Fiber, BMF, and some answers to your digestive questions
Hello Everyone...and Happy Hump Day
This is an interesting topic.....it's so important, and so foreign to most people
So...this will be my attempt to bring you all up to speed.
If you have even been on a phone or zoom consultation with me, I say education drives compliance...if you can understand how something works and why you are doing it...it always easier to do it
1st...Let's talk about your colon and why you even have "to go"
It's about 5 feet long (please put that in context)...Your colon, otherwise referred to as your large intestine, stretches from your small intestine to your anus, and The small intestine of the average adult is around 22 feet long
How tall are you? No imagine 5 feet...then 22 feet
Why you even have "to go"?
“Basically, the nutrients and micro-nutrients that keep us alive, like protein, carbs, fats, vitamins, minerals, etc., are absorbed into our bloodstream from the foods we eat, leaving behind the insoluble and non-digested ‘stuff’ that doesn't get absorbed. That ‘stuff’ has to be eliminated.”
In addition to being a natural process, "going" and your bowel movement habits reflect overall health
100 Trillion Microbes Live in Your Colon
Our colons are host to countless numbers of microorganisms known as microbiota or gut flora. The majority of these organisms are bacteria. The identification of the role of the microbiota has led to the popularity of the use of probiotics as supplements and food additives to enhance digestive health and immune functioning
Many people believe that they have emptied out their colons after multiple bouts of diarrhea or that they can keep their colon empty by avoiding food. However, since stool is made up in large part of bacteria, fecal matter is continuously being
In addition to bacteria, stool is made up of liquid, undigested food, dietary fiber, fat, minerals, and protein
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU "GO"?
Many people believe that the food that they eat comes out in the next bowel movement. It actually can take quite some time for food to make its way through the entire length of your digestive system.
This length of time is known as transit time...Factors that affect transit time include race, sex, typical diet, and amount of physical activity
This slide highlights studies finding that normal, healthy BMF in the general population ranges from 3 times per week to 3 times per day [4,5].
The final study on this slide reported that subjects consuming a weight-maintaining, high-fruit, vegetable, & nut diet (averaging 141 g fiber & 2577 kcal/day) resulted in a group average fecal output of 0.9 kg/day . Fecal output among men was over 1 kg/day. Note that this is an example of an extremely high fiber intake (& its epic fecal-bulking effect). The generally recommended fiber intake is appx 14 g/1000 kcal .
This slide highlights studies reporting that a BMF of more than once a day was positively correlated with a range of adverse health outcomes including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and diverticulitis [1-3]. It's important to consider the limitations of this research,
including its observational nature (it can't demonstrate causation), self-reported BMFs, and a lack of control of variables such as total energy intake, laxative use, and other medications that might impact BMF.
As long as everything is working well, you probably don’t give much thought to your digestive system and its main component, the digestive tract, or gut.
From beginning to end, your gut plays a key role in your health and it’s the source of many unexpected and fascinating tidbits of human biology.
The stomach begins the digestion process by churning food and breaking it down using digestive acids. This is referred to as mechanical digestion. Then, the small intestine does most of the work of digestion using enzymes and absorbing nutrients for the body to use, then the large intestine
turns liquid waste into solid stool. The large intestine is also responsible for absorbing remaining nutrients and water the body needs
Now...let's talk FIBER
The generally recommended fiber intake is appx 14 g/1000 kcal
A diet high in fiber has repeatedly shown benefits in preventing colon cancer. Contrary to what many people think, soluble fiber can be used for treatment of diarrhea as well as constipation. The only drawback to eating "too much fiber" is that it can cause gas. This can
usually be overcome by drinking plenty of water along with it.
William Chey, MD, gastroenterologist:
Fiber helps to regulate water content in the stool. If stool is too dry, fiber tends to retain fluid and soften stool. If stool is too runny, fiber can absorb water and add form to the stool. Taking additional fiber can also impact of blood
cholesterol levels. The typical western diet contains [too little] fiber per day. To improve constipation-related symptoms, people should consume 20 to 25 grams of fiber per day.
==>>>Eating too much fiber can lead to problems with cramping, bloating, diarrhea, or constipation. When starting fiber, it is best to "start low and go slow." Increasing the amount of fiber in your diet
too quickly (days as opposed to weeks) can lead to the development of unwanted side effects.
Now...How much is in there?
Personal bowel habits notwithstanding, on average, both men and women move their bowels about once per day and produce a daily average of 14 to 17 ounces (400 to 500 grams) of feces...Now if healthy Bowel Movement Frequency in the general population healthy Bowel Movement Frequency in the general population ranges from 3 times per week to 3 times per day
You can do the math
What you eat is the main factor in the consistency and frequency of your stool. The amount of fiber and water in your diet, as well as whether you’re eating greasy or fried foods, can dramatically affect how often you visit the toilet.
Travel, hormonal shifts, medications and multivitamins, and your activity level also affect your bowel habits. The appearance and experience of your bowel movements can vary from day to day and also change as you age.
Does exercise play a role in your Bowel Movement?
Lack of activity, especially exercise, is one of the main factors that lead to constipation.
Exercise which increases both heart and breathing rates, causes natural movement of the intestines and makes passing stools quicker and easier
Exercise helps constipation by lowering the time it takes food to move through the large intestine.
Does Stress affect your bowel movements?
Your bowel movements can be affected by stress that you experience during the day. Everyone has stress that is unavoidable in their lives, but when it is excessive, it can lead to problems with diarrhea and constipation as well as nausea and vomiting...Other factors important in reducing
stress include getting enough restful sleep
I know that's a lot...and I have more
But the point I want to drive home...is stop thinking that because it's something that happens so naturally, or at least it supposed to...that you can fix it with a one time probiotic, or a pill...
If your digestion is messed up...and you are an adult...it didn't happen last week...you have been working on this for years...
And that is just Bowel Movement
Wait till you get that:
There are 10x the number of microbial cells in the human gut than in the whole human body, totaling roughly 100 trillion microbes representing as many as 5,000 different species and weighing approximately 2 kilograms
Your genes are outnumbered – The genes found in your gut microbiome outnumber your human genes 150 to 1
Your gut isn't the same one you were born with – In fact, you weren't born with much of a gut microbiome at all. Over the first seven years of your life, you developed your microbiome which was impacted by how you were born, where you lived, the food you ate, and much more.
Your gut microbiome is like your second brain – The gut microbiome is called your second brain because it affects your mood, happiness, motivation, and even can contribute to suboptimal neurological performance later in life.  Your microbes actually produce about 90% of serotonin or your "happiness neurotransmitter."