Careful Those Who Want You To Fail and Starve Your Microbiome

I literally have almost no time to blog (I’ll blog about that later).

For a long while I’ve noted those who do an “experiment” with resistant starch, have any number of initial issues—mostly very low carbers—and proclaim to their audiences that it’s shit. So, go back to starving your carb-addicted gut. Now, I know why they do this: they’re dishonest, biased for a dying paradigm: low carb dieting. Simple. But being dishonest always fucking bites you in the ass.

…Anyway, I’ve admonished people for a while to dump the fucking glucose meter for a month, and get in some safe starches like cooked and cooled rice, beans, potatoes. It’s OK to reheat them, just do it gently; and no, I have no idea whether nuking fucks up RS3 retrograde, so don’t ask me because I don’t even have enough time to blog.

Now, whether Julie took my advice to not freak herself out daily and let things settle out I don’t know. What she did do is stay a course.

Marie, I can’t thank you enough for your ideas and encouragement. I did what you said and REALLY went slow. I became discouraged at about the 2 month mark in April because my blood sugars were going up a bit and my A1c went from 5.9 to 6.2 but I persevered. At that time, I was up to about 4 teaspoons. I started taking a SBO probiotic (Primal Defense) plus mixing my PS/High Maize mixture in my home made sauerkraut. (I had previously been taking a non soil-based probiotic) I upped the dosage slowly to a current 3 TB.

Suddenly, about 2 weeks ago, my blood sugars dropped into the normal range. Even my fasting (which is usually pretty high at 120-130) was better, dropping into the low 100 to high 90s. My average daily before meals is in the 80s and after meals is in the 90s and 100s, dropping back to baseline within 2 hours.

I can not say how grateful I am to all of you for this. I still take Metformin but plan to wean off of that soon. I just may be able to say that I am no longer a diabetic! BTW…I now include starches and some sugars in my diet with no spikes! I do include a couple of other supplements in my regime. Alpha-lipoic acid, amla, Vit D, Vit K2, Magnesium. Vit B12. Selenium, and Iodine.

Please be aware. There are those out there who are firmly convinced that starving the other 90% of you—your trillions of gut microorganisms that outnumber your cells 10-1—is the sure path to health…and that any and every problem is the fact that you ate something that would feed them (carbohydrates).

Have a problem? Starve your microbiome MORE!

Alright, since I have no time to blog I’ll end this, so that I can compose the post about just how and why I have no time to blog.

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. Mark. on May 30, 2014 at 15:27

    Still inconclusive results for me (type-1 diabetic over 40 years) but with potato starch for a couple months and also Prescript Assist the last few weeks, insulin sensitivity seems better and I seem more tolerant of starch: fewer and smaller spikes in blood sugar. I plan to keep trying this.

    Yesterday I made arepas from masarepa flour: this is a fine pre-cooked cornmeal sold in many countries under the brand name PAN, though the Goya brand is the one easiest for me to get in this part of Florida. I wonder how high it might be in RS3. Of course, mixing it with warm or hot water and making it into thin cakes that one fries until crisp might break down the RS3, but I ate quite a few without a big rise in blood sugar on my usual dinner-time insulin. Better insulin sensitivity? Better tolerance of starch? Lots of remaining RS3 in the arepas? Don’t know. Anyone know about masarepa and RS3?

    • Richard Nikoley on May 30, 2014 at 17:23


      Rs3 is very resistant to breakdown from reheating. In fact, reheating actually increases RS. Completely different structure.

  2. Julie on May 30, 2014 at 16:24

    Richard, I didn’t throw out the glucose meter. I persevered because it made sense. Since I had suffered through multiple rounds of antibiotics and a bowel resection, out of control blood sugar where my low carbing worked for a time but the good results were diminishing, I knew my gut was fucked up and this approach was logical. I just needed to begin differently….slowly. I’m a “jump in with both feet” kinda gal. Sometimes I just need to downshift. Now I need to see if the extra 40 lbs on this ole body will move off and be gone! Again, from my heart, I thank you, Marie and Tater Tot. I am not being overly dramatic when I say you may have saved my life!

    • Richard Nikoley on May 30, 2014 at 17:40

      Luvs to you, downshifter.

      (I think you may be the only woman I have ever heard use the metaphor–you must like salt of earth men).

      Keep us updated, dear.

  3. Gina on May 30, 2014 at 17:02

    I have to give thanks to the gang here for sharing what was – I thought – totally irrelevant information for me about Eskimos and animal starch. One of my cats was diagnosed with FIP (an always terminal illness that they contract as kittens; mine apparently got it at the pound). My baby nearly died and had a round of antibiotics and was hospitalized for a respiratory infection. He went blind and relied on his whiskers not to bump into things. The vet said it was almost time to say good-bye. He was only 2 years old.

    Fast-forward to now: he’s healthy, happy and running and playing constantly with his brother. His eyes are just fine. I gave him soil-based probiotics and, of all things, carbs, since I was not willing to give him freshly killed meat (bad mom). I thought I was a good guardian because I always fed them a 100% meat diet. I’m now convinced that may be folly, since the vermin they would naturally be eating has animal starch that even raw pet food lacks.

    His vet is astonished. I don’t know if helping his gut is what allowed him to make such an amazing recovery, so take it for what it’s worth. I do think that the ways that freshly-killed meat are different from the food we usually give our feline companions is worth considering.

    Thanks most especially to Duck Dodgers.

    • Richard Nikoley on May 30, 2014 at 17:54

      Remarkable story, Gina.

