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A Gut Microbiome, Probiotic, and Prebiotic Resistant Starch Primer

Take 4 minutes to watch a truly eye-popping video that will make the whole subject and importance of Resistant Starch as simple as possible for you—but not too simple. Then, when you begin going through how to incorporate it into your diet, remember that you need to actually have the bacteria present to get the benefit. Some don’t, often because of antibiotic treatments…so pay close attention also to the information about Soil-Based probiotics, a completely different animal from the stuff in yogurt and kefir.

Now, get yourself on board.

Lots and Lots of Posts; Lots and Lots of Comments

  1. Prepare for the “Resistant Starch” Assimilation; Resistance is Futile (288 comments)
  2. Resistant Starch: 4-Letter Word? Nope. Goal: Create Mashed Potatoes A Diabetic Can Eat Every Day (481 comments)
  3. Resistant Starch: Now We’re Getting Somewhere (105 comments)
  4. Resistant Starch: An Overall Primer, with References (30 comments)
  5. Resistant Starch: Now We’re Getting Somewhere, Part 2 (35 links to research) (175 comments)
  6. The FTA Resistant Starch Trial: N=75 +++ (60 comments)
  7. Beans and the Second Meal Effect: Resistant Starch (49 comments)
  8. Low GI Mashed Potatoes! and the Resistant Starch Content of Foods (47 comments)
  9. How Resistant Starch via Potato Starch and Beans Helped a Type 2 Diabetic (108 comments)
  10. Resistant Starch Content of Foods; Other Anecdote and Miscellania (271 comments)
  11. A Type II Diabetic Rings in About How Resistant Starch and Eating Things Cold Has Regulated His Blood Suger, Even Eating SAD (31 comments)
  12. I’ve Got A [Gut] Feeling, But I’m Not Going to Eat Anything (23 comments)
  13. Success: Pre Diabetic Glucose Regulation With Resistant Starch (Potato Starch) (19 comments)
  14. Resistant Starch Self Experimentation Prelude: Sisson, Konstantin Monastyrsky, and my Commenters (111 comments)
  15. The N=2: Tatertot Tim and Commenter Marie Test Potato Starch on Ketosis Part 1 (36 comments)
  16. Resistant Starch Supplementation Improves Insulin Sensitivity (45 comments)
  17. Paleophil Uses Resistant Starch To Hugely Blunt BG Spikes for His Raw Fermented Honey Habit (67 comments)
  18. A “LADA” Type II Diabetic Finds “Amazing Results” With Resistant Starch (50 comments)
  19. Clearing The Air: My Beef With The So-Called “‘Healthy’ Low Carb Lifestyle” (72 comments)
  20. PhD Physical Chemist Commenter Marie is at it Again! Resistant Starch and Ketosis. Low Carb in Short Pants (49 comments)
  21. Tatertot Tim Experiment: Low Carbers SO IN SHORT PANTS. 140g Starch Carbs in a Single Meal, Blood Glucose “Spikes” to 110 (229 comments)
  22. Commenter Marie, Taking One For Her Dad With Cancer, Part 2 (59 comments)
  23. Tatertot Tim is Far, Far From Your Average Pussyman Metrosexual Hipster Poseur. Photographic Proof (71 comments)
  24. If Raising Your Body Temperature is Important to You… (107 comments)
  25. Government “Shutdown” Juxtaposition (Real Hunter Gatherers: Hadza) (10 comments)
  26. Alright, Now I Have to Work Out a Proper Paleoish Shit on a Shingle (57 comments)
  27. Frenched Pork Chops With Resistant Starch Mashed Potatoes and Gravy (11 comments)
  28. Resistant Starch Ingestion Has No Effect on Ketosis But Blood Glucose Blunting Effects are Highest in A Normal Diet (216 comments)
  29. Mark Sisson Jumps On Board With Resistant Starch (149 comments)
  30. Thinking, Emoting, Reacting and Dreaming With Your Gut Biome (31 comments)
  31. Whole Health Source on Beans, Lentils and the Paleo Diet (14 comments)
  32. Do You Have Real Guts? Will You Do What it Takes?
  33. Chris Kresser and Jeff Leach on Gut Health (3 comments)
  34. Resistant Starch: American Gut Project Real Results And Comparison (Very Big News) (262 comments)
  35. New Free the Animal, Resistant Starch-Based Dietary Guidelines (282 comments)
  36. Just Watch. Bulletproof Exec Dave Asprey is Going to So Biohack Resistant Starch (106 comments)
  37. Shit: That’s One Tough Pill To Swallow (33 comments)
  38. The Most Dramatic Resistant Starch Success Story Yet (101 comments)
  39. Dr. BG Comments in Comments on Resistant Starch vs. FODMAPS (122 comments)
  40. Resistant Starch Fixes The Same Old Low Carb Diet Problems (59 comments)
  41. The Gut-Brain Axis and Narrative Complex Dreaming with Resistant Starch (even X-Rated) (59 comments)
  42. Resistant Starch: Promise for Improving Human Health (12 comments)
  43. My Twitter Dustup Over Resistant Starch with Jimmy Moore (170 comments)
  44. Resistant Starch & Gut Biome: A Family Science Project (12 comments)
  45. “Have we come in from the desert?” – 40-year Low Carber (38 comments)
  46. Everybody: Why Resistant Starch Has to Be Raw & Cold (90 comments)
  47. Why I’m All Over Jimmy Moore’s Ass (122 comments)
  48. Thanks, Jimmy Moore (34 comments)
  49. Diabetics Going Nuts Over Blood Glucose Regulation on Resistant Starch Supplementation (27 comments)
  50. Must Read. Type 1 Diabetic’s Resistant Starch Experiment With Continuous Glucose Monitor Data (60 comments)
  51. A Brief Word on Resistant Starch Critiques (82 comments)
  52. The Importance of Human Breast Milk for Gut Microbiome Development (83 comments)
  53. Link Drops—Mostly About Resistant Starch—and Christmas Greetings (74 comments)
  54. 30 Day Test of Blood Sugar Before & After Resistant Starch (22 comments)
  1. All the posts thus far on RS (90 posts and thousands of comments as of Mar, 2014).
  2. Lots of research here & here.
  3. My latest Resistant Starch-Based Dietary Guidelines (a must read to get an overall sense).
  4. Lots of comments from readers reporting the benefits they’ve seen.
  5. Isolated RS—Like Bob’s Red Mill Potato Starch (NOT to be confused with FLOUR)—has zero carbs if taken raw, because you don’t digest it, your gut bugs do and if they don’t, it passes right through. On average, humans can process about 60g per day. If cooked, it’s about 10g carbs per TBS (per the label) of rapid digesting starch. Don’t cook it unless you intend to, like for thickening a sauce (see here).
  6. Another supplemental source is Plantain Flour.
  7. There is also green Banana Flour, now.
  8. Here’s a long list of foods that contain RS. Some of the highest sources in food is cooked and cooled rice (parboiled is the highest, also lowest GI by far), cooked and cooled beans (prepare by traditional 24hr+ soaking), and cooked and cooled white potatoes. Sweet potatoes have almost no RS. Cooking and cooling forms RS3, a retrograde RS that remains intact when the food is reheated. Fried rice from out of the fridge is ideal for an RS food source.
  9. Per number 2, your BG won’t rise no matter how much isolated RS you consume (such as the potato starch). Moreover, it will significantly blunt spikes from other foods, a “second meal effect” that persists for hours, even into the next day. Regular consumption lowers both fasting BG and blunts spikes from other foods eaten anytime, so dose timing is unimportant if taken regularly. This blunting is most profound on a normal carb intake. In ketosis, there is little blunting (see here).
  10. The benefits most commonly touted are: lowered  fasting BG, BG blunting, better sleep, increased energy, well being and calm, mental clarity, vivid dreams, curing of chronic constipation and infrequency, soft stools, satiation with gentle hunger, and increased body temperature (I think I got them all…let me know if I missed any).
  11. The problems most commonly reported are: flatulence and headache. Most have reported having flatulence, but for most it diminishes over time. It seems most prominent when taken with food and least when taken in water on an empty stomach. Taken with beans can be a hilarious experience if you’re up for it. For some, going periods of 2-3 days now & then without supplementing seems to help get beyond it. Headaches have only been reported by a handful of people. One or two reported intestinal distress, but I chalk that up to oversensitivity to flatulence.
  12. Most of the studies use 30g of potato starch, which is 4 tablespoons. Above 60g will probably pass on through. Many have begun with 1TBS per day, and increased up to 4 each week. However, dose, frequency, how it’s administered (with food, kefir, yogurt—cool or warm—or just water by itself) is something each person has to experiment and figure out for themselves.
  13. In general, even targeting RS foods will probably at best yield 10g of RS daily. Thus, supplementation is a good idea to get into the 20-30g range which, as stated, is what so many studies have used to document many of the benefits we’ve been touting. Paleoman had a far wider variety of high RS foods that just isn’t in our diets commonly (cattail and tree pollen, anyone?).

