Invest in ME Conference 12: First Class in Every Way
OverTheHills wraps up our series of articles on this year's 12th Invest in ME International Conference (IIMEC12) in London with some reflections on her experience as a patient attending the conference for the first time.
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RHR: Are Vegetarian Diets Better for the Microbiome?

Discussion in 'The Gut: De Meirleir & Maes; H2S; Leaky Gut' started by LivingwithFibro, Jun 13, 2015.

  1. LivingwithFibro

    LivingwithFibro Senior Member

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  2. South

    South Senior Member

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    He mentions that the Average meat eater also is more likely to do certain bad things for the gut: alcohol, white bread, etc - that that's the "average" meat eater, not all meat eaters. Some people who eat meat do'nt consume things like alcohol, white bread, etc - and so the study hasn't controlled only for "eating meat" - Kresser's comments on that seem right on.

    A related point is that being vegetarian doesn't necessarily mean the person eats vegetables. Seems obvious, but think about the effect on the microbiome.

    So the real study that needs to be done is something like "how many ounces of vegetables do you eat per week" and compare that to the gut bug test results, without caring about whether the person eats meat or not.

    Someone who eats a LOT of vegetables, and also eats small amounts of meat, logically isn't ruining the good things all those vegetables are doing for their microbiome. (as long as quantities of the meat aren't high enough to aggravate ammonia or reduce the quantity of vegetables the person consumes, and assuming there isn't some "bad bug" in their gut that thrives on small amounts of meat) Therefore, the fact that there exists any meat at all in the diet doesn't correlate with health of the microbiome, instead, it is the quantity of vegetables eaten that matters.

    I run into people at my job who discuss all sorts of diets they are on, and some vegetarians/vegans seem to live on almond milk and grain cereals, nuts, fruit juice mostly without pulp, and vegan protein powder - no vegetables at all. That doesn't seem like it would support a good microbiome, although it is vegetarian.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2015
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  3. Valentijn

    Valentijn The Diabolic Logic

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    My little cousin claims she's a vegetarian. But she doesn't eat vegetables. So it's a lot of processed grains and cheeses. Basically a diet of mac&cheese and pizza. And she make an exception for hamburgers and bacon o_O

    Anyhow, I think "vegetarian" is too broad and non-specific of a category to draw any useful conclusions about it. I certainly wouldn't say that eating hotdogs all day versus some fish or chicken with brown rice + steamed vegetables is the same diet, even though they could be lumped together as meat-based diets.
     
  4. justy

    justy Senior Member

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    What I don't like about this is that he (Chris) says you cant make assumptions based on these microbiota studies because we don't know what they were eating alongside the meat. But he then goes on to make assumptions, with no evidence about all sorts of other things, like the type of diets that typical vegetarians have, I am a vegetarian and I know A LOT of veggies and in the main they eat somewhat more healthily than the meat eaters I know BUT we veggies do eat a LOT of carbs with our vegetables.
     
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  5. LivingwithFibro

    LivingwithFibro Senior Member

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    Basically the mainstream (and not very well-researched) versions of both of these diets wouldn't be good for the microbiome. It wouldn't be good for anything I guess.

    Also, wouldn't it make a difference on what kind of meat you eat? whether it's conventional (stressed-out animals kept in horrible conditions) or grass-fed pastured raised?
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2015
  6. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Is there any info that would suggest an ideal balance between raw and cooked vegetables in the diet, microbiome-wise? Would microbes be expected to prefer raw vegetables?
     
  7. LivingwithFibro

    LivingwithFibro Senior Member

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    I don't know about what an idea balance would look like but every article that addresses this issue says "Cook them lightly or eat them raw: seed, bud, root, stem, leaf, fruit and flower."

    I think raw is preferred or lightly cooked, blending or any kind of processing changes the structure of the food.

    "From a human dietary perspective, one of the challenges to deriving chemopreventive benefit from cruciferous vegetables is that isothiocynate, the active component that actually imparts the protective benefit, is difficult to access. It exists in the plant as a glucosinolate, which the plant enzyme myrosinase cleaves into isothiocynate. However, myrosinase is active only in raw vegetables. Cooking inactivates it. On the basis of measurements of excreted total isothiocyanates in urine, Shapiro et al. (2001) reported that chewing uncooked broccoli results in much greater recovery of isothiocynates than swallowing unchewed sprouts and that cooking decreases isothiocyanate availability relative to both chewed and unchewed raw broccoli."

    From here.

    I wonder what this means. :D
     
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  8. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Hibernating

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    I've tried various vegan and veg diets, the only thing that made a difference for me: cutting out lactose/milk products.
    My eczema etc is now gone.
     
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  9. LivingwithFibro

    LivingwithFibro Senior Member

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    What do you attribute this difference to? Do you think you are lactose intolerant or it might have been the quality of milk or dairy products? Also, how do you react to fermented milk products?

    Glad you feel better! :D
     
  10. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Hibernating

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    I malabsorb lactose (which I never realised until I had hydrogen breath testing in my 20s for lactose and fructose).

