The information in this book has helped me immensly. I am still working thourgh determining what works for my body. This information has given me a new direction to try and I am getting results that are very promising.
The author has presented something that goes against the current thinking, and for me it is right on.
Thank you Konstantin!
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Lots of info which now seems common sense but never thought it through before, a different approach to how to heal diseases which are only symptom treated but not healed my "mainstream" medicine. As a first benefit we immediately cut our water intake by half and feel better already by not loosing all those essential minerals.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
74 of 77 people found the following review helpful
The fiber theory in this book is TRUEFeb. 24 2010
- Published on Amazon.com
It seems we barely know what is really good for our bodies. Until dramatic progress in molecular biology are made, we are in the dark and can only experiment. I believe entire walls of concepts will collapse as we gain knowledge.
The fiber myth might well be one of them. As the author says, some population like Inuits live with extremely low levels of fibers, and to my knowledge, they are not reputed to be the most constipated / unhealthy people on the planet. Anyway, the principles in this book have changed my life and there is not a single day that I don't benefit from what I learned.
My story is a long one so I will try to make it short, although I could write a book about it (and thinking of creating a website).
I have a tendency to constipation. Since I was a kid. Since no medical condition could justify it (I exercise, drink water, got a colonoscopy, feces analysis, blood analysis, rectal examination....) I was told to increase fibers ingestion by certified doctors here in france.
So I tried to load myself with brans. Did it for years. Retrospectively, I well see it didn't help AT ALL. Like 10 years ago I bought a new brands of cereals, rich in fibers, with dried fruits. Tasted so good I ate a lot of it. This lead to a fecalom, which is an obstruction of the colon by huge amount of feces. Constipation is NOT a problem of quantity of stool. It's not because you don't produce enough feces that you don't have your bowels movements. So fiber megadosage is totally useless and in my case resulted in accumulation in a fecalome that I had to remove with my finger, millimeter by millimeter, which took 36 hours. This clearly showed me the real DANGER of hard, insoluble fibers, and since this medieval torture day, I totally reduced my voluntary intake of fibers from cereals products. So now that I had to stop the brans, how would I fight against constipation ? I started to supplement my diet with cruciferous and fruits. What was the result: endless bloating and alternate of constipation to diarrhea. I spent next years with gut troubles, gas, and diarrhea. This was different from the effects of the bran fibers: cereals fibers didn't created diarrhea and pain, it was another kind of gut trauma. It culminated about two years ago, while on a high fiber diet from vegetables (particularly cruciferous), I would only have 1 or two bowel movements per week, only diarhea. Went to see a doc, got feces analysis, and doc recommended even more fibers from bulk laxative. It didn't help at all. Couldn't make love to my girlfriend anymore because i felt so unconfortable. Life was ruined, I was bloated like a balloon, still, couldn't have a normal bowel movement without diarrhea. Life was ruined.
A desperate search on amazon about constipation got me a listing of a few books, including this one. The title immediately got my attention, since this was the first ever resource that has a negative stance against fibers. I ordered the book, read it. After two years following the principles in this book, I can testify that its foundations are correct: fibers are generally not good for human guts and cause more trouble than they solve. It doesn't mean you must totally suppress them, since there are some in all kind of food, but it is criminal to voluntarily increase their consumption to solve problems such as constipation. Fibers can have traumatic effects on the very fragile equilibrium of intestinal flora.
Having suppressed all brans and cruciferous fibers from my diet (I still consume cooked vegetables and moderate fruits), I have virtually eliminated all bloating, diarrhea, and pain in the gut.
This didn't cured my chronic constipation, but this book thought me ways to improve my condition dramatically: to keep my feces hydrated and easy to pass, I cultivate the flora of my guts and I supplement in minerals. I may sometime supplement with macrogol molecule, which is not recommended by author. If ever I got a constipation day, I will do a C flush in the next morning that will put me right back on track with a 100% efficiency. All this I learned from this book. Do do this, I alternate with products found in this book, but since formula is on products, I see myself purchasing alternative brands: you are really not forced into the products in this book: I certainly don't think this book is only a trick by the author to sell his products: my life was radically, positively altered by what I learned in this book.
So what are the results after a couple of years of applying the principle thought in this book: I can spend entire consecutive WEEKS with a daily normal bowel movement, with a looooong stool. No pain. No diarrhea. I forgot I was able to produce these long normal stools instead of those solid little rocks I could have used to break a window.
