Natural Immunity, Gut Biome, and its Importance in COVID-19 #1 — Introduction

Back about 6 years ago in the midst of the gut biome craze, I had already been in collaboration with Tim Steele on tons of posts on Resistant Starch. Thousands of comments amongst the posts. Tim came up with the idea of further collaborating on a book and he went right to work, doing the drafting. I did the editing.

It eventually died, the reasons for which are not really important anymore.

So, I’ve been sitting on 165,352 words in Google Docs all these years. To give you an idea of what that means as a book:

“…in general, 250-300 words per page. Therefore, a 55,000 word book should be about 200 manuscript pages. A 100,000 word book would be about 400.”

So, somewhere around 600 book pages in draft.

I haven’t thought a lot about it, agonized, or dwelt on it these years. I was always a bit sad it never got out there. On the other hand, all non-fiction books are a year or two out of date on the date of publishing, as that’s the typical ridiculous publishing track. That in itself has disgusted me enough to keep me writing when I want, hit publish. 5,000 blog posts and counting. If my average blog post is 1,000 words, then that’s 5 million words and in book terms at 100,000 per 400-page book, I’ve published 50 books well over 300 pages.

And I never talked to a fucking editor or publisher. I’m both. Plus, I’m the writer. I’m not a best seller, nor have I made a lot of money, though I make a modest stream. What I am is free and unbeholden to write and publish in an instant whatever suits my fancy, knowing it will be read by hundreds; and, on good days, thousands.

I sit pretty as a writer. I wonder how many millionaire writers can say that, accounting for all of it.

So, in the last weeks as I watch the love of Covid-19 begin to crumble, along with its laughable “vaccine” strategy… where, as of today, both Portugal and Sweden have banned travel from Israel—one of the most vaccinated and early adopters of vaccination—now the world’s biggest Covid-19 outbreak by percentage (makes me laugh, I must say)—I thought of this unpublished stuff in my archives.


Because it’s becoming generally acknowledged by all who care about not being intransgent in their fucktardedness that “vaccine” immunity is both short lived and wholly inadequate; that, compared with the 99.85% of people infected and survived, the latter’s immunity is 13-27 times greater, and almost certainly lasts longer by orders of magnitude.

The cliff notes is that our gut biome makes up about 70% of our immune system.

Et voilà !

So, a current reason to put it out there. Covid-19. Of course, not wholly because of that specifically—because that’s just a global masturbation in public—but because general health overshadows. Covid-19 merely affords context, relevance, and prescience because of the global child-like obsession with a favorite cause of death.

So, for members, I shall slog through all 165,352 words once again. Recheck all the references, update them, add new, scour for new knowledge, expunge obvious errors and bad guesses. I figure I can produce a new chapter every 2-4 weeks.

Here is the completely unedited notes, the template, the marching orders for Tim and I.

Table of Contents

(All chapter titles and subtitles within chapters, tentative. Chapters 01-07, and chapter 14, are manuscript draft, everything else is ROUGH DRAFT.)

Chapter 01 – The Whole You (NOW PUBLISHED)

4114 words, 10, sections, 1 sidebar, 9 cites


We wanted the first chapter to be an introduction of sorts, not to the authors, but to the real stars…the gut bugs.  This chapter is intended to be a primer on the microbial life in and on us, some history, and the introduction of a few terms such as ‘Gram negative’ and ‘second-brain.’ 

Chapter 02 – A Curious Collaboration (NOW PUBLISHED)

4775 words, no sidebars or cites

This chapter is an introduction to the goofballs that wrote the book.  I think Richard, Grace, and I all agree it’s not worth the space it will take up in the book.  Maybe use for snippets and dust cover information.  In the entire book, there are very few mentions of any personal triumphs or tragedies, we had initially thought we’d be including more person insights, but we basically wrote ourselves out of the script as we got deeper into the meat of the book.  The real focus is gut bugs and the human host.

