role in various cellular and energy processes.
Some people claim that extended dry fasting (up to 15 days or more) can cure deep-seated diseases like Lyme's disease and herpes virus. However, the question remains: does it destroy all the good bacteria in the gut as well? If the microbiome is indeed destroyed, then fecal transplants may be the only way to repopulate the gut with good bacteria.
The truth is, the answer to these questions is complicated. There's no doubt that dry fasting heals the most absurd and complicated diseases. There's no doubt that the carnivore diet is a powerful tool for sugar reduction, lowering inflammation, and muscle growth.
While there is some evidence to suggest that eliminating sugar from our diets can be beneficial for longevity, it's important to remember that our bodies have evolved to handle a variety of different foods. Eliminating entire food groups, like fruits and vegetables, may not be the best long-term solution for our health.
At the end of the day, the most important thing is to make logical and informed decisions based on the available research. Lowering our sugar consumption is important, but eliminating it completely may not be the answer.
Our gut instinct has evolved over millions of years, and we should pay attention to it. While we may never fully understand the intricacies of the human body, it's important to keep asking questions and exploring new research. In particular, studying the effect of the gut microbiome on butyrate production is a promising area of research that could shed light on the benefits and drawbacks of different diets.
- Dry fasting and microbiome:
- “Dry Fasting: The Complete Guide to Benefits and Dangers,” Healthline, October 2021, https://www.healthline.com/health/dry-fasting
- “Dry Fasting: Benefits, Risks, and How to Do It,” WebMD, August 2021, https://www.webmd.com/diet/dry-fasting
- “Gut Microbiota: A Potential Therapeutic Target for Management of Non-communicable Diseases,” Indian Journal of Microbiology, June 2018, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5987212/
- Butyrate production and fiber:
- “Butyrate Production in the Colon,” Physiological Reviews, October 2017, https://www.physiology.org/doi/abs/10.1152/physrev.00067.2016
- “Dietary Fiber and Butyrate: Implications for Energy Homeostasis and Obesity,” Journal of Nutrition, June 2015, https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/145/3/250/4585619
- “Butyrate-Producing Bacteria: Roles in Health and Disease,” Current Opinion in Microbiology, June 2017, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5558497/
- Carnivore diet and gut microbiome:
- “The Carnivore Diet: Is Eating Only Meat Healthy, or Totally Unbalanced?,” Healthline, February 2021, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/carnivore-diet
- “The Gut Microbiome and Health,” Harvard Health Publishing, September 2021, https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-gut-microbiome-and-health
- “Gut Microbiome Composition is Linked to Whole Grain-Induced Immunological Improvements,” The ISME Journal, April 2020, https://www.nature.com/articles/s41396-020-0643-3