The Official Website for The Specific Carbohydrate Diet

Breaking the Vicious Cycle

The Official Website for The Specific Carbohydrate Diet The Official Website for The Specific Carbohydrate Diet


The missing piece of the puzzle?

Reviewed by Joanne of Joanneunleashed website
August 1st, 2010

This may well be the missing piece of the puzzle for those with intestinal disorders who have tried other diets and not found relief or progressed as far as they would like.

The premise of the book is that people with intestinal disorders, such as those suffering from Crohn's, IBS, colitis, celiac disease, and gluten intolerance, may be suffering from damage to their intestinal villi causing an inability to break down and digest sugars (disaccharides). But this applies equally to anyone with autoimmune diseases or impaired digestion.

The villi are finger-like projections in the intestines responsible for absorbing nutrients. They also produce enzymes that break down sugars. They can become damaged from prolonged diarrhea, bacterial overgrowth, antibiotics, lack of stomach acid, or various disease states. (Celiac disease is not the only disorder that damages these villi.) When the villi are damaged, they can no longer produce disaccharidases, the enzymes necessary for breaking down disaccharides (double sugars such as lactose found in milk, sucrose found in common table sugar, or disaccharides resulting from the breakdown of starches) into monosaccharides that can then be absorbed.

The undigested sugars remain in the intestinal tract and get consumed by bacteria, which produce waste products, proliferate, and may migrate from the colon into the small intestine. The waste products damage the intestinal tract and can cause the production of mucous to protect the digestive tract. The mucous then forms a barrier between the ingested sugars and the enzymes secreted from the villi. Thus a vicious cycle occurs.

The diet, call the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, is very strict in that it limits all carbohydrate consumption to monosaccharides such as those found in vegetables and fruits. Starches, such as potatoes and grains, are prohibited as are disaccharides such as sugar or milk products. The goal of the diet is to starve out the bad bacteria and replace them with good bacteria, so homemade yoghurt and other probiotics are recommended. The majority of the book contains recipes to provide you with versatility and maximum nutrition.

Gottschall insists on strict compliance so you must be completely dedicated to following the diet. And the diet must be followed for at least a year but people may begin to experience improvement after only a month. Of interest is that those following the diet will experience an improvement in mental health even prior to healing of the gut. Gottschall reports that even those with celiac disease have been able to resume eating gluten grains after healing has been completed.

I ended up reading this book seven times, and I think this diet is well worth the effort involved when you consider the long-term benefits. Not only can you reverse disease states, but repairing the villi will lead to greater nutrient absorption and outstanding health. Highly recommended.

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I believe, from my own experience, that this book saves lives. I am very grateful that I found this book.
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- Tomicus
Amazon customer

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