    • Gina on May 31, 2014 at 00:09

      “When a man loves cats, I am his friend and comrade, without further introduction.”
      ~ Mark Twain

    • gabkad on May 31, 2014 at 18:45

      Gina, my Scipicat is 11 years old now. She has FIP as well. Alas, the effect on the immune system has dental consequences ( or maybe it was her pre adoption months of severe malnutrition or both). I supplement her catfood with chopped raw beef to keep her weight up. On catfood alone she loses weight. The vet’s totally supportive of this. She just had another dental appointment, got cleaned up and 1 tooth removed. I have 6 cats. She’s the only one with any gum disease. When I brush the rest of the crew’s teeth there’s no bleeding gums. Now that’s she’s only got 2 molars and 2 canines left, I’m hoping the situation will stabilize.

  4. MC Hammer on May 30, 2014 at 17:42

    To a man with a hammer everything looks like a nail. Jesus, a bit too cocksure yourself, no?

    • Richard Nikoley on May 30, 2014 at 17:52

      Mc Hammer

      2nd time you’ve posted that with your ironic hammdle.

      Not irritated, but I loath mindless people who do 1 sentence comments pretending to be pithy.

      So, explain yourself or I ban you in an hour for the fun of it.

      Ps. You’re not pithy, nor is anyone who uses the worn out hammer nail schtick.

    • bettyboo on May 30, 2014 at 20:46

      +1 Richard. If someone wants to take you on, they’re going to have prove themselves a worthy opponent first! MC Hammer does not make the grade.

    • LeonRover on May 31, 2014 at 13:20


      To a man with an emery board everything looks like a nail.


      Bell, Book & Candle.


    • Richard Nikoley on May 31, 2014 at 13:37


      I wore out the vinyl on what I think was their 1965 In Concert album, because as I just checked, it has both Puff and Hammer on it, two tracks I distinctly remember from wearing it out on my dad’s turntable.

  5. wolfstriked on May 30, 2014 at 19:35

    One way different of looking at RS is……I think that resistant starch for LCarbers is not really as beneficial as for higher carb intakes.To me it makes sense that these microbes grow in huge numbers in relation to the huge amounts of incoming resistant starch.If you don’t eat starch or very small amounts then why have a huge population of this microbe living in the gut and supported by large intakes of potato starch.

    Also the microbes that you force to flourish are in fact parasites eating off your food intake.Are they robbing you of nutrition or are they converting the starch into fat for you to store….and why do they do that??

    • Dana on May 31, 2014 at 10:29

      And why do I need bacteria making fat for me when I’m perfectly capable of making my own?

      I’m pretty sure traditional Inuit had gut bacteria and I’m equally sure that most of their prey were either carnivores themselves (seal) or were low-carbers (land grazers who ate mostly leaves of grass and that kind of thing).

      Oh, their gut biome’s different! Well, mine’s not exactly like anyone else’s either. If we’re going to talk smack about low-carbers prescribing a one-size-fits-all (which isn’t even true of Atkins if anyone BOTHERED READING THE DOCTOR’S BOOKS…) then what are we doing in haranguing people into adopting “safe starches”? YOU eat the safe starches if you’re missing ’em that badly… don’t DEMAND that someone else go along with you.

      And at the end of the day it’s still a stupid idea to eat huge amounts of carbs no matter who you are, AND, the payoff of carb calories vs micronutrients vs the environmental disruption you need to commit every single year to grow that stuff means why are we making this stuff the foundation of our diets, ever. It’s starvation food. It’s always been starvation food, made into a staple by people forbidden to/prevented from mov(ing) about and following the herds. You have to add a bunch of crap to it just to make it palatable. Go ahead, though. As long as you’re not making your health worse in the long run.

    • Richard Nikoley on May 31, 2014 at 10:59

      “And why do I need bacteria making fat for me when I’m perfectly capable of making my own?”

      You might want to look into some of the 100 or so posts on the topic because that statement is simply too ignorant to bother with, especially given the rest of your comment.

    • Energy! on May 31, 2014 at 15:45

      Dana, the good bacteria produce several beneficial byproducts that enhance human health. If you read the posts about the Inuit, they ate plants and tubers at various times, ate freshly killed meat and organs with stored glucose (IOW carbs) and animal versions of fiber. This blog is full of interesting info if you take the time to investigate.

  6. Mike on May 30, 2014 at 19:56

    Hi Gina,

    What kind of carbs did you give your cats?

    • Gina on May 30, 2014 at 23:13

      I give them fruit and salad, which you would think cats wouldn’t eat, but they love it. I also give them treats that I never considered before, because I thought they were unhealthy for carnivores. I always purchased only 100% dehydrated meat treats, but after the Duck Dodgers guest blog I started buying treats that had starch (easy to find – e.g., Greenies), though I still avoid the ones with grains. I let the sick one have as much as he wanted of the new treats. When he was recovering, all he wanted was treats. Since he had lost so much weight and seemed to be dying, I let him have as much as he wanted. Now that he’s better, his appetite for starchy treats is much less (he will walk away and leave some) and he mainly eats his meat meals and just has a few treats and a couple of bites of my salads and fruit.

      My advice to all carnivore guardians is to feed them meat, but let them have bites of your fruit and salad and supplement with as many starchy (non-grain) treats as they beg for.

    • Sharyn on May 31, 2014 at 00:17

      Hi Gina
      My two dogs help themselves from the garden – carrots, potatoes and corn. Not sure but I suspect strawberries and raspberries too (there’s no evidence). Pear and apple cores are a treat.

    • Gina on May 31, 2014 at 01:14

      Hi Sharyn:

      Seems like your dogs know what they need.

      When I first read that Duck Dodgers post I thought it was just low-carbers arguing about minutiae. But now I realize it has real consequences for those of us who love and care for carnivores. 😉

    • Dan on May 31, 2014 at 15:52

      Since hopping on this journey I have been trying to get more carbs/rs into my dogs as well. (Vet tried to make a case that eating the guts from something that has eaten grass = science based nutrition aka grain based biscuits)
      My go to meal is a huge pot of bones, meat, offal from whatever I have (cow, deer, pig, national emblems) and boil it for a bit then add rice to soak up all the brothy goodness.
      Frozen, then thawed for their meals.

