Resistant Starch: Now We’re Getting Somewhere, Part 2 (35 links to research)

Part 1: Resistant Starch: Now We’re Getting Somewhere.

As I mentioned in the first post, I cut it short, actually chopping a bunch of additional links from the end. Wanted to keep a sane intro length to it, but at the same time I want a bunch of the research to be available for easy reference.

So let’s get right to it. Tons of stuff—about 35 references I think; and there’s much, much more but I had to draw the line somewhere. I haven’t looked closely for corporate interests this time, as in the previous post, so buyer beware, as always. If you missed it, I posted a short but very nice Primer on Resistant Starch yesterday, which I highly suggest you read as a prerequisite so that you’re generally familiar with the critical importance of this in the realm of general health for the 100% of you, and not just the 10% of you that are your human cells. Note that if you just skim through the research (skim, read, dig, engage rabbit holes…it’s all up to you), make sure you carefully read my wrap up at the end.

Again, the easiest and cheapest way to dose resistant starch is via unmodified potato starch. Many people are reporting good results with 4 tablespoons, spread throughout the day. Most use Bob’s Red Mill Potato Starch.

Insulin-sensitizing effects of dietary resistant starch and effects on skeletal muscle and adipose tissue metabolism (human study—full text). “…insulin sensitivity was higher after resistant starch supplementation than after placebo treatment…insulin sensitivity during the meal tolerance test (MTT) was 33% higher…. …muscle glucose clearance during the MTT was also higher after resistant starch supplementation…glucose clearance adjusted for insulin was 44% higher. …nonesterified fatty acid (NEFA; P = 0.02) and glycerol (P = 0.05) release were lower with resistant starch supplementation. Short-chain fatty acid concentrations (acetate and propionate) were higher during the MTT…as was acetate uptake by adipose tissue. Fasting plasma ghrelin concentrations were higher with resistant starch supplementation. Measurements of gene expression in adipose tissue and muscle were uninformative, which suggests effects at a metabolic level. The resistant starch supplement was well tolerated.”

Resistant starch consumption promotes lipid oxidation (human study—full text). “These data indicate that replacement of 5.4% of total dietary carbohydrate with RS significantly [by 23%!!! -Ed] increased post-prandial lipid oxidation and therefore could decrease fat accumulation in the long-term.”

Starches, Resistant Starches, the Gut Microflora and Human Health (review paper—full text, lots of charts & pictures). “Starches are important as energy sources for humans and also for their interactions with the gut microflora throughout the digestive tact. Largely, those interactions promote human health. In the mouth, less gelatinised starches may lower risk of cariogensis. In the large bowel, starches which have escaped small intestinal digestion (resistant starch), together with proteins, other undigested carbohydrates and endogenous secretions are fermented by the resident microflora. The resulting short chain fatty acids contribute substantially to the normal physiological functions of the viscera. Specific types of resistant starch (e.g. the chemically modified starches used in the food industry) may be used to manipulate the gut bacteria and their products (including short chain fatty acids) so as to optimise health. In the upper gut, these starches may assist in the transport of probiotic organisms thus promoting the immune response and suppressing potential pathogens. However, it appears unlikely that current probiotic organisms can be used to modulate large bowel short chain fatty acids in adults although resistant starch and other prebiotics can do so. Suggestions that starch may exacerbate certain conditions (such as ulcerative colitis) through stimulating the growth of certain pathogenic organisms appear to be unfounded. Short chain fatty acids may modulate tissue levels and effects of growth factors in the gut and so modify gut development and risk of serious disease, including colo-rectal cancer. However, information on the relationship between starches and the microflora is relatively sparse and substantial opportunities exist both for basic research and food product development.”

Effects of high-resistant-starch banana flour (RS2) on in vitro fermentation and the small-bowel excretion of energy, nutrients, and sterols: an ileostomy study (human study—full text). “Results: In study A, the dry weight of the ileostomy effluents and the ileal excretion of energy, iron, and chenodeoxycholic acid, but not total sterols, were higher after the addition of RBF than of CBF to the diet. In vitro fermentation of the ileal effluents obtained after the addition of RBF to the diet showed higher concentrations of acetate and butyrate. In study B, the ileal excretion of starch was lower than the amount calculated from earlier studies by use of the intubation technique. […] The addition of RBF containing RS2 to the diet of ileostomy subjects did not interfere with small-bowel absorption of nutrients or total sterols, except for a small increase in iron excretion. The ileostomy model seems to give reliable results for in vivo measurement of RS.”

Absorption of starch by healthy ileostomates: effect of transit time and of carbohydrate load (human study—abstract). “…starch from a radiolabeled solid meal containing 50 g potato starch was measured under control conditions and after altering transit time with either loperamide, or magnesium citrate. Loperamide significantly decreased the amount of unabsorbed starch in all six ileostomates (p less than 0.05), while magnesium citrate significantly increased starch malabsorption in all six subjects (p less than 0.05). Third, starch absorption was measured after single solid meals containing 25, 50, 75, and 100 g potato starch. There was a linear relationship between starch input and output. Mean output expressed as a percent of input remained constant. We conclude that the degree of starch malabsorption by the small intestine of ileostomates may be less than that estimated by indirect methods in intact humans. The amount of unabsorbed starch is directly related to the quantity ingested and to the small intestinal transit time.”

Digestibility of  raw rice, arrowroot, canna, cassava, taro, tree-fern and potato starches (1922 human study—full text). “In tests previously reported it was found that raw wheat and corn-starch, when eaten in quantity, were completely assimilated without any noted physiological disturbances and no starch was detected in the feces. Raw potato starch was much less completely digested, about one-fourth of the amount eaten being found in the feces on an average, and in many instances the subjects experienced pain or other physiological disturbances. […] It seemed desirable to extend the work on the digestibility of raw starches to see whether complete digestibility was characteristic of other starches and to determine whether the less complete digestibility of potato starch (78.2 per cent on an average) was influenced by the amount eaten and also whether it was characteristic of the starch from other roots, tubers, and similar sources.”

Comment: It’s really a doll of a paper, from 1922. Basically, they discovered resistant starch but didn’t know what it was. Of note, raw Canna starch appears to have even more resistance to rapid digestion (or digestion at all) than raw potato starch. I wonder who traditionally eats Canna, in what form, and what their health was on their traditional diet was.

~ Resistant starch is effective in lowering body fat in a rat model of human endocrine obesity (rat study—full text). “Although RS was not effective in lowering body weight or body fat in the first study, the data indicates that resistant starch may lower body weight and fat in postmenopausal women.”

Resistant Starch Intakes in the United States (data analysis with lots of good RS discussion—full text). “Findings from this study suggest that the estimated intake of resistant starch by Americans is approximately 3 to 8 g per person per day. These estimates of resistant starch intake provide a valuable reference for researchers and food and nutrition professionals and will allow for more accurate estimates of total intakes of carbohydrate compounds that escape digestion in the small intestine.”

Effects of resistant starch, a non-digestible fermentable fiber, on reducing body fat (rat study—abstract). “Energy dilution resulted in decreased abdominal fat in all studies. In Study 2, rats fed fermentable RS had increased cecal weights and plasma PYY and GLP-1, and increased gene transcription of PYY and proglucagon. In Study 3, RS-fed rats had increased short-chain fatty acids in cecal contents, plasma PYY (GLP-1 not measured), and gene transcription for PYY and proglucagon. […] Inclusion of RS in the diet may affect energy balance through its effect as a fiber or a stimulator of PYY and GLP-1 expression. Increasing gut hormone signaling with a bioactive functional food such as RS may be an effective natural approach to the treatment of obesity.”

Peptide YY and Proglucagon mRNA Expression Patterns and Regulation in the Gut (rat study—full text) “The gene expression patterns for PYY and proglucagon are similar to their peptide distribution patterns in the gut. Also, PYY and proglucagon mRNA expression were up-regulated in the cecum and colon in resistant-starch—fed rats. Butyrate increased PYY and proglucagon gene expression in a dose-dependent manner in vitro. […] Our data provide evidence that the distal part of the gut has the ability to sense nutrients such as butyrate, resulting in the up-regulation of PYY and proglucagon gene expression.”

Plasma glucose and insulin reduction after consumption of breads varying in amylose content (human study—abstract). “Consumption of a meal high in amylose starch (70%) decreases peak insulin and glucose levels and area under the curve (AUC). The objective was to determine the amount of amylose necessary in a meal for the beneficial decrease in glucose or insulin to occur. Design: …glucose alone (1 g glucose/kg body weight) and five breads (1 g carbohydrate/kg body weight) made with 70% amylose cornstarch, standard cornstarch (30% amylose), and blends of the two starches (40, 50 and 60% amylose starch). […] Peak glucose response was lowest after the breads containing 50-70% amylose starch. AUC was significantly higher after the glucose load than after all bread loads. The lowest AUCs occurred after the 60 and 70% amylose starch breads. Insulin response and AUC were significantly lower after the 60 and 70% amylose starch breads than after the glucose or the other breads. […] Results indicate that the amylose content of the starch used in the acute meal needs to be greater than 50% to significantly reduce plasma glucose and insulin in men and women.”

Effect of bread containing resistant starch on postprandial blood glucose levels in humans (human study—abstract) “We examined the inhibitory effect of a single ingestion of bread containing resistant starch (bread containing about 6 g of resistant starch derived from tapioca per 2 slices) (test food) on the postprandial increase in blood glucose in male and female adults with a fasting blood glucose level between 100 and 140 mg/dl. Bread not containing resistant starch (placebo) was used as the control. The study was conducted in 20 subjects (9 men and 11 women with a mean age of 50.5+/-7.5 years) using the crossover method, with a single ingestion of either bread containing resistant starch or the placebo. Blood glucose and insulin were measured before ingestion, and at 0.5, 1, 1.5, and 2 h after ingestion. The blood glucose level before ingestion was stratified into a borderline group (blood glucose level >/= 111 mg/dl) and a normal group (blood glucose level </= 110 mg/dl), with the upper limit of the normal range defined as 110 mg/dl. Postprandial increases in both blood glucose and blood insulin were significantly inhibited in subjects in the borderline group who took the test food in comparison with the placebo group (blood glucose: p<0.05 and p<0.01 at 1 and 1.5 h after ingestion respectively; insulin: p<0.05, p<0.01 and p<0.05 at 1, 1.5, and 2 h after ingestion respectively). These results indicate that bread containing resistant starch is useful for prevention of lifestyle-related diseases such as diabetes mellitus, and as a supplementary means of dietetic therapy.”

Effect of high-amylose starch and oat bran on metabolic variables and bowel function in subjects with hypertriglyceridemia (human study—full text) “We compared the effects of a diet in which 25% of the carbohydrate was replaced by high-amylose starch with those of a similar diet high in oat bran or low-amylose starch in 23 hypertriglyceridemic subjects who were overweight mostly because of abdominal adiposity. Each diet was consumed for 4 wk in random order and in a crossover fashion. Overall, the diets were high in carbohydrate (> 55% of energy) and low in fat (< 30% of energy); the amount of resistant starch in the foods containing high-amylose starch was 17 g in women and 25 g in men. The metabolic effects of specific starches on plasma lipids, fasting and postprandial glucose and insulin profiles, and bowel function were assessed at the end of each intervention. Plasma triacylglycerols (triglycerides) were significantly lower after the oat bran diet than after the other two diets.”

Postprandial effects of resistant starch corn porridges on blood glucose and satiety responses in non-overweight and overweight adults (human study—full text) “…mean plasma glucose at peak time-point 30 minutes was significantly lower in subjects consuming 28.9% RS treatment compared to the other treatments. Baseline-adjusted plasma glucose AUC was also significantly lower in subjects consuming the 28.9% RS porridge compared to the other porridges.”

Feeding resistant starch to Goto-Kakizaki (GK) diabetic rats improves glucose status (rat study—abstract). “Dietary prebiotics have shown potential in the anti-diabetes field. Our group has worked on resistant starch (RS), one type of prebiotic. We showed that dietary resistant starch possesses favorable impact on gut hormone profiles, including promoting GLP-1 release consistently, an potent anti-diabetic incretin (Zhou et al, 2006). Also we demonstrated dietary RS reduces body fat (Keenan, 2006; Shen, 2008). The current project is to determine if resistant starch can improve glucose status in a genetic animal model of diabetes. We hypothesize that dietary resistant starch can improve glucose metabolism in a type 2 diabetic rat model. The Goto-Kakizaki (GK) rat is a non-obese Wistar substrain which develops Type 2 diabetes mellitus early in life. In this study GK rats were fed a diet containing 30% resistant starch that was isocaloric and isonitrogenous when compared to the control diet. After 10 weeks of treatment, fasting blood glucose was reduced by feeding the resistant starch diet. It is proposed that altered gut fermentation and microbiota are the initial mechanisms by which RS improves diabetes and that enhance serum gut peptides (ie., GLP-1, PYY and GIP) are secondary mechanisms involved in improve beta cell function and insulin sensitivity in this model of diabetes. This dietary approach is potentially of great therapeutic importance in the treatment of diabetes.”

Changes in Bowel Microbiota Induced by Feeding Weanlings Resistant Starch Stimulate Transcriptomic and Physiological Responses (rat study—full text). “…In a synecological study, weanling conventional Sprague-Dawley rats (21 days old) were fed a basal diet (BD) or a diet supplemented with resistant starch (RS) at 5%, 2.5%, or 1.25% for 28 days. Pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA genes and temporal temperature gradient electrophoresis (TTGE) profiles in the colonic digesta showed that rats fed RS had altered microbiota compositions due to blooms of Bacteroidetes and Actinobacteria. The altered microbiota was associated with changes in colonic short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) concentrations, colonic-tissue gene expression (Gsta2 and Ela1), and host physiology (serum metabolite profiles and colonic goblet cell numbers). Comparisons between germ-free and conventional rats showed that transcriptional and serum metabolite differences were mediated by the microbiota and were not the direct result of diet composition…”

Short-Chain Fatty Acids and Human Colonic Function: Roles of Resistant Starch and Nonstarch Polysaccharides (review—full text) “Resistant starch (RS) is starch and products of its small intestinal digestion that enter the large bowel. It occurs for various reasons including chemical structure, cooking of food, chemical modification, and food mastication. Human colonic bacteria ferment RS and nonstarch polysaccharides (NSP; major components of dietary fiber) to short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), mainly acetate, propionate, and butyrate. SCFA stimulate colonic blood flow and fluid and electrolyte uptake. Butyrate is a preferred substrate for colonocytes and appears to promote a normal phenotype in these cells. Fermentation of some RS types favors butyrate production. Measurement of colonic fermentation in humans is difficult, and indirect measures (e.g., fecal samples) or animal models have been used. Of the latter, rodents appear to be of limited value, and pigs or dogs are preferable. RS is less effective than NSP in stool bulking, but epidemiological data suggest that it is more protective against colorectal cancer, possibly via butyrate. RS is a prebiotic, but knowledge of its other interactions with the microflora is limited. The contribution of RS to fermentation and colonic physiology seems to be greater than that of NSP. However, the lack of a generally accepted analytical procedure that accommodates the major influences on RS means this is yet to be established.” (emphasis added) […]

“Although NSP resist digestion by intrinsic human intestinal digestive enzymes completely, their intakes do not account for calculated human SCFA production (the “carbohydrate gap”). Some of the deficit may be filled by oligosaccharides (OS), but starch and products of small intestinal starch digestion are thought to contribute the most. This fraction is termed resistant starch (RS). This review aims to examine the relative contributions of RS and NSP to SCFA production in the context of the epidemiological and other data linking complex carbohydrates to improved colon function and lowered disease risk. […]

“The “carbohydrate gap” is the discrepancy between NSP intakes and calculations of bacterial activity of the large bowel microflora and supports a significant contribution by RS. Individuals in affluent westernized countries may consume up to 28 g NSP/day. However, much larger quantities, possibly as much as 80 g, of fermentable carbohydrate are needed to sustain the biomass and account for SCFA production, and NSP may only provide 25% of that requirement. […]

“In humans, RS and OS could close the carbohydrate gap, but consumption of OS appears to be self-limiting due to osmotic effects and may contribute only 5–10 g/day.”