Chapter 03 – Your Second Brain (NOW PUBLISHED)

6167 words, 2 sidebars, 27 cites

This is a layman’s look at the gastrointestinal tract and its inhabitants.  No deep concepts or  boring (to some) microbe names or chemical formulas.  If we can get people to read this chapter, they will want to read the entire book.  We originally had loads of pictures in this chapter, but took them out for easier editing…pictures help tell this story, though, so we should consider as many pictures as possible.  People will want to refer back to this chapter as they read the rest of the book.  Here is also where we start using “Science Sidebars” more.  We felt they add value by breaking up the text and giving a bit more insight for the science-minded reader.  You’ll note only 27 cites in the entire chapter…later in the book there are sometimes 27 cites per page!

Chapter 04 – Chemical Warfare (NOW PUBLISHED)

Overview:  3730 words, 3 sidebars, 24 cites

If Grace had been involved when we wrote this, it would have been a gardening chapter!  The war metaphors were a fun way to look at what happens in the gut and pay homage to our (Richard and I) military background.  It’s designed more to get people to consider the enormity of what our gut bugs do for us, what they face in their lifespan that is measured in minutes and hours.  We sometimes refer back to this chapter later on, but we ease up on the war metaphors.  Lots of deeper science and more complex ideas, yet written with a bit of humor and irony.

Chapter 05 – The History or Gut Microbes is the History of Life on Earth

8895 words, 10 sidebars, 101 cites

This chapter is a look at the evolution of microbes and how they shaped all lifeforms.  Great discussions on ‘superorganisms,’ ‘brain-gut connections,’ and human evolution. This chapter doesn’t require that one believe in evolution, but it sets the stage for deeper evolutionary discussions to come.  Here we also introduce the concepts of prebiotics and probiotics, yet use the terms only sparsely.  The concept was to get people to draw their own conclusions about what makes humans so special and how gut bugs play a huge role.

Chapter 06 – Ancient Gut Microbes and Their Food

8354 words, 3 sidebars, 110 cites

Section 1 – Man’s evolution related to starch consumption and microbes

Section 2 – Unique sources of ancient prebiotics (tigernuts, yams/tubers, pollen, cattails)

Section 3 – Ancient sources of probiotics (birth, hunting, socializing, etc..)

Section 4 – The Inuit Diet exposed…not carb free, plenty of gut bugs and gut bug food

This chapter expands on the history lessons in chapter 5 and focuses narrowly on how humans ate to support flourishing gut bug populations. Included are lengthy discussions on human ancestors and their food, some unique food sources, microbes discussed at the phyla and family level, and an introduction to “soil-based organisms.”  Here we also lay out an ancestral reliance on starchy carbs, or in their absence, very potent, non-starch prebiotics from animal and plant sources.  We dismantle the Inuit diet as a zero carb healthy lifestyle and introduce one of our most influential ancestors, P. boisei, AKA Nutcracker Man, and his favorite food, tigernuts.  While this chapter is mainly about prebiotics and probiotics, those words do not appear in this chapter.  

Of special note are the amazing insights provided here by “science editor” Grace, it was she who came up with the concepts of Vit C and Omega 3 from tigernuts fueling the human ‘brain-size’ explosion and physiological changes that have stymied science for centuries.  Much of the information in this chapter has never been tied together in one place, but is found scattered across scientific journals. This new information will raise many eyebrows, but it is fully backed by science.  Grace is also to be commended for digging deep into the greater importance of cooking and ‘cooked and cooled’ starches as a catalyst for enlarging our amazing ‘second-brain.’

Chapter 07 – Our Microbiome Through the Last 12,000 Years

9354 words, 4 sidebars, 104 cites

This chapter picks up where chapter 6 left off…originally envisioned as one or two paragraphs, it morphed into over 20,000 words in three separate chapters!  Here you will be taken on a chronological journey into the decline of the human gut microbiome from the end of the Paleolithic until modern times.  The historical accounts of human diet focus on fermentation, lack of refrigeration, and simple food choices.  The section on ‘modern times’ comprises ¾ of the chapter and focuses on our loss of touch with ancient foods, ancient microbes and the profound effect it has had on the human animal.  Invoked are the writing of Hippocrates, Westin A. Price, Fleming, Blaser and others.  Introduction to the concepts of GMO food, antibiotic abuse, and fecal transplants among others.