    • Dan on May 31, 2014 at 15:53

      “Not sure but I suspect strawberries and raspberries too ”

      One of my dogs LOVES wild blackberries. Sits by the bush waiting for me to pick them for him.

    • Harriet on May 31, 2014 at 16:36

      One of our dogs used to very delicately pick wild strawberries we grew around our garden. She was banned from the vege garden as she would eat the proper strawberries just before I was ready to harvest them. Our current dog hasn’t discovered the strawberries, thank goodness, but does love orange segments.

    • bob r on June 3, 2014 at 15:35

      I have two Brittanys that like Blueberries. When picking the berries I would give the dogs a few. One noticed where I was getting them and started picking her own. Kind of surprising how well a dog can do that given they only have teeth to work with.

    • Charles on June 6, 2014 at 14:14

      I’ve started giving my cat some larch (Larix) starch. He previously improved from a chronic ear growth problem with SBOs (he’s always been an indoor cat, as Richard guessed). And the larch seems to be helping even more. He’s more relaxed and more active at the same time. I’m just adding about a tsp. or so to his food.

  7. tatertot on May 30, 2014 at 20:09

    Wolf – Unbeknownst to Richard, a couple of us are collaborating on a couple of blog posts to give some updates concerning the very thing you are asking about.

    Maybe next week. But what you ask is valid, but the answer is not simple. The hoped for result from increasing RS is to flood your colon with butyrate. This requires lots of gut bugs and a steady food source. You aren’t doing it to just grow a bunch of seamonkeys that do nothing (except sit in thrones with crowns on their heads). The microbes you hope to generate do all sorts of things, but their most important role is ‘producer of butyrate.’ All of the cells that line the colon rely on butyrate for proper function. When they don’t get it, they can switch to their secondary fuel source: glucose. When running on glucose, they don’t behave normally.

    That was the subject of my first guest appearance on Grace’s Blog: url-removed/2013/11/fat-burning-beast-sugar-burning-gut.html

    So, just don’t get lost in the bigger picture. You want a gut full of diverse critters that will form a resilient ecosystem, able to fend off pathogens, produce neurotransmitters, and make short chain fatty acids, including the butyrate we need to have a fully functioning second brain.

    • victor on May 31, 2014 at 16:07

      That helps me especially weigh Gina’ s comment inferring(at least in my understanding) we seem to be using RS as some sort of a crutch so we can stuff ourselves with carbs.

    • victor on May 31, 2014 at 16:10

      I meant DANA!!!! Sorry.

    • Richard Nikoley on May 31, 2014 at 16:46

      No, Dana is more wrong than a very wrong thing.

      Starches and sugar are no more created equal than are amino acidis (try some snake venom if you don’t believe me) or fatty acids (corn oil vs tallow or bone marrow).

      The essential problem with virtually all LCers is that they are focussed on macronutrients when there really is no such thing, and they get it wrong on all three counts all of the time.

    • Ellen Ussery on June 1, 2014 at 07:31


      First, don’t apologize for writing so much. This is fabulous information and I, for one, would love even more from you.

      I would be most grateful if you would write more details about all the other fibers. How you take them. How often. brands, etc.

    • victor on May 31, 2014 at 17:56

      But can you say that to the 30 percent(and growing) among us who are metabolic challenged? It seems that there are different goals the LCers have and the main one is dropping weight which goes hand and hand with another goal which is to be metabolicly sensitive to all macs. This site seems to be more focused on good overall health which am am currently looking at now that my low carb diet took 30 lbs from me. Being too low carb for an extended amount of time scares me though and I got the feeling salt wasn’t the only mineral my kidneys excreted at an alarming rate.

    • Ellen Ussery on June 1, 2014 at 10:22

      Thanks Wilbur,

      I love parsnips. We grew tons of them last year. And ate them all winter. Right now we are eating beets and carrots grown in the greenhouse.

      Would you say a teaspoon would be too much to start with for some of the things you mentioned?

      Do know anything about acacia fiber?

      What about chia seed?m

    • Wilbur on May 31, 2014 at 21:00

      I am just an n=1, and I am not sure exactly how my reply fits to the above. I believe it supports tatertot’s reply to wolf, and is sort of written as a reply to victor.

      Around Mother’s Day 2013, I weighed about 203 lbs. I am 5’10”. I had poor blood lipids for years, not dangerously but borderline needing medical intervention. A bit over the border, but no hurry.

      I decided to try low-fat mostly vegan. I like to cook, and I had a lot of fun. It was a challenge. I learned a lot of new things about veggies and how to make them. I lost weight to about 192. In October, I had my bloodwork done, and there was essentially no change. High triglycerides, low HDL, high bad LDL, etc. I told my new doc I was working on my diet, and I was given 6 months to improve. Or I’d go on statins.

      I was hypoglycemic. Although it was easy to stay mostly vegan, I still had huge carb cravings. I’d open a bag of Beanitos and a container of hummus, and wouldn’t stop until there was just a little left of each. I’d be proud I hadn’t eaten it all.

      I got interested in Taubes and Atkins, and decided to try low carb. Almost instantly, I dropped to 185’ish. 175 was my goal weight. I stayed at 185 through the holidays, thinking maybe that was my setpoint. I thought that was the best I could do.

      But I love beans, potatoes, and other carby stuff. Not cravings per se, but a simple desire to eat them. In my heart, I knew the low carb diet was not for me. Along the way, I had been reading a lot about the benefits of feeding the gut microbiota (and about how beans, lentils, and from this site RS in general was key). Certain fibers improve lipids, reduce inflammation, improve immunity, etc. How probiotics of various types do the same, plus reduce the harms of toxins like heavy metals, modulate the immune system, give luxurious hair, and all kinds of stuff.