Effect of resistant and digestible starch on intestinal absorption of calcium, iron, and zinc in infant pigs (pig study—abstract). “The first nonmilk foods that are given to infants contain high levels of starch, a fraction of which is resistant to enzyme hydrolysis. Incomplete digestion of starch may interfere with the absorption of certain minerals. A fraction of dietary starch which is resistant to in vitro enzymatic hydrolysis has been termed resistant starch. The aim of this study was to compare the intestinal apparent absorption of calcium, phosphorus, iron, and zinc in the presence of either resistant or digestible starch. Twelve 7-10-d-old piglets were fitted with a T-tube inserted into the intestine approximately 3 m distal to the duodenum. Animals received in random order 200 mL of a test meal of cooked, cooled, high amylose corn starch (16.4% resistant starch), or cooked rice starch (digestible starch) administered by an orogastric tube. Both meals contained the same amount of calcium, phosphorus, iron, and zinc. The test meal also contained tracer amounts of 59Fe and 65Zn, as well as polyethylene glycol 3350, as a nonabsorbable marker. Intestinal apparent absorption of starch was greater the meal with digestible starch (71.0 +/- 17.0%) than after the meal with resistant starch (49.2 +/- 10.3) (p < 0.001). After feeding the meals with resistant and digestible starch, mineral apparent absorption was, respectively: calcium, 40.2 +/- 11.8% versus 28.1 +/- 16.4% (p < 0.05); phosphorus, 73.2 +/- 14.0% versus 67.8 +/- 18% (NS); iron, 24.1 +/- 12.2% versus 12.6 +/- 10.6% (p < 0.01), and zinc, 35.0 +/- 13.0% versus 30.6 +/- 8.22% (NS). In conclusion, a meal containing 16.4% resistant starch resulted in a greater apparent absorption of calcium and iron compared with a completely digestible starch meal. If this finding holds true for the whole bowel, administration of resistant starches could have a positive effect on intestinal calcium and iron absorption.”

Impact of Resistant Starch on Body Fat Patterning and Central Appetite Regulation (mice study—full text). “Forty mice were randomised to a diet supplemented with either the high resistant starch (HRS), or the readily digestible starch (LRS). Using 1H magnetic resonance (MR) methods, whole body adiposity, intrahepatocellular lipids (IHCL) and intramyocellular lipids (IMCL) were measured. Manganese-enhanced MRI (MEMRI) was used to investigate neuronal activity in hypothalamic regions involved in appetite control when fed ad libitum. At the end of the interventional period, adipocytes were isolated from epididymal adipose tissue and fasting plasma collected for hormonal and adipokine measurement. Mice on the HRS and LRS diet had similar body weights although total body adiposity, subcutaneous and visceral fat, IHCL, plasma leptin, plasma adiponectin plasma insulin/glucose ratios was significantly greater in the latter group. Adipocytes isolated from the LRS group were significantly larger and had lower insulin-stimulated glucose uptake. MEMRI data obtained from the ventromedial and paraventricular hypothalamic nuclei suggests a satiating effect of the HRS diet despite a lower energy intake. […] Dietary RS significantly impacts on adipose tissue patterning, adipocyte morphology and metabolism, glucose and insulin metabolism, as well as affecting appetite regulation, supported by changes in neuronal activity in hypothalamic appetite regulation centres which are suggestive of satiation.”

Dominant and diet-responsive groups of bacteria within the human colonic microbiota (human study—full text). Time to give a little love to North Pole Tim aka “Tatertot” who did the bulk of the yeoman work, here. His summary of that study:

This study used a low-carb weightloss platform to compare the differences on individual populations of gut microflora when fed either high RS, high NSP, or a low carb control diet in humans, over 10 weeks. I think this study shows that a high-fiber diet does very little in altering the composition of gut flora, while a high RS diet makes immediate changes, favoring butyrate producers, and creating an environment hostile to pathogenic species.

I will try to pick out a few statements from the study in the hopes I can get your interest:

  • ‘blooms’ in specific bacterial groups occurred rapidly after a dietary change. These were rapidly reversed by the subsequent diet.
  • Relatives of Ruminococcus bromii (R-ruminococci) increased in most volunteers on the RS diet
  • Relatives of Eubacterium rectale increased on RS (to mean 10.1%) but decreased, along with Collinsella aerofaciens, on [low carb control] diet.
  • Members of the E. rectale group are…major producers of butyrate in the large intestine, and may therefore contribute to the butyrogenic effect of RS.
  • In contrast to these responses to RS, there was little evidence that the high NSP diet resulted in major alterations in the composition of the faecal microbiota.

Psyllium Shifts the Fermentation Site of High-Amylose Cornstarch toward the Distal Colon and Increases Fecal Butyrate Concentration in Rats (rat study—full text). “Cummings et al…. indicated in human studies that an interaction between dietary [resistant] starch and fiber occurred in large bowel fermentation and that [RS] was fermented in preference to fiber, suggesting that [RS] might exert a sparing effect on certain dietary fibers. Also, the present study clearly showed the interactive effects of RS and [Fiber] on large bowel SCFA and suggests that it is possible to maintain relatively high butyrate concentration in the distal large bowel by dietary manipulation. The amounts of RS and [Fiber] used in the present study were conservative … 25 g RS and 7.5 g Fiber intake/d, within the range recommended for adults to consume in a healthy diet. These findings might have an important implication for large bowel physiology since there [are] strong inverse associations between the incidence of colorectal cancer and starch intake or the sum of dietary fiber and RS intake, while dietary fiber alone did not show any significant relationships. Given that fermentation in the colon is the mechanism for achieving colorectal cancer protection, via the specific contribution of n-butyrate to reduction of proliferation and induction of differentiation of the mucosal cells (Cummings 1981), it is probable that dietary manipulations which slow the fermentation rate of [RS] and dietary fiber would be of benefit in cancer protection in the distal colon and rectum.”

Banana and Plantain: the Earliest Fruit Crops? (focus paper). “On the African continent a hundred or more different cultivars of Plantain grow deep in the rainforest. In the countries bordering the Great Lakes region in Africa, more than sixty different cultivars of the Highland Bananas – also called “Mutika/Lujugira” group, can be found (INIBAP, 1995). Cultural history and tradition point to the presence of the crop in these areas since time immemorial.” (note: I still recall Art DeVany: “I would never eat a banana.”)

Gut microbe battles obesity (medical article). “Akkermansia muciniphila is one of the many microbes that live in our intestines. This bacterium, which feeds on the intestine’s mucus lining, comprises between 3 and 5 percent of the gut microbes of healthy mammals. There is an inverse correlation between body weight and abundance of A. muciniphila in mice and humans. In a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Patrice Cani of the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium and his colleagues reveal that levels of this bacterium are very low in mice genetically predisposed to obesity. Restoring Akkermansia to normal levels leads to fat reduction and reduced insulin resistance.

“Cani and his team found that genetically obese mice had 3,300 times less A. muciniphila in their intestines than healthy mice. When they fed mice, regardless of body weight, a high-fat diet, levels of the bacterium fell 100 times.

“The researchers were able to restore normal Akkermansia levels to mice on a high fat diet by feeding them live Akkermansia or by giving them oligofructose prebiotics.

“When normal levels were established, the mice lost weight and developed a better fat to lean mass ratio. Insulin resistance and adipose tissue inflammation, all associated with obesity and type 2 diabetes, also decreased. Metabolic endotoxemia, another related condition, was abolished, while fasting hyperglycemia was reversed. There was an increase in levels of endocannabinoids, which help control blood glucose levels, the gut barrier and inflammation.

“Intestinal mucus, which normally erodes with weight gain, became thicker. The mucus that lines the intestines acts as a barrier to harmful microbes, so A. muciniphila could play an important role in preventing inflammation and other disease triggers.” […]

“We also observed that prebiotic feeding normalized A. muciniphila abundance, which correlated with an improved metabolic profile. In addition, we demonstrated that A. muciniphila treatment reversed high-fat diet-induced metabolic disorders, including fat-mass gain, metabolic endotoxemia, adipose tissue inflammation, and insulin resistance. A. muciniphila administration increased the intestinal levels of endocannabinoids that control inflammation, the gut barrier, and gut peptide secretion.” (emphasis added)

High dietary intake of prebiotic inulin-type fructans in the prehistoric Chihuahuan Desert (review article). North Pole Tatertot, again:

Basically, they examined preserved poopage of hunter-gatherers living in the Chihuahuan Dessert and found they were consuming tons of fiber and prebiotics.

I think this is very relevant because the biggest argument I get is : ‘Grok didn’t eat potato starch.’ I think increasing RS, even if it means potato starch, is a simple way to even the gap between modern and ancestral diets. We have been doing 4TBS (30-40g/day), this examination of ancient stool showed an intake of 3-4 times that amount! And consider the average paleo dieter gets about 2g of total prebiotics and maybe 20g of fiber.

  • …the average male hunter – forager from this population would have consumed about 135 g prebiotics per day
  • …the overall dietary intake of fibre from all sources ranges from about 150 to 225 g/d for an adult male.
  • …Even though about 135 g/d is difficult to comprehend in the context of our modern diet, it is also useful to remember that the total dietary fibre component for this prehistoric population, as with most ancestral groups before the widespread adoption of agriculture, was characterised by an extraordinary diversity of fibre sources… This is the nutritional landscape upon which our genome and symbiotically evolved microbiome were selected.

Gut Microbes Affect Weight After Gastric Bypass (medical article). “A study in mice suggests that gastric bypass surgery may result in weight loss in part by altering microbes in the gut. The finding may lead to a better understanding of how microbes influence energy balance.

“Gastric bypass is a type of surgery used to treat severe obesity. In a procedure known as Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB), part of the stomach and small intestine are removed. The procedure results in significant weight loss as well as improvements in associated conditions such as type 2 diabetes. Decreased calories, however, can’t fully account for all these effects.

“The digestive tract is home to trillions of microbes, both helpful and harmful, that outnumber the body’s cells by 10 to 1. A team of researchers led by Dr. Alice P. Liou and Dr. Lee M. Kaplan from Massachusetts General Hospital and Dr. Peter J. Turnbaugh from Harvard University wondered whether some of the benefits of RYGB surgery might come from changes in digestive tract microbes.”

Resistant Starch – A Surprising New Helper in the Battle for Health (article—Dr. LaValle). North Pole Tim-Tot, again:

First, it extolls the virtues of RS, then it recommends the UCan Superstarch as the best source, at $49.95 for a 2 week supply [Bob’s Red Mill Potato Starch will set you back $15 for a couple of months -Ed].

I’d like to think the takeaway from all this effort we have been doing will be:

  1. RS is a valid tool for health (gut and overall).
  2. RS doesn’t mean Hi-Maize, SuperStarch, or unobtainable levels of vegetables.

Hunter-gatherer Use of Small Animal Food Resources: Coprolite Evidence (research paper—full text). “Faunal remains are commonly found in coprolites and provide direct evidence of animal consumption. An evaluation of hunter-gatherer coprolites from the Southwest United States shows that animal bone in coprolites can be used to assess patterns of hunting, food preparation, and general importance of small animals in diet. This is demonstrated by a comparison of faunal assemblages between two hunter-gatherer sites with respect to small animal hunting strategies. The sites are Dust Devil Cave on the Colorado Plateau, an Archaic winter habitation, and Hinds Cave, a warm season Archaic habitation in the lower Pecos of Texas. The results indicate that small animal hunting varied regionally and seasonally. […]

“Plants recovered from the midden of Dust Devil Cave include the dry fruits or seeds of Juniperus, Ephedra (mormon tea), Pinus edulis, grass, Chenopodium (goosefoot), Quercus, and Opuntia. Fleshy fruits recovered from the cave midden include Cucurbita spp. (non-cultivated squash), Shepherdia (buffalo berry), Astragalus (vetch), Amelanchier, Celtis, and Yucca. Pot herbs and stems from the midden include Allium (wild onion), Eriogonum (wild buckwheat), and Apiaceae (parsley family) (Richard H. Hevly, unpublished data). Many of these plants become available for consumption in the autumn.

“Compared with the Dust Devil Cave midden, only a limited number of pollen and macrofossil types were recovered from the coprolites. The plant foods from the coprolites consist mainly of Opuntia pad fragments, Chenopodium seeds, fibers from desert succulents, parched Sporobolus (drop-seed) caryopses, sunflower achenes, wild onion bulbs and piñon pine nuts (Van Ness, 1986; Hansen, 1994: 104). Very few background pollen types were present (Reinhard, 1985a). These data suggest that the dietary remains from the coprolites reflect a diet low in plant food diversity. Such a diet would be consistent with a cooler season occupation from late autumn through to early spring. The poor representation of background pollen in the coprolites supports this inference. It is our opinion that the Dust Devil Cave coprolites represent a cool season diet with low food diversity both in plants and animals.”

[Translation: not exactly all steak & bone broth.]

Some of My Best Friends Are Germs (Michael Pollan gets a clue). “His comment chimed with something a gastroenterologist at the University of Pittsburgh told me. ‘The big problem with the Western diet,’ Stephen O’Keefe said, ‘is that it doesn’t feed the gut, only the upper G.I. All the food has been processed to be readily absorbed, leaving nothing for the lower G.I. But it turns out that one of the keys to health is fermentation in the large intestine.’ And the key to feeding the fermentation in the large intestine is giving it lots of plants with their various types of fiber, including resistant starch (found in bananas, oats, beans); soluble fiber (in onions and other root vegetables, nuts); and insoluble fiber (in whole grains, especially bran, and avocados).”

Fecal Butyrate Levels Vary Widely among Individuals but Are Usually Increased by a Diet High in Resistant Starch (human study—full text) “Butyrate and other SCFA produced by bacterial fermentation of resistant starch (RS) or nonstarch polysaccharides (NSP) promote human colonic health. To examine variation in fecal variables, especially butyrate, among individuals and the response to these fibers, a randomized cross-over study was conducted that compared the effects of foods supplying 25 g of NSP or 25 g of NSP plus 22 g of RS/d over 4 wk in 46 healthy adults (16 males, 30 females; age 31–66 y). Fecal SCFA levels varied widely among participants at entry (butyrate concentrations: 3.5–32.6 mmol/kg; butyrate excretions: 0.3–18.2 mmol/48 h). BMI explained 27% of inter-individual butyrate variation, whereas protein, starch, carbohydrate, fiber, and fat intake explained up to 16, 6, 2, 4, and 2% of butyrate variation, respectively. Overall, acetate, butyrate, and total SCFA concentrations were higher when participants consumed RS compared with entry and NSP diets, but individual responses varied. Individual and total fecal SCFA excretion, weight, and moisture were higher than those for habitual diets when either fiber diet was consumed. SCFA concentrations (except butyrate) and excretions were higher for males than for females. Butyrate levels increased in response to RS in most individuals but often decreased when entry levels were high. Fecal butyrate and ammonia excretions were positively associated (2 = 0.76; P < 0.001). In conclusion, fecal butyrate levels vary widely among individuals but consuming a diet high in RS usually increases levels and may help maintain colorectal health.”

~ Resistant starch and “the butyrate revolution” (review—abstract) “Early epidemiological studies indicated that populations that consume a high proportion of non-starch polysaccharide (NSP) dietary fibre (DF) in their daily diet suffer less from gastrointestinal diseases, in particular colorectal cancers, than populations that consume diets that are high in fat and protein but low in NSP fibre. In this respect, diet, by increasing the amount of vegetables and NSP DF’s, has been suggested to contribute as much as 25–35% to risk reduction for colorectal cancer. A reduction of fat intake may further reduce the risk by 15–25%. Based on these observations, DF’s and substances that are part of the fibre complex such as antioxidants, flavonoids, sulphur containing compounds and folate have been proposed as potentially protective agents against colon cancer. However, results from controlled prospective studies in which beta-carotene and vitamin E or isolated dietary fibres were given to high risk groups showed disappointing results. There are recent indications that the regular consumption of certain subclasses of highly fermentable dietary fibre sources result in gut associated immune and flora modulation as well as a significant production of short chain fatty acids. In vitro studies as well as animal studies indicate that in particular propionate and butyrate have the potential to support the maintenance of a healthy gut and to reduce risk factors that are involved in the development of gut inflammation as well as colorectal cancer. A suggestion put forward is that beneficial effects may be obtained in particular by the consumption of resistant starch (RS) because of the high yield of butyrate and propionate when fermented. These SCFA are the prime substrates for the energy metabolism in the colonocyte and they act as growth factors to the healthy epithelium. In normal cells butyrate has been shown to induce proliferation at the crypt base, enhancing a healthy tissue turnover and maintenance. In inflamed mucosa butyrate stimulates the regeneration of the diseased lining of the gut. In neoplastic cells butyrate inhibits proliferation at the crypt surface, the site of potential tumour development. Moreover, models of experimental carcinogenesis in animals have shown the potential to modify a number of metabolic actions and steps in the cell cycle in a way that early events in the cascade of cancer development may be counteracted while stages of progression may be slowed down. The present review highlights a number of these aspects and describes the metabolic and functional properties of RS and butyrate.” (emphasis added)

Diet of Resistant Starch Helps the Body Resist Colorectal Cancer (article). To Tim, once again:

I love that article you linked…so much misinformation it’s funny, but all based on the way the author interpreted a really good study. The author makes all the wrong assumptions and even gets the name wrong:

“Even more importantly, starch resistant foods and flours have been found to improve colon or bowel health, curb cancer, and prevent adult onset diabetes 2.”

