Everything Update. But Mostly Gut Microbiome and Resistant Starch

I really need to spend way more time getting the book ready for the publisher, in my eyes (now editing chapter 6 of 15, and accelerating); which means, excruciating editing at word, sentence, paragraph, section, “science sidebar,” and chapter levels. Convey the ideas in the fewest words possible. That’s the creed I go by. I truly do believe its going to be amazing; and if not, I fail. Tim and Grace both knock my socks off. Makes it easy foundationally; but so hard, too, because I want those ideas and wealths of information to shine in a very particular narrative, and it’s nothing like writing this blog here.

A word of thanks and deep appreciation for your continued support. The Amazon deal (see all the links and banners all over) is going so very well. Every day, many of you are hitting the link, or just clicking on a banner, and doing your shopping. Here’s how it works:

  • Anything you purchase over the 24 hours after clicking the link or a banner, I get some help from Amazon.
  • Anything you put in your cart, I get the same help from Amazon, so long as you check out within 90 days.

Simple and elegant. A company most people love and trust, and you don’t even have to buy what I’m peddling. You can buy anything you want (I see TVs, cameras, stereos, kitchen appliances, etc., in the reports). One time, a gal must have been outfitting a sports bar, so I got a piece of an order for 12 flat screen TVs. 2,500 units of various things ordered in March, 3,600 over the last 6 weeks.

That said, the only things I will ever peddle myself are things I use myself and find value in. The hottest thing now is the soil-based probiotics. Since I first did the post on them in late February, about 1,500 units out the door in total, for the three of them. One Tweeter tweeted me just this morning:

@rnikoley Thought dreams were good on RS alone. Popped my first Prescript-Assist yesterday and holy shit. One after another w/ movie

Turns out to have been something about Keith Richards in Todd’s living room, discussing blues musicians. What will your dreams hold?

Thank you very much. You motivate me to do better. Oh, BTW: Go get your soil-based probiotics if you like.

…OK, here’s my cool stuff for you, before I turn to preparations for recording Jimmy Moore’s The Livin’ La Vida Low Carb Show late this afternoon as guest host. If everything goes according to Skype testing, I’ll be recording the show from San Jose, CA, on the line with Dr. Grace in Shanghai, Tatertot Tim in North Pole, AK; and to close things out, Tom Naughton from his farm in Tennessee. It’ll be about the gut microbiome and resistant starch, but with an emphasis on how low carbers can benefit without sin. 🙂

~ Speaking of Tom Naughton, did you know that Tim, Grace and I collaborated on an extensive interview with Tom about resistant starch? In total, it comes out to almost 11,500 words, and here’s Part 1 that Tom has published, with a really great mix of intelligent comments so far. Oh, I see that just this morning, Part 2 is up, and I haven’t even read it myself, yet. I hope you enjoy what we tried to do in answering questions in different styles—something for everyone. You can guess which style I took up.

~ Speaking of Tatertot Tim—more popular on my own blog than I—he did a podcast with Ameer Rosic. My own podcast with Ameer a while back is at nearly 5,000 listens and Ameer asked me for a Part 2. I suggested that he go with Tim (and I’m going to suggest that he delve deep into science, medicine, pharmacology and clinical practical experience with Dr. Grace, as his part 3).

~ If you have paid any attention to me in the past, you may know that I have a serious crush on Terry Gross, whom I consider to be the very best all-around interviewer of our time. Most recently, she has interviewed Dr. Martin Blaser.

There are lots of theories about why food allergies, asthma, celiac disease and intestinal disorders like Crohn’s disease have been on the rise. Dr. Martin Blaser speculates that it may be connected to the overuse of antibiotics, which has resulted in killing off strains of bacteria that typically live in the gut.

Blaser is an expert on the human microbiome, which is the collection of bacteria, viruses, fungi and other microbes that live in and on the body. In fact, up to 90 percent of all the cells in the human body aren’t human at all — they’re micro-organisms.

Blaser is the director of NYU’s Human microbiome Program and a former chairman of medicine there. His new book is called Missing Microbes.

What’s covered:

  • On why he thinks the number of diseases has risen
  • On the potential link between antibiotics and obesity
  • On how the birth process informs a baby’s microbiome
  • On a study comparing the microbiomes of babies born via C-section and those born vaginally
  • On how the microbiome can determine a person’s immunity and allergies
  • On probiotics

Not to toot Grace’s, Tim’s, and my horn, but virtually all of it has been in our book for months, under editing, revision, and inclusion of the latest science. No surprises. But, you will for sure want to read our unique perspectives when it comes out. Our perspective of the whole thing is quite a bit different, fundamentally.

~ On the allergy issue, there’s this: Pollen is Not the Problem.

When the gut is out of balance, opportunistic and pathogenic microbes overgrow and take over dominance. These pathogens produce toxic substances which are the by-products of their metabolism. Some of these toxins actually play an important role in the body when the pathogens in the gut are controlled and kept in check by good flora. But, when the good flora is absent or not playing a dominant role, these pathogens can overproduce these toxins.

One such toxin produced by several types of gut pathogens (Proteus, E. coli, Staphylococci and others) is histamine which is actually an important neurotransmitter in the body.

When these microbes grow unchecked in the gut due to a lack of beneficial flora, they overproduce histamine causing many functions in the body that react to histamine to go haywire as excessive amounts pour into the blood.

Is Benadryl your best friend? If so, you know you potentially suffer from an overgrowth of pathogens in your gut that are overproducing histamine!

I don’t care for exclamation marks in that context, but for me it has been over the top amazing: sneezing, wheezing and dripping since I was 13. It happened within 3 days of eating the dirt. I breath clearly through my nose, for the first time in life memory. Thanks, Grace.

~ There’s a study out about the first looking into of the Hadza gut microbiome (full text). There’s a couple of articles written about it, here and here. A graphic from the latter link in Wired.

Hadza gut microbiome figure
Hadza gut microbiome comparison

I’m not going to go into details but as it turns out, the results are surprising because they appear to have more of what we’d tend to think of as pathogens, less of what we’d tend to think of as friendly—in an American SAD context. It’s compromised, though, because they stored the poop in a harsh solvent to preserve for testing; whereas, Jeff Leach—in his ongoing project—has the foresight to freeze them, so as to preserve a poop in time.

But let’s just take the existing data for what it is, for now. I’m an Occam’s Razor kinda guy, and given that that Hadza exibit none of our Western maladies, their guts just rock and yours are pathetic. Fair?

What I think is that ultimately, while these sorts of studies are surely going to provide very valuable insight, they’re ultimately only going to serve as practice and foundation for the testing to come:

  • Rather than test Hadza living in the dirt, against 5th Avenue apartment dwellers in New York, you test healthy Hadza against unhealthy Hadza (if you can find any), and heathy Manhattans against unhealthy Manhattans. This is the environmental angle.
  • To go even a step further, you test healthy Manhattan Jews against unhealthy Manhattan Jews. This is the social angle that incorporates the environmental.
  • This is how it drills down.

There is no “healthiest gut biome” in the world. There is potentially healthiest in an environment, and beyond that, healthiest in a socio-environment. Then, we’ll be getting somewhere and the discoveries are going to be so fucking gobsmacking I can’t even believe it.

…And, just as Dr. Grace has admonished us so many times, once they adjust all the above data to various levels of antibiotic use, the picture is going to be just as she said. The unhealthy in the same socio-enviro will have had high antibiotic use and they healthy, relatively less.

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. Tom Scott on April 17, 2014 at 21:16

    I came back from Taiwan & Cambodia 17 months ago with a eGFR of 9%. I’ve been on a strict renal diet since then as only a Chinese spouse can do. Two weeks ago my eGFR was >60 – normal for 72 YOA. The diet was low protein and lots of vegetables. I had to watch sodium, potassium & phosphorous. So when venturing to try the potato starch I was leery of potassium content. I used this chart:

    I still only use it sparingly. The other day I soaked and boiled sliced potatoes as suggested on Davita (a kidney health site.)
    I’m posting this only to provide sources for people with kidney/potassium concerns.

  2. tatertot on April 17, 2014 at 14:24

    ~ Speaking of Tatertot Tim—more popular on my own blog than I…

    Well, this may be a good a time as any to announce my new blog, Free the Tater! Free daily drawings, prizes, and I won’t call you names!

    • Richard Nikoley on April 17, 2014 at 15:02

      Damn, I need to install silly like buttons for comments.

