Sunday Tids & Bits, Mostly About Gut Flora and Resistant Starch

Open Browser Tab Dump Edition

Quite a week, but haven’t put up a post in a few days, wanting to keep my last on Probiotics as the genetic link behind obesity at the top.

It’s been fun. Lots of comments, lots and lots of relinking and sharing going on. It kinda makes a little sense, doesn’t it? I always find it amusing that people always seem to have the need to pick a side and in one ways or another ways, find teh ways and means to demonize those taking a side designed to be diametrically opposed. I’m guilty too; but when at my best, I always ask myself the question: in what ways are they both right? Unless you take the position that half the people on any issue are abject morons and the other half, brilliant enlightened geniuses, then I’m thinking integration and synthesis is the better approach—that is, if you’re really looking for resolution…and some are not: follow the money.

To recap, it’s a simple—and I would contend—rather obvious idea where on the one hand, people claim obesity is genetic and for the other crowd, behavioral. It’s both, and the key to both is your gut biome with more genes by a factor of 100+, everybody is a snowflake, and the dugs do a whole lot of stuff via the brain-gut connection, not to mention hormonal regulation. ….OK, lets dump some stuff.

~ Tom Naughton is among the most well respected guys in LC and paleo, and for a good reason. He has a functioning brain. If you’ve never watched the Fat Head documentary, you’re missing out and you don’t get the italicized reference. Tom got interested in resistant starch. He’s tried it. He was also just on Jimmy Moore’s 100th episode of his Low-Carb Conversations with Friends. Tom spoke exclusively about resistant starch the whole 10 minute segment, beginning at 1 hour and 27 minutes into the program. Go give a listen, hear what Tom has to say, what Jimmy thinks, and what Jimmy might be trying after his book project is done. (Easiest way to be able to advance to the spot is download the Mp3 and open it your own player.)

~ Are the Bacteria in Our Intestines Involved in Mechanisms Underlying Health and Lifespan?

Identification of compounds that inhibit the HDAC’s that control Hsp22 expression would seem to be a good method for potentially increasing mammalian lifespan. Supplementation with sodium butyrate increases Hsp22 expression in Drosophila (Zhao et al. 2005), resulting in increased Drosophila lifespan (McDonald et al. 2013). Interestingly, sodium butyrate is a class I, II, IV HDAC inhibitor, whereas the sirtuins are class III inhibitors (Witt et al. 2009), evidence that suggests differing roles for the HDACs on lifespan extension.

How can we get butyrate into our diet? Although butter contains small amounts of butyrate, a butter-rich diet has been shown to be obesogenic (Hariri et al. 2010). Fortunately, there is another way we can increase levels of butyrate, and that’s by stimulating our intestinal bacteria to produce it! The most abundant butyrate-producing gut bacterial species are Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, Eubacterium rectale, Eubacterium hallii and Anaerostipes hadrus (Tap et al. 2009, Walker et al. 2011).

Uh: “stimulating our intestinal bacteria to produce it” means resistant starch ingestion, among other soluble fibers, as well as ensuring you have the producers.

~ Human gut microbiome and risk for colorectal cancer.


We tested the hypothesis that an altered community of gut microbes is associated with risk of colorectal cancer (CRC) in a study of 47 CRC case subjects and 94 control subjects. […] All statistical tests were two-sided. From 794217 16S rRNA gene sequences, we found that CRC case subjects had decreased overall microbial community diversity (P = .02). In taxonomy-based analyses, lower relative abundance of Clostridia (68.6% vs 77.8%) and increased carriage of Fusobacterium (multivariable odds ratio [OR] = 4.11; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.62 to 10.47) and Porphyromonas (OR = 5.17; 95% CI = 1.75 to 15.25) were found in case subjects compared with control subjects. Because of the potentially modifiable nature of the gut bacteria, our findings may have implications for CRC prevention. [emphasis added]

Here’s a livescience article about it: Colon Cancer Linked to Low Diversity of Gut Bacteria.

But he also cautioned that much more research needs to be done before promoting changes in gut bacteria as a prevention strategy for the disease.

Shut the fuck up, Volker Mai, you stupid fool; and shove your full employment scheme right up your ass via enema. Let’s see what that does to your colonic gut flora, you miserable fucking pig who would rather see people die all while you get your grant applications in. Grant Whore.

~ Dieta low-carb e Paleolítica.