The study they are talking about is here:

“A University of Colorado Cancer Center review published in this month’s issue of the journal Current Opinion in Gastroenterology shows that resistant starch also helps the body resist colorectal cancer through mechanisms including killing pre-cancerous cells and reducing inflammation that can otherwise promote cancer.

“Resistant starch is found in peas, beans and other legumes, green bananas, and also in cooked and cooled starchy products like sushi rice and pasta salad. You have to consume it at room temperate or below — as soon as you heat it, the resistant starch is gone. But consumed correctly, it appears to kill pre-cancerous cells in the bowel,” says Janine Higgins, PhD, CU Cancer Center investigator and associate professor of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.”

Dr. Oz did a show on RS, calling it ‘Resistant Carbs’ the whole time and also gave very bad advice on where to get it.

The deal with ‘cooked and cooled’ foods is in the different types of RS. RS-2 is the RS found in raw potato starch. RS-3 is formed when you cook a potato, destroy all the RS-2, but when it cools, it crystallizes and re-forms into a retrograded RS-3 starch. Read this for more info: It’s all pretty straightforward.

What amazes me is that EVERYONE, from researcher to reporter to consumer misses the obvious low-hanging fruit…just eat raw potato starch (Bob’s Red Mill Potato Starch). It’s the highest content of RS you can buy, it’s cheap, it’s used as the control in most of the studies, it’s easy to eat, it’s about tasteless, it mixes well with everything.

If there could be one point to this entire show I have been putting on, it’s this:

If and when you decide that you should be getting more RS in your diet. It can be had from real foods, ie. cooked and cooled potatoes/rice, green bananas, dried plantains, and legumes. These sources may net you 10-20g/day if you are diligent about consuming them all every day. If you see a gap in your intake and want to ensure a steady supply of RS, then use raw, unmodified potato starch–it contains about 8g per TBS. Use as you wish to get however much RS you want.

~ Encapsulation Technology to Protect Probiotic Bacteria (bullshit). Totmeister:

You are 100% correct about kefir + potato starch. Pro and Pre-biotics in one. I found a lot of studies during all of this where they are trying hard to figure out a way to package RS with probiotics such as kefir and yogurt—the problem is, the live cultures eat the RS. It is a challenge to pre-mix them as they then have a very short shelf-life and produce some strange gasses in the package. There have been some successes with frozen yogurt and Hi-Maize, the key is keeping it cold enough to slow down the digestion.

This is one of those areas that since there is no money in it, nobody talks about it. I try to mix potato starch with kefir or yogurt every day.

Another strange thing that occurs when you mix the two: the RS encapsulates the probiotic microbes and gives them safe passage through the stomach and small intestine, where many probiotics would normally perish. When eating yogurt or kefir alone, most of the probiotic microbes are killed by normal digestive processes—resistant starch protects them. This is a feature unique to RS, typical plant fibers do not have this protective encapsulation property.

Just look at that paper on how they are ‘micro-encapsulating’ pre and probiotics, and smugly know that you can do it at home with a spoon and a glass!

Gut Microbiota in Health and Disease (review—full text). “Virtually all multicellular organisms live in close association with surrounding microbes, and humans are no exception. The human body is inhabited by a vast number of bacteria, archaea, viruses, and unicellular eukaryotes. The collection of microorganisms that live in peaceful coexistence with their hosts has been referred to as the microbiota, microflora, or normal flora. The composition and roles of the bacteria that are part of this community have been intensely studied in the past few years. However, the roles of viruses, archaea, and unicellular eukaryotes that inhabit the mammalian body are less well known. It is estimated that the human microbiota contains as many as 1014 bacterial cells, a number that is 10 times greater than the number of human cells present in our bodies. The microbiota colonizes virtually every surface of the human body that is exposed to the external environment. Microbes flourish on our skin and in the genitourinary, gastrointestinal, and respiratory tracts. By far the most heavily colonized organ is the gastrointestinal tract (GIT); the colon alone is estimated to contain over 70% of all the microbes in the human body. The human gut has an estimated surface area of a tennis court (200 m2) and, as such a large organ, represents a major surface for microbial colonization. Additionally, the GIT is rich in molecules that can be used as nutrients by microbes, making it a preferred site for colonization.”

Resistant Carbs: The Secret Weapon to Fight Cancer? (bullshit: absolute proof that Dr. Oz can’t be bothered with properly informing himself, even to the extent of getting the name correct) To wit:

Dr Oz Resistant Carbs | List of Foods Very High in Resistant Starch (bullshit). So, Tothead, from the North Pole:

His advice is completely crap. The only thing he got right is green bananas, but then he advises you boil and mash them. He talks about using sorghum and plantain flour in place of wheat flour in baking. All of his advice destroys the RS. He couldn’t even get the name right!


Alright folks. I’m calling it a wrap for that, and here’s my final thoughts. It’s to Low Carbers, Paleos and what the hell…me too:


Let me put it in concrete, practical terms: the LC books, the paleo books—including my own—are wrong or at best…incomplete. The books account for 10% of us, only, with the other 90% of us almost unaccounted for or, at least, given pretty short shrift (take a probiotic, eat some onions and jerusalem artichoke blalala). Read or skim the post again, if you don’t believe me. Then tell me that shpeel about how starch per se is bad bad bad, and that “there’s no essential carbohydrate.” Gimme a ‘Gluco-neo-genesis, Gluco-neo-genesis, and Gluco-neo-genesis One. More. Time!!!’

…OK, I’ll grant it. There is no “essential carbohydrate” and you don’t need any starch. Repeat: there is no essential carbohydrate and you don’t need any starch. At all. …But, I gotta say: it’s pretty slim to base all that on what’s only 10% of you. Skim the above research, again, if you don’t immediately understand that. Or, go ahead and remain ignorant, clutching your favorite text. And see if I care.

So go ahead: starve the other 90% of you, and see if I care about that either. One way to look at all of the studies and articles is that ignoring the all of your human animal nature comes with effects that manifest in big ways.

All that said, I am truly intrigued with the idea of a sort of bifurcated diet: the one that’s only for yooz guise—the 10%—and the other one for the critters…the other 90% of you. How about VLC—even ZC—but supplemented with about 4T of potato starch per day minimum—and perhaps more, given little other fiber. That will maybe net you about 20-30ish-g carbs, digested slowly by your starving colonic bacteria.

…That’s just a thought, though, because more prescient is my suspicion that the LC diet is an effect of a wholly misinterpreted cause. In other words, the misinterpreting of cause is the cause of the effect that is the LC diet phenomenon—along with the simpler amelioration left wholly unconsidered (because, with fingers raised to the sign of the cross: ‘STARCH!!! …and “resistant” means NOTHING to me!’). I’ve no problem giving props for the LC intervention in the face of the general and specific ignorance of the gut and its feeding requirements—born of an evolution where all kinds of stuff was eaten raw we wouldn’t even consider food now—so long as anyone is open to having been wrong or incomplete. But c’mon, man… resistant starch has been on the radar for 30 years. It’s never, ever talked about in LC circles that I’m aware of—other than out-of-hand dismissal—because….IT’S STARCH!!! I’ve even seen it called an “anti-nutrient.”

So a simple question: how come it’s so easy to make distinctions between kinds of protein (e.g., animal vs. plant vs. dairy) and kinds of fats (e.g., saturated vs. monounsaturated vs. polyunsaturated), but all carbs are really just sugar and all starch is just starch and it all ends up as glucose which is TOXIC and SPIKES INSULINZ!?

The rather hilarious thing, though, is that all of that research points to the likelihood that it’s precisely a form of starch—a completely different kind than the DEVIL’S SPAWN kinda starch—that feeds the gut biome (that other 90% of you), which in turn produces things like those ANGEL’S SPAWN short chain saturated fatty acids you love so much. And it does it in a place your cubes of butter can’t reach, producing the general effect of regulating apetite, satiation, glucose levels and by direct consequence: insulin requirements. And it’s starch that does this in the very face of the fact that an enormous plate of brisket spikes insulin.

This is the nature of the pitfalls whenever you like or love something: you like and love it too much. It’s our nature. BUT DOKTORS—EVEN LATE, GREAT DOKTORS—WERE INVOLVED! Newsflash: so are those studying RS, probably a few late greats, too.

The one bright spot is this: the Paleos have it fundamentally right, because if they’re really true to what evolution informs us about the human diet, it ought already be built in that we change as we incorporate and integrate new information and data. We’ve already seen that, as paleo has gone from pretty much an Inuit diet to a far more varried one…to the general consterantion of LCers, in fear that our train will leave the station without them.

But in truth, I want them on board. I do. LCers have a claim to fame we don’t, and that’s that they’ve been stalwart in the stand against generally accepted dogmatic, authoritarian, agriculture and pharmaceutical industry-backed dietary practices since the early 1970s (thanks the the late, great, DOKTOR Atkins and others).

Please think, people. This is where the evolution really meets the road. Bacteria evolve far more rapidly than humans.

…Here’s a final shout out to Tim aka Tatertot from way up there in Alaska. He’s been out for the last few days on a fishing trip and just got in last night. That’s him on the right.

Halibut, Bass and Goldeneyes

Thanks for all the help, Tim, and especially for making me take the time to hear you out on all of this.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More


  1. Jens from DK on June 25, 2013 at 13:29

    Yes, PS powder is very convenient! According to your description I have the starch, not the flour. I found a web page in Danish explaining the whole processing from potatoes to sold starch. You guys may not understand but it looks very much like cold water processing all the way, with centrifuging, filtering, etc. The only warm phase in the manufacturing process is the drying but the description does not mention the temperature. The warm air-stream gives it the final water content of 20%. See

    What amazes me is how dirt cheap it is and only 10% of the Danish production is used in Denmark! 90% are exported world-wide … thus to Chile! 😀

    • Davdi on January 17, 2016 at 01:42

      Hej 🙂

      Hvor køber du din kartoffelpulver som resistant starch i Danmark? (Where do you buy your potato starch in Denmark?)

      Best regards.

  2. Richard Nikoley on June 25, 2013 at 14:31


    Better make it a green banana, maybe a plantain…

    Seriously, the Bob’s Red Mill Unmodified Potato Starch at almost 80% resistant starch and the rest water, is the fun way to test all this out.

    Prepare to sleep and dream BIG (vivid X-rated is common, least for me), have unbelievable satiation and a regular Rock Star kinda feeling.

  3. tatertot on June 25, 2013 at 22:09

    Maybe this will help:

    Potato Starch and Potato Starch Flour are the same thing. However, Potato Starch (flour) and Potato Flour are different.

    Potato Starch is a very fine flour with a bland taste, that is made by removing the potato peel, made into a slurry and watery mix, then dehydrated to form Potato Starch. The Potato Starch is not cooked, thus it does not absorb much water unless it is heated. For example, it will make an excellent gravy if heated with liquid in a saucepan.

    Potato Flour is heavy with a definite potato flavor made from the actual potato including the potato skin and will absorb large amounts of water because it has been cooked and contains the peel. It is not used as main flour in baking as it would absorb too much liquid and make the product gummy. Small amounts are used to increase water, hold product together and so on.

    FAQ again here: I actually use Bob’s Red Mill Potato Starch and this blue box Swan Swedish potato starch which is usually slightly cheaper. Here’s a link where you can buy online if they’re not available at your local health food store.

  4. Jens on June 25, 2013 at 10:52


    greetings from Chile!
    Have been lurking your site for a fucking long time and just wanted to thank you for the constant experimentation.

    Question: I found potato starch on my local supermarket that looks like the red mill stuff. The problem is, that I don’t know how it was made…it only says that it was made in Denmark…go figure.
    How can i know if it was made using hot or cold drying methods? does it really matter if it was dried with heat, or should I get approx. same results?

    Thanks in advance. regards

    • Juan on February 16, 2014 at 22:35

      Hello Jens, from Chile too, ve been unable to find potato starch in Chile, would you give me the brand And local store¿
      Thanks in advance

    • Jens on March 3, 2014 at 07:58

      Hi Juan,

      I think you can find it on any supermarket, but here it is called Chuño.
      I buy it in Jumbo and it is called “Chuño delicado”. You can find it on the aisle where flour is located.


    • Juan on March 3, 2014 at 16:51

      Ok, thanks, I have it, are you aware if the process involve heat?

    • Jens on March 4, 2014 at 04:32

      No heat involved. At least not enough to kill RS.
      Read the below comments for more info on the same issue, which should help you.

  5. Lee on June 25, 2013 at 11:00

    Thanks for looking into this. My gut has been a bit slow since I went LC/Paleo-ish but I’ve been trying this and there’s a definite improvement.

  6. Darcy on June 25, 2013 at 11:18

    Good shit.
    Thank you!

  7. Richard Nikoley on June 25, 2013 at 11:33


    You might try contacting the manufacturer to see if it’s actually potato starch and not potato flour (I saw your other comment). As I think you know, way different.

    In the meantime, you can do a test. Put a rounded teaspoon in a glass with about 1/2 C of cold water. Stir into a slurry, just like you were going to add it to a saucepan of boiling sauce to thicken. Put it into the microwave for about 1 minute (until it’s boiling). Hang on…. let me go do this now…

    Yep, you get a glob of of clear hair gel. Amazing. Go try it.

    • Kent on April 7, 2016 at 10:27

      So is the cooled gel just as good as the raw powdered form, or does the heating that causes gelatinozation permanently change the structure of the starch?

    • Richard Nikoley on April 7, 2016 at 15:11

      I’m pretty sure you’re missing a transmutation step in the middle, perhaps even sun-atomic.

    • Neil Murphy on July 8, 2017 at 11:49

      Nuking raw unmodified potato starch should convert it to RS3, correct?

      Grace references studies that show isolated RS2 (like raw potato starch) as being consumed/fermented immediately in the small intestine, and for that reasons she recommends only consuming RS2 with fiber (as in whole foods) so that it can make it to the large intestine.

      If you’re supplementing with potato starch with the goal of feeding large intestine bacteria, wouldn’t it make sense to nuke it in water to get RS3, and take it in that form instead?

    • Richard Nikoley on July 8, 2017 at 11:56

      Nuking it immediately turns it into rapidly digesting starch. My guess it doesn’t retrograde well or at all with cooling, since it’s not in food but isolated, but I could be wrong.

      Grace references no such studies and is an opportunist, stupid little charlatan that HATES it that Tim Steel and I popularized this to the benefit of many. Tim and I have looked at so many studies she’s “referenced” over the years and in every case I recall, the shit never says what she represents it to say, or out of context, or something else.

      Moreover, she’s a psycho who Tim and I have much too much personal experience with.

      Potato starch makes it unscathed to the large intestine, as anyone who has spent their day farting up a storm can attest (prior to becoming well adapted).

    • Neil Murphy on July 9, 2017 at 11:01

      Forget I mentioned Grace then, here’s the study:

      They give RS2 to pigs and find that it’s fermented in the small intestine, unless you add fiber, in which case it gets to the large intestine.

      It looks like gelling-then-cooling potato starch does indeed convert it to RS3:

      “When starch is heated in the presence of water and subsequently cooled, the disrupted amylose and amylopectin chains can gradually re-associate into a different ordered structure in a process termed retrogradation. A schematic representation of changes that occur in a starch–water mixture during heating, cooling, and storage is shown in Figure 2. Starch retrogradation is usually accompanied by a series of physical changes such as increased viscosity and turbidity of pastes, gel formation, exudation of water and increased degree of crystallinity”

      So it looks like it would be more effective to mix potato starch (RS2) in water, heat it, then cool it, then consume it, so you’re consuming RS3, which is more effective at feeding the large intestine biome.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 9, 2017 at 11:29


      Understand first and foremost that I always understand explicitly what everyone is up to, even when they don’t know themselves. It’s not supernatural. It’s a talent.

      Here’s where you have erred and made it such that I don’t care to look into your Big News.

      You’ve conflated microwave and heating via water. The former is generating heat via the water molecules themselves, inside the RS structure while the former is exogenous heating via an outside source.

      You’re going to have to be a lot more exhaustive than that to get me to look, especially since Grace is involved and has made it her mission to get out of the place where most people just ignore her because she’s Grace and never realized her popularity was because of Tim and I, a fact she hates. But most people find her unappealing. Tim and I not, provided she sticks to what she does best.

      As for the pig-picking study, maybe I’ll look. There is enough science to know RS gets to the colon and this silly notion you have that retrograde starch is more powereful, or whatever, is just stupid or fucktarded, but it’s irrelevant to understand which.

      You might consider trying to stop being as stupid as you seem to want to be.

    • Neil Murphy on July 9, 2017 at 14:04

      “Understand first and foremost that I always understand explicitly what everyone is up to, even when they don’t know themselves. It’s not supernatural. It’s a talent.” It’s projection, actually, and I’m not sure what you’re implying but I am sure it’s irrelevant.

      I was curious about your opinion, but you seem to be more interested in unrelated personal issues than the science. Although, if you think that heating water via microwave is different from heating water via anything else with regards to starch, you’re probably not the best person to ask about anything scientific.

