Probiotic Fibers And Flatulence; My N=1

Way back in the beginning of experimenting with resistant starch via supplemental potato starch the most common side effect by far was rather impressive amounts of gas, or "fartage," for most people.

Some couldn't tolerate it while others, like myself couldn't help but laugh uproariously. Unless you've experienced it yourself, it's tough to describe the volume and frequency it can induce—and often for a solid day or more. A couple of times, for myself, it was also accompanied by more than mild intestinal discomfort.

But I persisted and over time, it just went away, even with large doses of potato starch. Later, I even added things to my "cocktail" like inulin and fructo-oligo-saccharidesglucomannanbanana flourplantain flour, and took them with my go-to, dirt-based probiotics (Prescript-AssistAOR Probiotic-3, and Primal Defense Ultra). And everything was pretty cool, as relayed here.

A while back, I relayed my experience of being in moving upheaval and eating crappy for about a month. That was in conjunction with taking absolutely no supplements at all, including any of the aforementioned.

Yesterday I got curious. If I supplement the probiotic fibers again, will I be back to fartage square one?

Went and got some raw milk, fresh squeezed orange juice, and some organic apple cider vinegar from a local whole-food co-op here in Placerville, CA. First, I took a shot of the vinegar and chased it with the OJ.

Then I made a cocktail with raw milk as the base and a handy stick blender:

  • 4 TBS Potato Starch
  • 2 TBS Banana Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Inulin/FOS Powder
  • 3 1g-caps Glucomannan

I took it with 1 capsule each of the three probiotics and waited for the fog to roll in. But it didn't. In fact, it never did at all. No foghorn required. I felt fine, clear, and it seemed that I was breathing easier from my nose. The only "negative" I experienced is that I guess I must have been unwittingly retaining water, because from about 9PM, and for the next 12 hours, I must have pissed out a gallon of water. So, here I am, having detailed, lucid dreams (as has been widely reported by others with PS supplementation) about having to take a piss, trying to find a place, having to stand in line, etc. Luckily I managed to wake up (about 10 times) before my turn came up. Incidentally, this was accompanied by absolutely no thirst at all.

So, bottom line is that the bugs that co-feed on the various gases produced by the ones eating all those fibers seem to have taken up long-term residency in my gut. Very interesting indeed, though somewhat disappointing on the entertainment front.

Anyone have similar or different experiences?

Update: Supplemental reading: Does Dirt Make You Happy?

Logic 101: Why The Resistant Starch And Gut Biome Revolution Means Doom For VLC/Keto

It has gone way beyond an embrace of resistant starch. Back in the day—meaning about a year ago—my Google alerts delivered webstuff on RS a coupla times per week, at best. Now, it's a half dozen per day as the world comes to realize the enormity of the gut's profound influence on health in the very general. RS is but one element, but a very important one: easy to see results fast and cheap.

...Lafably, you still have people writing only about the Krebs Cycle, the hormones leptin and insulin, "signaling," and "PATHWAYS!!!!" et al. You see, I take criticism because I never put you to sleep with that sort of deconstruction minutiae. Let those who blog that stuff have their geek followers. Don't care. Never did.

PATHWAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

More fish, troll I.

I've come to receive more and more comments from VLC/Keto proponents trying to be conciliatory about it—cool enough, progress, etc. I don't mean to pick on rs711; it's merely the latest, and the one that inspired this post specifically.

150g of CHO is too much for more and more people.

This is absurd.

But, I'll explain nicely. A comment along the same lines—trying to reconcile the irreconcilable—put this forth:

I don’t know why the keto/low carb community will not just choose to integrate RS. As you point out some already have. Why not the rest? How long will it be until RS supplements start appearing in stores?

My reply:

Because, they understand quite well that embracing it is like welcoming Barbarians at the gate of the Castle.

Bank on it.

...I’ll elaborate just a bit to give you a clue as to why this is and why RS is a zero-win for VLC/Keto.

Should it turn out that supplementation via things like PS, green plantain/banana flour, etc., help folks, then it takes no genius to conclude that they were fucktarded from day one. Or, ignorant-fucktarded, to be more magnanimous.

Nobody had access to isolated RS in human evolution. Ergo, starch consumption in various forms is a more appropriate dietary regime.