Chapter 8 – Bad Gut Bugs – 8716 words

Section 1 discusses various pathogens found in human GIT as a comparison to ‘good’ gut bugs we have been talking about so far (Pathogenic bacteria, viruses, parasites, and yeast).  Also discusses common treatment strategies. (3900 words)

Section 2 discusses the role of the gut microbiome in common diseases, brain disorders, and autoimmune disease. (2900 words)

Section 3 is a light look at what we have started calling the ‘modern, dyspeptic gut.’  A primer on what to expect if you don’t heed the rest of this book. (1800 words)

Conclusion contains some simple ideas to avoid pathogens, gut disease and reverse the modern, dyspeptic gut.

Chapter 9 – Description of the Microbiome – 10,500 words

Section 1 – A fairly in depth discussion on taxonomy and making sense of what’s in our gut and defines what’s in a ‘good’ microbiome. This chapter would probably serve better if it were chapter 3 or 4. (4800 words)

Section 2 –  We called it the “Hitch hiker’s guide to the gut”, discusses the superorganism, acquisition of gut bugs at birth and through life.  Discuss brain-gut connection, immunity, allergies, and other gut bug ‘magic’.. Could easily be standalone chapter. (5600 words)

Conclusion – Great discussion of the worst-case scenario for gut bugs, starving kids in Africa, from director of NIH.

Chapter 10 – Resistant Starch – 10,598 words

This chapter is the most in depth look at RS probably ever conducted.  From the discovery of RS to some practical advice on incorporating into a healthy diet.  I feel this chapter will be worth the price of the book. Loads of interesting sidebars and the full RS contents list from FTA.  

Chapter 11 – Potato Starch – 7800 words

This chapter is a hard look at potato starch and its use as an RS supplement. Since potato starch kind of started the RS craze (rightly or wrongly) it has gotten lots of attention and has raised unbelievable curiosity.  This chapter looks at all of the safety concerns, studies, and adverse effects where appropriate.  Discussed physical science of potato starch granules, manufacturing processes, and DIY potato starch extraction.  Also offers alternatives to potato starch.

Chapter 12 – The Potato Diet – 13,602 words

This chapter is kind of a side-show.  Consider cutting it from the book, or use as a filler if you need an extra 13,600 words—maybe an appendix.  This would probably make a better cheesy e-book, but it does tie in with gut health and resistant starch nicely.  It’s also a great weight-loss hack that people love.  I had a thread on MDA Nutrition forum running for a year with over 1000 comments called Eat MOAR Taters! Huh? and also probably over a dozen follow-on threads with potato hacks from me and others.  Richard also did a huge Potato Hack Expose that was wildly popular.  Jaminet, Guyenet, Peter D, and many others took a look at my potato hack as well.  Grace remained unimpressed, however. 

Chapter 13 – Farting – 5500 words

This is probably my favorite chapter.  Full of fun facts, science, and trivia.  Guaranteed to be a hit!  This chapter is easily cut to make it fit wherever it’s needed.  Could even be separated into sidebars or used as an appendix. 

Chapter 14 – Your Skin and Other Non-Gut Flora – 3830 words (Manuscript Ready)

This chapter was written with major contributions from Dr. Gabriella Kadar, DDS. This is a great chapter that explains all the other trillions of microbes on our skin, eyes, ears, butts, and toes. Lots of fun science, an enjoyable read. Lots of sidebars and a really good conclusion. 

Chapter 15 – No Soap Or Shampoo; Washing With Water Only – 10, 600 words

Again, written with major input from Dr. GabKad, DDS.  Waaaaay more than no ‘poo.  This chapter gives historical and modern methods to practice hygiene without harsh chemicals or sanitizers.  Includes Richard’s personal experience as documented on FTA.  Also a blurb from Mark’s Daily Apple and many sidebars.  Lots of sidebars included at the end that could be used elsewhere.  Cut sidebars to get word count desired.

Chapter 16 – Prebiotics and Fermented Foods – 4495 words

This chapter is a primer on modern concepts of ‘gut bug food’ AKA prebiotics. In it we define terms and fiber types and make a case for real-food alternatives and not just RS or potato starch.  This is the section that ‘takes on’ Konstantin Monastyrsky’s Fiber Menace, though we don’t call him out by name.  You will see why the fiber policies of the ‘80s failed miserably and why prebiotics failed to take off as their discoverers had hoped.  This is also where you will find the Grok-inspired RS Curve.  

