Lack of research into danger of Fiber. Is the RDA excessive?


Continuing the discussion from My 1 month lab results, problematic, where this was off-topic:
The so called Rob’s latest requirements on calls for 40g of total fiber, 12g, over 1.4x times as much as the 28 of U.S. government DRI. This might seem like a fair idea, since using purer digestible components the way we do in soylent today decreases the bulk, which needs to be supplemented for proper bowel operation, until we stumble onto this,,

one of the documented examples of the contrary opinion. The man behind that link proceeds to explain to us that it is actually the increasing and unnatural amount of fiber in our diet, that causes, to name a few, Obesity, Microelement Malnutrition, Atherosclerosis, Bone Loss, Muscle Loss, Depression, all kinds of Foul Smell, Digestive Discomfort, Unwanted Pregnancy, and rapid Credit Rating Deterioration, as well as countless other maladies.

Does this man give all of the evidence to immediately avoid all fiber? Well… no.

But does he give an alarming amount of evidence, including empirical from journals, as well as theoretical, already suggesting a mechanism by which it causes such problems, a mechanism I am sure many of us have considered. Not only that, but he even gives perfectly good reasons why we would be made to think fiber is purely beneficial.

As such, I believe it is imperative that this topic be discussed and researched right now, to the point of giving the majority of users of this discourse at least some modern consensus, based on new discussion and not the doctrine in place. I am sure many of our prior unhealthy diets were “meat and potatoes” diets, so the fiber increase is truly dramatic, not only if Rob’s value is used.

P.S: The guy does sell a book, but if you look at his site, he is divulging orders of magnitude more information freely than an average charlatan trying to sell his book of revelations.

tl;dr: How do we know the amount of fiber we consume at a given time is not making us worse off than if we didn’t consume it, or at least harming us in some way?


The only thing fiber is murdering is the integrity of my small intestine lol.
I’ll read this when I get back home.


You do say lol now, bout you couldn’t be closer to the truth:
according to this,

The lifelong effects of fiber are comparable to a one-time colonoscopy with a clay brick.


Can you back that up with photo evidence?
Oh wait never mind, please don’t.


It’s an attempt to give this problem publicity, and for a scientist fellow, his age, and russian/ukrainian (aka 0 money to spend on a designer), a darn good one.


Being honest, after reading some of what he has to say, he seems to be very educated and make a lot of sense. I’m definitely interested in reading the rest of this. I have to however agree with the following comment, that the lack of citations and support for his ideas is off-putting.

He’s somewhat off on the concept that if you don’t experience bloating and gas after ingesting fiber, that you have no gut bacteria, though. The healthy bacteria that you should normally have in your intestines are strict anaerobes, and produce only acids. It is usually the undesirable bacteria that will produce gases like hydrogen or methane.


A two second Google search on him pretty thoroughly discredits him.
This site talks about how he doesn’t disclose which university in the Ukraine he attended and that he’s an expert in “forensic nutrition” which isn’t a real thing.
The bottom of his very, very short wiki page says “His work has been widely viewed as inappropriate and misleading by the scientific community due to a lack of evidence to support his claims” and considering evidence for ones ideas is kind of important from a medical/nutritional standpoint I don’t think I’ll be omitting fiber from my diet any time soon.


“Monastyrsky was born in Ukraine (former USSR) in 1954, and attended Lviv’s State Medical University.[4] He graduated in January 1977 with a degree in pharmacy.”

Oddly enough though, the citation is another Wikipedia page, and I don’t see his name anywhere on that page.


My bad, should have checked wiki more thoroughly but I didn’t really see the point.
Here’s another one by the way
Unsubstantiated theories that oppose mainstream scientific consensus with zero evidence is not what I look for in nutritional advice.
By all means though if you guys want to discuss it or omit fiber from your diets because of this guy, go ahead.


Definitely not, but I do think some of his claims should be researched. I would like to see if there are any medical articles suggesting negative effects long-term of fiber consumption, or alternate ‘doses’ of daily fiber.


A quick scan of Google Scholar only has articles that mention the benefits of increasing your fiber intake, I’m having trouble keywording and searches to find articles recommending less fiber, either there aren’t any or I’m too tired to find them at 1:30am


I never said the man is a genius, and never made any mistakes, which is precisely why I am asking for someone to check his claims.

He still could have made the right conclusion, and if you decided to root yourself in the pro-fiber camp prematurely, please do concentrate your effort on explaining how such amounts of fiber are safe and necessary, and not harmful and escalating of the issue. For your information, even Linus Pauling, of vitamin fiasko fame, did plenty of good science still recognized today.