Dr. Jose Carlos Souto, MD from Brazil, is interested in resistant starch. He’s written a part 1 blog post about it. It’s in Portuguese, but here’s a paragraph from Google Translate:

Richard Nikoley is author of a (controversial) blog called There 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 links, and I will try to simplify the issue in the following paragraphs.

Ha. I always love it when I’m acknowledged for being controversial. How boing would life be otherwise?

Update: Here’s his part 2.

~ The United States has More People in Jail than High School Teachers and Engineers.

Yep, “Land of the Free” is the biggest joke on earth.

Land of the Free
Land of the Free

In other news, at 716 per 100,000 people in prison, the “Land of the Free” imprisons more of its population than any other country on earth. Yea, flag waving, cop-asshole licking Republicans, tell me all about the quality of statistics and reporting. I’m waiting.

This situation is 100% on the doorstep of Republicans. Yes, Democrats do it too, such as young stoner Obama. But he’s was trying to win a second term, and now trying to ensure he’s succeeded by another party Democrat. That requires being political in ways that worthless fuck Republicans created.

Say what you will. I’d rather be a fully socialist state than have so many lives and families destroyed by fucking Republicans.

~ Watching the Oscars? I am. I liked a decent number of films this year: American Hustle, Dallas Buyer’s Club, Wolf of Wall Street, Gravity….among others. I really want to see Matthew McConaughey get something out of that DBC performance, reminiscent of Tom Hanks in the wonderful Philadelphia.

Anyway, still waiting to see Ricky Gervais host it. Here’s his Golden Globes hosting performance clips over three years to to get you warmed up. I like Ellen a lot. We’ll see what she has up her sleeve.

Alright. Wrapped for this time. Be careful out there.

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. Q on March 2, 2014 at 18:12

    “Richard Nikoley is author of a (controversial) blog called”

    Hmm, are we sure that shouldn’t read “Richard Nikoley is the controversial author of a blog called”

    Only Richard knows for sure.

    Gervais is one of my favorite atheists, out and proud! They will never let him near the God fearing Oscars!

    • Richard Nikoley on March 3, 2014 at 05:43

      “Only Richard knows for sure.”

      That’s easy. Both.

  2. Tanya on March 2, 2014 at 20:04

    Funny. I use the word colorful a lot when describing your blog in my normal circles. I’m not sure how folks will react to the less health-related stuff, so I figure I’ll give them a heads-up.

    Gotta say–resistant starch is A Big Deal for my husband. You have my enduring gratitude Richard (and you, Tim, and you, Grace). I’ve been low level worried about his digestion for years, but working on me and the kids was higher priority, yk? Until the shit hit the fan, health-wise, for him last fall, and now we *need* to fix stuff. And the potato starch is the first thing to make some change in his digestion, and now it seems like stuff that affects other people is also finally starting to make an impact on him. And since I love him and all, and want a lot more years with him, we’re both highly motivated.

  3. Q on March 2, 2014 at 22:32

    Richard, I’m surprised you have interest in the Oscars. To me, it’s a gratuitously opulent American Royalty circle jerk. But a lot of my very good friends have big parties to watch it. I’m just surprised you care. I am not judging by the way, I recently downloaded Africa’s Next Top Model and Bad Girls Club Season 2! Which are far more heinous. But the latter was very psychologically entertaining!

    • Richard Nikoley on March 3, 2014 at 05:41

      I don’t always watch it and never do the parties. Ellen was pretty damn funny in the way she’s good at being, with her half ridicule, at times. I really liked some of the films this year, too. When I saw Dallas Buyers club, I said “either best pic or best actor, maybe both.” Matthew won. Amazing performance, though I’d not have been disappointed had Christian Bale edged him out for American Hustle, my second favorite pic. Was nice to see Jared Leto get best supporting.

      Didn’t see 12 Years a Slave that got best pic, but I guess I’ll have to. Just wish someone would make a film about the 11 million African slaves taken to the Caribbean and Latin America, that had an average lifespan of 7 years once enslaved, rather than another and another and another and yet another about the 388,000 that landed on the shores of N America. Or, perhaps one about all the black Africans involved in rounding up slaves on the continent.

    • Q on March 3, 2014 at 07:44

      Now there you go, making things “complicated” again. We like our history books thin, Richard. THIN.