Resistant starch is a Trojan Horse for the VLC/Keto crowd. They know that very well, and it's why you see such vigorous defense of VLC/Keto all over—which, I dismiss entirely; because, I know what it is, and why it is. I'm pretty good at knowing in what to invest my energies. Duh. Try to protect an investment in a dietary regime from the 1970s that turns out to be wrong because unknowns weren't integrated, or try to understand more and more about the gut biome; where, incidentally, 100% of the revelations point to the benefits of real-food carbohydrate in the diet?

Place your bets. LC/Keto are Buggy Whips, but go ahead and try to keep the industry alive.

So, that's really the most fundamentally logical reason why VLC/Keto is now doomed: the rapidly emerging science of the gut biome that heretofore, has been 100% unaccounted for.

Moreover, this logically means that Paleo advocates ought divorce from LCers and lend no more support. It is simply the Law of Identity—i.e., of non-contradiction—that LC is about restricting a macronutrient (carbohydrate) no matter what, and Paleo is about understanding the appropriate human diet via ever developing knowledge about not only what was eaten but now, gut microbiology that dovetails quite nicely with the developing evolutionary and anthropological knowledge in other areas.

The puzzle is coming together, which is the essence of the Paleo paradigm qua foundational template.

Want a belly laf? Human mother's milk is about 30% sugar.

We should have known, eh?

Alright, the second part of the logical equation is more practical, lo, pernicious. You see, the VLC/Keto advocates have had a trick up their sleeves for decades to fool you. It goes like this:

  1. Do an Atkin's style Induction Diet for 2 or more weeks
  2. Measure ketones; pee purple
  3. Test your blood glucose regularly, especially after meals
  4. Freak out when you next eat some carbs and see your BG readings

A self-fulfilling, baked-in-the-cake scam of confirmation bias.

Here's the thing.

When you go ketogenic—either by LCHF (low protein too) or fasting—you develop physiological insulin resistance. Because your brain requires upwards of 130 grams daily of glucose, then if you're not ingesting it because LC-Guru, your body—as an evolutionary survival adaptation in the face of perceived starvation—makes it from protein (even your heart muscle if it has to; welcome to the optimal chronic dietary regime). But, it also guards glucose like Fidel Castro holds onto 1950s communism. To do that, it gives you a form of metabolic syndrome. It's analogous to the physiological "Type 2 Diabetes" of a bear in late fall, about to hibernate for 5 months.

What's the result? It's that, in the way VLC/Keto is promoted now, you have been admonished to monitor your blood glucose regularly. Of course, everyone knows everyone cheats and when you do let Satan into your bed with that piece of your child's birthday cake, WHAM! You're minimally pre-diabetes, if not type 2.

You have self diagnosed. You can no more eat any carbs than a couch potato who fears a heart rate of over 100 bpm can climb a flight of stairs. I suppose that couch potato would be analogous to a low-carb butter ball.

Guess what? This isn't just speculation on my part. I have scienzez to show you.

  1. Way back in 1928, 1936, and 1972, three very similar experiments were conducted on Inuit living their traditional diets. The results were identical even though the testing methods improved. They gave them a huge bolus dose of glucose and unlike you LCers who can't "climb a flight of stairs," they displayed normal physiologic glucose tolerance, spiking to about 140 mg/dL, perfectly normal. Cleard within a couple of hours. Then, they put them on an 80 hour fast in order to induce unequivocal ketosis. Gave them the same glucose. They spiked to 400 and 3 hours later, some were still over 300. My post on it: To Reiterate, Just In Case You Missed It: No Elevated Ketone Levels in the Inuit.
  2. Ironically, Vilhjalmur Stefansson—the guy who popularized the arctic and Inuit for countless VLC/Keto advocates—tested out exactly the same after his Belleview experiment. Crap ability to handle glucose after the year, restored to normal after 3 weeks on a nomal diet: More Uncovering of the Inuit Myth: Stefansson and Anderson Belleview Experiement; Compromised Glucose Tolerance.

At what point are people of good sense going to recognize that the new knowledge of the gut biome and its requirement for much fermentable fiber is a complete game changer (VLC/Keto is just a small aspect, though the very most wrong of everybody on this point)? At what point, as well, are people of good sense going to recognize that VLC/Keto has been a convenient, baked-in-the-cake scam (unintentionally, but the convenience exists) all along by creating physiological insulin resistance that by means of admonishments to measure blood glucose regularly, is then used anecdotally to convince people that carbohydrates are bad?