OK, if I think of anything else or if something gets added in comments that ought be here, then I’ll add as it comes up.

Best wishes. I wouldn’t do this had I not seen hundreds of reports since last April of all of these benefits I outlined in number 7.

Update: Since publishing this a few months back it has become increasingly clear that the reason some people have had less than expected results with resistant starch foods an/or supplementation, or even adverse results, is that they may lack some of the gut bacteria needed and those are really not to be found in dairy based probiotics. Fermented foods may help somewhat, but what we’ve found is the the biggest help comes from soil based probiotics.

Here’s a post about it: Probiotics: The Genetic Component of Obesity. Here’s an update post, April, 2015: Gut Bugs, Probiotics, Prebiotics…And how our microbes make us who we are. See, it always moves forward. Be skeptical of all who don’t.

Here’s the probiotics recommended.

  1. Elixa
  2. Prescript-Assist
  3. AOR Probiotic-3
  4. Primal Defense Ultra
  5. (See this Update post of two additional probiotics I recommend, and why: Gut Bugs, Probiotics, Prebiotics…And how our microbes make us who we are)

I take 1 of each, every day or two, usually with a smoothie:

  • 1 raw egg
  • 1 piece of fresh fruit (apple with skin, banana, handful of frozen berries, orange, etc., or whatever you like)
  • 2 TBS Potato Starch
  • 1 TBS Green Banana Flour
  • 1 TBS Plantain Flour
  • 1/4 tsp Inulin / FructoOligoSaccharides
  • 1 Scoop Amazing Grass High ORAC
  • 4 oz Odwalla-esq fruit/veggie smoothie blend of choice
  • 4 oz Kefir (plain or any flavor of choice)
  • 1 each of the aforementioned SBO probiotics, caps pulled apart and dumped in (or, just pop them; I mix them in because I split this with the wife unit)
  • Handfull of ice cubes
  • Water as needed for desired consistency in a good blender.

This should make 20-24 oz or so, so it’s perfect for 2 people (my wife takes about 10 oz and I take the rest). For in person, I’d just go with 1TBS of the potato starch and one of either the banana or plantain, cut the Odwalla and kefir in half, etc.

I will continue to update this post as I gather new information.

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

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