    • snakes on a plane on April 17, 2014 at 15:05

      Hi Tim. That’s great news about your site. What’s the Url? I googled it but all I got was some rubbish on Heinz Tatertots.

    • gabriella kadar on April 17, 2014 at 19:18

      snakes, you clearly don’t ‘get’ Tim. The last thing in this world and the next is do a Richard.

      Do you have any idea whatsoever how much time, creativity and effort it takes to write this blog for years after years and have a huge readership? I’m in awe.

    • tatertot on April 17, 2014 at 19:32

      No, really, I am! It’s called the Livin’ La Vida Tatertot Free the Animal Daily Apple…

      I hear ya, I can’t imagine keeping up with a blog the way Richard does. It’s all I can do to keep up with the 20-30 comment threads I’m subscribed to.

      Helping out here in comments and the few guest blogs I helped with made me realize that a blog was not in my future.

    • Nancy on April 20, 2014 at 13:51

      Tim, I’d like to see one of your drawings, if they are fit for public view.

  3. dr j on April 17, 2014 at 14:41

    Chlorinated town water supply – as Grace uses a triple water filter, I guess that there will be a section on the effect of chlorinated water on the biome. Swimming pools are a great way to breakup surface biofilms and signalling chain. Maybe a section on remnant dishwashing surfactant liquids picked up from crockery. (Lucy, my jack russell companion’s role is as plate prewasher to lick the plates after dinner- I should ask her to lick before serving up) . Then there is nickel leakage from stainless steel cutlery cookware which can feed the key enzymes of h pylori in the stomach.

    Kitchen’s are such dangerous places if you are a humble bug.

    • Richard Nikoley on April 17, 2014 at 15:44

      Dr j

      I think all of that is the least of worries and I think gut bugs have been living with municipal water for a long time, not to mention cutting implements.

      They evolve at 6 generations per day to our 1 per 30 years.

      It might turn out that antibiotics are the only problem, and I’m fully prepared for that answer.

    • dr j on April 17, 2014 at 18:25

      a little example
      Its Easter!
      john and lucy the wunder dog

    • gabriella kadar on April 17, 2014 at 19:23

      Dr. J, this is why my ‘dishwasher’ consists of my two hands.

      I despise the smell of dishwashers. Hand washing after soaking dishes is much faster. Less caustic. Not noisy. Faster.

      Dishwashers are probably the least efficient and actually least effective (since dishes need to be pre-washed by dog tongues) appliance ever invented.

  4. rob on April 17, 2014 at 14:48

    Anyone notice increased potassium levels using potato starch? Recent blood panel should high potassium. Only change since last panel was addition of potato starch, 2tbs/day.

    • tatertot on April 17, 2014 at 14:53

      Is that “K” on labs? If so, mine was 5.2 with an H beside it and reference range was 3.5 – 5.1. How high was yours?

    • Richard Nikoley on April 17, 2014 at 15:19

      This could be interesting, since my dad has been low potassium since I was a kid, still is, and he loves potatoes.

    • Rob on April 17, 2014 at 16:55

      Yes, K.
      Ref range 3.5 – 5.2, mine was 5.5, never been over 4.8.

    • gabriella kadar on April 17, 2014 at 19:25

      Rob, drink more fluids. Potato starch is not a potassium source. But since it sucks up a lot of water, you may need to drink more.

    • Paleophil on April 19, 2014 at 07:11

      I have noticed that I have less need for potassium supplements (which I take as needed for toe cramps) since I increased my RS consumption.

    • Paleophil on April 19, 2014 at 07:42

      …and I had tried eating potassium-rich foods like ripe bananas for years for the toe cramps and they paradoxically only seemed to make matters worse. Going mostly-raw Paleo helped some, but it wasn’t until I started taking PS that they diminished greatly to being quite rare, which I found both puzzling and interesting, as I hadn’t seen anything about potassium and RS. RS is supposed to improve absorption of some minerals, like zinc, calcium or iron, so maybe it helps with potassium absorption too? However, this study contradicts the ones that said that mineral absorption improved with RS:

    • tatertot on April 19, 2014 at 08:11

      PaleoPhil – That is an awesome paper you linked, one of the first ones I’d ever read. I don’t think it contradicts mineral absorption studies because it’s a study using ileostomy patients as subjects. They are just looking at mineral absorption in the small intestine, I think in a normal, healthy person, the RS increases mineral uptake because their large intestine gut bugs are doing it for them, know what I mean?

      But, in re-reading that study just now, it makes me realize that banana flour is an awesome source of RS and it looks like they put the optimum dose at about 30g/day for the banana flour (about 3TBS).

    • Deb on April 19, 2014 at 15:19

      I use baking soda in water to reduce K, works great.

    • Paleophil on April 20, 2014 at 13:05

      Thanks Tater. Sure enough, I found some research that says “Potassium absorption was comparably increased” by RS (tapioca starch in this case). (Proabsorptive effects of modified tapioca starch as an additive of oral rehydration solutions. Journal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition 27:1 1998 Jul pg 17-22,

      Resistant starch helped reduce my need for potassium supplements more than anything else. This research fits with my experience that my issue wasn’t insufficient potassium intake from foods, but inadequate absorption.

  5. Lute on April 17, 2014 at 15:57

    At last test my potassium was at low normal range. But getting off of Hydrochlorothiazide and taking 4 tbs of PS daily should increase the pot. But, maybe my body just doesn’t like it.

    • gabriella kadar on April 17, 2014 at 19:33

      Hydrochlorothiazide is NOT a potassium sparing diuretic. Spironolactone does keep potassium in the body.

      Potato starch is not potato, so it doesn’t contain appreciable amounts of potassium. You’d need to eat a potato for that. Approx. 500 mg potassium per medium spud.

      Just an example, not a recommendation: coconut water contains about 500 mg of potatssium per 250 ml. The gut does not absorb it all. Just what it needs. 2 litres of coconut water constitutes a great colonic cleanout without cramps. But I would not recommend anyone who has any heart condition to do that.. 1 or 2 cups per day will provide a goodly supplement of both potassium and magnesium in a relatively low calorie beverage. 45 kcal per cup.

      If the kidneys are not working as well as they should, then high potassium foods can elevate potassium blood levels because it’s not only about absorption from the gut but also clearance via the kidney.

    • Lute on April 17, 2014 at 20:44

      Gabriella, I am currently taking Spironolactone.

    • gabriella kadar on April 17, 2014 at 21:25

      Lute that has an effect on the kidneys so potassium is not excreted like it is with the other diuretics. It’s easy to end up with high potassium levels and cardiac rhythm abnormalities. Unlike the other diuretics, a person should not eat high potassium foods with this med.

    • Lute on April 17, 2014 at 21:45

      I just started taking it a couple of weeks ago, but I’m willing to give it a try. I’ve never had high potassium in my life.

    • Ellen Ussery on April 29, 2014 at 07:36

      Here is what Sisson has to say about it

      I like reading Ray Peat’s stuff, you know, I really do, but I think he fixates on the minutiae way too much, often using obscure animal research and extreme conditions to support his positions.

      Persorption of starch occurs, but it’s totally normal. It happens with any starch, not just raw starch, and humans clear any persorbed starch from the blood within a couple hours. In infants, it’s probably a feature rather than a flaw: human milk oligosaccharides, normally valued only for their prebiotic qualities, get into the bloodstream to mop up and clear pathogens while the immune system is still in its, ahem, infancy.

      Persorption may be increased in cases of leaky gut, but what’s ironic (if you take the view that persorption is evil) is that the butyrate produced as a result of consuming resistant starch and other prebiotics lowers intestinal permeability. So if anything, eating more raw potato starch will reduce problematic amounts of persorption.

      This is where taking a step back from the minutiae to look at the big, evolutionary picture can help. We can argue about how much starch humans have historically eaten, but everyone agrees that we have eaten starch for tens of thousands of years. Some cultures have eaten more than others. Many seemingly healthy cultures eat a fair amount of starch. There are problems with starch (over)consumption, especially in the modern sedentary inflamed population, but I don’t think persorption of starch granules into the bloodstream is one of the major ones.

      In the end, you have to weigh your options. Do you continue taking potato starch for the direct, observed, experienced, empirical benefits to digestion, sleep, gut health, and metabolism? Or do you hang your hat on a theoretical problem, on the off-chance that persorption of starch into the bloodstream is slowly, inexorably, silently killing you? I know what I’d choose.

