Episode 160: PaleoFX

On today’s show, the CEO of PaleoFX, Michelle Norris, joins us. You’ll learn how and why she got started with Paleo (kicking and screaming the whole way). What the PaleoFX conference is and what attendees can expect from the upcoming event in Austin, Texas. She also fields questions about the future of Paleo and any risks or challenges for the community that she sees coming down the road. Also in this episode, experience a somewhat different format and discover the future lineup of guests, including Dr. John McDougall, next time on Episode 161. In the After the Bell segment, we have a PaleoFX presentation by Dr. Rhonda Patrick.

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Episode 161: Forrest

In this very special and personal episode of Latest in Paleo, you’ll be immersed into the story of two births, my children Lucy Namaste and Benjamin Forrest. This episode features actual audio recording from the NICU, operating room, and other intimate moments.

You’ll also catch previews of upcoming episodes featuring Dr. John McDougall, former pro soccer athlete Yuri Elkaim, Dan Pardi of Dan’s Plan, and author Clark Strand. So, join me at the crossroads and tune in to Episode 161.

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Episode 162: Dr. John McDougall

On this episode, Dr. John McDougall takes us on a near-50-year journey as a doctor, educator, and even a 15-year stretch as a radio talk show host. He explains his dietary positions, and why he believes the human diet should be based on starch. While Dr. McDougall doesn’t consider himself a vegan, he recommends no meat in the diet and explains why (his answer may surprise you). Dr. McDougall also holds strong opinions with regard to medical screenings, and he discusses these views as well. Listen in for an audio experience I hope you’ll enjoy.

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The Problem With the Low-FODMAP Diet

The low-FODMAP diet is very popular among people with gastrointestinal illnesses, especially Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)—an extremely common condition in today’s society. If you tell your gastroenterologist or dietitian that you suffer from IBS, chances are they’ll recommend a diet that’s low in fermentable oligo-, di-, and mono-saccharides and polyols (FODMAPs).

One of the primary reasons for this diet’s popularity, both among patients and clinicians, is that a solid body of clinical research supports its efficacy. Few diets have been subjected to as much scientific scrutiny as the low-FODMAP diet. Several clinical trials have examined its therapeutic potential, since it was specifically developed for the management and treatment of gastrointestinal illness. These studies’ results indicate that the low-FODMAP diet effectively reduces gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea and bloating in patients with IBS, and may be useful in the treatment of organic gastrointestinal disorders such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).5,7,8,15

Many people assume, after reading the results of these studies, that patients with gastrointestinal illnesses such as IBS should follow a low-FODMAP diet for an extended period, or even indefinitely. In today’s article, I’ll explain why this assumption can be problematic.

The Big Picture: An Overview of the Problem

It’s a huge mistake to base our understanding of nutrition and health solely on the results of clinical trials, meta-analyses, and other similar studies. These types of studies are undoubtedly informative; however, they only offer us part of the picture. Before we dig into the depths of PubMed, we must ensure that we are equipped with the knowledge and tools we need to make sense of the wealth of information therein. Most importantly, we need to understand the biological mechanisms underpinning the condition we’re researching.

The foods that we eat contain a broad range of nutrients, which are each digested in a specific manner and location within our GI tracts. Fats, proteins, simple sugars, and starches are primarily digested in the upper portion (the mouth, stomach, and small intestine), whereas oligosaccharides and non-starch polysaccharides are primarily digested in the large bowel (the colon). However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, in lactose-intolerant individuals, lactose may pass undigested through the small bowel and undergo microbial fermentation in the colon.  Moreover, some nutrients may be exposed to digestive enzymes in both the lower and upper parts of the gastrointestinal tract. However, in general, the aforementioned principle holds true, and it figures critically in the therapeutic value and optimal application of a low-FODMAP approach.

The low-FODMAP diet is a contradictory diet. It doesn’t exclude non-starch polysaccharides, although they pass undigested through the upper gut; yet it does exclude fructose and lactose, which many people’s small intestines absorb quite effectively. It is easy to be skeptical of such a carbohydrate-classification system.