I feel so sorry now when I see all these people consume these huge salads of cruciferous and then complain of bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. I try to tell them that what they it isn't physiologically adapted to their gut but they don't want to listen: they absolutely want to consume their fibers and 2 liters of water. The world needs to know.
160 of 179 people found the following review helpful
Fiber MenaceOct. 27 2006
Kathryne L. Pirtle
- Published on Amazon.com
Fiber Menace By Konstantin Monastrsky (Pub. by Ageless Press, 2005)
From a symbolic cover illustrating a cereal bowl full of gold screws, the insightful book, Fiber Menace, reveals the disastrous effects that our modern high-fiber nutritional dictates may have on the proper functioning of the digestive system. From purely a perspective of the problems that a high-fiber diet creates--of large stools that stretch the intestinal tract beyond its normal range and eventually cause intestinal damage and bowel problems, including hernias, hemorrhoidal disease, constipation, malnourishment, irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn's disease, to drastically upsetting the natural bacterial flora in the intestinal tract--Fiber Menace describes major health issues that can develop from eating what's considered a modern healthy diet that is high in fiber from fiber supplements, grains, vegetables, fruits and legumes.
The book also details the problems with over-hydration. The recommended 8 glasses of water a day may cause problems such as constipation, mineral depletion and imbalances, which can factor in digestive disorders, kidney disease, degenerative bone disease, muscular disorders and even cardiac arrest from electrical dysfunction. Pointing to traditional healthy cultures, we find that people did not drink large quantities of water because a clean water source was not guaranteed. Instead, they stayed hydrated with dairy, fermented beverages and bone broth soups, which have incredible nutrient qualities and are not flushed through the body as plain water.
The author of this book is a brilliant man who suffered a life-threatening illness from years as a vegetarian. Mr. Monastyrsky is a pharmacologist, and after immigrating to the US from the Ukraine, pursued a career in high technology. He worked in two premier Wall Street firms: as a senior systems analyst at First Boston Corporation and as a consultant at Goldman-Sachs & Co. He has also written two best-selling Russian language books, entitled Functional Nutrition: The Foundation of Absolute Health and Longevity, and Disorders of Carbohydrate Metabolism.
I was fascinated with this author's perspective as I also suffered a life-threatening digestive illness and recovered through eating a nutrient-dense diet, which happens to also be a low-fiber diet. For years, I ate lots of fruits and vegetables--mostly raw--ate lots of grains and faithfully drank 8 glasses of water daily. I ate some meat and dairy and very little fat-- and definitely no butter! I developed severe intestinal damage from undiagnosed Celiac disease and a hiatal hernia, but am convinced, from reading this book, that many of my digestive problems may have been equally caused from a high-fiber diet as a factor in the intestinal damage and severe malnutrition that I suffered.
The author discusses that a low fiber diet and not eating anything that your great, great, great, great grandmother wouldn't eat will heal digestive illness. He advocates eating a high protein diet with foods that are easy-to-digest, build up the intestinal bacterial flora and supply ample traditional fat. These are the same principles that I found effective in building health from a very depleted condition.
This book focuses on what not to eat and why. Mr. Monastrysky explains that the human teeth are fashioned to chop flesh and our digestive system is built to handle mainly protein digestion with small amounts of fiber. When we eat too much fiber, digestion lasts longer and fermentation occurs, damaging the bacterial flora and causing problems such as bloating, flatulence and enlarged stools, which can lead to problems such as constipation or diarrhea, IBS, and diverticular disease.
We must consider however, that many healthy cultures successfully ate a mixed diet that included ample fiber from grains, vegetables and fruits. However, the missing component in the success of their diets compared to many modern mixed and vegetarian diets, is that healthy diets supplied adequate fats, vitamin A and D, easy-to-digest bone broth soups, traditionally fermented foods that promote a healthy intestinal flora and high-quality sources of protein. Although Monastrysky suggests high-quality protein, fats, and building intestinal flora as important, he leaves out discussion of the necessity of adequate vitamins A and D. Our modern diets are inadequate for intestinal health not merely because of a fiber issue, but that we lack the crucial components that are found in healthy cultures, in our diets that allow us to absorb nutrients and maintain proper digestive function.
