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Does Fiber Really Prevent Diverticulosis?


“Does Fiber Really Prevent Diverticulosis?” A study out of the University
of North Carolina found no association between
dietary fiber intake and diverticulosis in comparing the group that
ate the highest amount, 25 grams, three times the amount
of the lowest fiber intake group. They concluded that a low fiber diet
is not associated with diverticulosis. The university sent out
a press release: “Diets high in fiber won’t protect
against diverticulosis.” The press picked it up. “Study finds high fiber diet may
not protect against diverticulosis.” Went all over the Paleo blogs,
and even medical journals: an important paper
calling into question the fiber theory of the
development of diverticulosis. Other editorials, though,
caught the critical flaw. To understand this, let’s turn to another
dietary deficiency disease, scurvy. Medical experiments on prisoners
in Iowa State Penitentiary showed that clinical signs of scurvy start
appearing just 29 days without vitamin C. Experiments on pacifists during
World War II showed the same thing, that it takes about 10 mg of vitamin C
a day to prevent scurvy. So imagine going back
in time a few centuries, when they were still
trying to figure scurvy out. Dr. James Linde had this radical theory
that citrus fruits could cure scurvy. What if an experiment was designed
to test this crazy theory, in which sailors were given the juice of either one wedge of lemon,
or three wedges of lemons a day. If a month later on the high seas there
was no difference in scurvy rates, one might see headlines like this. The printing press pamphleteers
would all be touting the study that found that a low vitamin C diet
is not associated with scurvy. See, a wedge of lemon only
yields about 2mg of vitamin C, and it takes 10 to prevent scurvy. So they would have been comparing
2mg a day to like three times that, 7mg — one vitamin C deficiency dose versus
another vitamin C deficiency dose. No wonder there would be
no difference in scurvy rates. We evolved eating so many plants that
we likely averaged around 600mg of vitamin C a day. That’s what our bodies are
biologically used to getting. What about fiber? How much fiber are
we used to getting? Over a hundred grams a day. The highest fiber intake group
in the North Carolina study was only eating 25, which is less
than the minimum recommended daily allowance, which
is about 32 grams. They didn’t even make the minimum. So they compared one fiber deficient
diet to another fiber deficient diet. No wonder there was no difference
in diverticulosis rates. The African populations, where they
had essentially no diverticulosis, ate diets consisting in part of
large platefuls of leafy vegetables, similar perhaps to what we were
eating a few million years ago. They were eating plant-based diets
containing 70 to 90 grams of fiber a day. Most vegetarians don’t
even eat that many whole plant foods,
though some do. At least they hit the minimum mark, and
had less diverticulosis to show for it. This was a relatively
small study though. 35 years later, 47,000
people were studied, confirming that consuming a vegetarian diet and a high intake of dietary fiber were both associated with a lower risk
of both hospitalization and death from diverticular disease. And they
had enough people to tease it out. Compared to those eating a
single serving of meat a day or more, those that had less than half a serving
appeared to have a 16% lower risk; pescetarians – no meat except
some fish – down 23%, though neither statistically significant. But eating vegetarian
was: 35% lower risk. And those eating strictly plant-based
appeared to be at 78% lower risk. As with all lifestyle interventions,
it only works if you do it. High fiber diets only work
if they’re actually high fiber.

47 thoughts on “Does Fiber Really Prevent Diverticulosis?

  1. Bashing away all the scams! 🙂 The healthy vegan movement is unstopable with doctors like you 🙂 thank you a lot!

  2. Hilarious how these retarded "studies" always make the headlines. 

    It's almost as though retarded meat eaters are looking for excuses to justify their harmful habit. Smoking used to be good for people's lungs, remember?

    And just like smoking, eventually the truth is going to come out.

  3. As soon as I heard 25g of fiber being the "high fiber" group I didn't need to hear the rest. How does science like this even get funding? This is why the general population is so confused.

  4. Seems like there is a pattern here. Just like how the low fat groups in studies always get like 30% or even more daily fat calories. Seems like people need to re-evaluate what they consider high and low.