That said, in general, the nutrients excluded from the low-FODMAP diet belong to the latter category of the above: carbohydrates that pass through the small intestine largely undigested. The human genome lacks genes that code for the digestive enzymes necessary to break down these carbohydrates; hence, our microbiota do the job for us. Gut microbes love FODMAPs.

FODMAPs are ubiquitous; they appear in a broad range of different plant foods. Hence, they have been a part of the human diet for millions of years. Actually, our ancient ancestors ate many more fermentable carbohydrates than most contemporary humans do.10,13 Some ancient peoples may have consumed as much as 135 grams of inulin-type fructans every day.12 Contemporary African hunter-gatherers, such as the Hadza, are also known to consume a lot of fermentable carbohydrates.14,19

We cannot assume a significant proportion of the human population has suddenly lost the ability to properly digest fermentable carbohydrates. There must be some other mechanism at work here, to cause such rampant dysfunction.

Getting to the Root of the Problem

Over the past few decades, it has become increasingly clear that gut dysbiosis—an imbalance in the gut microbiome—is central to the pathophysiology of many health conditions. Virtually all of the gastrointestinal problems that affect Homo sapiens have been linked with gut dysbiosis.12,18 Patients with IBS, the condition most often treated with the low-FODMAP diet, typically harbor an imbalanced gut microbiome.1,4,9,17 Hence, some researchers have suggested that a better name for the cluster of symptoms comprising IBS would be Dysbiotic Bowel Syndrome (DBS).1 Gut dysbiosis is not the sole factor in IBS, but it’s surely a central component.

Therefore, it shouldn’t be surprising that IBS sufferers have trouble digesting fermentable carbohydrates. We depend on the genetic capabilities of the microbes that dwell deep in our gut to digest the great variety of carbohydrates in our plant foods. By ourselves, we’re only capable of digesting starches and some simple sugars. The rest are handled by our bacteria.

A diverse panoply of genes is required to produce the various enzymes necessary to break down all the carbohydrate types that pass into the large intestine. If the microbial community of the lower gut is undersized and/or imbalanced, digestion will obviously be compromised. Some nutrients that pass into the gut may only be partially digested, lacking the microbes capable of processing them; further, certain pathogenic bacteria, allowed to proliferate in the absence of their beneficial counterparts, could harness these nutrients to produce various toxins. This in turn would promote symptoms of food intolerance, such as bloating, loose stools, and flatulence, which are stereotypical of IBS.

Hence, it becomes apparent why studies show symptom improvement in IBS patients who undertake a low-FODMAP diet. Dramatically reducing fermentable carbohydrate consumption eliminates much of the colonic microbes’ food supply. There’s a big problem, though. Cutting out fermentable carbohydrates keeps gastrointestinal symptoms at bay, but does nothing about the underlying foundations of the condition. It may actually aggravate the problem long-term; when starved of food, the beneficial bacterial strains may wither and die, or they may end up digesting the mucus of the intestinal wall.3,20,21

Snuffing Out the Fire

Instead of trying to tame the fire via a low-FODMAP diet, it seems more productive to extinguish it completely, by fixing the microbial community of the gut. This strategy may not be effective in all IBS and IBD cases; genetic/epigenetic factors leave some patients with a severely inflamed gut that precludes development of a healthy, diverse microbiota; however, it should serve well in many cases.

Indeed, recent evidence shows that gut-microbiota manipulation (e.g. fecal microbiota transplantation, probiotics) is an effective treatment for many gut disorders, including IBS and IBD.1,4,11,16,17 The literature remains unclear as to the best approach for repairing a damaged gut microbiome; however, the science is constantly advancing. As long as we adhere to the evolutionary principles of Darwinian medicine, we should be on safe grounds.

The low-FODMAP diet may be useful during the first stages of treatment for certain gut disorders; however, it doesn’t represent an appropriate long-term intervention, unless repairing the gut microbiome and improving fermentable-carbohydrate tolerance have proven very difficult or impossible.