      Read more:

    • Jo on April 29, 2014 at 00:34

      “If the kidneys are not working as well as they should, then high potassium foods can elevate potassium blood levels because it’s not only about absorption from the gut but also clearance via the kidney.”
      Do we know that RS isn’t impairing kidney function?
      Many thanks for all the free information and advice offered on these pages.

    • gabkad on April 29, 2014 at 02:43

      Jo, do you have an ideas as to why potato starch would impair kidney function?

    • Jo on April 29, 2014 at 04:45

      Hello gabkad

      When we eat starch some undigested particles get into the blood stream. Tim or Richard have acknowledged that this is “well known” elsewhere on Free the Animal although I couldn’t now tell you exactly where. How does it get back out of the blood-stream and how does it affect the various organs and tissues it visits as it cruises round the body? I think nobody knows the answers to these questions. But it doesn’t seem too far-fetched to me to postulate that some strain on the kidneys could be involved. I don’t know if this is the case but in a more general way I would say from reading a lot of the posts on this website it seems to me that the effects of RS on the human body are both numerous and mysterious and it’s possible that they are not always and only positive.

    • Jo on May 3, 2014 at 02:42

      Thanks for your reply Ellen.

      I see even Ray Peat is only cautioning against taking starch without fat. All the same my curiosity is piqued about particle size. Richard has likened the difference between raw potato starch and cooked to the difference between raw corn seed and cooked pop-corn, which suggests raw potato starch particles are significantly smaller than cooked. If anyone knows a web link about the relative sizes of different starch particles I’d be interested to see it.

    • tatertot on May 3, 2014 at 07:39

      Jo –

      Look at figures 1,2,3. There is just no comparison between RS2 and RS3. RS3 is not persorbed into the bloodstream according to the studies, all they could find was intact starch granules, no plant matter of any kind.

      As far as gut bugs are concerned, RS2 and RS3 must also look significantly different and, again, studies confirm somewhat different effects in the growth of several key species. I think the biggest difference lies in the breaking down the whole granules as opposed to the already broken down RS3.

      In my mind, we evolved alongside both types and we should try to get both types when we eat. During our first 2 millions years on Earth, we certainly didn’t get any (or much) RS3 as we didn’t know how to cook, but once we turned into master chefs and started throwing yams in the fire, we spent another million years or so eating both types of RS, probably in fairly equal amounts.

      Check out the pictures in the link, pretty cool!

    • Jo on May 4, 2014 at 23:33

      Many thanks Tim

  6. Alie on April 17, 2014 at 17:15

    Totally crushing on you guys right now and can’t wait for the book. This week my son was injured at work and put on antibiotics. I immediately put him on probiotics. I am not happy about the meds, but he’s 20 so I have little say. However, he’s faithfully taking probiotics, kefir, and potato starch when he takes the meds and he’s learned alot about gut health in the last few days, whether he wanted to or not. Just a few months ago I would not have known to do this, so, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    • tatertot on April 17, 2014 at 17:26

      Antibiotics are a fact of life and could save your life one day, so we need to learn to live with the consequences.

      Here’s my thoughts, while taking antibiotics, also take pre and probiotics. Not because the probiotics will necessarily repopulate your gut, but they will hold pathogens at bay while the beneficial microbes get established.

      Hopefully, hiding in a biofilm or the appendix is a stash of good gut bugs that can seed the biome. Without a bit of help and some food, antibiotics pathogens will probably get a foothold first and crowd out the beneficial ones.

      We’ve seen studies that show it can take 4 years for a biome to return to stable condition, but they probably never really do without some intervention.

      Good job on looking out for your son. I predict full gut recovery!

    • Alie on April 18, 2014 at 05:37

      Thank you for the encouragement! I personally cannot tolerate antiobiotics at all, so I wanted him to be aware of negative side effects. So far, so good. He probably has quite a diverse gut flora, being a landscaper, so I’m not too concerned.

      I had the same thoughts about the probiotics during antibiotic use. When he’s done with the meds, I’ll give him some SBOs to really make sure he gets back the good wee beasties.

  7. Ripken Holt on April 17, 2014 at 17:20

    I would love to see someone go through your Amazon to buy a Bible.

    • wtf on April 17, 2014 at 18:47

      I wouldn’t be surprised if Richard has a couple of bibles he could sell for himself. He seems very well versed in biblical literature.

    • Richard Nikoley on April 18, 2014 at 10:57


      That’s the beauty of how I’ve chosen to monetize the blog. Some will buy some of the stuff I promote, however 100% of what I promote is what I use or have used, and endorse personally. And some can buy whatever they like and no matter what it is, they have my same appreciation and gratitude, even Bibles. This is what’s cool about voluntary interaction and business.

    • Richard Nikoley on April 18, 2014 at 11:02

      You would be correct, WTF. In fact, I still have the Bible I was given on like my 13th birthday, leather bound, burgundy leather cover with my name embossed in gold leaf. It’s an old classic Scofield KJV.

      One of my teenager jobs was to work at King’s Way Bookstore, where I actually sold Bibles and all other sorts of religious books. Used to do the embossing on the covers too.

    • Laura on April 19, 2014 at 07:38

      I’d love for you (and everyone else) to go see the movie, “God’s Not Dead!” 🙂

  8. yien on April 18, 2014 at 00:13

    The Hadza SCFA result – relatively low butyrate, relatively high propionate should get pectin on the paleo radar … eventually.

  9. uey111 on April 18, 2014 at 00:26

    Just reporting some pf my results:
    Probiotics AOR and Primal Defense, mixed with potato starch, inulin and Amazing Grass made energy difference for a few days and then absolutely nothing – back to the state before (tested for about a month).

    Currently waiting for Prescript Assist – I will report the results once I try it for a while.

    • gabriella kadar on April 18, 2014 at 09:15

      uey111: placebo effect? Sounds like.

      Got all excited that probiotics and prebiotics are the ‘holy grail’ for energy?

    • uey111 on April 19, 2014 at 13:48

      Won’t say I didn’t, though I did try to manage my expectations. The possibility of placebo is why I consider those few days a statistical noise (though it was nice not to be sleepy all the time and to need 5-6 hours of sleep, rather than 8-10).

  10. Christoph Dollis (@ChristophDollis) on April 18, 2014 at 00:36
    • Richard Nikoley on April 18, 2014 at 12:00


      Yes, I’ve had Scrivener for years and have several book drafts in it. It’s specifically made for book writing.

      For this book, however, because Tim, Grace and I are collaborating, we’re doing it all in shared Google docs, one doc per chapter. It’s fabulous for collaborating and also, the research tool is fabulous, and you can create properly cited footnote references in a click.

  11. Gemma on April 18, 2014 at 00:48

    Still searching the name for your book? Well, one lovely, fitting good one is already taken. My favourite science writer Ed Yong (the author of the above mentioned article on Hadza study) just decided to write something longer and announced his first book, due in 2016: I Contain Multitudes

  12. Jim Ford on April 18, 2014 at 04:44

    Been using potato RS for over 4 months now, in combination with pro & prebiotics supplements.

    The daily morning colon expulsion exercise has improved markedly – very, very happy with. Maintaining my desired weight range on a moderate carb/protein diet (high fat – 60 to 65% of calories) is a lot easier now. My fasting blood sugar has actually risen a little while on RS. The BS spikes after meals never exceeds 125, though.

    For the first time last night, we tried rice with our meal (Uncle Ben’s Converted (parboiled) rice in packs, cooled in fridge for 24 hours). No real after meal BS spike after last night’s dinner, and my wake-up glucose this morning was lower than usual.

    Question on rice. Since I keep track of carb consumption, what percentage of the carb grams get digested and how much passes to the colon. For example, if Uncles Ben’s has 38 grams of carbs per serving, how much of that should I count towards my daily carb allocation?

    Thanks. Looking forward to finally reading a book on RS that ties everything together.

    • tatertot on April 18, 2014 at 08:57

      “Question on rice. Since I keep track of carb consumption, what percentage of the carb grams get digested and how much passes to the colon. For example, if Uncles Ben’s has 38 grams of carbs per serving, how much of that should I count towards my daily carb allocation?”

      Make it easy…count it all as carbs. I doubt you will ever figure out how to count it accurately, too many angles to consider.

    • Jim Ford on April 18, 2014 at 09:37

      Sounds reasonable. Will do that to make it easy.