  4. Charles on March 2, 2014 at 23:24

    What a dull Academy Awards show. I love Ellen, but they gave her no material to work with. Pizza? That was funny for about 30 seconds. Where was the music and the dancing and the (gasp) entertainment? I’m also suspicious of the crowd reaction. It seemed like every award was greeted with yells as if a favorite dark horse had won. It was like watching a show with a laugh track. And not having a live orchestra in the pit is a stupid decision.

    Look, I know there are many more important things going on in the world. And the Academy Awards is basically an orgy of self-congratulation. And maybe I’m getting old and crotchety, but the show used to be fun and entertaining. This was like watching a badly directed sitcom.

  5. Jane Karlsson on March 3, 2014 at 04:41

    Very interesting about butyrate increasing lifespan by inhibiting HDACs. It was recently found that beta-hydroxybutyrate also inhibits HDACs. That’s the stuff ketogenic dieters are after. Hilarious if ketogenic diets work in exactly the same way as resistant starch.

    ‘Suppression of oxidative stress by β-hydroxybutyrate, an endogenous histone deacetylase inhibitor’

    • Chupo on March 4, 2014 at 16:44

      Another similarity as they both increase BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor). I suspect butyrate and beta hydroxybutyrate may stimulate the same pathways. There is more than one way to skin a …. potato!

  6. Vandenbug on March 3, 2014 at 05:54

    I’ve been thinking about mechanisms by which RS might enhance cholinergic transmission, and maybe this is it. Because if butyrate inhibits HDAC, and HDAC is an inhibitor of choline acetyltransferase gene expression that could explain the effect that RS seems to have on cholinergic transmission! (acetyltransferase is needed for acetylcholine synthesis)

    If indeed there is a acetylcholine (ach) enhancing effect than this would at least in part explain some of the reported changes in my opinion.

    increased and more intense dreaming is ach dependend (ach is what causes REM-sleep)
    ach is vasodilatative (less prone to cold?)
    it could explain increased muscle strength and endurance. Both smooth and skeletal muscle are innervated by cholinergic neurons
    general increased gastrointestinal function (also, the parasympathetic system is strictly cholinergic, maybe RS makes it easier to restore balance if there is sympathetic dominance?)
    RS seems to help against hanging eyelids (Mariet Hoen made some impressing eye opening pictures if you havent seen them yet) and ptosis (droopy eyelid) is caused by ach depletion
    I also suspect ach is involved in the effect it seems to have on some peoples visual processing (reading) as it helps the brain to process information more quickly and more accurately as if it switches the spotlights on the to-be-processed information (maybe this explains why dyslexics fail to create a difference in activation of left hemisphere posterior regions during reading, like normal readers would do)
    the penile uplifting effect that nitric oxide has is mediated by acetylcholine as well.

    Let me know what you think!

    • tatertot on March 4, 2014 at 08:18

      Vandenbug – Who the heck are you? That was a very good distillation, interpretation, brain-dump or whatever it was. Gabriella Kadar made some similar connections, but cited acetate as the precursor. I’ll bet if you two put your heads together, you’d get this thing all figured out.

      I really hope there are grad students in need of a thesis idea reading this blog. The stuff that readers/commenters come up with blows my mind. All the studies usually just look at one isolated outcome of RS consumption, none of them ever talk about sleep, dreams, eyelids, or penile uplifting effects. Yet, these are some of the most common ‘side effects’ we are seeing.

      You need to post your comment on Norm Robillard’s, Art Ayers’ or Bill Lagakos’ blogs–they are the biochemists who are presently deconstructing the RS stuff we have done here very non-scientifically (for the most part, he’ Marie?).

    • gabriella kadar on March 5, 2014 at 04:30

      It all makes sense from an evolutionary perspective. Glucose is apparently not the best brain fuel. Paul Jaminet claims that we can suffer from glucose deficiency but his PHD does not contain much if anything in high glycemic index foods. He claims that we need some glucose. But not a lot of glucose.

      Okay, so what are the options: ketones and acetate. Both are excellent brain fuels for optimal function. It makes sense therefore from an evolutionary perspective that the human brain grew in response to dietary starch (not the mushy cooked stuff) and from periods of time where ketones were the primary fuel.

      Probably there’s some sort of ‘ideal’ proportion or combination of ketones, acetate and glucose for optimal nervous system function.

      Vandenbug, improving parasympathetic nervous system function also improves digestion. (PNS = rest and digest. Over-activated SNS = a digestive tract that is so over-tense, that it does not function well. Go overboard on SNS and there’s vomiting, diarrhoea and involuntary bladder emptying.