There is also a short section on fermented foods.  Here is where we marry the examples of fermented foods from the past with modern day foods, and we break-down the reasons they are so healthy.

Chapter 17 Antibiotics & Probiotics – 11,400 words

Section 1 – Antibiotics (7200 words)

In depth look at antibiotics from their natural occurrence in nature to their discovery by man and the future of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance.  Lots of quotes from Blaser and others.  Lots of things that even Blaser missed in his new book.

Section 2 – Probiotics (4200 words)

Could be a standalone chapter.  Definitions of probiotics, commercial preparations, benefits, and recommendations.  A special cancer section. Lots of good quotes and lists of probiotics.  Lots of good recommendations for serendipitous use of probiotics.

Chapter 18 – 7 Steps to Re-Wild Your Gut (5,000 word or less target)

Working thesis:

7 steps that tie in with book, evolutionary medicine, evolutionary biology and importance of gut microbiome for health and longevity.

Why carnivorous small intestines vulnerable to many assaults and fermentation after antibiotics or gut damage.

Why herbivorous large intestines maintain our health by being the butyrate factory with RS-degrading microbes.

Why SBO probiotics are special and revolutionary by regressing back to our deep and profound evolutionary history with the Earth.

How the neolithic transition disrupted humans particularly in cutting off supply of effective microorganisms from the dirt after foraging activities were replaced by massive grain cultivation

Chart Modern Gut.

Chapter 19 – The Wrap-up… (4,000 words or less target)

General summary and overview. 

Appendix A – RS Research – 15,500 words

This is a ‘filler’ appendix that contains page after page of PubMed abstracts concerning RS and gut bug research.  Can be tailored to how ever long it needs to be or cut completely.  It’s eye-opening to flip through the multitude of studies to convince yourself this isn’t all ‘made-up.’

Should probably be updated if we want to use it…I compiled this in Jan 2014, probably 100 new studies since then! 

Section 1 – Discussion of PubMed and studies

Section 2 – Charts of RS and Gut Bug research since 2004

Section 3 – 20 abstracts of papers from 2013 and 2014 with key words “resistant starch and gut microbiome”

Appendix B – FAQ or Troubleshooting Section (4700 words)

This is the result of thousands of comments on RS and gut bugs.

Section 1 – Potatoes and potato starch

Section 2 – Other RS Sources

Section 3 – Probiotics and Gut bugs

This Series Of Book Chapters Is For Supporting Members

Annual Subscription

The price for membership is $50.00 per Year.

Sign Me Up!

One simple annual charge for everything. Saves $22 off the monthly price of $6. 30% savings. Easy Peasy.

Membership Never Expires.

Monthly Subscription

The price for membership is $6.00 per Month.

Sign Me Up!

Monthly subscription for everything, $6 per month. Cancel at any time with a click.

Membership Never Expires.

Richard Nikoley Free The Animal

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. steven on September 3, 2021 at 19:24

    Sell the book, which I will buy.

    Your too willing to trash even your ‘friends’ and long term commenters, and are proud of that fact. Which is why I cannot regularily read your works. Yes, much of what you write is true and correct, which is why I continue to peruse you when I read an email update. I recall you fought with both of the people whom you were writing this book, even though it is such an essential topic, back then and even more so now. I also recall you telling off many of the long term contributors in the comment sections, and these together painted you as a man whom was right very often, yet had to make sure others were made aware of that fact, even if those others were wounded or pushed away as the price to be paid.

    Please, consider talking to the Creator, to get closer using happiness and joy as the benchmark. As I have been doing so for the last 2 months. I have much the same attitude as you, very certain of my opinions and the rightness of my stances. Only the last few days, have I been shown that it is me that is the cause of my problems with others. My certainty and know it all attitude keeps me from having happy discussions with other people – as both people need to be happy, not just me. And not just you.

    You may likely tell me off, or delete this post. You are the owner of your blog, and have many readers, as you have made clear to other loud-mouths like me in the past.