Not just that, but a whole lot of his claims make sense. The human body has evolved in an imperfect environment, so moderation is likely best policy on many substances, and only a few need to be heavily supplemented/removed. The man himself never says you should consider an artificially fiber-free diet, just not to get even close to the ridiculous RDI value that can only be reached using whole cereal, bran and psyllium kind of ingredients you would not naturally want to eat for their taste and texture, before you get brainwashed about the holy healing power of The Fiber.

The article you link to seems like a much poorer analysis than his own work, as well as a personal attack. It even begets the question whether the filthy bran-pushers were involved in making that post show up with a high relevance.

tl;dr: Leave the man alone, but either stop eating clay brick or prove how it’s harmless.


I think the fact that the scientific community has pretty much declared him a quack is good enough, no?


Is that really an argument? Are you kidding me?
Why would anyone fund that research?

How about, instead of digging for meta-dirt on this guy, you go sleep it off and actually **read the post or ** watch the video in the morning? I suggest that even if you already did, you do so again, because the reason why you won’t find such research is right there.


Point 1: The being or not being of this man a quack has absolutely no relevance to the issue discussed in this topic, and I suggest branching of further research of him into a separate topic, possibly something with his name in the subject. Here, we are not discussing Monastyrsky. We are discussing FIBER, and the potential dramatic misconceptions about it’s role in our diet. Let’s assume the worst. Let’s assume the man is a fool, or that his site is a practical joke.
Would even this ridiculous scenario in any way suggest we should not investigate dietary fiber from the opposite view to the doctrine?
The research was always into how much we improve things by adding more fiber, how much should we add before it doesn’t really improve anything any more. There are no serious investigations into the safety of fiber because it is assumed to be so inert. But despite that we assume it can have a positive effect? That is beyond hypocritical.

Point 2: I really don’t see why we should have that much respect for the scientific community in terms of the far-fetched conclusions, (as opposed to raw data), especially in such a fuzzy and shallowly-investigated field as food science. The field is practically the first one to come to mind when you think about new controversial research proving that the scientific community was completely wrong and giving diametrically-opposite suggestions to what would actually help, in earnest, before money was even involved.
In food science, scientific community with their consensus falling on their ass is not even a news story, just another day at the office.


Sigh I’m tired but I can’t help myself…

Prevents obesity possibly by lowering absorbtion of macronutrients

Preventative effect on irritable bowel syndrome, diverticulosis, colorectal cancer, diabetes, and hypercholesterolemia. Says no effect on obesity in contradiction to the first article though

Low fiber leads to chronic constipation in children

There’s a dozen articles about low fiber being linked to colon cancer but they’re all paid viewing so I won’t link them.

It’s not really fair to say “even Linus Pauling did plenty of good science still recognized today” either, as though his belief in nutritional deficiencies causing disease somehow invalidates the scientific fields he pioneered and the Nobel Prizes he won.

It’s 2am now, sorry if I’m coming off as rude. It’s mostly impatience because I want to sleep but I also want to be clear that fiber is our friend, regardless of what a quack Ukrainian wrote a book about. I hope the brief articles there are enough to put this to rest.


I’m not against alternate ideas about what our optimal nutrition involves but a lone theorist with no relevant credentials making unsupported claims that oppose the current scientific opinion is not worth wrestling over.
And nobody is buying off medical researchers into researching pro-fiber diets, this isn’t Big Tobacco or fossil fuels. Lack of study into the field is only because everyone’s diets are so inconsistent and hard to monitor properly, especially in the scale that the most useful studies need to be done.

Also, why am I researching any of this? The burden of proof should be on you or anyone else interested in trying to disprove the health benefits of fiber.


I note that some of you are talking past others - it’s pretty much fact that “it is important to have fibre”, while the question at hand is "is it important not to have too much fibre?"
The “burden of proof” (I say laughingly) is indeed on qm3ster, but in my opinion he has provided evidence that it is a worthwhile question to investigate. As soon as the question is confirmed to be legitimate, it is down to everyone to investigate its truth or falsity. That’s what the burden of proof really means - “can you raise the question to the level of ‘worth my time investigating’?”. It is, of course, for you to determine what threshold you place for “worth my time investigating”. If “burden of proof” really meant “you must convince me that you are correct”, rather than “you must convince me that it is reasonable to doubt my current view”, then no-one would ever be persuaded of anything new. “Burden of proof” is often used as a simple mind-stopper, a phrase that says “I don’t need to think about the issue raised”, when it should be used as a filter for “do I need to think about the issue raised?”.
None of this is to say that I agree that fibre is bad for you, of course.