      And hey, it’s your site. If you want to insult the people adding value to it through discussion, that’s your prerogative. Hope the rest of your life is as pleasant as you are.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 9, 2017 at 14:20

      I think you’re just trying to get me to email you Grace Liu’s nude selfies.

      You ought to pay better attention, perhaps search the blog a bit.

      You’re wasting my time and now we’re into pearls before swine.

      Stop being stupid and sycophantic. Never come to me with: “but my jerkoff fantasy says…”

  8. Richard Nikoley on June 25, 2013 at 11:39

    …Now I’m going to have to try that with the plantain flour….

  9. Jens on June 25, 2013 at 11:52


    thanks for the tip. will try to do it as soon as I get home.
    Anyway, according to the ingredients list, it should be starch and not flour.
    What I was expecting for you to clear up is, if there’s any difference regarding the method of extracting the potato starch, since I know you can do it by dehydrating the potatoes either with cold or with heat.
    As I understand, cold would be far superior in terms of not destroying R2 resistant starch, than heat drying.
    Any insight regarding this topic?


  10. Richard Nikoley on June 25, 2013 at 11:57


    Not sure and often, heat drying is more like desiccation—just hot enough to help the natural evaporation of water—like making REAL beef jerky, which should be dried at 104F max. RS should remain intact up to 140F.

  11. JensDK on June 26, 2013 at 02:15

    Another interesting paper:
    I can only access the abstract but it seems that the higher the amylose content, the more RS survives the heat treatment.


    Two genetically modified potato starches derived from the same mother line (64%, 1% and 23% amylose, respectively) were used to study the bioavailability after various heat treatments. The conditions for the treatments were of minor importance for resistant starch (RS) formation and hydrolysis results, as compared to the proportion of amylose. A high amylose content gave lower hydrolysis index (HI) and higher amounts of RS than starches with less amylose. Retrograded amylopectin contributed to a decreased HI, although only the high amylose line showed sufficient reduction in predicted glycaemic indices (Gl). The line with high amylose content contained 25-30% RS vs. in the range of 0-5% for the other starches. Results could neither be explained by the presence of intact granules, nor by the content of retrograded amylose. Therefore, a synergistic effect between the starch components was suggested to affect the RS and starch hydrolysis.

  12. Jens on June 25, 2013 at 12:18

    Richard, just to clarify, you were talking with another Jens in this thread (the one who lives in Chile, cf. his first post). I am the one who left a comment in the other blog post and I live in Denmark. I can definitely contact the manufacturer but will try your MW trick first 🙂

  13. Jens Pribnow on June 25, 2013 at 12:27

    Hehe…small world…
    added my last name to avoid confusion….i’m the one from Chile.

  14. Richard Nikoley on June 25, 2013 at 12:33

    What are the ods? A Jens who lives in Denmark and got Denmarkian PS, and a Jens who lives in Chile and got likely the same Denmarkian PS, both commenting on my blog same day.

  15. Richard Nikoley on June 25, 2013 at 12:34

    ….Oh, and if you’ll excuse me, I’m headed out the door. Need to buy a lottery AND a PowerBall ticket.

  16. Robb Wolf on June 25, 2013 at 12:42


    Grabbing a banana to re-read this.

  17. Jens on June 25, 2013 at 12:44

    Richard, lightning doesn’t strike the same place twice 😉

  18. tatertot on June 25, 2013 at 12:47

    @Jens – i saw that other comment to, glad you brought it forward.

    I’m not really sure how you could tell from just looking at it. I saw a bag of potato flour, and it appeared kind of grayish. Potato starch is very bright white. Also, if you mix a regular flour with water, it is hard to mix. Mixing starch and water produces a very strange substance–kind of like quicksand. I saw a show on TV where they filled a pool with starch and water–you could run across the surface but if you stopped you sank (I guess you could try that method). It’s technically called a ‘non-newtonian fluid’ Here’s an example of that property using potato starch:

    There are other options besides potato starch if you aren’t comfortable with the starch you are finding in stores. Eat very green bananas, they aren’t very good–but it’s do-able. Eat raw potato slices, again, not great but do-able. Buy some very green plantains, slice and air dry them, sprinkle with salt–actually pretty tasty.

    You can slice a raw potato and cook it in water that is kept under 140 degrees or so, it will warm it up and give it a better taste and texture than completely raw. Heated above 150 the RS is destroyed. Cook a potato in this manner and sprinkle with salt and vinegar. Eat it warm or cold, it’s pretty crunchy, but definitely not too bad.

    Kidney beans are a good source of RS, too.

    Put all these ideas together and you can easily get 20-40g/day of RS without any potato starch.

    • Larry on March 10, 2015 at 21:20

      How do fried plantain chips work as a RS source?

  19. Jens Pribnow on June 25, 2013 at 12:47

    Not likely a black swan..hehe
    anyway this is amusing at the least…
    Maybe the red mill stuff is also made in Denmark..that would be something…

  20. Jens Pribnow on June 25, 2013 at 12:54

    Actually, I prefer the starch due to its convenience.
    I plan to take 40 gr daily (started yesterday), and it’s really easy to add it to milk…almost don’t feel the taste.
    According to your description of the flour/starch, it must be starch, because it’s a very white and fine powder.

  21. Richard Nikoley on June 25, 2013 at 14:27


    Yea, very confident you have the right stuff. Do that microwave test anyway, because it’s fun…and just in case you’re low on hair gel.

  22. marie on June 25, 2013 at 20:17

    Richard, truly impressive synthesis and presentation of the literature seraches with these great references by tatertot and you to the real science behind RS, from the start of this series and even earlier in tatertot’s first comments. Thank you both!
    It reminds me that reading the science ‘for ourselves’ has become indispensable, which was also recently brought forward in another context and broader sense by Robb Wolf et al :

  23. Sharyn on June 25, 2013 at 20:23

    Hmmm. still confused. Label says potato FLOUR. Very fine, bright white powder. Microwave test gives me clear hair gel (very weird stuff, still playing with it). So is this really potato STARCH i.e. the good stuff you are talking about?

  24. John on June 26, 2013 at 10:36


    I’ve been more diligent about targeting the 30 grams of PS a day the past few days, and plan on doing it for at least the next 90 days (probably longer if things go well). Have noticed odd energy levels, waking up in the middle of the night full of energy, and have been sleepy during the day (though this could easily have been some other thing in my life going on too). Although it’s possible that nighttime SCFA production could have given me a burst of energy.

    In addition to PS straight in water, I also plan on using it with kefir and maybe other fermented foods. I think I’ll also add a bit of raw potato, and some cooked and cooled potatoes and rice as well (Those last two seem like excellent ideas post workout).

    Have you looked into sweet potatoes at all? Raw, cooked, and cooked and cooled? Might experiment with them as well.

    I think this idea of focusing on “the other 90% of us” is a great one. There’s a book out called “The Epidemic of Absence” that explores the idea that allergies and auto-immune diseases are caused by a lack of parasites. I also think Edwin Shank (the farmer who went on the Raw Milk diet) had a great take on bacteria here-

  25. Richard Nikoley on June 25, 2013 at 20:54


    That sound like the stuff, but who is the manufacturer, or at least, what does the label say?

    I suspect….well hold on…

    Ok, back from the kitchen where I just tested 4 powders, exactly the same: rounded teaspoon, about a half cup cold water, stirred to a slurry, nuked until boiling over the top of my 10oz Italian milk glass.

    The results (you already have the results of the potato starch: clear hair gel.

    1. Plantain flour, purported to have high RS, but contains the fat, other sugars and proteins. This came out as salon hair gel (brown with dark streaks) or a topping for bananas flambé. It tastes awesome. A little booze in it and some vanilla ice cream and you’ve got something, though the starch will be rapidly digesting.

    2. Tapioca flour, it’s just as white and fine as the potato and guess what, pretty much the same clear hair gel.

    …at this point Im thinking Im an idiot, that all I’m showing is that starch, per se, makes a water slurry into a gel. But I persist.

    3. Bob’s gluten free flour (garbanzo and fava). It came out as hot mud. No gelatinization whatsoever,

    4. Bob’s cocnut four. Same as number 3, but smelled like someone just took a shit on the kitchen floor.

    I would like to test wheat flour, as that’s the go-to thing for thickening , roux and such, but I didn’t even have any in deep dark recesses where I stash my crack and heroin.

  26. Sharyn on June 25, 2013 at 21:16

    Tried white flour (my partner’s girls like making cupcakes). Apart from nuking too long and making a mess, it’s inconclusive – gooey whitish translucent, not gel. Maybe need to nuke it more. Suspect you’re right and starch + water + nuking = gel
    The ‘potato flour’ doesn’t have any decent info on the label, I suspect it’s local, and will chase up the manufacturer.
    I’d love to try Bob’s Red Mill potato starch but can’t yet find a source that will ship to NZ.
    Thanks for the reply; sorry about the smell in your kitchen.

  27. Sharyn on June 25, 2013 at 21:59

    After some googling I think I might have a good differentiator – potato flour is approx 7% protein (from Wiki says potato starch has minimal protein. The label on my stuff says 0.1g protein per 100g. Hence I believe it to be the good stuff, i.e. potato starch.
    The experiment shall now commence.

  28. tatertot on June 25, 2013 at 22:01

    I’ll bet that if it says ‘potato flour’ it’s the wrong stuff. Potato flour is made from cooked potatoes, also known as ‘pre-gelatinized’ starch. I found this on the internet: Pretty cheap and looks like the right stuff.

    Good luck!

  29. tatertot on June 25, 2013 at 22:06

    @sharyn – Looks like we posted at the same time–I don’t know what to think. Seems strange it says flour, but it does sound like starch.

    I’ve been leery of using tapioca starch, too. The label says “Tapioca Starch also known as tapioca flour”. Reading up on it, the raw plant it comes from, Cassava, contains cyanide and has to be treated to remove it–I’m afraid the treatment involves heating or something that destroys the RS value.

  30. Brock in HK on June 25, 2013 at 22:08

    Sharyn: Not to be a shill, but I find iHerb ships to about anywhere and for reasonable rates. I’m in Hong Kong and always very impressed with how cheap their shipping charge is to get my order here by DHL in only a few days. I’ll be putting Bob’s Red Mill in my next order.

    Richard – excellent gathering of information on RS. Commendations!

  31. Sharyn on June 25, 2013 at 22:12

    Hi there tatertot – thanks for the link and I’ll try some ASAP.
    FYI I found a reference in the NZ Allergy handbook that says the terms are used interchangeably here – no idea why.

  32. JensDK on June 26, 2013 at 01:56

    Hi guys, I will do the “hair gel test” tonight just for the fun of it 🙂
    The stuff I buy here in DK is definitely PS, not PF. Actually, the Danish web page I linked above explains the confusion in the wording.

    Another funny thing: there are a few suggestions as to the possible uses of potato starch on the package of the PS I buy … none of them deal with cooking at all. I will translate that to you tonight 🙂

    But the main use is about thickening gravies and soups, and is ine of the key ingredients in the famous Danish dish called “rødgrød” (see with the following punch line: “potato starch is today the standard choice to achieve a creamy to pudding-like starch gelatinization”).

    So, a good rødgrød with potato starch, red berries and xylitol would probably be a good way to have RS, especially because you add the starch when the fruits are cooled down (after cooking them with the sweetener). In principle, you have to cook it again for the gelatinization but I could try to bypass and see how it tastes.

  33. JensDK on June 26, 2013 at 02:19

    Re potatoes and amylose content:
    So US potatoes are on average lower in amylose than foreign cultivars …

  34. Viktor on June 26, 2013 at 02:51

    Hi guys

    The rationale is sound and the science is there to support it, Richard, tatertot – excellent work.

    Potato flour and potato starch are also used interchangably in Sweden and I just confirmed that I am eating starch despite the label. My bet is that actual potato flour is quite rare in most countries.


  35. tatertot on June 26, 2013 at 16:58

    Apparently Jimmy Moore just posted this on his site to counter the American Gut article (I don’t have a link to it):

    “As long as you eat fermented foods from quality food sources in your low-carb lifestyle, then having a very low-carb nutritional intake doesn’t require resistant starch and dietary fiber to feed the buggers in your gut. Let this be a reminder to anyone who eats a low-carb plan to make sure you are consuming foods like sauerkraut, yogurt, kombucha and other fermented foods. I appreciate the work Jeff is doing at the American Gut Project and you can listen to him talk about this on my podcast a few months back: I encourage my fellow low-carbers to participate in getting your microbiome tested too: an hour ago”

    I think Jimmy Moore is missing the point.

  36. JensDK on June 26, 2013 at 03:02

    Amylose effect on colonic activity assessed by measuring the hydrogen content of breath:

    So amylose is the key component we must focus on as far as starch is concerned. And I was just reading that wrinkled pea starch contains as much as 70% amylose, and that the amylose to amylopectin ratio increases as the peas mature.

    Have you therefore considered wrinkled pea starch as well ? In some of the foods I buy, I see pea starch as an ingredient. Not sure how it fares with heat though …

  37. JensDK on June 26, 2013 at 03:54

    By the way, after reading this article that you cite in your post (“RS consumption promotes lipid oxidation”), I am wondering about the amount of RS one should really ingest in a meal because clearly, the effects are not linear at all. You would expect that adding more RS would trigger more beneficial effects but that’s not what is observed in this study: there seems to be an optimum amount that maximizes these effects and above which they are no longer observed.

  38. Emma on June 26, 2013 at 05:09

    @ Sharyn, you can buy the Bob’s Red Mill potato starch from iHerb. They deliver to Australia for a very reasonable charge, I can’t imagine NZ would be much different. 🙂

  39. Marc on June 26, 2013 at 06:12

    Richard and TaterT,


    Richard, I find it interesting that your comments are so minimal for these last quality RS posts.

    Even though this started as one of your perceived “experiments” you’ve given great back up and references from the get go….
    and as such, probably scared the shit out of many readers lol.

    Wake up calls suck don’t they??

    My aim for trying was NOT for help with weight loss or satiety, but wanted to check out if I would notice the sleep and healthy gut benefits you experienced.

    Bob’s RM (I’ve used their tapioca flour for years now when I make brazillian cheeseballs) is what I used.
    Results after just 4 days of about 3-5 tablespoons per day..

    I literally can’t remember sleeping as good and dreaming as vividly as an adult ever. It felt like sleep from when I was 10 years old.
    As to the gut, same results, don’t wanna go into tmi.

    Keep rocking it!!!!!!


  40. Preston on June 26, 2013 at 06:35

    Ref: Canna

    I believe the Nez Pierce indians were canna eaters in what is now Idaho. I’ll have to check a reference when I get home. Supposedly, the regularly migrated through areas where cannas grew, harvested what they needed and left enough to grow for next year’s visit.

    The Nez Pierce were the bad asses of the region that hired themselves out as mercenaries to other tribes. When the Lewis & Clark expedition encountered them, the Nez Pierce already had firearms. Apparently from trading with other tribes farther East.

    A couple of years after L&C returned home, a couple of Nez Pierce showed up on Clark’s door. The had retraced his journey to find him and ask that he arrange for teachers to come to the tribe.

    A very interesting tribe of people.

  41. EF on June 26, 2013 at 06:56

    Here is a link to someone making potato starch:

    Let’s hope the finance guys at Bob’s Red Mill don’t catch a whiff of the magic of PS and jack up their price!

  42. Richard Nikoley on June 26, 2013 at 07:59


    Yea, I noted that too, which is why I think it’s good to mix things up. Some here, some there, more one time, sometimes with food and sometimes by itself.

  43. T. Knapp on June 26, 2013 at 09:10

    So, outside of eating a non-whole food, or diving into legumes, etc. how does one get their magical “30-40g” of resistant starch per day?

  44. Pickles on June 26, 2013 at 09:48

    So after reading all this potato talk, it seems like plain old russet/white potatoes are better than sweet potatoes after all?

    Like if I wanted to go bonkers on potatoes and load up after a hard training session, cold white potatoes would be the best choice.

  45. tatertot on June 26, 2013 at 09:52

    I’m going to try to catch up on the comments here, in no particular order…

    Back before I came across the fact that potato starch was so readily available, cheap, and high in RS, I was trying to get 30g or more a day from regular foods. Here’s how to do it:

    1 very green banana – 15g
    1 cooked and cooled potato – 5g
    1 thick slice of raw potato – 5g
    1/2 a large plantain, dried – 10g
    1/2 cup of cold rice – 2g
    1 cooked potato – 2g
    1/2 cup cooked kidney beans (or other legumes) – 10g
    1 corn tortilla – 2g
    1/2 cup of muesli or gluten free granola – 3g

    These are all approximate counts, but fairly accurate. You can see that staying true to paleo takes a few of them out for regular consumption, but some of the highest counts are found in completely paleo foods.