      Is it the food we put in the GI tract? Is it the microbiome? Is it the microbiome that directs food seeking behaviours in an environment where options for dybiosis abound? Do people who are ‘on the run’ all the time (upramped SNS) gobble down the high glycemic junkfood because it requires less hindgut digestion/fermentation? Does this eating style suit their neurological and gut dysfunction?)

      Food seeking for ‘good nutrients’ has been more or less disproved. But what about food seeking based on the state of the nervous system? You see this in diabetics who have overshot their insulin, or type 2s who have taken their meds without food. But it’s manifest in hyperinsulinemics consuming high glycemic index foods. I have noticed that people who have bouncing blood sugars ‘need something sweet’. There’s upramping going on alright. This is manifested by ‘shakes’, tremor, ‘adverse visual effects’, irritability, weakness, nausea, etc. These people consume a diet that does not provide them with acetate or ketones.

    • Vandenbug on March 6, 2014 at 02:40

      Hi Tatertot I’m a neuropsychologist. Good suggestion to ask the biochemists, I’ll do that! Maybe they prove me wrong and the whole idea is nothing but an RS induced brain fart 😉

      You must have read a huge number of reports of people here experimenting with RS consumption. I wonder what kind of things they mention if they notice changes in brain functioning and what kind of changes? It might take some time for people to notice but just by the impressive effects of RS on blood glucose I would expect people to see improvements in the ability to form new memories. The higher one’s blood sugar the smaller one’s hippocampus, decrease BS and your hippocampus will get bigger and regains function. Now if together with the effect on blood glucose there is a pro-cholinergic effect at the same time than that could mean RS might have an enormous potential to protect against age related cognitive decline and maybe even Alzheimer’s.

      Acetylcholine is strongly involved in cognition for instance in attentional and memory related processes, but ofcourse there are also other neurotransmitters involved. Changes involving speed of processing could likely be attributed specifically to the cholinergic system. So if people report faster visual (like faster/easier reading, less staring more focus) or auditive processing (easier/faster processing of spoken language) and shorter reaction times than probably increased ach-transmission is responsible.

      So please let me know me about the brain related changes you have heared about.

    • Vandenbug on March 6, 2014 at 03:15

      I think your acetate suggestion is interesting and I can see how RS/acetate provides the brain with energy when glucose gets low. Nevertheless to me there seems to be a specific cholinergic enhancement effect at work which can’t be explained by acetate. I think if you want to explain the changes in dreaming intensity that so many people report you can’t get around acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is the one neurotranmitter responsible for REM-sleep. If you block acetylcholine receptors there is no REM sleep/no dreaming, acetylcholine enhancers increase REM sleep.

      If i’m correct you said in another thread that alcohol boosts acetate and maybe this effect could be responsible for nightmares/intensified dreaming. I don’t think this is the case because more available energy from any source doesn’t automatically cause more REM sleep. Also alcohol causes people to have less REM sleep, people dream less when they’re drunk, despite the acetate boost. Maybe the nightmares are more easily explained by hypoxia caused by alcohol consumption. Also some of the other brain related effects people mention after RS consumption seem to be specifically cholinergic and unrelated to energy source.

      “But what about food seeking based on the state of the nervous system? “
      Yea thats interesting. Another example, I’ve seen people with lots of fast brain wave activity in posterior regions related to anxiety and GABA deficiencies “cure” themselves with alcohol as it boosts their GABA levels and temporarily relieves them from all this fast wave activity. Only to destroy their brain in the long run ofcourse.

    • Gemma on March 6, 2014 at 03:33

      In case Tatertot doesn’t recall, somebody mentioned (don’t know anymore who or where) “On PS I lost ability to yawn.”

    • Gemma on March 6, 2014 at 04:08
    • DuckDodgers on March 6, 2014 at 04:35

      I admit that I have yawned a few times since then. But I’ve also had to cut back on RS a tiny bit (was taking more at one time (bolus doses) when I wrote that). Still, there are times where I just cannot make myself yawn if I take enough RS.

    • Charles on March 6, 2014 at 06:53

      I’m a 62-year-old male. As reported by a number of people early on in this, I have experienced a decrease/elimination of what we are calling “brain fog.” My cognitive functioning has improved dramatically. I am involved in a job requiring a great deal of mental agility and alertness. Prior to starting PS supplementation, I had noticed a significant decrease in cognitive functioning, and was supplementing cholinergic-related substances as well as Bupropion.

