's physique and conditioning landed him on the February 2008 cover of Muscle & Fitness
magazine and his athletic ability has contributed to his prestigious NCAA and UFC title accomplishments. But Lesnar learned recently, even someone in incredible shape is not immune to the dangerous effects of an unbalanced diet.
Upon finding out that a low-fiber diet played a role in his potentially career-threatening condition, Lesnar told the media on Wednesday that he drastically altered his eating habits.
"What got me here was a total protein diet, not enough fiber," Lesnar said. "I totally changed my diet, got on some natural healing medicine and was just doing a lot of praying."
P.R. Cole, who founded Fuel the Fighter
to provide dietary consulting for professional MMA fighters, says there is is always pre-dispositions and fluke chances, but for the most part, with a proper diet and colon health maintenance, diverticulitis and diverticulosis are preventable diseases.
"There is a proven cause for it and it's a low fiber diet," Cole. "A condition known as diverticulosis is very common from the Western diet. Very low fiber, meat and potatoes thing."
According to WebMD, diverticulosis is the formation of numerous tiny pockets in the lining of the bowel. If the pockets become inflamed, the disease worsens with the addition of diverticulitis.
"It's one of those things, you don't always know why something is going to affect one person," said Cole, who is also the nutrition contributor for FIGHT! Magazine
. "This is something you will generally see in older people because they've had years and years of this. But if you look at somebody like Brock Lesnar, who is young but has had a particularly high protein diet ... That process could've been sped up by a ridiculous amount of protein consumption."
Further, protein consumption replacing whole grains, fruits and vegetables in a low fiber diet may cause problems for the GI tract.
Lesnar, an avid hunter, admitted to a lack of vegetables on his plates.
"I'm a carnivore, you know?" Lesnar said. "I'm not a big fan of PETA. I'm a member of the NRA and whatever I kill, I eat. For years, I was surviving on meat and potatoes, and when the greens came by, I just kept passing them."
Cole suggests creatively incorporating vegetables into meals for those with a distaste for greens, but there is no replacement for a crafted nutrition plan.
"If you're a professional athlete, this is your job," Cole said. "You have to make the food as much of a priority as any other part of your training regimen. If you need to eat a certain way, to get to a level of performance your body is willing to give, You just need to do it."
In what Lesnar and UFC president Dana White described as "miraculous," Lesnar's perforation from a diverticula rupture healed and doctors gave him the green light to carry on his career -- and life -- without surgery.
With the threat to his career and potentially, life averted, Lesnar has re-evaluated his lifestyle.
"I consider myself a healthy human being, "Lesnar said. "I'm 32 years old and for something like this to happen to me, I definitely had to re-evaluate. When you think you're doing all of the right things and all of a sudden something like this happens, obviously you're not. I had to make some changes."