    The trouble with keeping up with this effort: the biggest sources, ie. green bananas, raw potato, dried plantains, are either not that great to eat or a pain to prepare.

    I was seriously getting ready to buy some Hi-Maize corn starch when I stumbled across the high RS value of potato starch.

    A word on Hi-Maize: It actually may not be the evil product that I make it out to be. It may be just fine. I am just highly dubious since it is a manufactured RS and made by the people that brought us High Fructose Corn Syrup. However, if I saw some corn tortillas made with Hi-Maize that had 10g or so of RS, I’d buy them. It seems that National Starch, though, would rather have Hi-Maize in all baked goods, breads, donuts, pasta, etc… I think they want to make it seem like crappy grain-based foods are going to be healthy with their RS added to it.

    Anyway, you can see it’s not impossible to get 30g or more a day of RS by just eating real foods. My plan, long-term, is to target these foods as much as possible and supplement some potato starch when I fall short.

    Another product I’ve tried is plantain flour. It’s about 50% RS by weight, but it must be used uncooked. It doesn’t mix as well as potato starch, and the only way I found to eat it is mixed in a smoothie or made into a dough-like mixture. It’s fairly cheap and good for variety. Basically like eating dried plantains.

  46. tatertot on June 26, 2013 at 10:12

    Re: Amylose/Amylopectin –

    From what I can gather, all natural starch sources are a combination of amylose and amylopection. Potatoes are generally 75% amylopectin/25% amylose. When eating raw potato (or raw potato starch) this is of no concern–it’s still 75-80% RS by weight. This is due to the unique shape and natural packaging of potato starch. In it’s raw state, it is resistant to digestion.

    Where the ratio comes into play is in the cooking and cooling which forms retrograded RS. Retrograded amylose is unique in that it makes a starch that does not re-gel easily. This is why Hi-Maize is so special. It is made from specially bred corn that is nearly all amylose. Natural corn starch is shaped and sized in a way that it is not resistant to digestion, but when repeatedly heated and cooled, it forms a new type of starch that is very resistant to digestion AND can withstand high heat as found in cooking. This is why Hi-Maize can be used in baking.

    Remember SuperStarch? It is made from corn called ‘waxy maize’, naturally high in amylopectin. Eaten raw, it is nearly 100% non-RS, but when heated and cooled, it, too, forms retrograded RS. The difference is retrograded RS cannot withstand high temps so it must be used in a cold product like a sports drink or mix.

    Hi-Maize is only 50% RS by weight. SuperStarch is maybe 25%, but I’m guessing. They don’t market SuperStarch as RS but they do call it a carb that has no impact on blood sugar and regulates insulin spikes…hmmmm, sounds like RS to me.

    Other starches we’ve talked about have different shapes and sizes of starch granules making them all less resistant than potato starch. There are undoubtedly some starches that are just as, or more resistant than potato starch. Arrowroot may be one. Cassava (tapioca) may be one. Canna, too. There’s just not much written on these.

    The 1922 study in the main article, is kind of like a precursor to resistant starch research. Many inferences can be made if you read it carefully. You can also see the effect of gut microbes, even though the researchers didn’t know anything about them.

    A lot of the other stuff talked about in the comments above in regards to breath hydrogen and starch I think has more to do with a cooked product than raw starch. I have to run, but I’ll try to tackle a couple others later today.

    Thanks for your interest!

  47. tatertot on June 26, 2013 at 10:46

    @John – Sweet Potatoes, raw or whatever, are low in starch and have almost no resistant starch. Their carbs are supplied mainly via sugars. Paul Jaminet had a second look at them after declaring them a ‘safe starch’

  48. tatertot on June 26, 2013 at 10:54

    @Pickles – Sweet potatoes are just different. Different sets of vitamins, minerals, fibers…in some ways maybe better than white potatoes, some ways worse–just different and not a good source of RS.

    As to using RS foods in conjunction with exercising, a link found in the main article:

    If you are interested, read this thesis and tell us what you think would be the best way to handle RS and exercising. I searched the document, they don’t talk about potato starch, but do mention High-Amylose corn. I haven’t really read the whole document critically, but plan to. You could probably write a book based on the content of this thesis.

  49. Joshua on June 26, 2013 at 12:01

    A thought just occurred to me regarding “gastric bypass surgery may result in weight loss”. Wouldn’t one of the results of the surgery be that more nourishment is getting to the bugs in the large intestine? RS sure seems like an easier way to feed my colon bacteria than surgery.

    What if that’s the primary reason that “The procedure results in significant weight loss as well as improvements in associated conditions such as type 2 diabetes. Decreased calories, however, can’t fully account for all these effects.”

  50. tatertot on June 26, 2013 at 12:06

    @Joshua – Good job if you put that together on your own! It is being proposed as the mechanism behind the surgery already:
    Can’t remember if we’ve talked about this much here before–I don’t think so. I know Richard and I discussed it in emails.

    From the link:
    “The researchers next performed a series of “fecal transplants.” They collected samples of gut microbial communities from mice that had undergone gastric bypass, sham surgery, or sham surgery plus restricted diet. The samples were put into the stomachs of lean mice that were germ free and thus had no preexisting gut microbial communities.

    The mice that received microbes from the RYGB surgery mice lost weight and had less fat mass than mice that received microbes from either group of sham surgery mice. The mice that received the RYGB-mouse microbes had a food intake similar to mice that remained germ free.

    This research shows that the beneficial effects of RYGB surgery are due in part to changes in the gut microbial community. “Our findings emphasize the importance of accounting for the influence of the trillions of microbes that inhabit our body when we consider obesity and other complex diseases,” Turnbaugh says. “

  51. goloo on June 26, 2013 at 12:57

    I am going back to the fat reducing diet that has always worked for me… boring but effective, its basically moderate protein high fat – I basically drinking coffee with coconut oil in the AM – then for dinner have a bunch of raw egg yolks (duck and chicken) and raw ground beef (yes, all pasture raised and crap)…

    any thoughts as to how adding a heaping spoon of Bob’s potato starch might help (or hurt) this eating regimen?

  52. Cathy on June 26, 2013 at 13:11

    So Tatertot, (sorry Richard to make it seem like the comments are hijacked by our dear friend but…) if I eat a raw potato of non determined size, that would be about 15 g of RS? I personally like the taste of raw potato and have even eaten potato peels when I was little. Might be weird, but there it is. I’m loving this idea about RS and these last two posts.

    p.s. also quite fond of the very green banana!

  53. tatertot on June 26, 2013 at 13:49

    @Cathy – I don’t think Richard minds, but I’ll tell you–I don’t know how he does it–keeping up with comments like he does…this little venture has put me off ever starting a blog of my own, that’s for sure!

    Here’s the deal with raw potatoes. Potatoes can vary in content of total starch (TS), but the fraction of RS to TS is always going to be 75-85% RS by weight of TS.

    For ease of conversation, we’ll divide potatoes into 5 groups: Russetts, Blues, Whites, Yellows, and Reds. The Russetts are the big oblong type you see most commonly as baked potatoes, these have the highest starch content (up to 22% by weight). The Reds have the lowest starch content, around 13% by weight. The others are in between 13-22% to varying degrees, although some purple potatoes (not purple sweet potatoes!) have more than 22%–but these are not commonly found in stores.

    So, let’s say you pick up an averaged size Russett potato, the kind that have a high starch content–good for baking. It weighs 225g, about half-a-pound. This potato will contain about 50g of total starch. 78% of that will be RS, or 39g. Cut it into 8 equal slices about 1/2″ thick, and each slice will contain about 5g of RS.

    Do the same thing with a 1/2 pound red potato and you may only net 22g RS. Any potato you can find in a supermarket or farmer’s market will yield somewhere between 40-80g RS per pound.

    If you extract the starch from any potato, you will end up with pure starch which is always very close to 78% RS by weight.

    If you like eating raw potatoes, and I kind of like them, too, it’s best to choose the Russett or blue varieties for the max RS. The others are perfectly fine, just not as much RS.

    Unless you are growing your own potatoes, I would suggest peeling them well and removing any greenish discolored flesh or black spots. Potatoes are treated heavily with fungicides, pesticides, and anti-sprouting agents. The skin stops most of this, so removing the skin results in fairly safe food. If you grow your own and haven’t used any sprays, it’s safe to eat the skin.

  54. tatertot on June 26, 2013 at 13:55

    @goloo – I’ve pondered this a lot. I would love to see someone try. I have no idea what the outcome might be, but I can’t see where it would be harmful. It may make the high-fat, low carb diet extremely healthy.

    The stuff found in coprolites (preserved poop) from the stone age as Richard talks about above, was loaded with plant fibers and other prebiotics and animal remains. They probably ate very little actual starch and hardly any sugar.

  55. tatertot on June 26, 2013 at 15:16

    To all concerned. New article today from the American Gut Project people:

    All about low carb and gut microbes…timely or what?

  56. Cathy on June 26, 2013 at 15:31

    thanks a lot Tater Tot! I usually just eat the russets anyway. My mother-in-law is from Idaho so its a good thing potatoes are high on my list.

    Richard, I am also experiencing what you have talked about in not caring to be a glutton anymore or to eat too much fat or meat, just to eat enough. I think when the bloom is off the LC rose, reality takes over and sanity comes through. At least I hope so!

  57. Rook on June 26, 2013 at 15:49

    @Sharyn, – I’m also in NZ. I managed to find some potato starch at my local new world. Did you end up getting the bobs red mill branded stuff?

  58. Richard Nikoley on June 26, 2013 at 16:20


    That’s interesting. I think it will be even more interesting once they have the data on the gut samples.

  59. John on June 26, 2013 at 16:47

    B7 the way, when eating raw potatoes, I’ve found Russets to be pretty tasty. Got some fully red (not just the skin, but the flesh too) and purple potatoes from the farmer’s market and didn’t like them raw at all.

  60. tatertot on June 26, 2013 at 17:02

    @John – Those purple/blue potatoes are supposed to be very healthy. The color is from antioxidants, like in blueberries. I saw a study where the antioxidants were delivered to places they don’t normally get because they hitch a ride with the RS. I have a 50′ row of them growing. 3 different varieties. One is a fingerling blue potato that is supposed to be exactly like the ancient Incans grew. Can’t wait to try them out.

  61. Richard Nikoley on June 26, 2013 at 17:47


    Unless that’s in a comment somewhere, it’s not on his blog so far as I can tell. Any ref at all? I’d like to gently rebut my friend.

  62. Richard Nikoley on June 26, 2013 at 17:51

    Fingerling taters are about my favorite. Check out this meal.

    Those were roasted and they cam out so perfect, like half french fry and half mashed.

  63. John on June 26, 2013 at 18:49

    Tatertot, don’t get me wrong. The purple and red ones taste great cooked (maybe cooked and cooled too), and they look super snazzy to boot, but raw, I just didn’t find them at all appealing. I’ll try a bit of them again raw, maybe just got a couple weird ones.

  64. tatertot on June 26, 2013 at 19:26

    @Richard – It’s on his Facebook page:

    @John – I’ve never tried them raw. I will one day, and I believe what you are saying! No worries…

  65. Damo on June 26, 2013 at 20:31

    Link to Bobs Red mill PS for NZ.

  66. Richard Nikoley on June 26, 2013 at 22:30


    quick comment drop, not a lot of editing:

    Jimmy man. You know I love & defend you and have no reason to change. But I have a problem. I have to say that what you write signals a bit of ignorance—which I consider understandable because you already put in about 36 hours a day by my calculations.

    Most probiotics do not get past your stomach and small intesine before being destroyed in the process. Like a lot of vitamins not absorbed, most probiotics simply give you expensive shit.

    Resistant starch is a very, very particular kind of starch. Just as there are distinctions to make in terms of proteins & fats, there are distinctions to make in terms of carbohydrate and starch. Resistant starch is unique in that it can get all the way to you colon uncompromised. Now, combine that with probiotics. there’s actually a way to protect probiotics, via resistant starch. Studies I have linked to in my posts actually show in images probiotic bacteria taking a ride on RS graduals so they can get to the colon.

    What kinda amuses me is that just like the fact that we live indoors and need to supplement D, don’t eat nose to tail and supplement K2, soil is depleted so we sup Mag, that because it has the word STARCH in it, cant be a supplement because it’s counter-catechism. We’re talking about roughly 20g of glucose slowly absorbed, but most studies show it actually reduces BG in both humans and animals, both postpradally and fasting BG, and I have tons of anecdotes in my comments.

    We’re not going to be out eating tree bark and pollen or other things that show up prominently in fossilized shit. So, supplementation and one can still be LC or VLC and cover it, and even see a 20 pt drop in fasting BG as many have reported, including my T2 mom.

    Gut biomass is literally 10 times the number of cells in you body and I’m sorry to convey a very inconvenient truth to you, but that other 90% eats carbs exclusively. You will not get around facts like that and ultimately, you, as I, will be judged on your honest integration of incontrovertible fact.

  67. JensDK on June 27, 2013 at 00:44

    Too long on VLC yields a resistant mind … 😉

    In my experience, going VLC was a way to shake my metabolism, not a long term lifestyle. Granted, I am no longer a big fan of cheap carb orgies (and at random times of the day and night) as I used to be but bypassing delicious fruits and tubers seems a little too extreme when I know that I don’t have any particular sensitivity. I do stay off gluten bearing grains, artificial PUFAs and high doses of fructose, but for the rest, I see no reason to avoid good foods. Potatoes are definitely a good food item (unless you are sensitive to nightshades, tough luck then) and the RS thing is a big bonus that comes very cheap. Is it that hard to test something as simple as this for like a few weeks ?

  68. Jack on June 27, 2013 at 04:55

    Wow, thanks for putting all this research together for us!

    Case close!

  69. T. Knapp on June 27, 2013 at 05:16

    “The stuff found in coprolites (preserved poop) from the stone age as Richard talks about above, was loaded with plant fibers and other prebiotics and animal remains. They probably ate very little actual starch and hardly any sugar.”

    Wait! I thought the entire premise was that this was something we’re missing in our modern diets?

  70. Daria on June 27, 2013 at 07:18
  71. tatertot on June 27, 2013 at 08:44

    @Richard – Nice reply to Jimmy.

    @T.Knapp – This whole debacle isn’t about carbs and starch, it’s about resistant starch and prebiotics. No one ever said that carbs or starch is the missing link. Paul Jaminet thinks we should be eating about 100-200g/day of carbs, mostly from starchy veggies to be in line with ancestral eating patterns. That’s probably a good range, but we can and do thrive on more or less. Starchy carbs feed us–the human host. What is missing is food for our gut bacteria…that comes from plant fiber and resistant starch. This whole RS series is about using unique forms of RS to fill the gap between what we need and what we can get from normal paleo eating.

  72. jon on June 27, 2013 at 08:44

    I just did a test run of 3-4 oz (lager espresso cup) of my beloved goats milk kefir with 1 teaspoon of potato starch. Mix well and drink … ugh, i was starting to gag by the end of trying to get down the concoction.

    What ratio of kefir do you use when drinking it + potato starch?

    Its a self experiment i’d like to try, but i dont think ill get past day 1 unless i get this mixture down. I dont tend to normally drink more than 2 espresso cups of kefir at a time, maybe i’ll have to up it .. ?


  73. Allison on June 27, 2013 at 11:52

    I have a question about yogurt and resistant starch. It was mentioned that the yogurt eats up the resistant starch or just the regular starch? When I am a in a hurry to get to work and don’t have time to cook a lunch. I grab some greek yogurt and mix it with my potato starch and dump in some strawberries and blueberries. It sits in my office fridge until about 2 when I can go outside enjoy the sunshine and eat. Am I losing my resistant starch in the yogurt by mixing it ahead of time?

  74. tatertot on June 27, 2013 at 12:01

    @Allison – I think what you are doing is perfectly fine, and maybe even ideal. It may be giving the bacteria a little more time to attach themselves to the starch granules. At any rate, being refrigerated should slow down any digestion going on.

    I think where the problem lies, is when a giant food company tries to make a product that can sit on the shelf for months.

    I’ve been meaning to do an experiment. 2 jars: 1 filled with yogurt, 1 filled with yogurt+potato starch. Seal jars and see if one builds up pressure more than the other indicating digestion. If it works at room temp, repeat in fridge. Maybe this weekend.

  75. tatertot on June 27, 2013 at 12:10

    @jon – If I’m planning on drinking my potato starch, I will mix 1-4TBS in an 8oz or so glass of whatever–kefir, milk, coconut milk, water. You have to swirl the last bit to get it all out as it settles before you can finish usually. I have never had a problem with the taste or texture. I actually kind of like it.

    The other night, I did this: Mixed 4TBS of potato starch with just enough kefir to turn it into a watery paste in a bowl. Then I added a handful of organic muesli mix (uncooked rolled oats, nuts, seeds) and a handful of frozen blueberries. The kefir/starch coated everything and gave it a nice porridge like consistency. It was one of the better ways I’ve tried.