      Near the end of December, I went for broke. My goal is to take every fiber that studies show provides significant benefits. RS is one. But for me, it is just one piece of the puzzle. My understanding, which might not be correct – something I admit because I still learn lots of new things from tatertot and others – is that RS is like candy for the gut. Good, but the gut needs “more nutritious” stuff too. Understand that I am not just trying to increase butyrate, but also to improve lipids and other things unique to me.

      Every day, I take 3+ Tbsp of potato starch, but also flaxseed, inulin, FOS, baobab, larch arabinogalactan, beta glucan, chitosan, amla, yacon root powder, glucomannan, psyllium (I poo poo’ed this in the past, but reconsidered my stance), guar gum, and a bunch I’d have to write down. Plus some I take occasionally, like wheat grass and hemp seed powder. Every fiber I take has a story, and I favor the ones that seem most beneficial to me. But the goal is always to improve my gut.

      That and I eat lots of veggies. As many as I can. Green stuff, beets, parsnips, green beans, and tons of green onions. At least 3 cloves of raw garlic per day. Beans, lentils, etc. I make barley risotto every Thursday to eat with a fresh fish shipment at the farmers market, and this lasts for several days. Lately I have been eating lots and lots of berries because they are showing up at the markets.

      Now I do not count carbs. My only macronutrients concern is that I get lots of good fats. Fats from fish, pastured animals, butter from pastured animals, etc.

      In terms of probiotics, I eat miso and kimchi every day. Without fail. I take prescript assist and primal ultra defense. Two days ago, I started l. Reuteri supplements. There are some compelling studies on this.

      Anyway, my weight very quickly dropped to about 165lbs, 10 below my target. I weigh every day, and I have weighed 165+/-1 for 47 out of the last 49 days, and the 2 others were 163. My blood work is now incredible. All sources of autoimmune problems and inflammation are 100% gone.

      The kicker is that now I eat whatever I want. I recently ate a whole pizza. Baked beans with molasses and sugar. I don’t eat these a lot, because I think the gut bugs limit me. I can’t go crazy. But clearly, for me, carbs are not the enemy. Instead, the gut bugs are my friend. IMHO, the focus on the gut IS the right way to go.

    • Wilbur on May 31, 2014 at 21:46

      Sorry, to continue: the benefits have been life changing for me. The hypoglycemia is gone. I thought I had it controlled before, but now I see how much it controlled me before. No carb cravings at all. No more all but a few Beanitos.

      I have always had seasonal allergies. Gone. Despite many saying this is the worst year in a long time.

      Skin problems gone. Joint pain gone. Muscle soreness after workouts gone. Vision improved. Older male issues solved. Kinda freaky really.

      About the idea that gut bugs compete for nutrients: I read a Washington Post article that improving the gut improves the absorption of nutrients so that, say, a 35% improvement means that given the same calories, a more efficient gut will lead to a 35% increase in calories. A higher weight all else equal. IMO, however, an increase in efficiency implies fewer calories are needed to provide the required nutrients, and so one consumes less overall. I think an improved gut efficiency in which the bugs are better able to break down nutrients improves the body’s access to those nutrients, rather than competing against the body.

      I feel like my body is exactly the same day-to-day, with no low energy or high energy days. Just right every day.

    • Ellen Ussery on June 1, 2014 at 12:25

      Thanks Wilbur,

      I don’t really expect you to “recommend”… Just that I am unfamiliar with a number of the things you mentioned and so don’t have a clue where i would start. For example Yacon and baobab…

      In any case, I will experiment with some of these . I have seen great results with increased fibers from foods as well as various amounts of potato starch and green banana flour. But would love to see better appetite control and lose 15 pounds…

    • Gemma on June 1, 2014 at 12:41

      Oh, go for baobab, if you can. Very ancestral.

    • Energy! on June 1, 2014 at 06:35

      Wilbur, I love your approach. I’ve also been trying out various fibers…thanks for your list, see some that are new to me. I’ve gotten rid of awful fatigue, hypoglycemia and diabetic symptoms, plus many other improvements by taking RS and other prebiotics, SBOs, and quitting wheat. I eat to feed myself AND my gut biome because we’re in this together!

    • Richard Nikoley on June 1, 2014 at 06:39

      Seconded, Wilbur.

      In fact, it’s so good that you’ve written 80% of my blogpost today, as well as stopped me from doing something stupid, which I’ll explain in the post.

    • victor on June 1, 2014 at 07:18

      The question is do you think(with your current diet) you can eat that whole pizza if your 203 lbs and your metabolism isn’t ready to handle it? You really do seem to have things dialed in as far as your eating habits but I’m still not convinced it can necessarily apply to an obese person. I know and I’ve experienced the benefits RS does with my health but we currently have an epidemic out there that needs to be reversed before it’s too late. I see and understand how it lowers blood sugar which in theory is a great step in weight loss but I’ve been looking at too many testimonials of great health but “just have not cut the weight just yet”.

    • Richard Nikoley on June 1, 2014 at 07:43


      What I see is people in droves fixing their metabolic challenges by adding some degree of starches and of course, the pro and pre-biotics we’ve been talking about like RS.

      Paul Jaminet too. Hundreds upon hundreds.

      By contrast, go through the comments on Eades’ latest post about a Protein Power 2.0 book. Littered with folks who still have the same issues after years of doing the same thing, expecting a different result.

      I keep telling people to look what happened to the Inuit here:

      Look at their glucose tolerance with a 120g bolus dose of glucose. When they’re supposedly the most ketogenic people on the planet (which is total BS—ketosis has NEVER been found in the Inuit in any study), they pass with absolute flying colors, toping out at 140 and back to normal in 2 hours.

      Then what happens when put in REAL ketosis, via an 80-hr fast? They peak at 300, are still over 220 at three hours AND ARE STILL ABOVE NORMAL 25 FUCKING HOURS LATER!