But you know what? All you VLC/Keto folks are welcome to continue. I love beating you up, and I don't need to recite PATHWAYS!!!!! from textbooks to do it.

Dear Mark: Thank You! (Resistant Starch Doesn’t Actually Cause Colon Cancer)

Easily the subject of most emails, tweets, FB messages and comments directed at me over the last week or so has been about this recent study: Gut microbial metabolism drives transformation of msh2-deficient colon epithelial cells.

I glanced at it and my immediate sense was: "unbridled reductionism." I don't see much utility in reducing things to isolation, disregarding other factors. In this case, it's important to consider all the benefits and downsides to resistant starch and then weigh them to get an overall view. In other words, the only way this study has relevance in my view is for people whose #1 goal in life is to prevent colon cancer at all cost or discomfort.

Anyway, given my recent moving activities I was unable to spend any time on it. Them commenter Gemma said this of the study and I kinda just nodded and put it out of my mind:

As usual, the circumstances and the concentration matter. It is rather complex. My take.

Read the study cited in the study you linked:

The Warburg Effect Dictates the Mechanism of Butyrate-Mediated Histone Acetylation and Cell Proliferation

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1097276512007770

We are speaking tumour cells, not healthy cells.

Butyrate concentration differs in proximal / distant colon, and it's significantly lower deep in the crypts, where the neoplasmatic cells are formed. TOO LITTLE butyrate does not inhibit proliferation of a tumour cell, it is rather used up as fuel. Increase butyrate, and the proliferation is inhibited. Especially increase butyrate content at the distal part of the colon, where most of the colorectal cancer starts. (No, it won’t happen by eating more butter).

Haven’t you already heard it here?

In other words, if there is already a tumour cell at the bottom of the crypt and there is too little butyrate reaching it, there is no inhibition.

“Butyrate is an attractive candidate for chemotherapy or chemoprevention because it selectively inhibits tumor growth and has minimal adverse effects in clinical trials (Pouillart, 1998). However, the efficacy of butyrate as a chemotherapeutic agent has been limited by its rapid uptake and metabolism by normal cells (resulting in a half-life of 6 min and peak blood levels below 0.05 mM [Miller et al., 1987]) before reaching tumors (Pouillart, 1998). More stable butyrate derivatives such as tributyrin have also not been successful on a consistent basis (Pouillart, 1998). A fiber-rich diet might be more successful for chemoprevention because it delivers mM levels of butyrate (via the microbiota) to the correct place (the colon) before the onset or at an early stage of tumorigenesis. Evidence for this idea comes from recent human studies demonstrating lower levels of butyrate-producing bacteria among the gut microbiota of colorectal cancer patients compared to healthy participants (Balamurugan et al., 2008; Wang et al., 2012), and studies showing an inverse correlation between fecal butyrate levels and tumor size in colorectal cancer (Boutron-Ruault et al., 2005; Monleón et al., 2009).”

And now today, Mark Sisson delves deep into the matter: Dear Mark: Does Resistant Starch Cause Colon Cancer?

From my reading of the research, resistant starch (and the resultant butyrate) has an overall beneficial, preventive effect on colon cancer risk. That relationship may change or become more complicated in advanced colon cancer, and the story may be entirely different for people carrying the MSH2 mutation from today’s highlighted study, but that remains to be seen. For now, I’m still incorporating RS into my diet.

If you’re worried, ask your doctor about getting an MSH2 status test. And review your family history of cancer. Was it colon? Was it a DNA repair mismatch-related case? Even if you do have the MSH2 mutation and a family history of Lynch Syndrome, don’t fear fermentable fibers, resistant starches, and butyrate. Your colonic cells run on butyrate. It’s their primary energy source. And all the other myriad benefits of prebiotics remain relevant. Besides, this is one study. It’s not proof or confirmation of anything. Not yet.

Alright, water's safe. Everyone can get back in the pool, now.

Note: I'm currently drafting a ginormous post revisiting an old friend: The Incredible, Edible Tigernut. For publication later this month.

Revisiting the Changing Paleo Landscape in Real Food Starches, Resistant Starch, and “Nutritional” Ketosis

A few days back I somewhat reluctantly called out Nora Gedgaudas for what, in my judgement, is a resistance to various revelations that have come to pass over the last few years and been widely adopted in the general Paleoish community: Juxtaposition: Dallas & Melissa Hartwig vs. Nora Gedgaudas.