He cautions the reader of problems with switching to a low-fiber diet in the first stages; that it is important to gradually cut down on fiber and make sure you are getting adequate fats and foods that build the intestinal flora. As stools are smaller, the urge to go to the bathroom will be less pronounced, so it is very important to pay attention to the "urge" signal so that the stools don't harden and cause constipation. Interestingly, he points out that a healthy stool is easy to pass, rather small in diameter and is mostly composed of bacteria leaving the body as proteins are digested completely before hand. He also sites that fiber is not necessary to have regular stools, as we have been led to believe, and that some of the healthiest cultures had very little fiber in their diets.
If you're worried about getting enough nutrients in your diet from cutting down on raw vegetables and fruits, remember nutrient-dense foods contain concentrated nutrients from the animals that "chowed" down on literally bushels of fresh green grass to produce a food that contains all of the vitamins and minerals found in fresh produce and more, in a concentrated form that is easy to digest. Also, if you have suffered from any digestive disorder, it is difficult to absorb the vitamins and minerals from raw produce, and raw produce can be extremely irritating to the intestinal tract and keep it from healing. When healing from any digestive disorder, beet kvass, fermented vegetables, vegetables in bone broth soups and steamed vegetables with butter are much better tolerated.
From a perspective of the benefits that a low fiber diet has to optimal digestion, following the Weston Price Foundation's principles of eating nutrient-dense foods for building health will lead you in this same direction. Many thanks to Konstantin Monastyrsky for writing this important book.
318 of 361 people found the following review helpful
Quite interesting, but unproven ideas and some serious flawsJune 26 2007
- Published on Amazon.com
I had to order this book via Amazon USA because it is not available in Europe. His basic recommendations, not do eat too much fiber and not to overdose water intake, seem to make sense. His hints how to fight obstipation caused by low-carb/low-fiber-diets are also as reasonable as the recommendation to make the transition vom a high-fiber/carb-diet to a low-fiber/carb one slowly to prevent negative side effects of the carbohydrate withdrawal.
But there are also some serious flaws. First is his completely wrong reception of the cause of Atkins' death. As we know, Atkins died from an accident with severe damage of his skull and brain. At the time of this accident he was not obese at all and did not suffer from heart disease. But Monastyrsky states Atkins died from a cardiac arrest, "unquestionably from obesity-related complications [...] and he died morbidly obese". Monastyrsky also seems not to have really understood the principles behind ketosis. I certainly do NOT endorse the Atkins-Diet nor his very problemable "induction phase", but I really dislike lay-journalists/writers who investigate inaccurately or do not fully understand what they are writing about.
Secondly Mr. Monastyrskys calculations about the daily need of carbohydrates (200 g/day is way to high) and the maximum intake of carbohydrates, fats and proteins to allow fat loss are quite weird. He claims that only with NO carbohydrate and max. 1 gram of fats and proteins per kg bodyweight, weightloss would be possible. Following this idea, a person of 75 kg would be allowed to have NO carbohydrates, 75 g fats and 75 g protein per day. This sums up to 975 calories - a very very low energy diet that virtually forces the body to engage all its energy-saving capabilities and will be the best basis for rapid regain of weight after stopping this very questionable approach. "Hello jo-jo". Weight- and fat-loss occurs as a matter of course with every longer lasting reduction of energy-intake below the requirements of the body. There is no scientific proof for Mr. Monastyrskys ideas concerning the required mix of macronutrients at all.
Thirdly Mr. Monastyrksy misinterpretes the term of "waterintoxication" he cites from the Schmidt/Thews-Textbook of physiology. Schmidt/Thews say that taking LARGER AMOUNTS of hypotonic solutions WITHIN A SHORT TIME into the body may cause waterintoxication. This is a wellknown fact inside the medical world, but it is crucial to see the term WITHIN A SHORT TIME, Monastyrsky seems to peculate in his further interpretation. The official recommendation of "8 glasses of water a day" may be questionable, but does of course NOT lead to "water-intoxication" when taken - as supposed - throughout the day. Only taking big amounts of hypotonic fluid all of a sudden may cause problems in the stated way, but nobody recommends this.
Fourthly Mr. Monastyrsky is very eager to promote the selling of his quite expensive food-additives through his website he cites over and over again throughout his book. This is very annoying.
