One of the refreshing things about our community here and in our blog-lists is, nobody thinks it's "gross" or weird to talk about poo. Naturally, when we were kids, it was considered a not-nice subject, but when we grow up it should be just looked on as another aspect of life, without an "ewww factor" ... however, to many adults it still has that. Television advertisements for products wanting to cash in on the "elimination problem" market tend to talk about it in coy terms that remind me a bit of "Keeping Up Appearances".... [evil grin]
Wooo's recent blog-resurrection, interestingly enough, mentions her trial of a new probiotic product at just the time i was looking into what i can do about that famous side-effect of magnesium supplementation. When one has loose stools long enough, one's microbiome becomes depleted, so i wanted to do a little replenishing of my supplies. The last brand i tried, featuring a popular-in-Japan variety of clostridium, just didn't impress me, so i started reading about her experience with Elixa, and other stars in the market.
Inspired by her historic experiences, Wooo has some interesting hypotheses concerning gut-bugs -- she finds that she has less bloating and discomfort when using substances which "sanitize" her innards, like vinegar, bleach, coconut oil, antiparasitics, and metformin. This is directly in opposition to the claims of many in the ancestral-health world. She IS a fan of fibrous vegetables, so it's not like she is a ZCer who doesn't need bacteria that break down cellulose. The probiotic she recently tried caused increased bloating for her, and it touts itself on containing huge quantities of an unusually-broad range of "beneficial" microorganisms.
She has some good points. If "germ-free" mice are lean and healthy, why are we in a rush to populate our colons with a microbiome which our own lean and healthy great-grandparents did not have? And we should not forget about our small intestines, either -- a diet higher in starchy vegetables, which the carb-apologists love, also feeds SIBO, which is not a fun thing.
I believe that the paleo blogosphere jumped into this microbiome thing before enough data was even available. The best sources say that we just don't know enough yet to be claiming some of the things we hear as truth, when it comes to intestinal bacteria. I've said for years, myself, that just because the last hunter-gatherer tribes of Africa have certain gut-bugs we don't, does NOT mean we should rush out and try to procure them -- our lifestyles and food environments are just too different. And just because our healthy friend has other things we don't, doesn't mean we should ask THEM for a specimen, either.
Very often in the health-sphere, more is not better. Having "more" can make things tricky -- more variety means more potential complications, and more quantity can take "hormetic" to "toxic" pretty fast. Other adages i like are "start low and go slow," and "less is more."
I picked up a probiotic four days ago with only a few bifidobacteria varieties in it, and my poop quality is improving nicely. Gone is the early-morning urgency i was experiencing even before increasing magnesium. I still have more bloat going on than i like, but ... hey, i eat in restaurants a lot, and you just don't know what goes into a lot of dishes....
There's "poop" of the figurative kind to report, too -- my one-year anniversary of putting a tablespoon of gelatin (or collagen hydrolysate) in my coffee passed without comment last month. Yes, i'm still using it, and yes, i'm still delighted with what it has done for me. As promised in "Nourishing Broth" and many other sources, my hair and nails are very strong and fast-growing. As promised NOWHERE, i swear it's diminishing my grey! In other busy-and-stressful periods of my life, i used to see fountains of silver hairs sprouting from my crown; despite this last year's craziness ... i HAVEN'T. Many causes are proposed for hair-greying, and both carnitine and copper in the diet are included; for years i've been consuming significant quantities of the former, though, with no apparent progress. Over the last year I've admittedly increased the latter through my love-affair with oysters. Do I credit gelatin or oysters, then -- or maybe it's both...?
Skin: i'm not sure. I don't really perceive much difference, if any. Maybe a little less wrinkling? I abstain from expressing an opinion.
When I started gelatin, I noticed right away that my meat-craving was diminished. I've come to believe pretty firmly that our ideal diets should include MUCH more glycine than most of us currently get. For a few years I've had the ambition of simply increasing the frequency of bone-broth-based soups in our menu plans, but I rarely get around to it. Taking that tablespoon of collagen-hydrolysate in my first cup of coffee every morning is something that's MUCH easier to do! I don't have to dissolve it in cold water first, as I did with gelatin. The big green canister from Great Lakes sits beside the coffee-maker with a measuring spoon on top, and the coffee-spoons are right there too. I sometimes put even more in an evening beverage, or in my evening vitamin drink. We've been buying the two-pack from Amazon; maybe buying it by the case, like I do coconut milk, would be better? Hmmm.... ;-)