Since I'm very busy with a complex move (I'll be splitting time between three places) I thought I'd just toss up some of my favorite smart comments on that post, comments that deserve to be on the front page for a while. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did. There's an editing touch here & there, but nothing material to the message.

Duck

Tuck, you might do well to stop and think for a moment and look at the nutritional profile of wild game that wild carnivores actually eat: Bison, water buffalo, kudu, springbok, giraffes, impala, deer, ducks, fowl, etc., etc. They're all TOO LEAN to support ketosis!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_(food)

Mind you animals don't eat the fatty parts and walk away. They and their families devour the entire lean and fresh animals—a relatively small amount of glycogen and huge quantities of protein. But, not nearly enough fat, period.

~ Marie

...Mentioning the fact that NK is proven useful for certain diseases addresses its therapeutic effect in special cases up to now, without any accounting of long-term physiological impact.

An extreme example of this issue : Arsenic is also very useful therapeutically. That doesn't make it a desirable for broad, life-long use.

Specific therapeutic effects do not change the fact that long term NK does not have any analogue in nature nor any long history in civilization and has a small patient set of data—data which in fact show adverse effects in many cases (epileptic children studies).

So long term NK is by definition "a modern experiment."

There's nothing wrong with that, btw. Nothing.

It's just that nature or evolution cannot be presented as evidence that long term NK is desirable for anyone. It may be, I surely don't know, but the point is no one does. So, caveat emptor—given which, I'm all for n=1, especially if someone monitors well and shares info.

~ Bret

But when looking for science-based (and not opinion or anecdote-based) baseline

Anecdotes aren't the worst thing in the world. A "science-based approach," while necessary and useful in many ways, still has holes.

Two come to mind primarily:

  1. Most of the time we aim for a clinical study, the gold standard of science. But you can't test everything you need to test in order to establish clinical proof of a dietary/lifestyle tenet. Life is simply too complex. Gary Taubes enumerated this frustrating complexity in Good Calories, Bad Calories when musing about the quandary of trying to design an effective and conclusive clinical study. For instance, if we reduce carbohydrates in a diet, do we increase calories in fat and/or protein? Which one? Or both? If both, then how much of each? And regardless of which we choose, what makes the difference in teh final result? The absolute reduction of carbohydrates? The decrease in carbohydrate relative to the other macronutrients? Or something else that we have not identified? With even one such study being prohibitively expensive, you could not test multiple studies in parallel either. The quagmire is endless.
  2. You can opt instead to use observational science to piece together "markers" of health. But this approach is not flawless, either. Selecting which markers to measure reincorporates the element of bias, which science is supposed to avoid (and as we know from Taubesian research et al, rarely does in practice). How do you decide what to measure? What if some indications contradict others? Are you going to conclude "good" or "bad" based on majority rule? If so, how do you know that certain combinations of these markers don't result in different longevity of life and/or vibrancy of health than others? The danger here is a false sense of security, where you have this enterprise that you implicitly believe lacks bias, but in reality is full of it. Anecdotes, on the other hand, can be much more useful than we often give them credit for. Where experimental studies may give us a decent starting point, individual experiences can help fill in the gaps. Take Tom Naughton's experience illustrated by the following comment, whereas he had previously been highly skeptical of "safe" or resistant starches:

I’ve heard from people who say their energy flagged on a very-low-carb diet, but they felt great when they added 100 grams or so of “safe starches” back into their diets as prescribed in Paul Jaminet’s Perfect Health Diet. I believe them.

Those anecdotes clued him in that there might just be something to this starch thing. Take Richard's recent remarks in a discussion debunking the pursuit of a (fictional) sterile avoidance of bias in human life:

THESIS ---> ANTITHESIS ---> SYNTHESIS

The Synthesis then becomes the new Thesis, and the process repeats ad infinitum; not in circular fashion, but rather, a spiral fashion where each cycle represents more knowledge, better understanding, get's a little closer to the truth. As such, I never have to worry much about someone's bias. Let them be as biased as they like and then synthesize new understanding from competing bias. Someone's comment on a post of mine might be 90% logical fallacy—or just mostly bullshit—but 5%, or 1% decent antithesis from which which a synthesis might emerge and in turn, a new, more complete thesis.