    Another really good way: We bought a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker this summer. I have been making some awesome ice cream with kefir, whole cream milk, guar gum, cocoa powder, and either stevia or erythritol as a sweetner (still experimenting). Sometimes an egg yolk or two. Sometimes coconut milk–you get the idea. Anyway, during the last minute or two of mixing, I dump in 1/4 cup of potato starch. It incorporates fully and adds to the texture. Almost seems too good to be true!

  76. Khaleesi on June 27, 2013 at 12:37

    This is just to say that we are all here to eat real food, not processed, amiright? So what’s with all the potato flour talk? Just put a damn potato in your mout people, or you could always call Kraft and have them process it for you.

  77. Richard Nikoley on June 27, 2013 at 12:48

    Indeed, Kahleesi

    Just this morning, I went and put a vitamin D in my mouth. Took a bit of searching, but I found one. Next, I went hunting for a vitamin K2. That was tough, I had to corner it behind a bush, but I got ‘im. A little later I took a magnesium. That was easy, because I know how to catch them, and set up a trap last night.

  78. Richard Nikoley on June 27, 2013 at 12:55

    …BTW, your kitchen must be quite interesting, with no knives, tools of any kind…certainly no “food processor.” No cooking stove, no oven, etc.

    You certainly don’t want to “process” anything.

    Ironically, you extract starch from raw potatoes with zero heat, water only and you could do it with stone tools.

    But thanks, I was wondering when both moron and ignorant was going to show up at the same time.

  79. tatertot on June 27, 2013 at 12:57

    @Khaleesi – I know you are just here to harass, but in case another person drops in and sees this comment, I will respond.

    The whole point we’re making is that Resistant Starch is a very important, and mainly lacking, nutrient in SAD as well as paleo. We’ve gone to great lengths showing how to get RS from real foods (hint–sticking a potato in your mouth won’t do it). We’ve also pointed out that a cheap and effective product (potato starch) is available as a supplement when one’s diet isn’t delivering enough RS or when one wants to ramp up intake substantially.

    I have no problem with potato starch. 4 TBS = 30+g of RS. With just a little effort, I could extract 4TBS of starch from a big potato. Potato starch is about as un-processed as you can get. They grind potatoes, remove the solids, filter out anything that isn’t starch and package it. No chemicals or heat involved. Actually, potato starch is probably cleaner than store bought potatoes with their sprout inhibitors and anti-fungal treatments.

    Anyway, thanks for dropping by.

  80. Tom Naughton on June 27, 2013 at 15:05

    Great stuff, Richard. I’ve been inspired to do a little experimenting, starting with black beans, which I happen to like.

    Certainly not everyone in the LC world is resistant to the idea of resistant starch. I found this 2009 article on Laura Dolson’s Low-Carb Diets site:

  81. Richard Nikoley on June 27, 2013 at 15:21


    I could have predicted that if any generally LC advocate that has an audience took this up as a fair lookiesee, it would be you.

    Honesty. Gets honest people every time.

  82. Cathy on June 27, 2013 at 15:26

    On my way to work today, I stopped by my Kroger grocery store and for $5 even I bought a green banana, a potato weighing about 8 oz. and a bag of Bob’s potato starch. Just a simple 5 dollar bill. I ate the green banana and liked it. I cannot stand bananas when they get ripe and taste like a banana. Here’s to self experimentation!

  83. tatertot on June 27, 2013 at 15:50

    @cathy – I sometimes get green bananas that are so green you can’t peel them. If you get one of those, the easiest thing to do is cut it in half length-wise, then you can kind of roll the banana halves out of the peel.

    I tried really, really hard to get 30g+ a day from real food. The closest I ever got was with green bananas. 2-3 a day is exactly like 4TBS of potato starch. When we go on our once-a-week shopping trip, we buy a huge bunch of the greenest bananas we can find and eat on them until they are yellow–usually 3-4 days. After that it’s like, ‘meh’, and they usually get tossed.

    Eating lots of raw potato is kind of tough. We did some experiments around here with Sous-Vide, trying to cook them without heating above 150 degrees. I heated water up to 140 and ‘cooked’ potato slices for 30 minutes, then grated them. They were edible. Tasted more like a turnip. Not bad with salt and vinegar, but not something you’d want every day.

    Green bananas are very easy and can be done every day if available. Did you know there is actually a ‘green banana diet’? Popular in Japan.

  84. Cathy on June 27, 2013 at 16:05

    @Tatertot, no I didn’t know about that but I think I could live on it. Bananas seem to ripen too fast here so I may buy them each day until I get tired of doing that. I plan on trying the potato starch as well. The peel on the banana today was a little tough to get off, but I did it. The banana had almost no taste but it didn’t give me the same feeling as when I eat more ripe ones.

  85. Cathy on June 27, 2013 at 16:08

    Oh, yeah. I’ve seen the legumes thrown around here too. How are those prepared? Is it just the soaking method or is canned okay? Also, @Tom said he was going to try black beans, are those kosher?

    Now what about the slow carb diet that Tim Ferris has in his 4 hr. body book? It has a lot of beans being eaten but no other starchy food. Coincidence or is that another fake a@@ diet?

  86. marie on June 27, 2013 at 16:08

    Richard, Tim (tot),
    as I’ve already commented, I find this series fascinating and thank you again for giving anyone the opportunity to read the science for themselves by providing the literature searches/references to independent research (not funded by RS sellers) and for the synthesis, presentation and commentary-highlights….guideposts!
    A question : those of us with east-mediterranean and middle eastern backgrounds are supposed to be getting a lot of prebiotics if eating traditionally, that is with the inulin and (maybe) certain oligosaccharides in artichokes, dandelion greens, onions, garlic, leeks and asparagus. Of course, not everyone likes these and many object to the odors. A lot, not all, of the benefits of RS have been researched for these colon bug-feeders too, so I wanted to ask if you could point out what you think are the biggest differences or maybe advantages for RS or potato starch over these older prebiotics? Or if it’s a matter of taste/convenience, or of insulinogenic effects or are there synergies (eat all of the above, and kefir/greek yogurt for good measure? 😉

  87. tatertot on June 27, 2013 at 16:30

    @Cathy – I have not really looked into legumes very hard. I think there may be more good in them than most of paleo believes. I have always been a bit put-off by the pains that must be taken to prepare them properly, but, I have not spent much time trying. Maybe Tom Naughton can do “Bean-head” next.

    @Marie – I was afraid someone would ask that question!

    To be honest, if you eat 30 or so grams of prebiotic fiber like inulin and other oligosaccharides, you would probably not need to even think about RS. There does seem to be some properties in RS not found in other fibers, like the attachment of probiotics and also there is a difference in the speed which fiber and RS is digested, so eating the two together is better than eating either alone (see: )

    Jeff Leach from the American Gut Project said yesterday that for proper gut function one should eat “Any plant (sans too many grains). I don’t have a good or bad list. however, i do prefer 1) things that grow below the ground (onions, garlic) and 2) the “whole” whole plant. by that i mean eat every bit of the asparagus – not just the top….as for prebiotic foods, i eat a lot (mainly onion, garlic, leek). my levels of bifidobacterium – which is the target for the prebiotic foods – are 5.1% – which is good. general population levels (in the US), can be much lower.”

    Coprolite evidence shows our ancestors ate loads (135g+) of inulin-type foods a day!

    I think the real benefit to most of RS is that it can be had with a bit of trying from real food, and supplemented when necessary, to fill the gap between what is needed and what is available. Most guidelines recommend 20-35g/day of fiber (fermentable, non-fermentable and RS combined) most westerners get maybe one-quarter of that. Targeting RS in the range of 15-30g/day ensures a good supply of fermentable fiber and any other fiber is icing on the cake.

    Hope that answers your question!

  88. marie on June 27, 2013 at 18:30

    yes indeed, thank you! I suspected as much, though getting 30g of inulin from onions or garlic might require eating, um, ‘antisocial’ quantities of them even if one likes them, while very frequent artichokes and asparagus would get expensive and tiresome, so the convenience of RS and especially potato starch in order to ensure sufficient prebiotic is a big selling point to me.
    Also, I agree that the protection that RS provides to ingested beneficial bacteria so as to actually get them all the way to the lower gut is probably important.
    The coprolite evidence, btw, has been fascinating (saw the earlier reference too), thank you. When using evolution as a guiding principle for adjusting current nutritional intake, that kind of evidence is very convincing!

  89. Melinda on June 27, 2013 at 19:00

    I’ve been waiting for someone to comment about the one side effect that I’ve experienced that made me put the experiment on hold: I experienced all the good effects (didn’t test the fasting BG) but when I wake up after my wonderful night of sleep, I can’t get a clear head. I am happy but have low motivation and don’t get anything done. It’s like the gut gives me happy pills and the day goes by in a rosy golden glow. I quit the PS and now I have my edge again and I’m getting tons done. Not sure where to go from here. I sleep OK without the RS. I may try again but at a very low dose and build up more slowly. I’m guessing I have “funny” players in my colon.

  90. tatertot on June 27, 2013 at 20:33

    @Marie – I added up the fiber I was getting with Mark Sisson’s daily BAS (Big-Ass Salad) and it was around 5-10g, much of that non-fermentable. Paul Jaminet’s PHD ramps up the veggie intake substantially, but his 2+ pounds of starchy and non-starchy veggies each day got me 5-10g of fiber. Using PHD guidelines and targeting RS-rich foods I was able to get around 50g/day of fiber and RS combined without any supplemental potato starch, but that took lots of planning and eating.

    Now, with some potato starch and PHD inspired veggie amounts, I am getting 15-20g fiber and 30-40g RS.

  91. Emma on June 28, 2013 at 00:59

    Did any/all of you trying this have disturbing gurgling/flatulance/discomfort at first? I’m on day 4 of 4T PS split into 2 doses and I am not seeing any signs of this abating. In fact I keep expecting someone to hit me with a bill for my carbon emissions…. 0_O

  92. JensDK on June 28, 2013 at 01:36


    Yeah, definitely. I have been supplementing PS for one week now and still have some flatulence which I did not have before starting this experiment. Note that I usually have the PS with more xylitol than I used to consume. I do this because I discovered that xylitol is also a decent prebiotic. So I have PS, xylitol, Greek style yogurt / coconut milk, vanilla extract and raw cacao powder all mixed up and “down the drain”. My wife wonders how I can ingest this odd mixture but I actually like it very much 🙂
    The other day, I also added some unsalted macadamia nuts and blended it until it became creamy. Was very nice 🙂 But yeah, I do fart much more than usual. I don’t really care to be honest. My BMs have not changed though.

    Oh, and I do eat more konjac root noodles (also called shirataki, the konjac root kind, NOT the tofu based ones). The glucomannan of the konjac root is also a good prebiotic. But these noodles have no nutrition so you’d better have them cooked in bone broth and have some nutritious stuff with them.

  93. SteveRN on June 28, 2013 at 02:48

    Yeah, at first, hard to say how long. Still do, from time to time. Also….TMI,TMI……Especially when starting, I would feel like I was about to have a case of explosive diarrhea , I had to go RIGHT THEN, but what I got, and still do, is a much softer, different textured result than my normal hard log, but not diarrhea. For the most part, the gas thing is usually under control, although I do get much more gurgling , it seems like. I could be wrong, but I think the gas is actually a sign of a healthy gut, bacteria producing methane as waste. If we are talking Grok, I don’t think he minded or thought much of a good fart, it was just part of life. Only today, have we decided a normal, healthy bodily function is highly undesirable. I seem to recall from nursing school (could be completely wrong on this,it’s been awhile) that a lot of bowel issues were more common in women. I always wondered if this was related to women suppressing gas expulsion the way nature intended, versus men just letting it rip.

  94. Emma on June 28, 2013 at 04:23

    Mmmm, not sure this is desirable even from a health standpoint, let alone a social one. The discomfort and gurgling is kind of unpleasant, it certainly isn’t something I want to get used to, nor could I. I work as a scrub nurse in an OR, I can’t be merrily tooting away whilst scrubbed at the table for a 5 hour spinal fusion!

  95. JensDK on June 28, 2013 at 05:48

    Emma, the toot frequency has quite decreased since day 1 or 2. I am confident it will abate some more. I work in an open office and have not had to run to the toilet. The period of the day where it is highest is usually after dinner and through the night because I have the PS after dinner. During the day it is nothing out of control 😀

  96. Joshua on June 28, 2013 at 05:55

    One week worth of Bob’s PS:

    The primary reason I was interested in RS was to get healthier BMs, having dealt with intermittent constipation over the past year. I don’t have any blood sugar issues, and I take melatonin for sleep.

    Note that I took the RS 1-2 hrs before bed on all days.

    Day 1: 1.5 tbsp. Almost no effect, though I noticed a mild headache.
    Day 2: 3 tbsp. No sleep effect; increased flatulence; increased need to use the restroom for BM right now! (but not diarrhea) Still mild headache all day.
    Day 3: 3 tbsp. No sleep effect; much increased flatulence; much increased need to use the restroom for BM right now! Headache seems to be waning.
    Day 4: decided to fall back to 2 tbsp & experiment with not taking the melatonin. OMG crazy dreams! WTF!? Flatulence slightly reduced; BMs same as previous day, but I guess at least it’s not constipation. Headache seems to be coming and going.
    Day 5: 2tbsp; took melatonin & no interesting dreams remembered; flatulence slightly reduced again; BMs seem to be coming under control, but still 4+ trips to the restroom; headache intermittent but ignorable
    Day 6: 2 tbsp; took melatonin again & no dreams; flatulence stabilized at slightly too much; BMs down to 3-4 trips with less urgency; headache same
    Day 7: 2 tbsp; no melatonin FREAKY DREAMS – almost nightmares; flatulence same; BMs same; headache same

    General notes: Using Bob’s. I seem to feel more groggy in the early morning, but normal or slightly more tired throughout the day. Preferred method of taking the PS is at night in a shake with 4 oz Trader Joe’s Kefir, 4 oz skim milk, protein powder, and cinnamon. Worst method: 4oz kefir, 4oz milk, 1 packet splenda, dash vanilla = yuck! I have no idea whether the headache is related, but I thought it worth mentioning. I will slowly up it to 4 tbsp, maybe an extra 1/2 tbsp per week. I measure the PS out using my kitchen scale for greater precision.

  97. Joshua on June 28, 2013 at 05:58

    @Emma I would highly recommend starting with 1 tbsp per day and slowly ramp it up. Maybe an additional tablespoon every week. I found 3 tbsp to be too much of a shock to my system.

  98. Richard Nikoley on June 28, 2013 at 08:18

    A few comments on some of the issues since Melinda, above.

    First, the grogginess in the AM. I sometimes get this, and as well, a bit do watery eyes. I just attribute it to coming out of a deep, restful sleep. Clears up soon enough.

    I have not quite figured out the fartage. It seems to be dose and frequency dependent and also, what else Im eating, whether I take it alone mixed with water or around a meal.

    I almost never get headaches so was surprised to wake up with one one night. But that’s the only time. No idea if its related to PS.

    The best thing I’ve found so far is to kinda go feast famine with it. So I’ll do 4 T in various ways for a few days, then none for a couple of days. I learned this when I went on a camping trip and forgot to bring along my stash. Three days, still had all the pleasant effects like great sleep, and actually longer between wakeups, 5-6 hours sometimes, deep long vivid dreams, best TMI ever, no fartage.

    I have no illusions that everyone is going to have to futz around to find their own ideal dose level, frequency, time away from it, etc. I very much doubt that 4 T every night before bed is going to be optimal for everyone, and perhaps not anyone.

  99. vtbolt on June 28, 2013 at 08:46

    I get those headaches as well. I am attributing it to a herxheimer reaction a fancy word for dying bacteria cell wall components as intestinal bacterial demographis change. I assume it will decline to nothing. (in fact it already has)

  100. tatertot on June 28, 2013 at 08:50

    @Melinda – I have no idea if it’s related, like Richard said, maybe a result of a good night’s sleep?
    @The Flatulent Ones – I think this issue will be the downfall of RS. It’s also the bane of veganism, if that helps….go to any vegan forum and search for ‘farts’, you’ll lol.

    If you want to experience true fartage, eat a bunch of raw inulin. Try eating a half a raw Jerusalem Artichoke–you will then know real farts! The coprolite studies showed that ‘Grok’ may have eaten up to 135g of inulin/day. That’s like 20TBS of potato starch.

    Possibly the best plan of action if one wants to have the best possible gut flora is to increase prebiotic foods from green bananas, cold potatoes/rice, beans, plantains, etc… and supplement with 1-2TBS of potato starch or another RS source if you are concerned about gut health and it doesn’t cause excessive flatulence.

    I have to take the blame for the 4TBS recommendation. I came up with that amount after reading the dozens of human studies that used 30-50g/day of RS. Almost all said it was well-tolerated and caused all the positive changes they were looking for. Maybe as a long-term plan, half or one-quarter of that amount would be better.