    • KAWAM on May 5, 2014 at 06:12

      Counting all RS carbs as carbs is my quandry — if PS is 88 carb grams per Tbs., it’s impossible to stay around 100 grams/day. Even deducting an average — say — 65% makes 4 Tbs. almost the entire carb source if anyone’s trying for a specific macronutrient ratio having carbs under 125 or so. ALL other carb sources would have to be green-leafy. Or am I missing something?

    • Richard Nikoley on May 5, 2014 at 07:37

      Yes you are, KAWAM.

      As repeated many, many times, PS is not digested by you. The carb count in the raw state is meaningless. That count is the carb count if you cook it, turning it into normal starch that is digested by you.

      BTW, the carb count for 1 TBS is 10 g, not 88.

    • KAWAM on May 5, 2014 at 07:43

      Thanks. I guess I made two boo-boos here — first, misreading the nutritional info on PS, and second, conflating Tim’s advice re counting all carbs in cooked rice as digestible carbs with prior advice on PS. Appreciate the reminder.

  13. Jim Ford on April 18, 2014 at 04:48

    Clarification: “No real after meal BS spike after last night’s dinner” … what I meant was that the usual BS spike, after this rice-laden dinner, was no different than typical after dinner spike.

  14. Ken Smithmier on April 18, 2014 at 06:47

    I have a question. I am taking probiotics now, once a “course” of them is completed do you stop? I am also using kefir, potato starch, etc. thank you. I have learned a ton from reading what everyone says on this site.

    • tatertot on April 18, 2014 at 09:04

      Ken – I think the answer is going to be individual. If you have no specific gastro complaints, great BMs, and feel good, then sporadic probiotics and lots of fermented food will probably be perfect to keep things running along fine. If you are working through gut issues, maybe best to keep on a daily regimen of probiotics until you find what works for you.

    • Grace/Dr.BG on April 20, 2014 at 16:50

      Hey Ken~

      Great question. I concur with Tim but you need to also consider that all diseases or health complaints often center on the gut whether there are obvious or apparent ‘gut issues’. Insomnia — this is gut related. Poor gainer? This is totally gut and adrenal related. Skin disorder or brain condition (ADHD, anxiety)… again, gut.

  15. Vera Fern on April 18, 2014 at 14:12

    I have questions about black beans. Do they have to be cold like rice to have the maximum RS content? Why do canned beans have so much less RS? How much RS is in black beans in cartons?

    • tatertot on April 18, 2014 at 14:40

      Vera – I like to ferment my beans. Canned ones are not fermented, just picked and canned as far as I know. Fermenting is simple, just soak beans for a day or two at room temperature, you’ll see then start to bubble and foam. This is a bacteria called L. plantarum at work, it gets inside of and eats (ferments) some fibers and indigestible bits such as raffinose and seems to dissipate the antinutrients. If beans are just an occasional meal, canned are probably fine, but I like to make big batches and freeze for later.

      The RS in canned vs freshly fermented and cooked is probably the same. But the difference between freshly cooked and eaten hot and cooked, frozen and reheated is really big…

      I always tell people lately, with the real foods in your life, don’t worry about the exact RS content, but just know that cooking, freezing, and reheating will increase the RS to the maximum level with least bother. Do that with most of the starches you eat and you are doing yourself a big favor.

      Thanks for asking!

    • Nancy on April 20, 2014 at 14:13

      Does reheating actually increase the RS, or it is just done for creating a “warm meal?” I like your rice pudding kind of thing, but I eat it cold. Also, sushi is cold. Nothing wrong with eating it cold if you want to, right?

    • tatertot on April 20, 2014 at 21:39

      Cold is fine. It was originally thought that it HAD to be consumed cold to preserve RS, this is false.

    • Russell on April 21, 2014 at 11:10

      Hello tatertot, I’m seeking to get more l.plantarum from fermented foods since I cannot get the supplement in pill form and fermenting vegetables doesn’t always come out right.

      Doesn’t simmering the beans after soaking kill the l.plantarum off?
      How do you keep that from happening?

      Thanks in advance!

    • tatertot on April 21, 2014 at 12:22

      All freshly fermented foods should have L. plantarum in them. I like the L. plantarum supplements when your diet is lacking fermented foods. You say you can’t get either? Can you buy something like this starter culture and make your own fermented veggies?

      L. plantarum seems to be one of the most abundant microbes on Earth. Back in the days before refrigeration, probably everything we ate was covered in it.

      Yes, cooking the beans destroys the L. plantarum, and I wouldn’t recommend drinking the bean juice prior to cooking, no telling what all else is growing in there. Have you tried making sauerkraut? It’s easy. Look for a book by Sandoor Katz Wild Fermentation or visit his website for info.

    • Russell on April 21, 2014 at 14:13

      Thank you for the useful links, I already own a copy of Sandor Katz’s book.
      The thing is that I live in Argentina and although here I have access to every food item necessary for good RS content in my diet, properly fermented foods are very rare to find, and starter cultures more so. I know that in the U.S there is a wide range of probiotic products but here all I did manage to get is a fermented milk product with L.casei and L.acidophilus with inulin and F.O.S.
      The probiotic I’m looking forward to start incorporating to my -and my family’s- diet is L.plantarum… I did try to make fermented veggies in the past but they’ve always come out with bad texture and awful smell, I don’t really know why.
      Now that I notice your first comment was stating that L.plantarum ferments the anti-nutrients in black beans, not that you were using the L.plantarum in the soaked beans for probiotic supplementation.

      Thank you very much for your work!

    • tatertot on April 21, 2014 at 14:31

      I just poked around the internet a bit…you are right, no real tradition of fermented foods in Argentina! Looks like they kind of dropped them off when they adopted various Spanish or Portugese inspired dishes. I’ll bet the indigenous folk ate their share of fermented foods back in the day.

      So ordering on-line is impossible? Surely you can order probiotics from somewhere.

      Have you tried making sauerkraut? It took me a couple years to really get it down and gather all the right equipment. It’s well worth it in my opinion.

    • gabriella kadar on April 21, 2014 at 18:41

      Russel, Buenos Aires has a large Jewish community. I’m willing to bet they’ve got various fermented foods available like dills and sauerkraut. I can’t imagine these foods would have been left behind. Check out the Jewish neighbourhoods online. There are all sorts of different food stores.

      Mind you, I don’t know where you live in Argentina. There are other Jewish communities in smaller cities as well. Ashkenazi food has fermented products included.

      I don’t know about the German community but if there’s a German or Hungarian or even a Polish deli someplace, you’ll find fermented stuff.

    • Russell on April 22, 2014 at 11:24

      As a culture we don’t order food items on-line, we buy everything in person at the greengrocer’s or at the supermarket so there are no on-line food markets for probiotics either.
      Over the last century, our culture -especially Buenos Aires’- has been influenced more by italians than spaniards; we even speak Rioplatense Spanish in Buenos Aires – there are studies confirming that our variant of Spanish is closer to the Neapolitan dialect of Italian than any other spoken language-, our looks are most of the times caucasian; therefore wine, cheese, eggplant and Sicilian green olives are the only fermented produce I’ve ever seen here, although they’re now fermented with vinegar and pasteurized in the case of wine and cheese. Germans and other Northern and Eastern Europeans live in other Southern and Northern provinces not close to BA.

      On the topic of indigenous folk and their traditions, the “Conquista del desierto” (“Conquest of the Desert”: a series of military campaigns to get a hold of the Patagonia region that ended around the year 1870 killing more than a thousand Indians and displacing over 15,000 more from their traditional lands) ensured us that we would get ethnical diversity coming mostly from Europe, so shamefully there are not many ancestral products in our markets either. The only local culture that survived was that of the Gauchos (Argentine cowboys), from whom we got the habit of eating tubers, meat and offal of all kinds, from head to toe thankfully.

      A revealing anecdote: I currently work for a company that provides services for private aircraft (fuelling, line services, transportation, storage of luggage, etc., etc.); a couple of weeks ago, there were many big rock bands coming to Argentina and they decided to stay in Buenos Aires city and travel back and forth to play in neighbouring countries while returning here to rest and finally play Buenos Aires twice on the last days of the tour. One of these bands was Metallica. The thing that surprised me the most was that their catering list was apparently designed by someone who knew about this ancestral foods/RS/probiotics link because they ate really great food, at least when they travelled by plane. Among these items there was something called kombucha… none of the guys at the office knew what it was, I told them it was some fermented product rare to find in Argentina. They had to tour the whole city of Buenos Aires to find the one and only provider (within the boundaries of a province the size of the state of New Mexico): a woman who made the stuff at home.
      So I guess I’ll have to dig deeper and go to the city more often because it is certainly true that there are many little communities in Buenos Aires that are very knowledgeable about this topic.
      Finally, I would like to ask you (tatertot & Ms. Gabriella Kadar) what are your eating habits like and in which ways do you incorporate probiotic bacteria, just to have a reference from very informed people like you.
      Thank you and have a good day!