      This would earn you all sorts of diagnoses today, from metabolic syndrome to straight up diabetes, yet the only problem is that they had destroyed their glucose sensitivity by being in deep ketosis.

      The whole thing is rather like a total couch potato getting up and climbing to the top of the Empire State Bldg. via the staircase and confirming his belief that he can’t handle any exercise because his heart is racing at 250/min.

    • Wilbur on June 1, 2014 at 08:23

      Victor, I lost around 20 lbs pretty much on the diet it am on now. Bwhich is to say I eat whatever I want in whatever amount. My body adjusted all on its own to handle whatever I throw at it. IMHO, eating a diet that supports the gut allows the gut to tell you what IT needs.

      But the most important thing is that what I want is different now than when I started. I don’t want pizza or refined carbs. I want good meats, like a good fatty pork chop, and vegetables. What sounds really good right now would be some grilled spring onions with white beans. The onions cooked with the bulb over the coals and the green part still attached. Grilled until charred on the outside and crunchy raw inside. I’d pick that over any pizza. Not even a contest.

      But I have a family. Rather than be a jerk, I put a smile on and go eat pizza with the family. Last time though, I was really excited because I had a great idea. The pizza is Neopolitan style that cooks in 90 seconds. The have a garlic topping that essentially stays raw. My idea was to ask for triple garlic. One thing I constantly want is raw garlic. Can’t get enough.

      So I knew I was going to eat lots of pizza. This sounds crazy, but it’s happened to me time and again. I almost forgot to eat lunch. And lunch was a salad and berries. I couldn’t have eaten anything else. My body (and perhaps my mind too) adjusted my calories in advance of what I was planning to eat. No drama. I wasn’t hungry and I had no loss of energy.

      In general, if I eat more calories at one meal, I want – it is never a sacrifice – to shave calories from other meals. It is my first time ever to experience self-regulation. It was hard to trust it at first and let go, but it really works. I truly eat what I want, but what I want bears no relation to what I wanted at 203 (and I had to deny myself what I wanted). It is so beautiful and liberating.

      Incidentally, the day after I ate the whole pizza is the day I broke my streak of 165+/-1. I weighed 163.

    • Wilbur on June 1, 2014 at 09:41


      I have no real loyalty to brands. That said, most of my stuff seems to be in Now bottles. Gets kind of confusing at fiber time. With things like yacon, mala, and baobab that could be contaminated, I do try to look for established brands. I don’t want name specific brands in case my method does not work.

      There is no real science or data logs here. I spend time cruising pubmed and if I find a new fiber that seems to do good and different things, I get it. Then I work it in. I can’t prove it, but I think my gut lets me know how much it wants. I know for sure it lets me know when I get too much inulin/FOS! TMI

      I put the fiber in water. I drink a couple hours after each meal. The morning is flaxseed, potato starch, inulin, arabinogalactan, FOS, baobab, and glucomannan. The gluco was the final nail in the coffin of my hypoglycemia. Before, I felt right on the edge, but not once since.

      The afternoon is amla, yacon, inulin, and psyllium. Here I get creative and add other things like wheat grass.

      Night is a repeat of morning except extra PS instead of flax, and guar gum instead of gluco.

      Not scientific, but there it is. I counted a while back, and this is about 80 g of fermentable fiber. I also eat plenty of veggies. One popular one now is parsnips roasted about 10 minutes or so. They are really good and fibrous, and not so sweet as if cooked a long time. Lots of onion and garlic.

      If you try this, go slow and drink plenty of water. I let myself get dehydrated one time. Won’t do it again!

    • tatertot on June 1, 2014 at 09:52

      Wilbur – I did sort of the same thing for a while a few months back. I was getting close to 100g of ‘fiber’ from inulin/FOS, glucomannan, pectin, guar gum, psyllium, bee pollen, larch AG, and potato starch.

      Some of those you have to be very careful with…the gums and glucomannan mostly, they swell tremendously and can cause choking.

      After about a month of this, I did a stool eval, (Metametrix GDX 2200) and my fecal pH was very low (good thing) butyrate very high and all gut bugs were in perfect proportions.

      Then I transitioned to a real-food approach that I am still doing. Eating all kinds of beans and lentils and trying new things. Shooting for 40-80g of fiber from food/no supps, but it is damn hard. Doable, but hard. I don’t think a diet devoid of beans/lentils can supply enough fiber no matter how hard you try.

      The standing recommendation has been 25-30g/day yet hardly anyone gets over 15g/day. LC/VLC/Paleo dieters probably not even getting 5g/day.

      Planning on some more stool tests soon on this diet to compare with high supplemented diet.

      Have you ever counted fiber in real food? It’s sparse. Nuts, fruit, veggies have very little mostly…grains, legumes have most.

    • Wilbur on June 1, 2014 at 10:13

      I do try to be careful with the viscous ones. I separate them and drink with a very large glass of water. That is very important as you say. Never capsules on these for me.

      Yes, I counted fibers in diet at one time. It is nearly impossible to get that high with cultivated plants! I couldn’t eat enough calories to support the fiber I want. I started supplementing for this reason. Let me know your results if you do not mind.

      Bee pollen? Headed to pubmed now to check it out. Thanks!

    • Wilbur on June 1, 2014 at 11:50


      I didn’t want to recommend doses. I have only myself as experience with this and no special info to back anything up. A teaspoon though is a bit absolute. I think different powders/fibers have different effects or strengths. A teaspoon of guar gum is a good dose, but of PS is not much. A full teaspoon of yacon puts my colon in distress.

      I really think the gut lets me know what it wants. I tried acacia powder and the gut seemed unimpressed. No bad effects – I just never pick it out of the lineup. My gut seems to love guar gum though.

      I keep meaning to eat more chia seeds, but I always forget. I like them.