      A couple of months into the potato starch supplementation I stopped all of those supplements/drugs. My cognitive functioning and ability to concentrate is better than I can ever remember. My mood is better than it has ever been as well. I suffered from mild-to-moderate depression most of my early and adult life. While that was basically no longer an issue in the last decade or so, the PS and probiotic supplementation has taken me from pretty much okay, to pretty much great almost all the time. Also zero anxiety. Anxiety wasn’t a real issue, but I didn’t notice how much it was there in the background until it was gone. I can honestly say I have never felt or functioned better at any time in my life, and external circumstances have become more demanding and stressful over the past six months. Sleep is also much improved which accounts for some of it, but I do not believe all.

    • tatertot on March 6, 2014 at 09:26

      As a neuropsychologist, I hope you can use some of this RS/Probiotic/Gut Health stuff in your practice and let us know the results.

      Huge mess right now in US Military–they’ve overdosed many soldiers in the war zones with Ciprofloxacin, destroyed their guts, and are now having a PTSD crisis. There has been talk that Prescript Assist is being used with great success to treat PTSD in these cases…would be great if they took it a step further and used some RS to really kick things up. Write a paper, doc! Make a big name for yourself…someone needs to.

    • Gemma on March 6, 2014 at 10:27

      cc @DuckDodgers

      I wonder what you as neuropsychologist might make of PS -> acetylcholine -> yawn. Seems it is related.

    • Vandenbug on March 7, 2014 at 14:31

      Charles thats a very impressive story. Have you heared similar stories where RS effects cognition?

      Tatertot, I need to learn a bit more about the subject before I can implement it but yes our brains need a healthy gut for sure.

      Gemma, I don’t know much about yawning. Maybe its just simply a matter of having more energy and being less tired. Acetylcholine helps contract the muscles involved but other than that i dont think there is a direct relationship.

    • gabriella kadar on March 7, 2014 at 15:29

      Vandenbug, if she’s sleeping better then maybe she’s not tired and maybe doesn’t yawn as much. Better oxygenation to the brain from better breathing and being more alert.

    • gabriella kadar on March 7, 2014 at 15:43

      Charles, I see anxiety as a breath holding then over breathing phenomenon. See it with some, especially new patients. My assistant keeps reminding them to just breathe regularly. Breath holding makes anxiety worse. Hence the ujjayi breathing in yoga… it balances SNS/PNS, can lower heart rate, blood pressure and make a person calm.

      But like CPR, if you don’t practice when you don’t have a ‘dead’ body in front of you, you won’t be able to do it right when you do.

      Ujjayi breathing is interesting. When for quite some years I was intensely doing hatha yoga, I noticed at one point that I was breathing like this most of the time. Nowadays, I’m not doing the full ujjayi breathing but I have developed a habit of diaphragmatic breathing. It makes me very calm and being calm in potentially anxiety provoking situations is contagious. For me, it’s great because patients fall asleep all the time. (Sometimes not good because I’ve become very ‘boring’ or something. Everyone’s falling asleep all over the damn place even if I want them to listen up. I actually have to consciously make an effort to raise my voice and speak faster otherwise people don’t pick up on the ‘usual and common social cues’ that I’m pissed off or upset. I rarely ‘feel’ those things anymore but I have to make it socially typical or the significance of what I’m saying gets missed.) For you this may not be a good thing at all. 😉

    • Charles on March 7, 2014 at 18:02

      There have been a number of reports from people for whom “brain fog” has cleared up.

    • lori p on March 29, 2014 at 16:47

      Vandenberg, Lumosity does a nice job of measuring cognition is the areas of speed, memory, attention, and problem solving. I have just started taking RS. I am eager to see if there is an increase in my scores. i have been using Lumosity for about two years and had some best of 5 scores and highest score in the last three days.

      If anyone else uses Lumosity, let us know if you see a difference in your scores after starting RS.

  7. jason on March 3, 2014 at 11:02

    “most abundant butyrate-producing gut bacterial species are Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, Eubacterium rectale, Eubacterium hallii and Anaerostipes hadrus”

    None of the three probiotics you are experimenting with have these strains. Is there another source for these? Is everyone essentially supposed to have these already. I guess I’m getting at a “feeding an empty cage” sort of deal for these butyrate-producing effects.

  8. pzo on March 3, 2014 at 13:25

    About the high US prison population, follow the money: Private prisons. The market cap of Corrections Corporation of America is almost $4 B-Billion dollars.