...Or, you can waste endless hours debating who's right and who's wrong; who's biased and who's impartial; who's cognitively dissonant and who's consonant. Or, you could be making progress recognizing that in all likelihood, you're both right, both wrong; both biased; both living in some measure of dissonance and contradiction—in different proportions, contexts and perspectives—and there's a synthesis dying to get out if you could both simply embrace intellectual honesty.

...

But nothing is settled, ever. I prefer it that way.

And not only is the journey (rather than the end goal) preferable—it is an inevitability of life. We'll never know all the answers. Not even in a thousand years (presuming our descendants are still here).

To corral up all my rambling and return to your original point, I think we have good reason to combine anecdotes with "rigorous science." Be especially careful of that latter concept...you have to bore deep holes of scrutiny and skepticism into every study that comes out before you can trust it as an oracle. Chances are, since it was designed by humans, it will contain the same flaws and biases that plague all of us humans. I'm not saying they're worthless. Just don't let them give you a false sense of security.

~ Duck

Well, he spent $300,000 and 10 years biohacking himself and he still can't tolerate a side of french fries. This suggests that he has some extreme gut issues that even money can't easily solve.

Meanwhile countless others are making more progress with about $100 in probiotics and prebiotics. So, at least he acknowledges that starch is working for many and I think that's certainly better than turning a blind eye to it.

However, Dave couldn't help patting himself on the back as he claimed that the collagen in his bulletproof coffee [see correction on that from Duck] ferments to butyrate at the same rate as RS. I'd love to see a citation for that. I don't think that's true.

I distinctly remember seeing a study about Cheetahs fermenting SCFAs from consuming collagen, skin and other grisly bits when digesting whole animals, but I was the one who uncovered that study a few months ago, and Table 3 clearly shows that hardly any butyrate is fermented from collagen:

http://www.journalofanimalscience.org/content/90/8/2540.full.pdf+html

And as best as I can tell, that's the only study to look into the SCFAs fermented from animal fibers, and collagen does not appear to be a significant source of butyrate whatsoever.

~ Melissa Hartwig

I always have just the tiniest feeling of dread when I see this many pingbacks to our site from your blog. This one wasn't so bad. Thanks, Richard.

Best,
Melissa

[Laf — Ed]

~ Duck

Nora said: "To quote Bernstein, you can have an amino acid deficiency, you can have an essential fatty acid deficiency, but there is no such thing in any medical textbook on Earth as a carbohydrate deficiency. There is no such thing as a glucose deficiency....per se.

Well, I don't know about you, but nobody in their right mind gets nutritional advice from "medical textbooks." And those same medical textbooks also say some unkind words on dietary saturated fat.

Meanwhile...

The Joint Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations/World Health Organization Expert Consultation on Human Nutrition stated in 1998:

From: Carbohydrates in human nutrition (Report of a Joint FAO/WHO Expert Consultation, Rome, Italy, 14-18 April 1997). FAO food and nutrition paper 66. World Health Organization. 1998. ISBN 9251041148.

"One of the major developments in our understanding of the importance of carbohydrates for health in the past twenty years has been the discovery of resistant starch."

Nora, Nora, Nora... The evidence for the role of carbohydrates and Resistant Starch in human health isn't just there. It's overwhelming.

~ Duck

From: Bulletproof Executive : Podcast #136

Nora Gedgaudas: There's too much credence being given to the whole "safe starch" idea, that I don't necessarily consider safe at all. You know, nightshades are certainly not what I think of as safe.

Dave: I don't do nightshades. [...]

Nora Gedgaudas: And these are anything but Paleo foods. These are very, very, very new foods to us...

Hard to believe that someone with "expertise" in "Paleo" foods never heard of Tiger Nuts.

While Nora comes off as the Sarah Palin of Paleo in that clip, their conversation highlights the wussification of Paleo.

What Nora and Dave don't seem to realize is that some of the very plant toxins they fear have also been shown to have health benefits. For instance, nightshade toxins have been shown in studies to exhibit the following properties...

  1. Antiallergic, Antipyretic, and Anti-inflammatory effects
  2. Blood sugar-lowering effects
  3. Antibiotic Activities against Pathogenic Bacteria, Viruses, Protozoa, and Fungi
  4. Destruction of Human Cancer Cells

Source: Potato Glycoalkaloids and Metabolites: Roles in the Plant and in the Diet 

For those who are curious, the paper documents all the known harmful effects and beneficial effects of nightshade toxins, and concludes by saying...