    • tatertot on April 22, 2014 at 11:59

      It’s obvious to me now that Metallica is snorting potato starch and not cocaine…

      “Something’s wrong, shut the light
      Heavy thoughts tonight
      And they aren’t of Snow White

      Dreams of war, dreams of liars
      Dreams of dragon’s fire
      And of things that will bite, yeah

      Sleep with one eye open
      Gripping your pillow tight

      Exit light
      Enter night
      Take my hand
      We’re off to never-never land”

      They got the dreaming thing down pretty good, I’d say.

      Anyway, in my life how I incorporate probiotics, I make about 5 gallons of sauerkraut every summer and eat lots of it fresh for a month or so, then freeze it in quart bags and eat it the rest of the year, I don’t eat it every day, but a large serving a couple times a week. I also regularly eat good Greek yogurt 2-3 times a week. I drink kombucha a couple times a month. I was making water kefir for a couple months, which is very easy and tasty, but an unexpected trip out of town caused my kefir grains to die, maybe I’ll get some new ones soon.

      I also make homemade beer, and drink one a couple times a month, especially savoring the thick layer of yeast on the bottom of the bottle.

      I’ll buy a jar of kimchee every couple months and eat it up in a day or two. I have a jar of Korean Bean Paste I put on rice and lettuce wraps that is a bit of an ‘acquired taste’ but I love it.

      I also make a big jug of beet kvass when I have fresh garden beets. I also have the luxury of a home garden with plenty of healthy, organic un-sterilized veggies that I eat from June-October every year, and I raise chickens and benefit from the microbes that live in and on them.

      Dr. BG wrote several piece on fermented foods: url-removed/2013/11/how-to-cure-sibo-small-intestinal-bowel_10.html


      I’d also recommend searching FTA for fermented food references but there are literally hundreds of references to it throughout, Richard did some great posts on milk kefir last year including recipes:

      In addition to all this, I have a couple bottles of probiotics on my counter: AOR Pro-3, Phillips Colon Health, WalMart Trubiotics, Swanson’s Lactobacillus Plantarum, and Jarrow’s Sacchamawhatever boulardii yeast.

      I pop one of these pills, just from one bottle, nearly every night throughout the winter when my garden is under 6 feet of snow and shipped in veggies really suck. Throughout the summer growing season I don’t take any pills.

      I guess basically you could say that I just made probiotic foods and pills part of my life and don’t really worry or sweat whether I’m getting the ‘right’ ones or the ‘right’ amount. Works well for me.

    • Russell on April 22, 2014 at 15:39

      “Enter Starchman”? Talking about names for your hypothetical blog haha
      Every one seems to agree in that the all-in approach on probiotics seems is the best one, and I’m curious by the fact that some beneficial species seem to encourage each other’s growth (L.casei and L.acidophilus for example).

    • Grace/Dr.BG on April 23, 2014 at 14:58

      Russell, Have you read Heisenbug? His blog is fantastic for thoughts on probiotics and fermented foods, particularly L plantarum containing ones

      Even unalive L plantarum in trials is 50-75% effective, did ya know? After fermenting beans and cooking then, I believe we still confer the probiotic effects with fermentation plus
      –plant protein becomes more bioavailable
      –carbs change and are more bioavailable
      –as you said, less antinutrients

      Bugs make us better!

  16. yien on April 18, 2014 at 16:20

    Looking at the HFP results, the person with the closest gut biome profile to the Hadza results (wet season) appears to Jeff Leach himself? Anyone else confirm this? Fermicutes 70+%, super high Ruminococcaceae, Lachnospiraceae 10%, “unusual” clostridium cluster etc. Also — almost the exact opposite of Tim’s results? a caution to people just adding RS and bifido probiotics to a HFLC diet – or a step in the right direction which needs more general fibre and microbes etc?

  17. Ellen Ussery on April 19, 2014 at 06:55

    Grate those taters and sautee in duck fat!

    • Grace/Dr.BG on April 20, 2014 at 16:54

      Ellen ~YES OMG SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO DELECTABLE…mmmmhhh duck phat!

    • LeonRover on April 22, 2014 at 12:42

      “duck phat” – dat one t’ing Ah allus gits right in mah kisser! 🙂

      Two day’s ago I noticed a new local Chinese takeaway called “Soon Fatt”. The thought occurred were there Vietnamese takeouts , would an enterprising Hanoinese name his place “Soon Phat”? However I guess Soon is not a Viet name.

      My most memorable Irish-Chinese takeout name is “Paddy Field”: I never worked out who was taking the piss out of whom.

      Now that US Dairy Companies (& Nestlé) are about to invade Beijing, might they be advised market “Lactose Free Milk” ? One the major Irish Milk producers sells a lactose free product – the label displays the galactose fraction.


    • LeonRover on April 22, 2014 at 12:44

      Erratum: “to market”

    • LeonRover on April 26, 2014 at 06:41

      It do take me a w’ile to geddit:

      It WERE “phuck dat” after all!

  18. shtove on April 18, 2014 at 17:27

    This morning I took 2 Tbsps of RPS with plain water.

    This evening I almost managed to fart-out the intro bass line to Summer Loving.

    One way to check if you’ve got the right stuff.

    • Richard Nikoley on April 18, 2014 at 17:32

      Dare you to take 4 TBS in water, a tsp of Inulin FOS, chased by 2 cups of pinto beans.


    • tatertot on April 18, 2014 at 17:40

      I was doing beans, potatoes, rice, potato starch, inulin, pectin, glucomannan, psyllium, and guar gum to the tune of 100g+ per day for about a month a while back.

      Farted like crazy for about a week, then it all died right down. The only thing I didn’t like was size of TMIs in the morning.

      Did a comprehensive stool test during this high RS intake and everything came back perfect. No pathogens, yeast, pH was at low end of normal, Butyrate was high, but not crazy. All my gut bugs were perfectly balanced.

    • EF on April 18, 2014 at 18:24

      Yep. The inulin is high octane. Things went to a whole new level with adding inulin to the PS and psyllium cocktail. The wife is not pleased!

    • Laura on April 19, 2014 at 07:12

      Why did you stop, or change your protocol then?

    • Wilbur on April 19, 2014 at 14:51

      I have been doing the RS/fiber thing to the tune of about 120g per day. I do not use psyllium, however, for the too large TMI you mentioned. It is fine, otherwise. I haven’t done a stool analysis, but I feel like f*ckin’ Superman. Blood work is awesome, no inflammation at all (including sore muscles from working out), no allergies for the first time since I was a kid, etc. My workouts have improved so much that I am out lifting my dumbbell collection – I had to buy 130 lb (each!) powerblock dumbbells, which should keep me busy for a while. This is while losing 30+ lbs.

      Inulin used to give me wicked gas, but it has stopped. I supplement probably 2 Tbsp per day, but I eat onions, garlic, or sunchokes at nearly every meal.

    • Ellen Ussery on April 20, 2014 at 11:06

      And we are all very glad that you are. 🙂

    • tatertot on April 20, 2014 at 10:55

      Not sure if that was directed at me, but if it was, I was just wanting to see what a super-high prebiotic intake would make a gut report look like. It was expensive and not very natural. I’m doing the next couple months au naturale only eating real RS rich foods and will repeat the test in late summer, and do an AmGut at the exact same time.

      I’m a chart and trend geek, what can I say? This stuff absolutely fascinates me.

    • Grace/Dr.BG on April 20, 2014 at 16:56


      Indeed you R f*kcin SUPERMAN.

  19. Marc on April 18, 2014 at 17:47


    I boil diced potato and then keep in the fridge for meals later. Are you saying freezing will maximize Rs even more?

    Thanks for everything man! Really!


    • tatertot on April 18, 2014 at 17:52

      Ignore the man behind the curtain…

      Freezing potatoes usually results in mushy potatoes, those I just keep in fridge, but you can try.

      Maybe if you lightly fried them, then put in freezer they would do OK.