A diet that limits naturally occurring fermentable carbohydrates is evolutionarily novel; as a species, we have evolved to digest such carbohydrates effectively. The fact that many of us now struggle with this process cannot be explained by genetic change, but rather by shifts within the human microbiome.

A modern lifestyle, saturated with antibiotics, processed foods, and other microbial disruptors, has perturbed our bodies’ microbial communities, making us sick and fragile.6 We’re increasingly becoming allergic to pollen and other substances that are a normal part of our environment, and we’re suddenly struggling to digest nutrients that we’ve consumed for ages.

The solution is not merely to erect barriers to exclude the environmental inputs with which our bodies now struggle. Rather, we must restore our bodies to a fully functional state, so that we’re no longer allergic or intolerant to substances that, evolutionarily, weren’t so problematic. Again, this approach may not work universally; yet it should bear fruit in many cases. Removal of the “offenders” should only be a last resort, after exploring all other avenues.


  1. Benno P, Dahlgren AL, Befrits R, Norin E, Hellstrom PM, Midtvedt T. “From IBS to DBS: The Dysbiotic Bowel Syndrome.” J Investig Med High Impact Case Rep 4 (2016). 2324709616648458.
  1. Cho I, Blaser MJ. “’The Human Microbiome: At the Interface of Health and Disease.”  Nat Rev Genet 13 (2012): 260-70.
  1. Desai MS, Seekatz AM, Koropatkin NM, Kamada N, Hickey CA, Wolter M, Pudlo NA, Kitamoto S, Terrapon N, Muller A, Young VB, Henrissat B, Wilmes P, Stappenbeck TS, Nunez G, Martens EC. “A Dietary Fiber-Deprived Gut Microbiota Degrades the Colonic Mucus Barrier and Enhances Pathogen Susceptibility.” Cell 167 (2016): 1339-53.e21.
  1. Distrutti E, Monaldi L, Ricci P, Fiorucci S. “Gut Microbiota Role in Irritable Bowel Syndrome: New Therapeutic Strategies.” World Journal of Gastroenterology 22 (2016): 2219-41.
  1. Eswaran SL, Chey WD, Han-Markey T, Ball S, Jackson K. “A Randomized Controlled Trial Comparing the Low-FODMAP Diet vs. Modified Nice Guidelines in US Adults with IBS-D.” Am J Gastroenterol 111 (2016): 1824-32.
  1. Garnas E. “The Western Microbiome: How Our Modern Guts Make Us Sick, Fat, and Unhappy.” Darwinian-Medicine.com (2016). http://darwinian-medicine.com/the-western-microbiome-how-our-modern-guts-make-us-sick-fat-and-unhappy
  1. Gibson PR. “Use of the Low-FODMAP Diet in Inflammatory Bowel Disease.” J Gastroenterol Hepatol 32 Suppl 1 (2017): 40-42.
  1. Halmos EP, Power VA, Shepherd SJ, Gibson PR, Muir JG. “A Diet Low in FODMAPs Reduces Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.” Gastroenterology 146 (2014): 67-75.e5.
  1. Kennedy PJ, Cryan JF, Dinan TG, Clarke G. “Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Microbiome-Gut-Brain Axis Disorder?” World J Gastroenterol 20 (2014): 14105-25.
  1. Konner M, Eaton SB. “Paleolithic Nutrition: Twenty-Five Years Later.” Nutr Clin Pract 25 (2010): 594-602.
  1. Kruis W, Chrubasik S, Boehm S, Stange C, Schulze J. “A Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Trial to Study Therapeutic Effects of Probiotic Escherichia Coli Nissle 1917 in Subgroups of Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.” Int J Colorectal Dis 27 (2012): 467-74.
  1. Leach JD, Sobolik KD. “High Dietary Intake of Prebiotic Inulin-Type Fructans in the Prehistoric Chihuahuan Desert.” Br J Nutr 103 (2010): 1558-61.
  1. Lieberman D. The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health, and Disease (Vintage, 2014).
  1. Marlowe FW, Berbesque JC, Wood B, Crittenden A, Porter C, Mabulla A. “Honey, Hadza, Hunter-Gatherers, and Human Evolution.” J Hum Evol 71 (2014): 119-28.
  1. McIntosh K, Reed DE, Schneider T, Dang F, Keshteli AH, De Palma G, Madsen K, Bercik P, Vanner S. “Fodmaps Alter Symptoms and the Metabolome of Patients with IBS: A Randomised Controlled Trial.” Gut (2016).
  1. Moayyedi P, Surette MG, Kim PT, Libertucci J, Wolfe M, Onischi C, Armstrong D, Marshall JK, Kassam Z, Reinisch W, Lee C. “Fecal Microbiota Transplantation Induces Remission in Patients with Active Ulcerative Colitis in a Randomized Controlled Trial.” Gastroenterology 149 (2015): 102-09.e6.
  1. Ohman L, Simren M. “Intestinal Microbiota and Its Role in Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).” Curr Gastroenterol Rep 15 (2013): 323.
  1. Round JL, Mazmanian SK. “The Gut Microbiome Shapes Intestinal Immune Responses During Health and Disease.” Nat Rev Immunol 9.5 (2009): 313-23.
  1. Schnorr SL, Candela M, Rampelli S, Centanni M, Consolandi C, Basaglia G, Turroni S, Biagi E, Peano C, Severgnini M, Fiori J, Gotti R, De Bellis G, Luiselli D, Brigidi P, Mabulla A, Marlowe F, Henry AG, Crittenden AN. “Gut Microbiome of the Hadza Hunter-Gatherers.” Nat Commun 5 (2014): 3654.
  1. Sonnenburg ED, Smits SA, Tikhonov M, Higginbottom SK, Wingreen NS, Sonnenburg JL. “Diet-Induced Extinctions in the Gut Microbiota Compound over Generations.” Nature 529 (2016): 212-5.
  1. Sonnenburg ED, Sonnenburg JL. “Starving Our Microbial Self: The Deleterious Consequences of a Diet Deficient in Microbiota-Accessible Carbohydrates.” Cell Metab 20 (2014): 779-86.