"Food and biomedical scientists, including nutritionists, pharmacologists, and microbiologists, are challenged to further define the beneficial effects of the glycoalkaloids against cancer, the immune system, cholesterol, and inflammation, as well as against pathogenic fungi, bacteria, viruses, and protozoa."

Not so black and white, eh? How about so-called toxic saponins?

Nora and Dave are afraid of them too. But, would it surprise you that virtually all indigenous cultures make an effort to consume toxic saponins and tannins? They are nearly always found in bark and bush teas that are consumed by nearly every culture, including the Inuit. Take the Masai for instance. Turns out if you actually take the time to research their eating habits, you find that they eat toxic Acacia nilotica bark extract, with virtually every meat-heavy meal. The bark is rich in saponins and tannins. The saponins are believed to lower cholesterol and heart disease incidence (National Geographic, Oct 1995).

What about the Inuit? Labrador Tea was a major component of their diet. And guess what? It's really freakin' toxic. From: Wikipedia: Labrador Tea

[Labrador tea] has been a favorite beverage among Athabaskan and Inuit people for many years...Labrador tea has narcotic properties. Evidence suggests that excessive consumption of the plant may cause delirium or poisoning. Toxic terpenes of the essential oils cause symptoms of intoxication, such as slow pulse, lowering of blood pressure, lack of coordination, convulsions, paralysis, and death. It is apparently safe as a weak herbal tea, but should not be made too strong.

Oh, and Labrador tea has saponins and tannins too. Definitely not "bulletproof" tea. Are Nora and Dave are oblivious to this, or just willfully ignorant?

At any rate, hormesis from "toxic" plants appears to be a new frontier for health research. Tim shared this very cool article on nutritional toxicology that was published just a few days ago.

Fruits and Vegetables Are Trying to Kill You

Warding off the diseases of aging is certainly a worthwhile pursuit. But evidence has mounted to suggest that antioxidant vitamin supplements, long assumed to improve health, are ineffectual. Fruits and vegetables are indeed healthful but not necessarily because they shield you from oxidative stress. In fact, they may improve health for quite the opposite reason: They stress you.

That stress comes courtesy of trace amounts of naturally occurring pesticides and anti-grazing compounds. You already know these substances as the hot flavors in spices, the mouth-puckering tannins in wines, or the stink of Brussels sprouts. They are the antibacterials, antifungals, and grazing deterrents of the plant world. In the right amount, these slightly noxious substances, which help plants survive, may leave you stronger.

Parallel studies, meanwhile, have undercut decades-old assumptions about the dangers of free radicals. Rather than killing us, these volatile molecules, in the right amount, may improve our health. Our quest to neutralize them with antioxidant supplements may be doing more harm than good.

If one truly makes an effort to research what indigenous cultures ate—and it almost certainly appears that Dave and Nora do not make that kind of effort—one will find that consistent consumption of plant toxins were a major component of their diets.

Given what we are learning about the microbiota, it appears that a healthy gut biome may be required to tolerate these toxins—as these toxins can often be metabolized by our gut bugs. I don't doubt that Nora and Dave have their gut issues and perhaps can't tolerate any plant toxins. I understand that toxins can be hard on the weak, modern gut. But, to profess to the world that all plant toxins are bad just isn't supported by the scientific literature. Nor is it supported by the dietary habits of indigenous cultures. Not by a long shot.