    I react just as badly to fermented milk products such as yoghurt, but I can tolerate some cheeses (I don't like the taste of the mouldy varieties anyway).
     
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  11. South

    South Senior Member

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    Actually I've seen articles and books that recommend cooked vegetables as the majority of the vegetable intake, with a smaller amount of raw for some enzymes, as an ideal.

    And I've seen a lot of real people comments who tried mostly-raw vegetable diets, who after a few weeks reported stools that look like confetti because their guts couldn't break down the tough, uncooked vegetable fiber, no matter how much chewing the person had done.

    Maybe using a Vitamix or similar pureeing machine would take care of that, but for other reasons I do believe that cooked vegetables serve a unique nutritional role that raw vegetables cannot replace by themselves.
     
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  12. LivingwithFibro

    LivingwithFibro Senior Member

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    I was a Raw Vegan in the past and I can totally attest to the comments you have quoted :D

    Good to know! People are going crazy on the Raw bandwagon though and it just made me wonder because I had a Raw Vegan period myself and my problems were far from solved. Cooked vegetables are definitely easier on the stomach at least in my case.
     
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  13. Effi

    Effi Senior Member

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    I tried Raw too, tending towards Raw Vegan for a while. I felt like I was starving my body. My digestion was pretty weak at the time, and I think eating raw is probably the worst thing you can do then. Also there's a big pitfall where you end up eating loads of high sugar fruits and juices.

    I did keep some of it, though. I do feel like adding a raw component to every meal is beneficial and makes me feel less sluggish.

    The theory of the raw movement is that raw food still has all the enzymes and nutrients. But from what I've read and experienced, our bodies can't extract the nutrients from certain vegetables when raw.

    What I'd say is try some different approaches and pick and choose what suits you best. Every body is unique.
     
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  14. LivingwithFibro

    LivingwithFibro Senior Member

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    It's a very skewed approach, there are no traditional diets around the world which adopt such an approach and exclude the other food groups. I experienced some serious damage (hair loss, mineral imbalances, low bp, cavities, green and white stools and sibo) thanks to the Raw Vegan diet.

    No culture has thrived on a Raw Vegan diet, at least there is no proof of that yet and if there were such communities they probably didn't thrive/survive to tell their story.
     
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  15. Effi

    Effi Senior Member

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    Yeah I think so too, although the raw foodies are VERY convinced of their approach. Probably like anyone who religiously follows one specific diet movement... My dentist cringed when I told him about it! 'What about all the sugar and acid in the fruits?' :D The fact that a lot of Raws move to countries around the equator, cause it's warmer there and there's loads of fresh fruit year round, says it all. Eating nothing but bananas and durians, like a little jungle monkey. :rolleyes:

    Btw, I always thought that prehistoric humans started to advance once they figured out they could cook food. It took less energy to digest, so they had more time for other things.
     
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  16. LivingwithFibro

    LivingwithFibro Senior Member

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    Hahaha, yes...they move to Thailand and Costa Rica and indulge on bananas and dates. Any cavities are blamed on non-organic fruit or detox. Everything is blamed on detox.

    Regarding the warmer climate theory that many raw vegans come forward with: people in Iceland have the longest life expectancy in the world or in Europe (correct me if I am wrong), what do they eat? organ meats, fermented and cured meats, lots of fermented dairy products and cod liver oil... Same with Latvia and Lithuania and the obesity rates are low despite the high fat content dairy products. :)

    Their logic is so flawed.... where do I even begin? I know it all very well because once upon a time I used to say the exact same things and hadn't done my research. Oh and not to mention the only research you do read is one that agrees with your ways. That's it. Confirmation bias.

    I thought prehistoric humans advanced because they lived near the coast and ate a lot of raw fish (lots of omega 3) and their brains grew bigger....or something like that. Saw it a documentary, would love to see any clues regarding this.
     
  17. Effi

    Effi Senior Member

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    It's more like a religion I guess. The thing about it too, is that you can't really have a social life. (Actually I'm housebound, so that was never an issue for me :whistle:) You can't go out, scorn your friends for being unhealthy, and then move across the globe, cause 'humans aren't supposed to live in colder climates'. Hmmm The human body, if you are lucky enough to have strong health, can endure so much for so long. I would like to see these people thrive on nothing but raw for fifty years and then we'll talk.
     
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  18. LivingwithFibro

    LivingwithFibro Senior Member

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    It is a cult :D

    You said it all. Thank you for reminding me of my Raw Vegan days, I'm having a good chuckle at the moment. :D
     
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  19. Effi

    Effi Senior Member

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    I just remembered the research that stated that raw is best because monkeys and other animals only eat plant based raw food. And as we came from monkeys it's only common sense. :rofl: I propose this theory: "eating too many bananas will reverse evolution and turn you back into a monkey!" :lol:
     
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  20. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Hibernating

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    For the record, I do advocate for a vegan diet, for the societal and environmental benefits, but it won't magically cure any health issues. I also don't recommend raw-vegan.
     

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