Timing of Food-Based Binders

Take food-based binders with food, ideally.

What are food-based binders? 

Things high in insoluble fiber, such as psyllium husk, flax seed, chia seed, bran. Or SIBO-safe, ground pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower seeds.

While their action is the same as cholestyramine and Welchol, which is to sequester (hold onto) bile, they don’t have the complication of these pharmaceutical-based binders, which is to also absorb nutrients, supplements, and medications.

In contrast, food-based binders actually nourish the microbiome in order to make the nutrients in our food more bioavailable.

Food-based binders need to be added in addition to food in order to get enough insoluble fiber.

I have my patients aim for 2-4 Tbsp of additional insoluble fiber.

And remember, no binders if you’re bound up!


How do I use binders?

I get this question a lot because I know I do things a little bit differently.

So primarily I will use food-based binders, which means you use things that are food in addition to foods that you’re eating. You do need to use food as medicine in this case. So not just eating the food, but actually adding this as a supplement. 

When we use insoluble fiber, that’s things like psyllium husk, flax, chia, bran. Um, if you have SIBO, you can grind up sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds. These things that are high in insoluble fiber are really good at binding bile. There are studies that show that it’s very similar to, lesser action than cholestyramine and Welchol, which are bile sequestrants, which means they sequester or trap bile. 

But these insoluble fibers have been shown in studies where people have too much bile at being very effective at picking up the bile. So that tells me this is good for healing mold. Bile is where the mycotoxins are when you have an inhalational exposure to a water damaged building.

Now what about timing? So normally we give cholestyramine and Welchol, if we’re using that, away from food. That’s not the most ideal way to use that medication because bile binders are best used around mealtime. We make bile in response or we secrete bile in response to eating. But we can’t give those pharmaceuticals at mealtime because they also bind up your nutrients. They bind up your supplements, they bind up your medications, and that’s a problem. So we give those away from all of those things which makes it kind of a pain. 

Food-based binders you don’t have to worry about that. They actually enhance the nutrition. They are where we get things like sunflower seeds and, and pumpkin seeds. That fiber, that insoluble fiber, feeds our microbiome and it helps our microbiome actually make our fat soluble nutrients like vitamin A. So we wanna give those ideally with food. Food-based binders using insoluble fiber given with food. And that makes, that’s very flexible, right? You can just, hey even if you’re having a snack, do that. But ideally what we’d be doing is having that with your largest meals of the day, not just a snack. But really food-based binders are so flexible that if you forgot, you can go ahead and just take it when you think of it.

So that’s how I’m using food-based binders. You can break the mold and take back your health.

This content is health information and not intended as personal medical advice. Viewing will not establish a doctor-patient relationship. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or medical condition. The information discussed is not intended to replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Reliance on information provided by Dr. Jill Crista, employees, or others appearing at the invitation of Dr. Crista is solely at your own risk.