    • Richard Nikoley on April 18, 2014 at 17:53

      …Funny, just two days ago a long time friend, even IRL who’d a Facebook friend got into a bit of a dispute with me on an FB comment thread of a mutual friend, and started mocking me, about how I seek attention via the blog, and read this, watch this, here’s my video, etc.

      I unfriended him. I mean duh. The silliest thing in the world is for a reader and follower of your stuff to mock you for being successful at getting readers and followers in a medium where the whole point is to get readers and followers.

    • Richard Nikoley on April 18, 2014 at 17:56

      Yep. I did that. Made a big batch of mashed potatoes and froze them up in ziplocks equalling 2 servings, for Bea and I.

      When thawed, they seem to take on this weird texture somewhat equivalent to aged cheap ice cream or something. Tosssed it all.

      Beans and rice, OTOH, do very well. And, you can just take rice, smash it up still frozen and use it in a stir fry immediately.

    • tatertot on April 18, 2014 at 18:01

      What did work, though, was freezing cooked potato wedges in a seal-a-meal type vacuum bag, then reheated by putting the whole thing in boiling water. They came out perfectly.

      We started making up dinner-bags and take them camping. each bag has precooked meat, potatoes (or other starch) and veggies. To cook, we just drop in a pot of boiling water for 20-30 minutes, they come out better than if you cooked them on the spot.

    • wtf on April 19, 2014 at 01:33

      So you sous vide while you’re camping then? That’s very modern of you Tim.

    • KAWAM on May 5, 2014 at 06:21

      Did that years ago with elk chili — dog-send rafting the Deschutes in gale-strength winds where little camp stove was all we had for cooking. Chili to die for, and we all ate LOTS. BUT–beause of the gale outside, three of us were in a tiny two-person tent. And the farting [almost] made each of us pull the sleeping bag into mother-nature’s wind, trying to avoid our own.

  20. Richard Nikoley on April 18, 2014 at 17:49

    “Thanks for everything man! Really!”

    What about ME!? I’m right here, you know!!!


  21. kate on April 19, 2014 at 16:46

    On the topic of SBOs, I noticed this probiotic for pets on Amazon. Here is a link sort of listing the bugs in it. Can anyone tell if this is just a clone of Prescript Assist, or have they included anything different? .

    • gabriella kadar on April 19, 2014 at 16:51

      kate, same stuff. PA, per milligram is cheaper. I’ve given PA to my barfy, itchy cat with good results.

    • Kimberley on April 19, 2014 at 17:47

      Hi gabriella,

      Would you happen to know of a practioner in the GTA who can order the Metametrix gut biome tests? Also would be grateful to know if you are finding the PA locally.

    • kate on April 19, 2014 at 18:44

      Thanks Gabriella.

    • kimberley on April 19, 2014 at 18:53

      kate, I do apologize for hijacking your response thread.

    • gabriella kadar on April 19, 2014 at 19:00

      Kimberley, I don’t know of anyone doing Metametrix.

      I had ordered 12 PA 90s and they are all gone now. But I can keep a list for people who want this and notify when I have enough people to warrant an order.

      There’s someone who already contacted me at work recently but he was late. I’ve got his contact info, I can add yours (# of bottles) and anyone in addition. Ask Richard for my email address.

    • Kimberley on April 20, 2014 at 05:32

      Thanks, gabriella. I need to somehow get the gut testing done first but will follow up with you on the PA via email; it’s much appreciated.

    • gabriella kadar on April 21, 2014 at 18:25

      Kimberley, Prescript Assist is available at the Carrot Common on Danforth.

    • kimberley on April 24, 2014 at 18:59

      Thanks again, gabriella.

  22. stormy weather on April 19, 2014 at 04:59

    Any idea when your book will be released? And is it going to be hard copy or an E-book? Looking forward to it.

    • Richard Nikoley on April 19, 2014 at 10:13

      Nothing firm yet, as soon as possible. Intending hardcover and ebook.

  23. Marc on April 19, 2014 at 05:26

    I’ve already professed my love for you many a time sir 🙂

    Thanks guys, would have been upset with yucky taters coming out of the freezer.
    Especially if I was a bit hungry and already salivating over the meal to come.

    I hope all your readers understand just how fucking tasty some cooled quickly heated taters can be.
    I will post some recent variations this weekend.

    Wishing you both a GREAT weekend.

  24. TravellingBeard on April 19, 2014 at 16:11

    I’ve seen a couple posts floating around from online health folks floating around about how there are a few new protocols they want to sell to fix our guts. Some are legit folks with pedigree in online health (i.e. not too many people have bad things to say about them), but instead of paying $40 for their microbiome protocols, I think I’ll spend an evening reviewing your links (and buying the book when it’s ready for primetime). I think you’ve started people completely rethinking a lot. Side note, green bananas with potato starch, not too bad.

  25. Rudy on April 19, 2014 at 18:05

    Question, please. Can green bananas be dehydrated in the same way as unripened plantains to get RS? I have not seen this addressed. How would the two compare for RS content? Green bananas are often more readily available than unripened plantains. Thanks.

    • Richard Nikoley on April 19, 2014 at 19:12

      No difference, Rudy. So long as you dehydrate at 130F or less, you will not disrupt the raw RS2.

    • Rudy on April 20, 2014 at 03:52

      Thanks, again. I was hoping so. Tried raw green bananas a time or two but they were not that palatable, to say the least, and smoothies with them seemed like too much trouble, at least for me. My trusty Nesco American Harvest Snackmaster Express dehydrator now stays busy with the unripened plantains drying for 24 hours at 95F whenever I can get very green ones. I eat a few chips with most meals and as snacks as well. I prefer them unseasoned. Regular green bananas will add some variety.

      n=1 report. Started PS with water and a splash of heavy whipping cream 90 days ago and got up to 4-6 tbsp per day, then 1 tsp psyllium husk powder added with 1 tsp dark cocoa powder and Truvia powder. Now at at 3 tbsp PS at night. No distress at all. Improved elimination, sleep, calmness, and more pleasant dreams, nothing vivid, just less anxiety related dream content. About 45 days ago added 1 or 2 Pb8 probiotic capsules in the PS mixture. I made my first batch of homemade sauerkraut in late 12/13 and now keep several different vegetable ferments going to eat and share with friends. I am fortunate to garden year round with greens in the fall and the usual spring crops as well. I will set out pepper transplants today and thin squash seedlings. Also, snap beans and pink eye purple hull peas have made a good stand this year.

      Generally, I am 2+ years into a Paleo type diet with a LC to VLC focus and have managed weight loss from 270lb to 185lb at 5’7″, age 60. Basically, metabolic syndrome resolved. Gratefully, BG was never an issue. Now, all blood work is greatly improved (perfect) and I’m off BP meds, weaning off PPI’s. Synthroid 75 mg may have to stay but I’m tempted to reduce or eliminate that as well. However, I also unintentionally experienced a 20lb rebound weight gain this past fall and other typical LC issues including cold intolerance, irritability, fatigue. Since adding PS and other carbs, sweet potato, mostly, plantains, white potato, and small amounts of homemade jellies and jams, may haw/huckleberry, etc (sugar), have slowly lost 15lbs of the regain over the past three months with the above mentioned benefits. White rice is next. Minimal formal exercise but my activity level is decent and I get a 20 mile bike ride in weekly.

      Very helpful addition to my attempt to regain and maintain health. To Richard, Tim, Dr. Grace, Dr. Ayers, et al, again let me say thanks. Many thanks.

    • Grace/Dr.BG on April 20, 2014 at 16:53


      Thank you for your story~! It’s beautiful. I truly hope I hear more like yours. I’m a pharmacist by training but glad to hear you are off pharmaceuticals.

      Love love love your garden and dirt. Keep up the strong work!

  26. Ellen Ussery on April 22, 2014 at 06:11


    Have you tried the parboiled rice? Or mung bean noodles?

    • Erica on April 22, 2014 at 07:29

      For some reason, rice doesn’t sit well with me, nor do legumes of any sort. I’ve tried to incorporate them both, rice especially, and it never seems to be successful.

  27. Erica on April 21, 2014 at 18:13

    Question about the RS content in Japanese sweet potatoes.. I know that regular orange sweet potatoes aren’t high in RS but the Japanese ones are noticeably starchier, much more like a regular potato. Are baked and cooled Japanese sweet potatoes a rich source of RS?

  28. tatertot on April 21, 2014 at 19:07

    Erica – here’s my take on things like Japanese sweet potatoes and all those strange looking tubers and roots that hardly anyone knows much about–we may not know the exact RS content, but they are all good for you in many ways…eat them!