  101. tatertot on June 28, 2013 at 08:58

    From a Vegan Website:

    Dear Fit,
    I am trying the vegetarian lifestyle and have finally given up bacon and hamburgers and went meat-free. I have a family history of obesity, heart disease, and cancer, and have read that a diet rich in fruits and veggies can play a huge role in prevention. I’ve been loading up on the green veggies, beans, fruits, and tofu. My taste buds don’t really miss meat, but it hasn’t even been a week and I’m having some, well, unpleasant side effects. I’m unbelievably bloated and gassy all the time, and am close to giving up on my veggie quest. Is it possible that my body is trying to tell me that a vegetarian diet isn’t right for me, or is there a way to go about this so that I’m not feeling so inflated?
    — Puffed Up

    First of all, I applaud you for taking your health into your own hands and going meat-free. Your body is greatly benefiting from consuming less saturated fat and more plant-based proteins. I’m actually not surprised that you’re experiencing such embarrassing and uncomfortable side effects, but that doesn’t mean you can’t become a vegetarian. To hear my suggestions read more.

    From your diet description, you’re doing everything right with your food choices, but there’s such a thing as too much, too soon. Vegetarian foods are very high in fiber, and if your digestive system isn’t used to that, it translates to gas and maybe even diarrhea. So my advice is to slowly ease into this diet. Be a flexitarian for a while. Consume your old diet that includes meat, and gradually increase your fruit, vegetable, legume, and whole grain intake as you fade out the meat. At first, eat small portions of foods that are especially gas-producing such as broccoli, beans, green peppers, apples, and high fiber cereals. Slowly increase the portion size over time and the gassiness should begin to dissipate. Making the switch to a vegetarian lifestyle overnight is a shock to your system, so all you need to do is move forward slowly, listen to your body, and you’ll be meat-free (and less bloated) within a few weeks.

  102. Michelle on June 29, 2013 at 14:26

    Thank you so much for all this fascinating information and the time you have invested in compiling and sharing it! I’m looking at RS for blood glucose regulation and satiety.

    My morning fasting levels aren’t quite where I’d like them to be. I’ve been trying RS (starting out with 1-2 tbsp/day) for only a few days with no fasting BG changes yet, time will tell. Re TMI, I was feeling constipated/sluggish for a couple of days but now things are moving again.

    When I was a vegetarian (for 6 yrs, geesh) I had way more gas than I do now that I’m primal/PHD. It went away within a couple of days of adding meat/eggs back to my diet and removing grains. I eat more veggies now than when I was veg, with less intestinal discomfort. It was such a remarkable change that my family even commented – yes, I was that gassy. The RS has given me a bit more gas, no headaches, no sleep changes. RS gas so far is minimal compared to my vegetarian gas.

    I love raw potatoes and used to eat them whenever I could as a kid but my mom told me I’d get worms and so I stopped. I also like under ripe bananas, another childhood thing. I’ve been mostly eating raw potatoes for my experiment and adding some Bob’s Potato Starch to yogurt and cold rice pudding. Will try adding some to cold mashed potatoes next time we have some leftovers. I am bummed that cooking with Bobs Potato Starch kills the RS.

    I’m also hoping RS will help with satiety – since going Paleo, I can eat a ton of food and a couple hours later my tummy is rumbling again. I keep waiting for that ‘super satiety’ that I read about on blogs (1 meal/2 meals a day being enough) but that’s not happened for me and it’s been almost 2 years trying various tweaks of the paleo/primal/now PHD diet. Maybe I was (unintentionally) too low carb or it is the lack of RS and hungry microbes prompting this, obviously there is some deficiency I have not addressed yet. I don’t know how common this non-satiety thing is but a friend has experienced it too.

    Richard – your waffle iron grated potatoes post from your potato experiment inspired me to try both grated potatoes and leftover mashed potatoes in the waffle iron. The waffled mashed potatoes are a family favourite now. Next time I waffle them, I will eat them cold.

  103. Phil P on June 30, 2013 at 05:29

    I’m chiming in for the benefit any Type 1 diabetics who might be lurking this series. I am also a VLC (very low carber) with very well-controlled FBG (<90 mg/dL), at least until a few weeks ago (I'll get to that).

    I have been participating in this experiment since Richard's May blog post (here: and I try to check in every 2-3 weeks to report on my experiences.

    My comments in that thread go into detail about my experiences, but to summarize, once I found a good starting dose (2 measured tbsps in cold water before bed), I experienced amazing sleep, vivid dreams, rock-solid BG control, and hallelujah-praise-the-lord regular daily BMs. There was some gurgling and gas initially, but that abated in the first week as (I assume) the gut environment stabilized.

    At the end of the third week (1st week of June), four things happened simultaneously:
    1. I caught some kind of roaming head/chest bug that also hit nearly *everyone* I knew.
    2. My blood glucose control absolutely went to hell.
    3. The sleep benefits from PS consumption basically disappeared.
    4. Weight loss (up to that point 2-5 lbs per week) stalled.

    I got over the bug in about a week, way faster than most other people (some of whom have been hacking for more than a month which I think is a testament to my lifestyle) but my whacked BG control is still with me. Before, an 8oz steak would require maybe 2-3 units of fast-acting insulin (less for a really fatty cut), and my BG would rarely crack 100 mg/dL. Now it’s more like 7 units, and it’s not unusual to exceed 120 mg/dL) in the process. This is probably the dreaded physiologic insulin resistance that many low-carbers experience, but it seems extreme, and if I have to take so much insulin anyway, I sometimes wonder why I bother with the hassle of low-carb. My plan is to power through this, and work on other angles to improve insulin sensitivity, but my conclusion is that RS consumption in the form of PS has little effect by itself on BG control for me.

    I think my elevated BG has masked the sleep benefits of PS (my sleep goes to shit when BG is over 100) but on those nights when I can achieve good BG control, my sleep is nice and dreamy.

    I’m pretty sure the stalled weight loss was due to eating about half as many calories as I should have been. 1000-1100 cal/day is simply too little for a 6’4″/260 lb male, and I think I went into starvation mode. I have since been eating what feels like ridiculous amounts of food (and not worrying too much about macronutrient ratios) and haven’t gained a single pound, so I think my suspicion was correct. I plan to restart VLC/restricted calories next week, and hoping to see some more fat loss as a result. I have a feeling I am “discovering” an effect (and a strategy) that is already known to experienced low-carbers, but I am not well-read in LC dietary matters so I’m sort of feeling around in a darkened cave. I still want to try Richard’s milk intervention hack, but not yet. I really want to try and stabilize before I introduce more changes.

    The best outcome by far is regularity, which has been an issue for me since childhood. In conjunction with magnesium supplementation (mandatory for all diabetics) I can count on a meaningful BM at least once daily now. That alone will keep me on a daily PS regimen.

    Richard: I just came back from a week in Minnesota, during which time I did not take any PS (I didn’t wish to explain a bag full of white powder to the TSA 🙂 ) I was regular as clockwork and slept like a champ (dreamless tho). Maybe some confirmation of your intermittent approach to PS?

  104. Arctic Guru on June 30, 2013 at 07:16

    Just adding my thanks! THANKS!
    Started Bob’s PS about a month ago…after reading “assimilate” …great results! been without for about 4 days now waiting on next delivery in the mail…(In the Arctic) … but still seem to have good results.

    Thanks again!

  105. Woodwose on June 30, 2013 at 08:36

    I just found out that coconut flour has a very high amount of fiber but i wonder if it also has RS. Anyway mixing some coconut flour with kefir turns it into a very fluffy texture, since the flour apparently absorbs water very efficiently. Perhaps this could also be used as a carrier for the probiotics in the kefir?

  106. tatertot on June 30, 2013 at 08:38

    @Phil – Thanks for sharing–you have a lot going on, for sure. T1D is quite a beast to tame, hopefully you can make it manageable.

    @Arctic Guru – Are you a full-time Arctic dweller or just seasonal? I’ve been living just below the Arctic Circle for 12 years now. Trying to make a sensible seasonal approach to eating that reverses the normal ‘gain 10lbs in Winter–try to lose it in Summer’ that most everyone experiences here. I’ve done great the last couple years laying off fruit and sugary vegetables all winter and eating them like crazy in our short summer. I think the natural way in this environment is to gain a little fat in summer, then lean-out in winter, just like the moose and caribou (and every wild animal).

  107. tatertot on June 30, 2013 at 08:43

    @Woodwose – Coconut is considered low to no-starch. I’m not sure what the exact composition of the flour is, but I suspect zero RS. Also not sure on the synbiotic effect. That’s a real word, check it out:

  108. Asli on June 30, 2013 at 14:17

    I came across this site when i was searching resistance starch and hi maze on Google. I am insulin resistant and i have some problems with satiety. I have to eat a lot to feel full. And of course, this causes me gain weight too. Only fiber helps me for proper satiety. I want to try potato starch and see what happens. I live in Sweden and I found an organic potato flour(it is actually starch it says) and I will do the gel test at home.

    But I really don’t know how to consume it. Should i add it to yogurt or something? Which is the best way? And how do you split doses? 3 times a day for example? I aim to consume 30-40 and see what happens.

    Thank you very much for this very helpful site. I got a bit suprised to see about resistant starch because usually no site talks about it.

  109. Richard Nikoley on June 30, 2013 at 14:39


    If I was in your shoes I’d just do a full measure of one tablespoon (about 12 grams, I think, by weight) stired up in water or any non-sugar beverage you prefer. You might be surprised how litte taste & texture it provides.

    I’d do that separate from a meal, like in-between. Same every day, and when it feels right, double, and begin experimenting with taking with a meal. Ultimately, 4 tablespoons ought to be plenty.

  110. EF on July 1, 2013 at 06:09

    Richard/Tatertot –

    Is the recommended 3-4 TBLS a rounded heaping one or a flat measured?

  111. Phil P on July 1, 2013 at 06:39

    I might have encountered the flip-side to the euphoria and vivid dream-states many of us have been reporting. I didn’t have any PS for a full week while I was on a business trip, and on the last night before I started up again, the vivid dreams returned (they had gone away a while back), but like nothing I have ever experienced before — short, unrelated vignettes, shot through with incredibly negative emotions: rage, resentment, hatred. It was really something, and not in a good way. The next morning, I awoke exhausted, disoriented, disturbed, and with a splitting headache of the sort I almost never get.

    Obviously this is n=1 and quite possibly coincidence. But given the profound and similar (albeit positive) effects reported by several of us when we adopted RS consumption, I’m ready to believe my experience is related to cessation.

    I confess that I find this, the idea that creatures that aren’t you actually sort of are you in a way that you have no control over, really profoundly disturbing in a way that I didn’t when the effects were positive.

  112. Greg on July 1, 2013 at 07:01

    I started drinking Potato Starch (2 tbsp at a time) mixed in 12 oz cold water. I did this 2x daily at 7am and 9pm. This was about a month ago. At that time I also started consuming a single probiotic daily with my morning PS. I have experienced entirely positive results.

    About me:
    I am pretty fit, a runner, 36 year male. Body weight and composition has never been an issue as long as long as I put a little effort into maintaining. I started eating moderate carb paleo about 8 months ago. Around 5 months ago starting experiencing some digestive issues. Heartburn, burping after eating a fatty meal, stomach gurgling. My BM was not well formed and irregular. I started investigating fiber consumption and increased my consumption of inulin containing foods. Also started drinking a little kefir, but I am not really fond of it. This seemed to help a little. I found FTA about 45 days ago, found the threads on PS and tried it.

    1. Gas is not an issue. A little extra at first, but quickly went away.

    2. Sleep is better. I wake up rested most mornings now. This used to be an issue, but I am really making an effort at regular sleep cycles and avoiding evening eating. In addition, I try to avoid electronic screens within 2 hours of bedtime.

    3. Weight is good, losing a little extra around the belly. This could be related to many other factors (summer activity level, better stress management) but the PS probably is helping because of the satiety effect.

    4. Satiety is quite remarkable. I eat 2 tbsp at 7am and don’t feel like eating until noon. Total fasting time of around 18 hours, broken by 2 PS drinks. In my 6 hour feeding window, I usually eat 2 equal meals of around 1000 calories, with my evening meal focusing on a little carbs. This second meal effect is really useful.

    5. BM is pretty good, well formed. Not every day, but average about 5 times a week. This is one area of big improvement, as I have suffered from constipation/irregularity for a year or so now.

    Thanks tatertot and Richard for bringing this to our attention. I will continue my usage and report back if anything changes.

  113. Richard Nikoley on July 1, 2013 at 07:45


    I use a measured tablespoon. But, I’ve noticed a lot of people doing various numbers of teaspoons.

  114. EF on July 1, 2013 at 07:54

    Thanks – I generally use a heaping teaspoon which essentially comes out to a tablespoon

  115. Asli on July 1, 2013 at 09:08

    @Richard, thanks for the answer. Today i tried the gel test. It turned out like this.

    Do you think it’s the right thing? It was almost transparent.

    I think I will start with PS tomorrow. I will share my experiements too. And maybe we can try to make some recipes. For example, a couple years ago I saw a snack bar recipe with raw starch. It was for diabetics. Sadly I cannot find it anymore.

  116. tatertot on July 1, 2013 at 09:37

    @everyone – great comments and N=1’s, that’s what we need–good and bad.

    Regarding the 4TBS. I was shooting for a measured ‘dose’ close to 35g of RS. Most of the studies I was reading were using between 30-50g of RS and said it was well tolerated. Some studies that used really big amounts, like 150g noted that a large percentage was not digested, and studies using under 30g were not seeing all the results.

    1TBS of potato starch weighs 12g and has been measured in numerous labs with numerous methods to be 78% RS by weight. The range of measurements is something like 70-85%, but most seem to come up with right at 78%, so that’s what I like to use.

    4TBS = 48g total weight, or 37.44g RS

    There is no protocol behind this amount, I just wanted to ensure I was getting about 35g per day.

    The ‘official’ recommendations for daily fiber intake is 25-35g/day. This figure doesn’t differentiate between fermentable, non-fermentable, soluble, non-soluble, or resistant starch. Most people’s idea of healthy fiber is a loaf of bread that says ‘made with healthy fiber’. Hardly anybody gets 35g of fiber a day from any source (except maybe vegans).

    The Australian Paradox we talked about in earlier blogs is a good case in point. The Australian government wanted to stop the rise in colon cancer so they started recommending everyone eat tons of fiber–they did, but the problems continued. They are now looking at fiber types and focusing on resistant starch.

    The problem as I see it, Australia has a thing called the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). It’s Australia’s national science agency and they are wanting to increase the intake of RS through a grain-based approach. Creating new grains and grain processing methods that result in high RS contents. I just can’t see this as good. The PrimalMedEd link above from Australian blogger Anastasia was an attempt to discredit RS from a paleo view. If I were living in Australia, I would hate RS, too–I hate having a government tell me what to eat–especially if it means more grain. But looking past grain to real, paleo foods and even potato starch as a stop-gap, I think RS has real merit.

    Here is an article from CSIRO from just last week:

    I hope you all click this link, it has some good RS info, and a neat graphic on what RS and microbes look like, but if you don’t , here’s what I mean about CSIRO ‘ruining’ RS.

    They conclude:

    “We can feed our hungry microbiome by eating foods rich in resistant starch, e.g. lentils and beans, cooked and cooled potato, cold pasta salad, firm bananas, and certain wholegrains including products containing BARLEYmax™ grain. Eating a diet with a variety of fibre is a great way to show some love for your guts and keep them healthy.

    The recommended intake of resistant starch is around 20 grams a day, which is almost four times greater than a typical western diet provides. Our researchers are working to create grain varieties with more resistant starch to make it easier to eat enough.

    We hope that eating a wider variety of fibre, including resistant starch, will help us beat the Australian paradox and reduce the incidence of bowel cancer.”

  117. Greg on July 1, 2013 at 10:40

    Thanks tatertot for the breakdown of measures. I was actually just about to post a question about this. Saw in the table that potato starch is 78.1% but was unclear how you arrived at 4 tbsp. I do not have a scale so I could not weigh a tablespoon of potato starch, but I found a site that indicated tablespoon flour = 8 grams. Anyway thanks for clearing that up. I think in light of the Australian recommendation of 20 grams a day, and that I consume a fair amount of fiber from vegetables, I am going to change to 3 tbsp a day. This would yield 28 grams of RS.

  118. Douglas Clegg on July 1, 2013 at 10:57

    Read the Resistant Starch posts with interest, then went and read several of the studies. Decided to try this. I walk/run 4-5 miles a day (5 days a week) and count calories, try to eat primarily unprocessed, but I eat out at restaurants a bit, so who knows…I’m overweight. Lost some weight, kept it off, but have more to go.