    Gotta keep that cash cow, I mean prisoners, coming.

  9. paulh on March 4, 2014 at 00:39

    Thank you for all the great information! I am currently conducting a sixty day experiment (N of 1) on myself with potato starch and psyllium husk. I am also doing intermittent fasting (8-noon fast noon- 8 eat). Yes yes I know two changes at once, I am screwing up the analysis by changing more than one variable at a time.

    I have a question about the consumption of the resistant starch and the IF. Will taking the RS in the morning with water affect the IF? I am not a scientist so apologies if this is a dumb question. I eat mostly Perfect Health Diet (I live in China so some foods I am not incorporating until my return to the US due to food safety concerns). I want to maximize the benefits from both IF and RS if possible. I don’t have a convenient way to test my own biomarkers to see a difference btw IF w/RS in the morning and IF w/RS in the feeding period. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    So far I am almost three weeks in and have noticeably changed my body composition (face thinner, belly flatter) without losing weight. I have no issues with hunger, and although the increase in gas comes and goes, I feel good. I have noticed an impact on short term memory in the afternoon (juggling three topics at once in head, and one will slip out and take a second to recall where as normally this does not happen). I attribute this to the IF and my body adapting to it.

    Also, about two weeks in I suddenly felt more on edge and quicker to anger for a few days. This coincided with more gas and stomach grumbling (but normal BMs) but after a couple of days I was back to normal. I am not sure if this is the consequence of the IF or the RS but thought I would see if anyone else experienced this.

    • La Frite on March 4, 2014 at 06:58

      Here is my take:

      if 70% of the carbs in PS are RS, you have 30% left as normal carbs.
      If you eat 40g of PS in the AM, that’s 32g of RS carb + normal carbs (20% of PS are moisture).
      Out of the 32g of carb matter, about 10g is digestible carb by weight. It could get you out of the fasting state I think. It won’t raise your blood sugar much though so insulin should be minimal and quickly return to what it was.

      But that’s my guess and it is probably more complex or nuanced.

    • Charles on March 4, 2014 at 07:25

      My understanding is that the 30% is water, not digestible carbs. There are no digestible carbs in potato starch, and it will not raise your blood glucose at all, and will not kick you out of ketosis if you are in ketosis.

    • tatertot on March 4, 2014 at 08:08

      My thought is that 70% of the weight of potato starch is RS starch granules, 20% is moisture. 10% is error of either RS starch or moisture. I don’t think there is any readily digestible starch in potato starch.

    • paulh on March 5, 2014 at 00:34

      Thank you to all for the replies! I will wait a week and then try a month of RS in the morning on an empty stomach with water and see if I can detect a difference.

  10. marcelo_X on March 4, 2014 at 05:38

    Hey! If you have a problem to live with a lot of people in Jail a suggestion: Came to Brazil, most os criminals are in the streets… they are “free”.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 4, 2014 at 06:48

      Same as in America, where the police spend all their time on low risk traffic stops and busting people smoking grass. And when something bad does go down, they show up to fill out reports.

  11. EatLessMoveMoore on March 4, 2014 at 14:22

    For such an avowed skeptic, Tom sure gives quite a pass to the Born-Again pseudoscience of Jimmy. Why anyone more than five minutes north of the Mason-Dixon (with a brain) gives him the time of day is beyond me. Gee, couldn’t have anything to do with money, could it?

    • Richard Nikoley on March 4, 2014 at 15:55

      Yea, it’s a piece of Jimmy’s “Webpire” he’s after. There’s always underlying motives. Everyone on Earth has then, except you, of course. Always clean as the anonymous Lilly White Snow.

      I think I’ll ban you for the hell of it and a good laf. You never contribute anything. Always the same boring song and dance.

      You cost more to the readers here in wasted time reading the same thing over and over than Jimmy has ever cost them.

  12. EatLessMoveMoore on March 4, 2014 at 19:08

    Follow the money indeed.

  13. john on March 5, 2014 at 03:53

    Any reports of severe allergies to tapoica starch? I’ve been supplementing with Fufu flour and been fine so far, but last week I introduced tapioca starch and prescriptassist SBOs, about 3 days later I get a huge dermatitis flare. I’m trying to figure out if it’s the prescript assist or the tapioca. My guess is the tapioca. It will take 3-4 weeks for the flare up to subside. I want to start the SBOs asap again. Anyone have experience or knowledge?