    • Wilbur on June 1, 2014 at 12:58

      I have some weird relationship with yacon. About 3/4 of a tsp gives a nice laxative effect about 18 hours later. A full tsp gives me diarrhea about8 hours later. Research I read says it feeds a bacterium called Barnesiella, which other studies have shown can fight antibiotic resistant toxins. It also reduces triglycerides. A study showed commercial FOS did not have the same properties. It is also available in dried sliced, which are tasty when you get used to them.

      Baobab is mainly pectin. That one I take 2 Tbsp per day. Realize, for me, 2 Tbsp are two big spoon scoops, not precise. It seems very benign.

      The amla is most intriguing to me. Richard has a good post on this. Also look at pubmed. It might be BS, but fascinating BS if so.

    • Wilbur on June 1, 2014 at 12:59

      Oops, pathogens, not toxins.

    • Russell O'Brien on November 16, 2014 at 13:05

      Thanks Wilbur a very familiar story for me I’m going to jump in as well .Id like ask if I can a copy of your fibre lists , I am in Sustralia and going to try and find some of those locally or via iherb
      Thanks again for your truth very inspiring

  8. pzo on May 30, 2014 at 20:24

    As previously reported, potato starch brought my FGB from +/- 130 to the 80’s. A month ago I stopped taking it, somewhat tired of the drill, and I had company. My FGB inched its way upward to 118.

    Back on the chain gang and all is well again. Two to four TBL’s a day depending on my mood, the tide in my backyard, whatever.

    Nike was right: “Just do it.”

  9. Julie D on May 31, 2014 at 05:14

    Hey Richard! I just wanted to thank you for your persistence in getting the RS message out there. I have to be honest; I’m not a big fan of yours. I can’t handle your intense personality and really dislike your salty language, but I still appreciate what you’re trying to do for people. Since I started eating food sources of RS and adding in soil based probiotics, I’ve seen a dramatic shift in myself. My energy is up, my mood is improved, and I no longer feel huge cravings for carbs like I once did. I haven’t checked my BG in a while, but I haven’t gotten that yucky feeling I know means that it’s gone way up (heart pounding, getting really hot, not being able to think straight).

    After that great success, I decided maybe I should expand my mind some more because obviously very low carb isn’t the way I should be eating long term, even though I know it helped me get off that SAD diet. I got my hands on Weston Price’s Nutrition and Degeneration, and so many of his observations clicked with feeling I’ve had about food for a long time but that I was afraid to try because I was low carb and convinced that if I just kept eating lower carbs I’d solve all my problems. I ditched the multi vitamins, started taking FCLO and butter oil, eat a lot more veggies and organs, started drinking raw milk, and I have to say, I feel great. A hole I developed in my tooth while eating low carb is actually starting to fill in now, which is amazing. I have hopes that this approach will help me conceive, too, since my husband and I started trying (unsuccessfully) for a baby two years ago, right after going low carb.

    Anyway, sorry for the long rant. Again, I just wanted to thank you for opening my mind to different possibilities, and to convince me to keep trying until I find a diet that really suits me. It was really hard for me to accept the RS message at first because it was so different from what I’d convinced myself was right, but now I see I was turning my diet into a religion, and that’s never cool.

    • Richard Nikoley on May 31, 2014 at 07:27

      Cool, Julie D. Great news.

      Much of the reason I do things the way I do is to break through ll the noise out there with some sort of signal.

      Plus, I am kinda an ass. 🙂

  10. Regina on May 31, 2014 at 10:05

    a salty ass. :o)

  11. Harriet on May 31, 2014 at 17:08

    Reporting in. I started PS in early January and despite not getting the great results others report I’m still persisting. I have mild ankylosing spondylitis and both rheumatoid and osteo arthritis, the first two of which I’ve had since the age of 13 and 16, now 63. Adding RS DID make both worse and they still haven’t settled down to pre RS levels, though they aren’t bad – sort of 2/10, instead of 1/10. The other bad news is that the weight is still going on at about a pound a month, in addition to the 5 pound immediate impact, which I hate. However there are other benefits. I was having to go stricter and stricter low carb in order to keep my weight down in the first place and I was starting to put it on unless I did calorie restriction, so perhaps I would have been putting the weight on anyway.

    I have had lots of ups and downs with adding rice, milk, potatoes and other vege carbs such as pumpkin back in my diet with the soil based probiotics. I’ve been taking heavy doses of each of the three recommended probiotics. With the addition of each one I had major battles in my gut over several weeks – farting in extremis, upper abdominal distension and lower abdominal acute pain followed by foul smelling TMI as it all got expelled, followed by back to normal Bristol 4 comfort and farting that no longer smelled.

    The improvements are subtle and hard to measure. While I haven’t had the improvement in muscle strength or weight loss I’m looking for, nor the loss of carb cravings (these come and go – sometimes none, sometimes uncontrollable and I raid the dried fruit in the cupboard but this was happening when I was low-ish carb anyway), I have had a reduction of hot flushes, my concentration and memory have both improved and are more constant. I used to have good days and bad days – bad days when I couldn’t organise myself at all nor remember things from one moment to another and I used to worry about getting Alzheimers. Now I can almost reliably play bridge where one has to be able to keep in mind many (50+?) different combinations and permutations as one plays each hand. The ability to trust my brain has been my biggest benefit.

    I’m currently off my probiotics for a fortnight before I take a gut bacteria test. Plus I’m having a hair analysis test for mercury etc. I have an appointment with my functional medicine doctor in August so hopefully might get some further insight into what I can do to improve things.

    I have proven to my satisfaction that both the AS and RA are gut related problems, as are my weight issues. I suspect I have more gut weeding to do but what and how is what I’m hoping my doc can help me with.

    • Tatertot on May 31, 2014 at 18:35

      Great update, Harriet! Can’t wait to hear what your new doctor finds. Keep going!

    • gabkad on May 31, 2014 at 18:58

      Harriet, how’s your thyroid? Ever since I got the meds changed so the fT3 is good the HRT for the hot flashes has become redundant. Who’d ever think that increasing metabolism would decrease hotflashes?