    So, I did the kefir/2-4 Tablespoons unmodified potato starch, and now I think I need to invest in Bob’s Red Mill company. Don’t check glucose, but…

    1. I’d hit a weight loss plateau a month ago. Haven’t been doing more than the normal — keeping calories reasonable, avoiding processed carbs, but eating a pretty good fat/protein/vegetable ratio diet with some dairy.

    Within 48 hours, I’d gone down 4 pounds. And in 7 days, 1 more pound. I suspect these are just initial break-the-plateau loss pounds, but I’m happy, regardless.

    Also…symptoms of seasonal allergies were gone within 3 days. I don’t know if this was the reason, but it happened within three days of starting this. And I’d never before gotten seasonal allergies but suddenly had them for a few weeks and they’d hit me hard.

    2. Satiety. I have a cup to a cup and a half of kefir with the unmodified potato starch as my first meal of the day. I am not actually in need of a meal again for 7- 9 hours after (in fact, I don’t even think of it). Now and then I’ll have a very small snack within those 7-9 hours, but no actual appetite — maybe a little hunger but not the overwhelming “I need a full meal” hunger. Previously when that hunger hit, it was hard to satisfy it. It’s a relief not to have it.

    Further, I’ve refused desserts at night. Which I never have done in my life. And why? It’s not because I don’t like ice cream or pie. It’s because now, when I don’t need it, I don’t need it. Previously, I felt I needed it to feel good even if I wasn’t hungry. And still, I had some ice cream last week, and half a bear claw another day, so it’s not like I’m avoiding sweets completely — or from any sense of diet.

    I hope this aspect continues. It’s very calming; it’s as if some panic/need aspect of food was suddenly switched off.

    3. Sleep. Is it better? Nope. About the same — 6-8 hours depending on the day, the weather, how late I stayed out, etc. But what’s better is my sense of calm and emotional balance. I no longer wake up with a minor league argument in my head about work or life or what I’m doing with myself, etc. I’m very clear-headed. I still have the same struggles in life I had before I started this, but they all seem workable and okay.

    Might be the kefir, might be the starch, might be the aspect of dairy in the kefir. I don’t know.

    4. No bloating. No unusual gas. A general sense of well-being, even though it’s miserably muggy where I live, I have a mountain of work to do, and errands and appointments I’d rather avoid. And yet, it all seems fine.

    5. Drinking. I’m not a big drinker. I have maybe three to four events/dinners where I have a drink or three per year. I get officially drunk once per year. And I like the idea of drinking socially.

    I’ve found, since starting this that when a friend has a drink, I don’t really want one. It’s a weird sense of not needing the drink — maybe not needing the relaxing effect of the drink? I don’t know yet.

    Still, to check this, I had a drink with a friend one night this past week. And found I didn’t get that “ah, this feels so good,” feeling from the drink. I could take it or leave it, about the same as I might soda water. So I didn’t even finish the first drink and never got to a second one. I didn’t expect this result.

    Because I’m not much of a drinker (although I like alcohol!) in terms of annual amount, this is not that important as an effect — and it may be the kefir as much as the starch? No idea.

    Anyway, just my first week at this. Thank you for all this information. If I have further effects from this, I’ll post them. But the most important one to me is the satiety — I’ve never eaten so little and felt so satisfied for so long.

    With best wishes and apologies for any typos.

  119. Richard Nikoley on July 1, 2013 at 11:28


    That’s definitely the stuff.

  120. Joshua on July 1, 2013 at 11:42

    Tatertot – have you ever come across any info on resistant starch in Maca powder? Seems like it should have some since it’s processed at less than 118 degrees F and has some starch, but I can’t find a damn thing. Not sure what possessed me, but I bought some recently for variety.

  121. tatertot on July 1, 2013 at 12:46

    @Joshua – I have not read much on Maca, but I’ve been hearing a lot about it lately. Here’s a good reference:

    It looks like it’s in the same family as the radish and turnip, so it more than likely is not a starchy root with any RS, but looks like it stands on it’s own in terms of fiber and other healthy constituents.

  122. JAM on July 1, 2013 at 14:35

    Thanks for this! Makes sense in light of Jaminet’s PHD and the recent Human Food Project post. VLC is not good long term…at least not for me.

  123. marie on July 1, 2013 at 15:01

    thanks again for earlier answers, one more question, a bit esoteric: do you have any idea if RS and specifically potato starch would allow someone to remain in ketosis? I am hoping so, because of its positive effects on glucose sensitivity, stability and the second meal effect, but it’s not necessarily so unless it’s been tested in ketogenic subjects.
    My dad has metastatic colon cancer (it hit liver and lower left lung lobe, though it has not recurred in colon since surgeries) and he’s on a very strict ketogenic diet, carefully including dandelion greens, garlic, artichokes and plenty of leafy greens. He’s doing very well on it, don’t want to rock the boat, but given Specifically the effect of RS on Colon cancer, that would be something to incorporate long term. Please let me know if you happened to hit on any references to RS+ketosis in your lit search?

  124. tatertot on July 1, 2013 at 21:24

    @marie – I can guarantee that 4TBS of raw potato starch will not knock one out of ketosis. It has zero glycemic impact. Sounds like he’s on a diet with plenty of inulin and plant fiber, only thing missing is RS. I take it they didn’t remove any of his colon?? Sounds scary for everyone involved. I wish you all well. Let us know how it goes.

  125. marie on July 1, 2013 at 22:07

    tatertot, that’s terrific! Thank you, that’s what I thought from references but I remember you’ve measured BG effect. You didn’t happen to be ketotic when you did that, were you?
    Just for confirmation, I think I can drop into ketosis myself in next few days and try it under those conditions myself.
    Thanks for your concern too. The cancer was first found over 3 years ago when they removed 15cm, then a year later another 20cm plus first chemo – but it hasn’t recurred in the colon since then.
    It did however spread to liver (another operation) and lung – the latter was caught very early, no op but seems to have been successfully treated by second, recent, chemotherapy. Yes, it’s been scary and continues to be so. He has not in the last 3+ years been in remission for more than 6months at a time. Started the keto sometime during the last chemo (with his doctors’ interested support) and found it pushed back nausea – he could eat well.
    Heck, it’s been worth it for that alone. With help from commenter-bloggers here I collected more recent info on keto+cancer and he’s staying on the diet. Now if it slows the proliferation of cancer cells like it’s expected to, maybe his system will have a chance to fight this. Fingers crossed.
    Irony : his diet always had a lot of inulin and plant fiber and nearly nothing ‘processed’. However he never went for a colonoscopy until age 74 (when an older brother was diagnosed) – that’s too late. All kids and cousins have done so now and yep, there have been assorted polyps but that’s ‘pre’ stage end easy to treat on the spot. Genetics matter but forewarned is properly forearmed in this case.

  126. tatertot on July 2, 2013 at 09:05

    @Marie – Fear of colon cancer was one of the things that led me to RS in the first place. If nothing else, just the thought it is protecting my colon keeps me seeking RS out in the foods I eat. Here is a good article on some studies done at the University of Colorado Cancer Center on RS and colorectal cancer:

    I emailed the author and invited him here to look around and hopefully comment on our experiences with RS in humans.

  127. marie on July 2, 2013 at 09:44

    tatertot, thank you for the link.

  128. […] Resistant Starch: Now We're Getting Somewhere, Part 2 (35 links to research) (127 Comments) […]

  129. […] Resistant Starch: Now We're Getting Somewhere, Part 2 (35 links to research) (127 Comments) […]

  130. […] the easiest way to get resistant starch, since each tablespoon contains about 8 grams of RS. Richard Nikoley has spearheaded the promotion of resistant starch via unmodified potato starch as a way to approximate or emulate the ancestral microbiome over at […]

  131. Bob on November 20, 2013 at 13:55

    Just started RS potato starch, not Bob’s but unmodified etc. etc. Lots of fartage ! I am thinking maybe taking too much. Maybe 4 tablespoons each of the last 2 days. Slept thru the night last night, 6 hrs, first time in long time. Gonna cut back a bit tomorrow to maybe 2 tablespoons. Been Paleo now all year, lost 45 lbs, so nothing much left to lose there, maybe some belly fat, but not much. Will keep in touch.

  132. Bob on November 20, 2013 at 13:59

    Last night didnt sleep thru, maybe couple times awakened, but back down real quick.
    Today lessening fartage, but i have NOT taken any starch today, yet. Gonna tonite. Taking the PS in Kombucha or Kefir . Might try in unpasteurized ‘kraut juice tonite. I think i have slightly less cravings yesterday and today as well. Was getting some real cravings in last week or so after so long on a pretty strict paleo diet.

  133. yien on November 20, 2013 at 14:39

    “pretty strict paleo diet”

    Most people that are “pretty strict paleo” long term, aren’t doing anything resembling a paleo diet (L1 and L2 mitochondrial).

    They are normally just doing a bizarre and unhealthy diet (long term), which has little basis in science (and sometimes just giving money to it’s main proponents).

    A paleo diet is mostly: dirt, low GI fibrous fruit and seed, legume roots, tubers, lots of honey, and some fresh killed or scavenged meat, including innards. It is low fat, particularly saturated fat; most fat intake is C18:1 mufa and C18:2 pufa, with some C16:0, followed by a smattering of other minor fat intakes. It also includes conversion to C4:0 etc from RS intake (something which a modern “paleo” diet ignores).

  134. DrBG/grace on November 21, 2013 at 02:31


    I’ve enjoyed your comments a ton. Are you Asian? I did the 23andme testing and discovered the mtDNA is F1. What is your mtDNA?

    So in your opinion what’s the ideal diet for my ancestors and I?


  135. Shannon on November 21, 2013 at 13:38

    I really enjoy raw potatoes. I know i am strange, but I have liked them all my life. I use to eat them as I cut them up to cook them. A little salt and maybe even a little Kerrygold and they are great. My question though is: Are the raw potatoes as good as potato starch for the RS? If so, should I eat them peeled or skin on?

  136. tatertot on November 21, 2013 at 16:20

    Shannon – Raw potatoes are fine–I eat them all the time, just a slice here and there, though. I always eat them peeled unless I grow them myself. Lots of crap sprayed on supermarket potatoes from anti-fungals to sprout inhibitors. Plus, green in peel is bad.

    I think we figured out one time that a 1/3 pound potato, sort of tennis ball sized, has about 30g of RS in it.

  137. Spanish Caravan on November 21, 2013 at 16:35

    Shannon, you can also get some RS by eating uncooked, gluten-free rolled oats. I use about 1/2 cup of BRM’s Old Fashioned Oats, pour some Almond Breeze Almond Milk and mix 4 tbsp. of Barry Farm’s plantain flour. Mix some blueberries and strawberries in and sprinkle cinnamon. It’s perfectly edible and delicious. Rolled Oats = 6g; PF=25g. Total RS = 31g.

    The uncooked, rolled oats taste really terrific. I mean, they taste so wholesome. About a year ago, I woulda had nightmares about eating oats let alone any grains.

  138. sootedninjas on November 26, 2013 at 12:40

    In regards to sliced Plantain, Green Banana and Potato, using a dehydrator.

    Will it destroy the resistant starch ?

    Can you use ripe Plantain ?

    Does Sweet Potato has the same RS content just like a Potato ?


  139. Is there such a thing as Bulletproof Resistant Starch? on December 2, 2013 at 13:49

    […] over at Free the Animal has blown the doors off the Paleo community recently with an amazing series of posts on something called resistant starch. If you are not familiar with Richard’s work, he’s a […]

  140. […] over at Free the Animal has blown the doors off the Paleo community recently with an amazing series of posts on something called resistant starch. If you are not familiar with Richard’s work, he’s a […]

  141. tatertot on December 8, 2013 at 21:21

    Neo – Best temp is 75-95 or so. Room temp is fine if you put a small fan on them. Outside in sun is good, too. 130 deg or more is sure death! Grinding is fine. Ripe plantains, not sure what RS is but less. Maybe look in here:

  142. Neo on December 8, 2013 at 17:38

    What is the best temperature to dehydrate green plantains? What is their shelf life? Can I grind the chips to make plantain flour?
    What about dehydrated ripe plantain…Would it still have high RS?

  143. Richard Nikoley on December 9, 2013 at 07:56

    I dehydrated at 120 as I have an oven dehydrating function with a circulating fan and you stick a wooden spoon in so the door is cracked open. Tried 105 first time, 120 was way better and shorter. 105 is for meats.

  144. Martha on December 11, 2013 at 14:46

    Tator, as I understand it from Cordain and Matt LaLonde too, be sure to never eat kidney beans undercooked, as they remain quite toxic unless thoroughly cooked.

  145. […] Lots of research here & here. […]

  146. Sean on December 25, 2013 at 10:33

    Has anyone calculated the cost per gram of RS between russet potatoes and Bob’s Red Mill? I’m assuming Bob’s in 78% RS per gram of starch. I assume a russet has 18% starch. Both came in at about $.013/ gram of RS. I thought raw potatoes would be cheaper but that is not the case if my figuring is correct.

  147. Resistant Starch, Gut Biome, and Low Carb Tidbits and Links | Health News on January 3, 2014 at 16:29

    […] Resistant Starch: Now We’re Getting Somewhere, Part 2 (35 links to research) […]

  148. 2013 in Review: Top 10 Posts and Podcasts on the Bulletproof Executive on January 8, 2014 at 09:30

    […] over at Free the Animal has blown the doors off the Paleo community recently with an amazing series of posts on something called resistant starch. If you are not familiar with Richard’s work, he’s a […]

  149. Speed Up Low Carb Weight Loss - Primal Detox on January 12, 2014 at 13:34

    […] the easiest way to get resistant starch, since each tablespoon contains about 8 grams of RS. Richard Nikoley has spearheaded the promotion of resistant starch via unmodified potato starch as a way to approximate or emulate the ancestral microbiome over at […]

  150. En rafale 9 – Amidon résistant et une idée déjeuner! | Paléo Québec on February 3, 2014 at 05:32

    […] de “Free The Animal” a répertorié différentes études sur les bénéfices d’inclure de l’amidon résistant à notre alimentation : augmenter la sensibilité à l’insuline, faciliter l’oxydation des gras (perte de […]

  151. […] ; […]

  152. […] should be 50 posts on resistant starch there, and an extensive literature review (see here and here). There is no way to be more complete than that. So let these unique for those who wish to go deep […]

  153. Christine on March 5, 2014 at 04:59

    Hi all,
    have a friend with severe intestinal problems, introduced her to fermented vegetables some weeks ago with good success (she wasn’t able to eat any vegetables except Zucchini and lettuce by then).
    She believes that an intestinal mycosis could have returned after treatment some years ago.

    I wonder if anybody of you knows about effects of intake of resistant starch while hosting intestinal fungi? What would you recommend?

    Thank you in advance (and please excuse my poor English).

    • tatertot on March 5, 2014 at 08:49

      I’d think it better to try to erradicate the mycosis before starting with RS. Dr. BG at Animal Pharm recommends for people with problems like this to ‘WEED’ the offenders before ‘SEEDING’ and ‘FEEDING’ new microbes.


    • Christine on March 5, 2014 at 12:34

      Thank you, Tim, also for the link.

      Our problem in Germany is that we cannot buy any of the recommended probiotics (won’t ship outside USA) or do any of the recommended stool tests etc. Regrettably, there are only very few doctors who even know about ancestral diets and to find them is like looking for needles in a haystack. 🙁

    • gabriella kadar on March 9, 2014 at 07:14

      Christine, I thought that in Germany a person could obtain some interesting probiotics like for example Bacillus subtilis. I was looking around at one time and this is available in Germany. I figure wherever you’d find that, you’d find others.

      I found this a while ago. It would appear there are SBOs in it although the species list is not provided. But there is information for where it is available in Germany.

    • gabriella kadar on March 9, 2014 at 07:25

      Christine, according to you can get this:

    • gabriella kadar on March 9, 2014 at 07:28

      Christine: and this too:

  154. […] Resistant Starch: Now We’re Getting Somewhere, Part 2 (35 study summaries) […]

  155. MsMcGillicuddy on March 9, 2014 at 05:26

    RE: satiety. Until yesterday, I’d always found that the most satiating food for me was any recipe containing approx. equal amounts of whole food carbs, animal protein and fat…(hello, mashed potatoes, beef and gravy).
    Yesterday, I tried yucca for the first time and it stopped me in my tracks. Two or three slices (like the amount equivalent to half a potato) and my sharp hunger immediately dissipated and suddenly the rest of my plate – chicken, salad, etc.) was unappealing since I felt stuffed.
    One anecdotal report has driven my curiosity about the satiety index of yucca, which Ive been searching for this morning, without luck.
    Others out there may want to try for a similar effect.

  156. The Ultimate Guide to Resistant Starch on May 27, 2014 at 04:17

    […] Remember how I mentioned that Richard Nikoley had been writing a lot about this?  Well if you want to see a lot more of the science and research, here is a blog post that he put together that outlines much of the research and papers he found on this issue.  Here is another. […]

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