    So far plantain starch has been amazing for both my and my girlfriend. Solid stools for the first time in years after antibiotic treatments. This is a monumental rediscovery.

    • tatertot on March 5, 2014 at 08:56

      I’d give up the tapioca starch if you see problems. Too many variables in its production. Some love it, some hate it. Until we have a way to test each batch, it’s ‘buyer beware’. Plantain starch is good stuff.

    • john on March 5, 2014 at 21:12

      That was my thinking too. I live in a place beyond amazon’s reach and it’s hard when you don’t tolerate beans (oxalates) and the only thing avail is potato starch, to which causes skin allergic reactions.

      Thanks for the reply. I’m going to reintroduce the SBOs, the skin flare started to back off, so I’ll know now if it gets worse.

  14. Sarabeth Matilsky on March 5, 2014 at 05:43

    My friend wants to know: is it bad to use psyllium along with potato starch indefinitely? Can one become “dependent” on this type of fiber? Some sources say it (psyllium) is irritating to the colon.

    I personally find that potato starch alone is constipating, but with psyllium it is not. Why??

  15. Sarabeth Matilsky on March 5, 2014 at 06:32

    Another question: has anyone noted a “rebound effect” of symptoms after they’ve been dosing with potato starch for a month or two?

    There are five of us in my family, and we’ve all be experimenting with resistant starch (less strenuously for the kids) for the past two months. In the last week or so, all five of us have had an upswing in symptoms that had originally improved when we started consuming more RS. Things like rashes, Itchiness, mood issues, hormonal Stuff, sinus stuff, behavioral issues… It’s not just one of us, and it’s strange that we’d all be experiencing similar “relapses” but with such seemingly different symptoms for each person. Almost like our disparate issues are contagious!

    • tatertot on March 5, 2014 at 08:54

      Don’t know about a rebound effect, could it be the change in season? Pollen floating around? Mold spores? I’d look for common environmental issues before blaming the food.

      As to psyllium, no problem experimenting with other sources of fiber to accomany potato starch. Mix 50/50 with banana flour or 75/25 Inulin mixture for variety. Or just eat the PS along with a salad. It does seem to do better when accompanied by another fiber of some sort–it doesn’t have to be psyllium.

    • Sarabeth Matilsky on March 5, 2014 at 09:19

      That’s interesting, actually – if it is a virus causing our “relapse” (many of our neighbors have some sort of stomach bug right now, and my daughter woke up with super grouchiness and a runny nose), then maybe whatever it’s doing to our collective family immune system is somewhat the opposite of whatever RS normally does…

      Do you have any theories about why psyllium seems to work so well along with PS? Is it because it is a soluble fiber? Because it has mucilage? Because it has insoluble fiber??? I’m trying to figure out the “why” in order to come up with other things to try. I’ve been eating green banana and green plantain, but psyllium is the part of my daily dose that seems to Keep Things Moving, which I’d like to continue to have happening! Nothing else thus far seems to do that along with the PS, although all I’ve tried is green banana/green plantain and glucomannan. It reminds me of when I used to eat flax and chia seeds, and they would also have the opposite effect of what many people reported (i.e. I also got C from them).

      Has anyone else reported constipation with just plain potato starch? I’ve been trying to comb the comments, but “constipation” doesn’t yield as many results as I wish it did. 🙂

    • tatertot on March 5, 2014 at 09:26

      Constipation is not a common theme among PS eaters.

      The psyllium has been shown in many studies to have a synergistic effect with potato starch. It swells and carries the PS further along the colon so that the butyrate is spread out. The actual term is ‘shifts fermentation distally’.

      It also seems to work with wheat chaff, inulin, FOS, pectin, gums…basically any other ‘fiber’. Richard’s morning smoothie is a nice blend of different fibers. I’m playing with glucomannan and inulin at the moment. Just a word of caution with the psyllium and gums, like guar gum– a little goes a long way and can block people up. It has considerable swelling power, so go easy on it.

    • DuckDodgers on March 5, 2014 at 10:28

      According to Chris Kresser, “constipation is almost always related to an insufficiency of healthy flora in the gut.” [Link]

    • gabriella kadar on March 5, 2014 at 13:19

      Sometimes PS does slow things down. Did me and one of my buddies who makes green smoothies. (but now he’s finally been diagnosed with celiac, so I don’t know if that factors in). But PS does not speed things up, just keeps things soft.

      If you want to speed things up, eat okra. (And good luck………….phew. Okra is one of those tried and true crap happy vegetables.)