  5. lol I live in north Carolina and I get 25 grams of fiber first meal I eat (banana/berry smoothie).
     become high carb low fat whole foods vegan n end diverticulosis

  6. Brilliant! Or, as another example of false conclusions, many people say to me: Well, my grandfather used to eat bacon and drink brandy (rakia) and smoked every day and lived 90 years. But they forget to realize, I reply to them, that their grandfather drank water we never even tasted, for 40 years from his birth, and for his first 40 years or so ate so natural food we never even saw in our whole lives, and never ate any junk food in his life, and never had such sick sensations we are experiencing from our youth, and never watched crappy TV program, so he has a vey big credit indeed…

  7. And then they say that vegans nit pick their studies…. No retards, we actually search for the actual truth instead of finding the ones that draw hasty broad conclusions like the ones you use as "arguments".

  8. Talking about vitamin C here, Is this why when I take like 3 oranges, a kiwi and a nectarine along with oats in the morning, I feel amazing? Can someone tell me what the daily recommendation actually mean. Because only with like an orange and a kiwi, you're pretty much at 100% already.

  9. Although, being a cynic, I kind of expected this shadiness on the part of researchers, I'm still indignant.  What the bloody Walter?!

  10. man I've grown up eating crappy foods, I still do, I want to become vegetarian but its so hard as iv ate meat all my life, anyone got any advice on how to become vegetarian

  11. Do you know that most of the scientific conclusions like this one is "paid" ? And then that paid research is thrown to media. Its all about business. Thank you Doc for clarifying this. You are always awesome!! Fiber is extremely important part of the meal. Stay Vegan guys !!! 🙂

  12. This studies won't stop as long the people funding this studies stop doing so, which will be never. 
    Great video. I'm a about to become a nutritionist and I was wondering if you could do a video about high uric acid non-related to high protein intake, that'd be really helpful. Thanks for the great work.

  13. Wow, now this is a game changer! I didn't even know this information. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge!

  14. It would be good to see how much filbre we should be eating, what does it look like? and why do some people have trouble with it?! (me)

  15. even the carbs consumed in Africa and Asia are of much higher quality than in developed nations as far as fiber is concerned.  there is just no comparison of wholesome cooking bananas, sweet potatoes, millets, versus your crappy sugary cereals, fructose, and white bread

  16. I've been looking for an explanation for the strange but very serious stomach-pain my mother sometimes experiences and that somehow no doctor found the reason for.
    When I saw the video about reflux and stomach-deformation, I already guessed that the very same thing should also be causing something similar unhealthy within the gut.
    So I was assuming that a condition where the bowels are deformed probably also exists without knowing that it actually does!

    I somehow feel honoured by that.

    I told my mother about it back then but without a name for the disease I wasn't convincing.

    Now that I know that what I described back then not only exists but even has a medical name, and is correlated to the exact same thing that I assumed back then, I'll tell her again!

    This madness of having to kill animals just to fuel your own ailments must stop!

  17. This is exactly what I have been trying to tell my co workers.  They hear one number associated with being normal and they think thats the bar.   When everyone around you has an IQ of 50, the one with an IQ of 80 is a Genius"

  18. What about that study that found no benefit to fiber consumption?

    Watch below or click the link to watch on NutritionFacts.org: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/does-fiber-really-prevent-diverticulosis/

  19. BEWARE This is DANGEROUS MISINFORMATION The truth is that fiber can cause diverticulitis b/c it scratches the delicate lining of the colon.. The real cause of the disease is GLUTEN.. I wouldn't expect any less from Greger who is a shill for the wheat industry after all, allegedly : |

  20. Colonoscopy's cause diverticulosis.

    Show me a man who has diverticulitis who doesn't hasn't had a colonoscopy… please, Ill wait.

  21. I'm a physician. I'm not saying that Fiber is BAD-but we shouldn't be simplistic, Either.
    1. In Asia (not sure about Africa) folks are predisposed to getting right-sided
    Diverticulosis. That isn't as Bad in the first place, since waste moves from right to left in
    your Colon.