Summary: Mr. Monastyrskys ideas seem to make some sense specially for people who experience problems from consuming too much fiber. But there is no adequate scientific evidence for his allegations. Readers who want to follow his suggestions therefore should be careful not to be drawn into esoteric spheres where they might lose their sense for reality. Monastyrsky might also have considered to publish his thinkings in an article in a medical or journal of nutrition (but that would have arisen the 'danger' of an external quality-control). His basic ideas would fit comfortably in a relatively short article and it does not seem to be necessary to spread it redundantly over more than 280 pages.
60 of 65 people found the following review helpful
Fiber Menace Refuted The Conventional WisdomMarch 24 2007
Jeffrey A. Jannuzzo
- Published on Amazon.com
This book contradicted the "conventional wisdom" about fiber and water-intake that I had been living under for more than 20 years. The science was laid out in terms that an educated layman could easily grasp, and the refutation of "conventional wisdom" was set forth in a way that was logically inescapable.
I am a hard guy to persuade, but I took the findings of Mr. Monastyrky to heart, and changed my fiber and water intake as he recommended, and within a day or two, my body was functioning better than it had in 20 years.
It was like trying to run a race with lead shoes, and discoverying again what it was like to run, when you got rid of them.
Mr. Monastyrsky's recommendations and reasons will in time replace the misinformation and misdiagnosis about fiber and its supposed benefits that have caused us so much grief. Readers of this book will congratulate themselves that they were years ahead of the curve.
39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
BUY THIS BOOK!!!!!June 8 2012
- Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
I started my long and grueling journey with digestive issues as a preteen. First it was constipation, then later became bloating with unbelievable gas pain and 'the gurgling' (quite embarassing in a quiet office surrounded by innocent coworkers). Lastly bouts of diarrhea together along with the gurgling. Safe to say full blown IBS by the age of 19. I am now 28.
I had so much pain and fatigue I could no longer function. Everything that I didn't HAVE to attend I didn't for fear of embarrassment and what would happen if I were to eat in public. It stole literally years of my life and I began to feel like my life was over already while I was only in my 20's. My Grandma at 80 was WAY more active than me! My poor husband and family didn't know how to help and felt as lost as I did.
Over these years I tried being vegan, cutting out wheat, cutting out dairy, cutting down fat, eating soluble fiber based food, peppermint oil, multiple fiber supplements, grain free, smaller meals, lower protein, only raw foods, fasting to "heal" my intestines. I did my best to eat "healthily" both following the pyramid and following the paleo guidelines. My gastroenterologist said my tests were negative for lactose and fructose malabsorbtion and celiac disease. He said it must be spasms of the intestine (no duh, I could have told you it was spasming what I want to know is WHY!!). And honestly I don't recall ever being stressed until I couldn't go to a movie without anxiety about whether people would be looking at me instead of the screen! I believe it's safe to say that the IBS caused the stress and NOT the other way around.
I knew I wasn't getting answers from the outside so I tried to listen to what was going on inside. I thought about my actual symptoms. Mainly by this time the main culprits were constipation, gas and bloating (to the point of insomnia). Okay, let's go from there. That is when I found Mr. Monastyrsky. And everything changed.
I read what he had to say on his website gutsense.com about constipation and what causes gas. It all made perfect sense. Being the science minded person that I am I checked some other sites for 'gas' including the mayo clinic (one would say the medical authority today). Fermentation of fiber was listed on every site as a main cause of gas! This boy was onto something!
I bought Fiber Menace immediately and it thoroughly changed my life! I have read all the information in it multiple times and I have also scanned his website when in need of information and have always found what I was looking for. The amount of time he spent putting this all together for us is amazing! If people would start here there would be a lot less hopeless days for us sensitive tummied folk.
I followed his recommendations and drastically reduced fiber and hard to digest proteins (wheat and dairy) as well as cutting sugars down to a minimum and it is amazing how fast my symptoms disappeared! I was feeling better in a day and in a weeks time so well I almost forgot for a minute that I had been sick! Unbelievable! Also, being the curious type, I tried going back to eating more fiber just to 'test' the theory on myself. Immediately my symptoms were back! His recommendations were indeed what works!
If you have tried everything, or if you just started having tummy problems this book will change your life, and the way you look at health. I know how it feels to think you are a failure and that it must be your fault that you are still sick. It's not your fault and you are not alone! These people that have been there before you and would be there still without information like is presented here in Mr. Monastyrsky's work can help you to avoid going through any more pain and lost opportunities.
If you are thinking about it BUY THIS BOOK!!! I promise your tummy will thank you!