    • gabkad on May 31, 2014 at 19:07

    • Harriet on June 1, 2014 at 00:44

      gabkad, I’ve been through the whole thyroid thingy. I was on a natural thyroid for 10 years then didn’t need it after 3 years on a paleo diet. When my thyroid came right naturally 60 years of depression also lifted – it hadn’t lifted completely when I was on the supplements. I know my thyroid is dicey when I start to get cold after too much exercise and I have to creep back into my cave to recover for a day or two. I could go back on the supplements but would rather not if I don’t have to. I do know that the thyroid supplements really helped with the ankylosing spondylitis pain, reducing it by 90-95%, which completely confused the doctors. In their mind there is no connection between the two conditions, especially as they didn’t think my thyroid was a problem as my TSH was under 4 and sometimes under 2. In their understanding it was completely a placebo effect but other placebo effects would disappear after 3 weeks and the thyroid/AS never did. As long as I have hot feet at 4pm I consider my thyroid is functioning sufficiently as that was when I would get freezing cold in the past.

    • gabriella kadar on June 1, 2014 at 08:34

      Well, Harriet, I was hypo! I never felt cold. In fact, opposite: heat intolerance. Hot flashes. My place always has windows and balcony door open until it’s 0C outside. Then I close most of the windows and the door. I don’t turn on the heating until it’s minus 10C outside and only heat my bedroom when it’s down around minus 20C. So don’t tell me that hypo = cold intolerance. It depends on age. Post menopause a person doesn’t respond to this aspect of hypo the same as a young person. I was hypo when I was young, was freezing cold all the time. I loved the heat.
      (Please bear in mind also that my hemoglobin is high range, ferritin is great, B12 great, folate great, all the other blood tests are stellar. So there’s nothing else going on here except the bloody thyroid.)

      TSH pfft. fT3 is important even though a lot of doctors don’t bother testing for it. In order to prevent cardiomyopathy it should be at 5.4 or higher. My TSH was 0.4 and my fT3 was 4.1. My fT4 was 11 when range is 10 to 20. My blood pressure was going from 150/100 when I was up and about to 110/65 when I sat down. Pulse was weak. My heart was doing flipflops. I thought I was going to die. Then it turns out I was not only underdosed with Synthroid but my enzymes don’t convert Levo T4 into T3. Increasing the Synthroid only increased the fT4 to 18. Did diddley for the fT3. Now on Cytomel/Synthroid combo and almost like a normal human. Not quite yet.

      And yes, body pain of any kind reduces when a person is on the correct dosage. Recovery is faster, sleep is better. I don’t feel like I’m walking through jello anymore.

      Do your research and get proper testing done to determine exactly what your thyroid is or isn’t doing. Just feeling that your feet are warm at 4 p.m. is a pretty pathetic way of ‘self diagnosing’.

      ‘Sufficient’ thyroid is definitely far below optimal thyroid. There’s a huge quality of life issue here and all of your long comments which I have read indicate to me that your thyroid is underfunctioning. What you have written now confirms my suspicions.

    • Harriet on June 1, 2014 at 16:42

      Gabriella I find your jumping to conclusions a bit tiresome. I don’t go into all the details as those I do give go on and on already. Doctors here generally won’t do a free T3 or T4 even if you offer to pay for them yourself – they won’t have a patient telling them what labs they want. However I did get them done eventually and they were in the good part of the normal range when I got them done. Hot flashes for me are more related to my blood sugars and they have improved since I’ve been on RS. However I do know that my thyroid can become marginal again and work at improving it. Supplementation is useful for holding someone in a better place and reducing some symptoms, but it isn’t the answer. I think the answer is in the gut.

    • gabkad on June 2, 2014 at 04:21

      Okay Harriet. Sorry. I was under a misunderstanding.

    • Charles on June 7, 2014 at 13:33

      Go to You can get thyroid tests there:
      Advanced Thyroid
      The most comprehensive online thyroid test available measuring thyroid function, including TSH, T4, T3, T3 uptake, Free Thyroxine Index, Reverse T3, and Free T3.


    • Grace/Dr.BG on June 7, 2014 at 15:17


      I’ve followed many of comments. Thank you for posting and your story. I hope you see wonderful success soon. RA/AS are all autoimmune, no different than celiac or Hashimoto’s. In fact they share many commonalities because they all involve gut permeability. The gut requires the commensal organisms (and no toxins — good for you for the hair test) for complete and tight junctions.

      Often what disrupts tight permeability are yeasts, parasites, and pathogens that persist after antibiotics or the lack of these ‘allies’. If AS/RA persist, it is very likely that the allies are absent — some or all – and partly this is due to pathogenic yeasts and/or bacterial overgrowths.

      Have you seen Eddie’s prolific comments? Please read his observations on candida. After antibiotics or loss of commensals from sugar, refined diets, low fiber diets, fungi flourishes. That’s a simple fact. Many people are asymptomatic except for lingering symptoms or disorders. GDX has urine and stool testing for testing parasites and yeasts, but other labs offer some good diagnostics as well. Modern medicine offers none unfortunately at this time.

      Have you seen this?

  12. Mimmi on May 31, 2014 at 22:48

    My story. Lchf for seven years, worked out mostly fine except for gut problems, bloating. That was a big problem for me as it’s visual. Always congratulated for being pregnant! Started with rs i middle april. Added sauerkraut, kefir och beans/rice. Farting, yes, but not a big problem. My bloodsugar is excellent, I can eat a piece of cake and not get a headache (one of my major issues before lc). I can eat sourdough bread. As an amateur baker I love to do that. My bloating is a little bit better but not good. Seems to me it’s SIBO. So I still struggle with that. If I eat yoghurt on an empty stomach I get 8 month pregnant, so it’s got something to do with milk.