  16. Bruce on March 5, 2014 at 08:32

    I’ve done a search on FTA but didn’t find – since we want unmodified PS, in what way is PS sometimes modified ? My local gluten free store has PS, but they re-pkg it from bulk, so it’s hard for me to tell. I will ask them, but I’d rather be informed too…

    • tatertot on March 5, 2014 at 08:44

      There are basically to modifications you don’t want. The first is called ‘pregelatinization’ which means it will dissolve in cold water. They first heat the raw starch, then dry it. This is usually sold as ‘pre-gelled’ or ‘cold-water soluble’ starch. I’ve never seen it in a store, but I know it exists. This may be the reason some brands of tapioca starch or even potato starch don’t work well. You will be able to tell if it’s pre-gelled when you mix with water…it will turn into gravy. Raw, unmodified starch will just settle to the bottom and turn into a cement like tightly packed formation.

      The second modification you don’t want is chemical processes that turn starch into laundry starch or industrial starch. This stuff won’t be sold as food. I like to think that any potato starch you find in grocery store cooking aisle is fine. If you get some that acts funky when mixed with water, don’t use it.

      These are terms used with modified starches (from Wikipedia):

      A modified starch is a starch that has been chemically modified to allow the starch to function properly under conditions frequently encountered during processing or storage, such as high heat, high shear, low pH, freeze/thaw and cooling.

      The modified food starches are E coded according to the International Numbering System for Food Additives (INS):
      •1400 Dextrin
      •1401 Acid-treated starch
      •1402 Alkaline-treated starch
      •1403 Bleached starch
      •1404 Oxidized starch
      •1405 Starches, enzyme-treated
      •1410 Monostarch phosphate
      •1412 Distarch phosphate
      •1413 Phosphated distarch phosphate
      •1414 Acetylated distarch phosphate
      •1420 Starch acetate
      •1422 Acetylated distarch adipate
      •1440 Hydroxypropyl starch
      •1442 Hydroxypropyl distarch phosphate
      •1443 Hydroxypropyl distarch glycerol
      •1450 Starch sodium octenyl succinate
      •1451 Acetylated oxidized starch

      INS 1400, 1401, 1402, 1403 and 1405 are in the EU food ingredients without an E-number. Typical modified starches for technical applications are cationic starches, hydroxyethyl starch and carboxymethylated starches

  17. Amido resistente, probiotici, prebiotici ed intestino — Codice Paleo on March 7, 2014 at 00:25
  18. Bruce on March 6, 2014 at 10:19

    Since we are discovering all these connections between the gut biome and other systems like immune system regulation, neuronal, etc – it might be interesting to see what the predictive value of this is – in other words what dysfunction is seen in people with *no* gut biome – such as the very unfortunate few who have had a complete colectomy. Are their problems/dysfunction the ones predicted by gut biome interactions? Anyone seen any research ?

    • tatertot on March 6, 2014 at 10:35

      Bruce – Interesting question and one that has intrigued me since the beginning, too. I talked quite a bit with a lady who’s husband had a colostomy…he was a wreck before and after the surgery, as I suspect most are. I just found this: a recommended post-colostomy diet, looks like SAD to me, lots of white bread and margarine. I have a feeling that colostomy patients require lots of follow-up care and their quality of life goes downhill quickly, even if the colostomy does improve the problems they had which required such a harsh measure in the first place.

  19. Pete on March 14, 2014 at 19:39

    Well, this is such an interesting subject. So I did try the 1/2 T of Bob’s PS which is where I should have stopped. I went up to a full T (cause and effect or not) and have had heartburn for several days now even though I stopped the PS a few days ago.

    I also started Prescript Assist at 1/day and, who knows, that may have had some effect. Perhaps too many new things all at once.

    I am quite prone to heartburn on carbs particularly on things like corn chips in their various incarnations. I do a low-to-moderate carb diet of 50-70 g/day and that has kept heartburn at bay for years. I feel much better on a low carb diet but I cannot seem to lose much weight. I can, however, eat as I like and not gain anything. I suspect it is too much protein. Stasis, that is my middle name.

    When this goes away (it can take a a couple of weeks), I will try again at a much lower dose (maybe 1/4T) since I do believe it has a good effect on my BG and I feel much more regular. Thanks for all of the interesting info.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 14, 2014 at 22:01


      Grace (Dr BG) would tell you that you have massive small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). Just ask her to tell you.

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