    • Geri on September 4, 2021 at 02:20

      Great post. I’d love to read the book as many GI issues. Maybe something in there could help me.

    • Richard Nikoley on September 4, 2021 at 08:46


      One of the reasons I’m moving to 90% + content for paid members. Very chill that way

      You’re wrong. And you base your comment on wrong. Of the three collaborators, Grace was the problem, not Tim or I. We’re still best buds, have remained in contact, just exchanged emails about this very topic hours ago. He simply wanted to do his own gig. He did. Good.

      I don’t give a fuck about your problems relating well to others. I have zero problems relating to others I deem worth my time.

      You’re dismissed.

  2. Dave on September 3, 2021 at 20:52

    I’d buy it as well, Richard. Just sayin’

    • Richard Nikoley on September 4, 2021 at 08:48

      It will only be available to paid subscribers. Included with all other content.

  3. CH on September 9, 2021 at 02:19

    Is it just me, or is something photo-shopped in that woman’s crotch area?

    • Alan Andersen on September 22, 2021 at 01:14

      It’s not just you.

  4. Steve Smith on September 10, 2021 at 10:29

    What a crap post!!!!
    Got your attention? 🙂
    Since you’ve gone off FB, send me an email and we can work out alternatives

  5. Tim Steele on October 5, 2021 at 10:48

    This collaboration and effort was a great lesson for me. I think we all learned very quickly why there are very few three author books, haha. Probably the biggest change that has happened since we worked on this is that “gut bugs” have proven more elusive than we ever imagined. Richard and I were happy to not get too deep into naming names, eg. Akkermansia and Roseburia, but others were looking for magic bullets in these many species of bacteria. I dove deep into gut testing…Richard never did buy into it. uBiome was the premier tester of gut bugs, but was all a scam that I fell for hook, line, and sinker.

    Probably best that this all fermented in the cloud for 8 years, can’t wait to read it all again with fresh eyes. And fun to be back in Richard’s comments again, lol.

    • steven on October 5, 2021 at 18:30

      Hey Tim,
      Truth to be told, back then when you guys were on a roll about potatoes and the gut biome, I personally was quite interested in the book/work you 3 were going to put out. Then when it fizzled out, of course I felt bummed out! Its great that you made a comment here again, a lot of the old commenters disappeared.

    • Richard Nikoley on October 6, 2021 at 09:07

      Not sure I deserve that much credit, Tim. It was just that I didn’t know what could be done with the info. Your gut is either fucked or you’re pretty good. If pretty good, keep doing what you’re doing…perhaps swallow some pro and pre-biotics from time to time. If fucked: antibiotics, probiotics, fecal transplant.

      But yea, this effort to single out “God particles” was pretty funny. Wasn’t it that astute commenter, Gemma or Marta, I think, who coined that funny mocking term “Akkermessiah” or something like that? LOL.

      That link is pretty funny. Reminds me of the Theranos fraud. There must be some base reasons these medical testing companies can pull off fraud like that. In the uBiome case, the whole Justice Dept. thing reads like they always do: 80% tooting their own horns. Very pathetic. I could not find a single word concerning the validity or efficacy in terms of diagnosis or therapy for the tests, which ought to be the primary concern. It’s all about business practices. So, you have one den of thieves going after another. Basically, LA Gangland stuff. Yawn.

      Where I really saw this as all utter BS firsthand was when Karl Seddon of Elixa Probiotic sent me 2 test kits each of uBiome and American Gut, plus a probiotics course. I took a test of each, then the probiotics course, then resubmitted a test of each. Both times, the tests were done from the same smear on the TP.

      So, 4 tests, all wildly different. Absolutely zero value or knowledge of a single thing concretely. A bunch of shit thrown against the wall, nothing stuck, LOL.

  6. Todd Lambert on October 5, 2021 at 18:01

    Recently have been reading a lot on melatonin’s role in gut health, among other benefits. I don’t know if you guys dug into that, or if it even interests you, but here are a few things I’ve found helpful:



    • Richard Nikoley on October 5, 2021 at 18:14

      Thanks Todd.

      Chapter 1 is now posted. Your comment prompts me to start a file of comment inputs to look into and integrate into subsequent chapters.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Follow by Email8k