Rebuilding Gut Flora

26 January 2019


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FODMAPs are short chain carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed in the small intestine, and continue to the colon where they are fermented. They can produce discomfort in some people due to the gases that are produced through the fermentation process. FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols. In patients with healthy gut function, many of these FODMAPs are beneficial, and help the growth of healthy gut microbes. In patients with digestive disorders and an imbalance in gut bacteria, they can make symptoms worse.

This website has a good list of foods that are considered FODMAPs.

The FODMAP diet is a diet that removes or minimises the foods that will cause excessive discomfort in the colon for some people. It’s often tried for people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). The idea is that if you remove certain foods that ferments strongly and produce a lot of gas in the colon, you can reduce the discomfort. This diet is more popular and more mainstream than diets such as the GAPS diet, and it’s easier to stick with than GAPS for most people.

Many fruits with high levels of fructose are considered FODMAPs.It’s important to remember that high amounts of fructose from fruits and drinks cause an imbalance in gut bacteria in almost everyone, even those that don’t have IBS.If too much fructose is consumed, the small intestine won’t absorb all of the fructose, and some will continue to the colon where it’s fermented.They tend to feed yeasts and unwanted bacteria more than the wanted bacteria.

The FODMAP diet will have some long term benefits, but it won’t be as effective at removing harmful bacteria long term as the GAPS diet.

I agree with the removal of FODMAPs to remove unwanted microbes, but in my opinion, appropriate antimicrobials should be added.