I have always subscribed to the paradigm that eating lots of plant fibre is healthy. I certainly thought that this was a good idea for everyone across the board. And the more the better. But I’m beginning to question that assumption after listening to Dr. Michael Rusico. The human small intestine in human adults is about 7 meters (23 feet) long. The large intestine is so called because it is wider in diameter but also shorter than the small intestine at only about 1.5 meters (5 feet) long. The small intestine, being about 5.5 meters (18 feet), is often over looked in terms of it’s importance according to Dr. Rusico. He says that the small intestine represents over 56% of your digestive tract, takes care of over 90% of your caloric absorption and has the largest concentration of immune cells. This is why it is key for managing leaky gut and other immune system problems. He discusses how homo habilis (our evolutionary ancestor) survived to evolve in to our human form today because of his omnivorous ways. Homo habilis was a scavenger, with a relatively short intestine suited to processing omnivorous foods. His competitor at the same time was paranthropus boisei, who was an herbivore eating the grasses and roots that homo habilis could not digest. Paranthropus boisei had more gut bacteria and a longer intestine a long to break down all of this fibre. Paranthropus boisei did not survive because climate change impacted his food supply. The omnivore, homo habilis did survive and his large intestine shortened as he evolved. So it seems that while we are designed to digest some fibre, eating it in excess might be hard on our relatively shortened large intestine. Something for me to experiment with. After all did I think I had my horse’s 100 foot digestive system?!