    2. The patients who get Diverticulosis young have lifestyle problems distinct from low
    fiber. They tend to be smokers, sometimes heavy drinkers, and, in earlier times, used
    Aspirin for hangovers and other pain. Desi Arnez was one such famous sufferer who
    was afflicted in his younger years.

    3. Similar to #2-there are both healthy and unhealthy behaviors that affect you. The
    pigment that makes red meat red may be associated with most of the problems with
    it. Red meat causes/worsens flareups. White meat and fish do not.

    4. As above, the oils in fish are anti-inflammatory.

    5. Obesity and a Sedentary Diet are associated with Diverticulosis, Too.

    For folks with Diverticulosis, who are prone to Diverticulitis attacks, I would advise Soluble Fiber and Miralax. Insoluble Fiber, like Bran Muffins, can stop them up GOOD. I've seen this happen!

    6. Diverticulosis was NOT commonly seen before the Twentieth Century. Greater
    Longevity is undoubtedly one reason for this (and, it also applies to most other chronic
    diseases, such as Heart Disease, Cancer and Dementia.) But-our diets HAVE changed
    since that time. Less Fiber?? MAYBE. They didn't separate out the germ from the bran
    when they made bread. But-our ancestors ate PLENTY of Bacon and eggs, game meat,
    etc. BUT-there was also less added sugar, and flour was not Bleached. Our ancestors
    were also generally not sedentary nor obese.

    7. The "Hygiene Hypothesis." Hey-I'm grateful, that in First World America, there's no more
    typhoid or cholera in the water supply. It was a Major cause of sickness and Death. But-
    it ALSO meant that kids got a "Live Polio Vaccine" without going to the Pediatrician.
    Polio only started to become a problem-and a BIG one at that-from about 1920 until
    1955 when the Salk vaccine finally came out.

    There also is a school of thought that hole-in-the-ground squatting toilets prevent Diverticulosis, but I am not so sure. The Anti-fiber people point out that the Masai of Africa who eat meat, and drink milk and cow blood, and FEW plants, are exceptionally healthy and don't get Diverticulosis, either.

  22. Fiber MAY help.
    I work in endoscopy, see so many intestinal tracts, and everyone is different w/ or w/out high fiber. Some of the most ill and obese have not even 1 polyp. It really surprises me. Some others more health cautious and active have the worst issues. I always ask about what they eat in a day.
    This topic in diverticulosis is fascinating. This is my experience, my specialty and I do maintain plant based lifestyle so no disrespect to Dr Greger on Divertics.

  23. Great work clarifying the need for sufficiently high fiber intake. But does the success of the vegan group versus the vegetarian group show that the added fats and possibly casein protein also make it harder for the intestines to move food along effectively, leading to more diverticulosis?

  24. I hoped my mom wouldn't have another flare up but expected it since she didn't go vegan with me. I just sent this and the last one to her, thank you so much 🙂 here's hoping she finally listens to me

  25. The question is : how misleading studies like these even get published in prestigious medical journals, isn't the process of peer review's goal is to detect such flaws?
    Studies like these can have dangerous chain reaction effect ,as other physicians may reference and rely on them,leading to more misleading studies based on false and shaky bases, making them misleading to the professionals as well as the public.

  26. My [sadly deceased, 83-year-old] roommate never made the fiber connection and was always amazed that I was never constipated. Considering that he smoked for over 50 years of his life—quit just in time to be diagnosed with lung cancer—he was an amazing study in "what not to do and still survive."

  27. While debating someone who follows a carnivore diet I was presented with this study on the dangers of fiber in the diet. As well as the very insignificant benefit it provides. Anyone care to take a swing at critiquing or debunking it? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4250613/

  28. Burkitt's fiber theory was disproved, both for diverticulosis and colorectal cancer. The reason – contrary to this video – is that the African natives he studied squatted for defecation. That is why they don't get "western" GI diseases. Diet has little or nothing to do with it. See this site for more information: http://www.naturesplatform.com/health_benefits.html. By the way, genuine squatting (not the bogus squatty potty method) is essential to get the full benefits.

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