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Episode 163: Sedation by iPad

Glenn Whitney and Darryl Edwards join your host, Angelo Coppola, to discuss News & Views. Stories include: how screens act as sedatives for children; the latest trends in obesity in the US; a recent study about Paleo and heart disease; and the evolution of risk in dogs and wolves. The Moment of Paleo segment offers ideas about the folly of seeking chronic motivation. After the Bell features a recent presentation by Stephan Guyenet about the relevance of calorie intake.

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Episode 164: Sweetening the Research

Evelyn Kocur and Meredith Rhodes join me, Angelo Coppola, in the News & Views segment. Stories include: the sugar industry’s influence on research, David Katz on the Paleo Diet, alcohol and exercise, and how daily cannabis use might affect BMI. The Moment of Paleo segment covers trust in the media. After the Bell features Dr. David Agus’ new strategy in the war on cancer.

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Episode 370 – Matt Thornton and Peter Boghossian – Critical Thinking in Martial Arts, and Physical Movement for Risk Assessment

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For this episode of the podcast we have guests Matt Thornton and Peter Boghossian. Matt Thornton is a personal hero of mine, founder of the Straight Blast Gym organization, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt. Peter Boghossian is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Portland State University.
Listen in as we discuss critical thinking and fantasy in martial arts, actual effectiveness of certain martial arts, risk assessment and analysis in physical movement, and a lot more interesting stuff!

Download Episode Here (MP3)
Download a transcript of this episode here (PDF)


Twitter: @PeterBoghossian

Paper: Critical Thinking, Pedagogy, and Jiu Jitsu: Wedding Physical Resistance to Critical Thinking



30 Day Guide to the Paleo Diet

Want some extra help? Have you been trying Paleo for a while but have questions or aren’t sure what the right exercise program is for you? Or maybe you just want a 30-day meal plan and shopping list to make things easier? We’ve created a getting started guide to help you through your first 30 days.