    If you were looking to Japanese sweet potatoes to fill an exclusive RS niche in your diet, I would discourage it, but as part of the rotation they are perfect, even the orange US type sweet potato. But the closer to a wild yam, the more RS I think.

    • Erica on April 21, 2014 at 19:19

      Thanks, tatertot. Because I’m intolerant to bananas (and consequently plantains as well), I rely on roasted and cooled fingerling potatoes and japanese sweet potatoes to fill my whole food RS quota. Going to experiment incorporating some PS stirred into yogurt with a little glucomannan, as well as being diligent with my fermented veggies (mainly raw cultured pickles since sauerkraut doesn’t sit well with me) as part of my starch regimen. For a brief little background, before incorporating all of this good starch into my diet, I was holding onto some excess weight, and my stomach was constantly in nots and tangles. I attributed this to my celiac disease, but now I’ve come to realize that it most likely had more to do with a lack of sufficient gut bugs. I cannot believe how rapidly I’ve turned around these past couple of months! Starch is my newly acquired BFF.

      One more question to throw out there: I’ve read plenty of positive things about SBO, and I’ve been eager to give them a try. However, I’ve also encountered some articles stating that SBO’s can lead to the growth and proliferation of harmful microbes in the gut. Does the latter have any sort of clout?

  29. tatertot on April 22, 2014 at 09:23

    “I’ve read plenty of positive things about SBO, and I’ve been eager to give them a try. However, I’ve also encountered some articles stating that SBO’s can lead to the growth and proliferation of harmful microbes in the gut. Does the latter have any sort of clout?”

    I think they are crucial to doing just the opposite. I’ve read several critiques of SBOs AKA HSO’s (Homeostatic Soil Orgs) and they all just seem to be competing interests in the probiotic industry.

    • Erica on April 22, 2014 at 20:03

      Makes logical sense. Appreciate all of the guidance!

    • kimberley on April 22, 2014 at 20:11

      Hi Tatertot,
      I’ve read similar critiques but remain confused by what the precise danger is to the immune-compromised or those with low white cell counts. I’m still trying to understand how Dr. BG was able to take SBO’s with Hashimoto’s, which is autoimmune.

    • Grace/Dr.BG on April 23, 2014 at 04:43


      Thx for ur questions! The immune system has 2 arms — 1 for tolerance; 1 for attack. So diseases like cancer occur with ‘over-tolerance’ and diseases like autoimmunity/allergies/autism with ‘over-attack.’

      These aren’t immunocompromised states unless the white count is low.

      At animal pharm, my blog, 3 cases of autoimmunity reversal with the 7 Steps for Ultimate Gut Health are reported. I believe they were successful because they were able to shift and balance the 2 arms. I hope that makes sense.

      Everything that shapes our gut, also shapes our immunity.
      –diet (sugar v. fiber v. etc)
      –maternal microbiome
      –in utero exposures to mom’s whacked dysbiosis
      –probiotics, dirt, hugging, kissing, germs
      –antibiotics, pharmaceuticals, chemo, etc
      –mental, emo and physical stress

    • Deb on April 23, 2014 at 05:25

      According to this article (, gut microbes (in mice) promoted white cell production.

    • Grace/Dr.BG on April 23, 2014 at 14:35

      Awww Deb ~UR AWESOME. Thx for the link.

      That is soooo true. As post-industrial garbage eaters, most Americans have become not only ‘germ-free’ lab animals but with guts filled with vipers after antibiotics and exposures to antibiotic-resistance genes from CAFO beef and dairy (and vegs fertilized with their poop).

      Germ free animals have atrophied immune organs in the gut (Peyer’s patches, lamina propia, etc). They don’t do what they are supposed. When vipers fill the cages, then the modern diseases emerge — cancer, autism, allergies, and autoimmunity because the gut has gone ADHD and hyper (hyper tolerant or hyper attacking).

    • kimberley on April 24, 2014 at 18:56

      Love your blog and read it regularly. Will re-read the 7 Steps (while continuing to stare longingly at a bottle of AOR-3, which remains tantalizingly off-limits for now). So grateful for all that you, Richard and Tatertot are doing. Thank you.

  30. tina on April 23, 2014 at 10:09

    I just purchased Prescript Assist through your website, I am a type 2 with A1C of 5.7 and want to get down to 5.0, I have 40 pounds to lose so I have added strength workouts and potato starch now the probiotic. I enjoy your site and when I mentioned you to my doc (Bernstein supporter) he said “is that the guy who blogs drunk?”
    HAAAA I hope so!!! Most of what you report is over my head but stuff gets through and I enjoy the banter. Keep up the good entertaining work, I love the big picture, no magic bullet common sense approach.

  31. Richard Nikoley on April 23, 2014 at 10:52

    “I enjoy your site and when I mentioned you to my doc (Bernstein supporter) he said “is that the guy who blogs drunk?””

    Ha, I’ve always thought fame overrated. I prefer infamy!

    • tina on April 23, 2014 at 12:07

      Richard could you help me with this, I am not the best at getting around websites. You mentioned in a former “article” that you would be giving your opinion on the three probiotics you listed in the future, did you do this yet? I went ahead and ordered the Prescript Assist and it is very expensive, but if it works definitely worth it. I’m asking cause I read an article where people are hired to leave comments on how amazing a certain product is so that others will try it and they are paid to do so, I believe they call them shills. I got nervous. So I was wondering if you had or will you soon give your input (one I trust) soon? Sorry for my computer ineptness, been searching different things on your site for hours!!

    • Richard Nikoley on April 23, 2014 at 12:21


      Hang on a second…. Busy getting checks out to all my shills. 🙂

      Nah, I get it. What i hope is that over time, while I change my mind about things, I do not promote anything I’m not using myself.

      No, the SBOs are all here to stay, but expensive, you are right. What I go is take one cap of one of the three brands every few days. Makes them last long.

      See, I don’t want to try an pick one single best. This is my way of not having to do that.

    • tatertot on April 23, 2014 at 13:10

      Tina – Here’s my 2 cents…

      The probiotic industry is full of snake oil salesmen for sure. I hate it. Most people just go to medicine aisle of Wal-Mart and buy probiotics based on the description: “supports femine health” “supports healthy immune system” “supports digestion”. The probiotic sellers are very limited in what claims they can make, so they make it as vague as possible while still looking exciting and marketable.

      I started looking at the microbes and the dose (colony forming units), and what I found, is that short of them actually just being capsules full of sawdust, pretty much all of the probiotics on the market are good in one way or another. The only place I draw the line is buying patented species, ie. Bifidus Regularis ™ or Bifidus Infantis ™ these are god-knows-what, but they aren’t real microbes…they are something that they got growing in a lab and have patented to grow in yogurt or something….scares the crap out of me. BUT, probably not harmful and maybe even OK. I just don’t like the trend of manufacturers being able to ‘create’ new microbes, so I won’t support it.

      When you are shopping, look for Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus Plantarum…these are two well-proven strains.

      Look for Bifidobacterium in one of several ‘flavors’: bifidum, adolescentis, infantis, breve, longum, and lactis. These are all real human strains, althouh the last one is an animal strain, but shows very good results in studies…maybe paying homage to our closeness with animals?

      Other than that, there are too many to list. Look at the ingredients in Prescript Assist and you’ll see what I mean. Some love PA, some hate it, but I’ve seen some miraculous turnarounds with it.

      The three that Grace recommends she has vetted and stands by them (AOR Pro-3, PA, and Primal Defense) but there are certainly others just as good or better.

      I have a nice collection of different probiotics I’ve bought. L. plantarum, Saccharomyces Boulardii, AOR-3, and some generic Wal-Mart bifido and lacto blends. I try to take one every day or every couple days in the Winter, but don’ sweat it too much. For people working through tough gut issues, they really need to be diligent and take several every day, I’d say, and find a combo that agrees with you.

      Good luck!

    • Grace/Dr.BG on April 23, 2014 at 14:39


      Please ck out the info that Tim wrote on SBO probiotics at my blog animal pharm– url-removed/2013/11/how-to-cure-sibo-small-intestinal-bowel_16.html

      Also you can’t wrong with eating dirt from healthy exposures
      –volunteer at your CSA or garden more
      –organic veggies and their skins
      –making smoothies out of above (not juicing as it wastes the skins)

      Have you read the book the physician who is recommending dirt as therapy? Dr Daphne Miller MD FARMacology? lol it’s great!