  13. Regina on May 31, 2014 at 23:08

    Well, I just learned today (from 23andMe thru Promethease) that I have the gs141 thing that means I have a APOEe4 allele thing. I couldn’t make out the meaning of the rest of my genetic profile. Apparently, APOEe4 is bad and sets me up for Alzheimer’s as well as CAD.
    Can tending to my other 90% override this bullzeye on my back? Am I doomed?
    I’m not surprised though. Everybody drops dead of heartattacks early in my family and they were all crazy to begin with.
    Should I bother trying to overcome this? Or, er, “epigenesis”. Feeling somewhat clocked right now.

    • Richard Nikoley on June 1, 2014 at 06:23

      I don’t see any viable option but to live to the fullest, Regina and forget about it. And yea, feed all of you. Read the post I’m going to publish in a while.

      Can’t recall where it was but just yesterday I caught some blurb of a science article somewhere asking the question why very many most people who possess some genetic trait associated with some condition never develop the condition.

      Consider also that the vast majority of people who smoke do not die from a typical smoking related disorder early.

    • KAWAM on June 1, 2014 at 08:18

      Regina ~ DENSE reading, but well worth the effort here:
      I think I got this link from Animal Pharm — I’m Alzheimer’s Obsessed, having lost both my mother and her older sister to that particular horror.

      For you, the take-away is that APOEe4 appears in some, but not all, Alzheimer’s cases, and not all with APOEe4 get the disease. Lots of good preventive life-hacks available.

      I haven’t checked my own genetics, nor have any of my four younger sisters, but I think it wise to act as though I had the e4 allele.

      Cheers. ~Kate

    • Jane Karlsson on June 2, 2014 at 08:33

      Richard, recent research suggests copper deficiency is a major cause of Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer brains are low in copper, and the damaged parts have excess iron, which cannot get out of brain cells without copper.

      Copper deficiency is also a major cause of heart disease as you will remember.

    • Harriet on June 3, 2014 at 16:17

      And copper excess is associated with a whole range of metabolic problems so don’t just take huge amounts in the hope of avoiding Alzheimers. Also I understand that taking contraceptives or antibiotics massively increases the uptake of copper. Zinc and molybdenum (sp?) supplements help get rid of excess copper.

    • Jane Karlsson on June 4, 2014 at 02:50

      Copper excess is associated with a range of metabolic problems because of what happens during inflammation. Copper gets released into the blood for tissue repair. Lots of people think it’s there because they have copper overload which caused the damage, but actually it’s trying to help.

      Contraceptives and antibiotics massively increase copper uptake? Never heard of that. I looked up ‘contraceptives copper absorption’ and ‘antibiotics copper absorption’ and found nothing.

    • Jane Karlsson on June 4, 2014 at 03:26

      I should have mentioned that copper supplementation has been tried in Alzheimer patients and didn’t work. The dose was very high, 8 mg/day. It did not cause any problems. I suspect it didn’t work because the patients were even more deficient for manganese than for copper. The enzyme PP2A which prevents neurofibrillary tangles is a manganese enzyme.

  14. Regina on June 1, 2014 at 14:16

    Thanks so much for your replies Richard and Kate.
    Thanks for the link — which I will dive into tonight.
    Just finished reading Richard’s new post. I’m committed (or should be :o) ) to PHD plus oodles of prebiotics/rs/probiotics. I’m not gonna try to sort out the rest of my 23nMe. Too complicated.
    Thx. Regina

  15. Regina on June 1, 2014 at 17:48

    Great link Kate. I didn’t realize I was reading Chris Masterjohn until the very end. While he didn’t go full-blown Perlmutter or Gedgaudas, he was certainly pro-fat. He seemed somewhere between Jaminet and Denise Minger on the DHA fish oil. Perlmutter would have me drinking buckets of DHA and coconut oil. Jaminet and Minger might say to not go crazy on the oils and avoid too much PUFA (which DHA is). So, I’m now ambivalent about the FCLO I take everyday and the copius amounts of avocados I eat.

    • KAWAM on June 2, 2014 at 05:05

      Regina ~ I’ve kinda shut down on “going crazy” on ANYTHING. Zone-Guru Dr. Sears would also have everyone drinking buckets of DHA, which I did for a while. (Of course, he also pushes frankenfoods on his Zone diet — he lost me with faux-bagels and I ended up at Mark’s Daily Apple.) I like Tatertot Tim’s advice re pro/prebiotics and RS–use medicinally to get your gut cheerful, then, if available, just use Real Food. Or mostly Real Food. And for those of us at risk for Alzheimer’s, let’s not forget EXERCISE.

    • Regina on June 2, 2014 at 15:27

      Thank you Kate,

      I’m just glad I found my quartet: Paul Jaminet, Richard, Tim and Dr Grace. :o)
      I think my 23nMe suggests I am highly suited for PHD. APOE4 is associated with hunter/gatherer as opposed to agricultural societies. I also had the “Warrior” gene. I have hair on my chest an knuckles (just kidding). No kidding though, they said I have a high amount of neanderthal blood. I think I’m just dumb irish.

    • Richard Nikoley on June 2, 2014 at 16:58

      Oh, so I’m in a fucking quartet, now?

      I’ll take Bass.

  16. Winning on June 6, 2014 at 12:11

    Eat sugar, not starch. Ray Peat for the win!

    • Richard Nikoley on June 6, 2014 at 13:29

      Even Peter can’t understand Peat, which tells me he only has a bunch of fucktard followers who just love to be dazzled.

      Sugar exists in nature, but it’s seasonal and in cases, tough to get. Honey, for example. About 2 months of the year, 90% of calories for Hadza. Other 10 months, zero.

      I leave Peat to his milkshakes that make him feel so good.

  17. James on August 2, 2014 at 08:18


    I’m really worried about taking that because I used to be anemic and iron fucked my stomach up

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