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Wired-to-Eat-RenderDon’t forget, Wired to Eat is now available!

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Episode 166: Probiotic beer and gut health (and other fun things) with Jared’s Probiotics

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On today’s show we welcome Jared Toay, owner of Jared’s Probiotics. Jared is an expert on probiotics and gut health and he’s as passionate about teaching people as he is about experimenting with new and tasty fermented products. He likes to come up with new ways to give you both, by making probiotic drinks and snacks like granola, kombucha, probiotic soda, and even probiotic beer.

In today’s interview, we talk about gut bacteria, probiotics, prebiotics, what kefir is, how it’s possible to make a soda that’s actually pretty healthy and a lot more. Jared is a digestion expert, an authority on fermented foods and he owns a company offering this delicious fermented drinks and food.

CLICK HERE for the full transcript.

On today’s show we discuss:

  • Jared’s health journey and what sparked his interest in fermented foods.
  • What probiotics are and why they are so important.
  • Probiotics in food versus probiotic pills and supplements.
  • The foods probiotics eat, called prebiotics.
  • How probiotics work for paleo diets that are low in sugar and starch.
  • The steps to help heal a problem gut.
  • Whether you can overdo it on probiotics.
  • Things to look out for that are good quality and naturally probiotic.
  • The difference between water kefir and kombucha.
  • How probiotic granola and other foods are made.
  • New upcoming products you can look forward to.
  • And much more!

“It’s very important to have a very strong working, healthy gut.” — @jaredsprobiotic [0:07:31.1]

“Not all probiotic foods are created equal.” — @jaredsprobiotic [0:27:42.9]

“The key to better health is really focusing on better digestion.” — @jaredsprobiotic [0:47:05.1]

Listen Now!


Its easy, simply post a review of PMR on iTunes and fill out our quick Registration Form and you’ll be entered to win your choice of 4 great books and a Paleo Magazine vinyl decal!
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PMR #169: All About Beef Jerky and Starting Your Own Business With The New Primal’s Jason Burke

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On today’s show we’re talking to the founder of The New Primal, Jason Burke. Jason started making his own jerky because he needed a healthy option and it went well, and the rest is history. Now he’s offering that healthy option to all of us, at more than 6,000 locations around the US as well as online. This company makes grass fed, grass finished beef jerky as well as marinades, meat sticks and even cute, perfectly proportioned snack mates for the kiddie’s lunch boxes.

This company has helped change the public’s perception of jerky from an aggressive salted and sugared trucker treat that you pick up at the gas station to a healthful, nourishing snack that really anyone can enjoy. In today’s episode, we talk about his product, the growing pains of running a company as well as having a life and a lot more.

CLICK HERE for the full transcript.

On today’s show we discuss:

  • Jason’s background and how he came to be where he is now.
  • How he continues to differentiate and set himself apart from new jerky companies.
  • What Jason’s jerky recipe consists of.
  • The kid specific products that are available at The New Primal.
  • How Jason has entered new market segments with his healthy jerky.
  • How the packaging is inclusive and not classic meathead kind style.
  • What product is the most popular product from The New Primal.
  • How Jason found and developed a relationship with his suppliers.
  • How the local market is starting to make steps into the direction of grass fed cows.
  • The challenges of sourcing poultry.
  • How he and his family maintain a healthy lifestyle and find a balance.
  • The new products that The New Primal has and what to look out for..
  • And much more!

“Paleo or not, we’re among the cleanest that you’ll get and we don’t skimp on animal welfare practices at all.” — @thenewprimal [0:08:38.1]

Listen Now!


Its easy, simply post a review of PMR on iTunes and fill out our quick Registration Form and you’ll be entered to win your choice of 4 great books and a Paleo Magazine vinyl decal!
One winner will be randomly chosen each week.

The post PMR #169: All About Beef Jerky and Starting Your Own Business With The New Primal’s Jason Burke appeared first on Paleo Magazine.

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