Incomplete list of urgent things we know nearly nothing about

Thank you, @Smaug.
Now, to reply:

So do intestinal parasites. Ever heard of those being used in weight-loss pills? Still think such weight loss can be considered remotely healthy? Won’t it also absorb micronutrients considerably, since it even has an effect on the huge quantities of macronutrients? I am going to evaluate the other claims too, but really, a health benefit? The fact it withholds nutrients like that should be the first omen of how sinister fiber may really be.

Scientific community, everyone!

Consumer interest groups should lobby for more fiber-enriched foods.

Wow, isn’t it so noble the researcher thought about the people, and not just scientific discovery?

Let me be concise here:
IBS: Dilution + desentization,
Diverticulosis: Hmmm… not a harmful condition? (Diverticulitis, which is a condition, is treated with a liquid, not fibrous, diet)
Colorectal Cancer: When you are already constipated due to modern misconceptions, cleaning your rectum out with clay brick shards does remove carcinogens. :credit where it’s due:
Diabetes: Macronutrient removal.
Hypercholesterolemia: Macronutrient removal.

Wow, I am not entirely sure where to begin here…

  1. No, we don’t know what normal intestinal habits are. We force ourselves to be constipated, and then when the pain is too much to bear without passing out, strain to solve a digestive condition similar to what a bear would get after hibernation, every time we pass stool. Perhaps we should, oh, I don’t know, try not to train digestive self-abuse to children before we resort to feeding them clay bricks?
  2. Even in conventional terms, is there a study showing which of the two groups will have more problems and require more laxatives at an advanced age?
  3. The formula for recommended fiber is (age + 5 g) Do you understand that this is not due to just the growth of the child but the fact that the colon is being destroyed by fiber their whole life, and the only way to fix it becomes MOAR FIBOR?!
  4. Last, and most importantly, you will notice this study is talking about dietary fiber, from two different whole diets, neither including a supplementary form of fiber like bran cereal, the use of which is the dangerous fad, not choosing vegetables over jelly.

Pharmacist degree, much closer to food supplements, isolated chemicals, and constipated people than someone with a nutrition degree (which a lot of the time is a liberal practical degree, without any science, such as a chiropractor, physiotherapist, or baker.)

His claims in the video are supported by evidence from journals.
No only that, but his attempt at theoretical explanation of the results we see around fares much better than the, according to you, [quote=“grantadevine, post:21, topic:5384”]
current scientific opinion,
which I, so far, don’t see much consensus in this community, only some kind of a don’t ask or you;ll look stupid policy. Eh, what can you do, liberal “sciences”. No class, no passion.

Not only is 100% of all research in the world financed with a goal, but this is food we are talking about, and a major one, like breakfast cereal, not caviar. This is about as massive and universal as building materials and fuels, so your sentiment here is out of place.

I hope you didn’t mean “interested in disproving the health benefits of fiber”, because I would of course prefer to learn that people of the world are eating a healthier food rather than a less healthy one. I also don’t have any share in “fiber-free” food products.
And generally, I am not here after the benefits. (Which, however, are far less spectacular than I thought, as seen above.)
What I want massaged as much as humanly possible is the under-investigated fringe subject of hazards (dangers+harm) of fiber, which, by all logic, is likely to yield us that there is only danger in excess fiber, as well as provide us with a numeric estimation to what excess fiber might be. The fact I too think that is what we will find out, however, does not mean that all fiber shouldn’t be studied, and the dangers and benefits of different kinds of fiber (beyond the soluble/insoluble distinction) finally learned empirically.

Not only do I not have a formed opinion, other that there are minimal and a maximal amounts for at least some kinds of fiber, but MY opinion of the conclusion is also irrelevant.

You all deviated from the subject of hazard, as if somehow benefits prove there is no hazard. So far, I didn’t see any proof of the fiber’s ability to beneficially affect any objective parameter of the human body, even though my gut tells me there is a minimal required amount of fiber for optimal diet. But none of that is the subject here. The subject of this thread is:

How do we know the amount of fiber we consume at a given time is not making us worse off than if we didn’t consume it, or at least harming us in some way?


I remember reading an article about a russian scientist trying to replace people’s limbs with ones from corpses, like we are all cars, and we can just take a wheel off one car and slap it on another. All you’d have to do is dig up a grave and you don’t need any organ donors of the sort, or even rejection drugs. And his work was very well regarded in Russia at the time (around 1987 or so). Of course, he mostly just did cataract surgery, so that procedure was done way back in 800BC, so it’s kind of hard to screw that up.

My point being, just because the guy is from Ukraine and is making medical claims does not make him a doctor.