  32. Grace/Dr.BG on April 23, 2014 at 14:42

    Tina and Richard,

    I hear ya that the probiotics are expensive. If we had not so many antibiotics, I don’t think that we would be in such a deep hole as we are now, have you considered that?

    Literally my family and I have spent $$$$$ thousands on recovering our healt and guts. Like Richard I’ve had all of my mercury amalgam removed. Sometimes insurance covers and often they don’t which is ridiculous IMHO.

  33. tina on April 23, 2014 at 19:25

    Thanks everyone for your input, I will report back how the potato starch and Prescript Assist work for me.

  34. Resist_This! on April 28, 2014 at 13:31

    OK, did my first n=1 after taking 4T of potato starch daily for a few weeks. Keep in mind I’m a large, self-diagnosed diabetic male (stable 5.6 A1C via low carb).

    Ate one (1) lb of potato salad for lunch that was left over from guests this weekend. 0-1-2-4 hr BG numbers were 90-110-123-104. I did take several other readings, but you get the gist.

    Normally, I’d often seen just fasting numbers between 95-125, so I was happy to see the postprandial peak of 123. Looking forward to doing other tests, including my morning #s.

    Also made some good black beans with ham/bacon this weekend. Is there a place to share low carb recipes that also have fiber/resistant starch whole foods incorporate in?

  35. Duck Dodgers on April 29, 2014 at 07:37

    Really interesting book I came across on Google Books:

    Craving Earth: Understanding Pica–the Urge to Eat Clay, Starch, Ice, and Chalk

    Gives a very detailed description of the known history of amylogphagy (compulsive starch eating) and pica. There’s a lot on eating dirt and clay, but here’s some interesting quotes:

    “For many women, though, starch is not a mere substitute [for eating Earth]; it is the most desirable substance. An enormous variety of raw starches are craved and consumed around the world, including uncooked rice (Giudicelli and Combes 1992; Kettaneh et al. 2005; Posner et al. 1957; Roselle 1970; Young et al. 2010a), wheat, cassava, and rice flours (Kraemer 2002; Levacher 1840; Ward and Kutner 1999), and raw starchy vegetables (tubers) including potatoes and cassava (Johnson and Stephens 1982; Libnoch 1984). However, at least in the United States, cornstarch once reigned over them all.”

    “Although they probably don’t know it, these [amylogphagic] women were following centuries-old advice from Roman (Oribasius et al. 1851, bk. 5, p.197) and Byzantine (Actius of Amida/Ricci 1542 [195]; Paulus Aegineta and Adams 1844, bk. 1, sec. 1) physicians, who suggested that starch be given instead of earth to geophagic women.”

    And there are some interesting references on the prevalence of eating lots of clay, dirt and chalk throughout the world.

    • gabkad on May 4, 2014 at 07:23

      Duckie, in regards to pregnant women eating starch, it might be beneficial for the short chain fatty acids produced.

      Here’s pubmed on adding amylase resistant starch to rehydration solutions for cholera and diarrhoea:

      For all we know, resistant starch is a good antidote for morning sickness. Or maybe all those shortchain fatty acids just make women feel better. Pregnancy is also associated with constipation. Lots of RS will improve bowel function, lower pathogenic toxin load etc.

  36. EF on April 29, 2014 at 11:10

    Coming off your great guest host job on LLVLC, Jimmy asks why is butter controversial and posts a picture of him eating a stick of butter at one sitting as part of a rehab program. Jimmy, butter is not controversial. Eating an entire stick of butter is controversial.


    • gabkad on May 4, 2014 at 07:27

      Next up: Jimmy Moore floating in a bathtub full of melted butter. I fail to see why anyone takes this guy seriously.

  37. Tina on May 3, 2014 at 23:22

    BS 106 ate 1/2 cup cold precooked white rice, heated up with butter and parm cheese, 1 1/2 hours later BS 161. How is thois a resistant starch that bypasses the absorption and shouldn’t adversely affect your BS? I really wanted to see a minimal spike, it was good 🙁

    • gabkad on May 4, 2014 at 07:14

      Tina, rice has very little resistant starch. Parboiled cooled and reheated has some but not a huge amount.

      Also could you do glucose curves to see how your levels go up? And eat nothing for 4 hours to see how they go down?

      You could do the same experiment with a cup of cooked and cooled black eye peas (with oil and vinegar). We did that one morning and glycemic index of this food is low. Sometimes, if a person has been VLC for a long time, the signalling from the gut to the pancreas is impaired. It needs a gentle rehabilitation.

    • Richard Nikoley on May 4, 2014 at 07:59

      Let me add to what Gabs said that you don’t give any indication of what dietary history is. If you’ve been LC or VLC a significant time you’re probably way insulin resistant.

      So, if you try to go out and run a five minute mile after no regular exercise for a long time, then your heart rate is going to go way too high for way too long.

      This is why I recommend that when reintroducing starches in whole foods like rice, beans and potatoes, take it easy, always eat it with a full meal with fat and protein, perhaps 1/2 – 1 cup worth per meal, and toss the meter for a few weeks. Then see how you do. Otherwise, people get freaked out. So far, this is working for every one of my family. My dad now has the best fasting and PPs since he began checking in 2008, and he had been pretty low carb the whole time.

  38. Tina on May 4, 2014 at 09:12

    I am type2 for at least 18 years
    LC for 1 1/2 years
    When my blood sugars get back to around 100 I will try cooked/cooled potatoes
    I can’t tell you guys how much I appreciate the input

  39. Tina on May 4, 2014 at 13:30

    LC for 1 1/2 years
    No weightloss need to lose 40
    I will try beans when my blood sugars get back down around 100
    I am type 2 for at least 18 years
    Take Metformin, lovaza, aspirin, alpha lipoic acid, b complex, b12 shots, multi vitamin, prescript assist

  40. Tina on May 4, 2014 at 13:38

    LC for 1 1/2 years
    Type 2 diabetic for at least 18 years
    Meds: Metformin, b12 shots, lovaza, magnesium, b complex, d, aspirin, multi, alpha lipoic acid, prescript assist, potato starch
    Doc tried me on a tiny amount of insulin for about 4 months I stopped, blood sugars same and just gained weight
    I will try adding amla now
    Thank you guys for all your help

    • gabkad on May 4, 2014 at 14:07

      Tina, has potato starch done anything for you?

      Diabetes is someplace you should go in order to understand how he made this all work for him.

  41. Lauralie on May 5, 2014 at 06:47

    But potato starch is not the answer for everyone. For me it caused severe middle-of-the-night insomnia. Totally unexpected.

    Since when I started, I experienced very little gas problems, I soon ramped up to 2 tablespoons a day. But after three weeks of insomnia—sleep an hour and a half, awake for four hours, sleep for an hour—I was a wreck. What had I been doing differently? The only thing I could think of was the potato starch. A day without PS and I slept 10 hours the next night. Slept well for a week before trying PS again. Same results–insomnia.

    As I said, it was unexpected. I do not recall anyone having reported a similar experience.

    • Richard Nikoley on May 5, 2014 at 10:20


      First, make sure you take whatever you’re going to take from morning to noon.

      Second, go completely off it intermittently. One week, do it every other day as in #1. Next week, do it 4 days straight, three days zero.

      Third, try to make sure you’re getting RS4 retrograde (joking, it’s RS3, just looking to see if Tim is paying attention 🙂 from FOOD, via cooked and cooled things like parboiled rice, potatoes, legumes.

      Consider the SBO regimen.

      For me, and I’ve noted this previously, this whole deal has given me way intermittent sleep patters. Some nights I’ll be in a 10-hr coma and others, I wake after 4 hours and I seriously feel like I’m ready to hit it, so I do. That might be watching stuff on my DVR at 3am, getting a very early start on email or a blog, book editing, or whatever.

      I have become somewhat agnostic about sleep, from the old days of Paleo where you’ve got to get your 8 hours ever night or you have a problem. Consider Paleolithic life in the wild. I’ll bet their actually sleep charted daily was all over the map. Plus, if they felt tired or run down during the day, nap time.

      I always hated naps. I don’t do them super often, but now & then.

    • Lauralie on May 5, 2014 at 11:01

      Thank you for the reply, Richard. I am so grateful that I found your blog several months ago. I was beginning to feel rather obsessive-compulsive in my food diaries and symptom charts to identify health problems but was happy to find that I wasn’t the only one doing so. I need all the help I can get—waiting for your book.

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