The dose makes the poison. Don't eat tons of plant toxins. But, avoid them at your own peril.

~~~

Alright, that should wrap it up for today. It is true that now, my role has shifted from blog writer to blog writer and publisher to a greater and greater extent. I think that makes a far better experience for you readers.

Juxtaposition: Dallas & Melissa Hartwig vs. Nora Gedgaudas

Way back when, I took a first-impression dislike to Dallas, Melissa and the Whole 9.

They were annoying. Came on the scene quick, rose just as quickly, and they were fucking strict; and those were the reports I was getting in my comments. But I didn't have much time to look into it. "They'll go away." They didn't.

Then one day I looked, looked some more, and I understood. There is a time and place for strict dealing and that's what they deal in. For a time; the idea being, to remove as many confounding variables as possible so you can really see the difference between strict real food and packaged junk in very high resolution, over 30 days. Now, thousands of folks do a Whole30 once or more per year.

As is often my style, I can easily go from hate to love in a heartbeat. The inverse is a lot harder, though. Concerning the former, I still have fond memories of Dallas heaping grinning shit on me for wearing a suit for my AHS12 presentation. I'm typically walking around in cargo shorts barefoot.

New Whole30® Program Rules

White potatoes are now allowed on the Whole30 program [...]

We are always thinking about the Whole30 program—how to make it better, more effective, easier to follow, and more logical in its framework. The discussion of white potatoes began about a year ago amongst our team and valued advisors, and the debate raged hard and long. White potatoes are a whole, real, nutrient-dense food! It doesn’t make logical sense to leave them out while other carb-dense foods like taro, yuca, or sweet potato are allowed. [...]

Eventually, we arrived at a consensus. Potatoes of all varieties are in, but fries and chips are not. [...]

And you now what? Just a light coating of those taters (toss in a wok) with coconut oil, ghee, lard, or red palm oil makes awesome oven fries (450-500 for 10, toss, go another 10). I began blogging about adding potatoes in 2009, while doing Leangains, and found myself leaning out while eating a lot of them. I realized it was not about starch, but processed food.

Let's juxtapose. I hate doing this, because I really adore Nora and her partner on a personal level and they have only ever treated me like a King; but girls: you have to embrace new knowledge and understanding, and the VLC club is running on fumes vis-a-vis Paleo/Primal. Plus, if you get the thousands of comments like I do, you must know that all is not paradise in paradise. I can't count the number of people who've helped themselves by curing their starch deficiency.

Plus, it's just getting to ridiculous proportions with people who ought know better ignoring plain facts and science.

I even have a professor at a well known institution scouring the literature to see if there's a case of obligate carnivores ever having been measured in ketosis—the the Inuit have never, in nearly 100 years of trying (if you bother to read the above links). Nope, not found so far.

But, she has found that even seals aren't in ketosis, and even in a fasted state.

As far as I can see, there have never been any wild animals documented to be in ketosis when not not starving, I've searched literature, libraries... I've asked old colleagues with arcane knowledge. Nada.

I may of course be wrong about this, but dang, if it's been shown in any fed wild animal, it's a rare study....

Heck, some of them avoid ketosis even for prolonged fasting (!) - these seal pups do it by recycling glucose (granted, they probably need to do that due to diving demands, but the result is they can stay out of ketosis during prolonged fasting).

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23180193

"High levels of Cori cycle activity and EGP may be important components of metabolic adaptations that maintain glucose production while avoiding ketosis during extended fasting or are related to sustained metabolic alterations associated with extended breath-holds in elephant seals."

Sometimes, I just want to answer any ketosis questions with :

"Ketosis is an adaptation for starvation. Short-term fasting is very good, but long-term 'nutritional ketosis' is a modern experiment. Period."

So here's Nora in, to me, a very curious state of being. I'd describe it in three points:

  1. 2008-11 Cocksure
  2. Palpably frustrated to the point of stammering
  3. Doesn't actually have time to look into it (see #1)

You can judge for yourselves. It's at the 38ish minute point in her podcast with Dave Asprey. They talk resistant starch and safe starches for about 10ish minutes.

I reiterate: up to you to judge and this by no means makes Nora a net disvalue, to me. Not by a long stretch. I know it's rather lame to say that I post this to help, but it's really true. I was on fire 2 days go. I slept on it twice, trying to figure out a way to simply motivate the whole community to get past the dogmas that we ALL bought into.

Please end this by scrolling up and refreshing yourself with how it's generally going, Dallas and Melissa being just the most recent examples. Then, if you are so inclined, get word to Nora whatever way you can and plead with her to make sure she really delves into everything.

Please be constructive in any comments.

Groundbreaking: How to Easily Remove Nightshade Toxins From Potato Starch

Ever since the beginning some percentage of people trying out supplemental resistant starch in the form of Potato Starch have complained of nightshade tolerance issues, primarily headaches and joint pain. This was a mystery, because some of us, including myself, were operating under the belief that these toxins were water soluble. Turns out not so.

I'll let Ken Willing explain, as well as deliver a very simple solution (literally).

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Contrary to widespread belief, the nightshade glycoalkaloid poisons alpha-solanine and alpha-chaconine are not soluble in water, so unfortunately it's wishful thinking to assume that these headache-causing and arthritis-worsening toxins are entirely absent from potato starch—even a good brand like Bob's. For those of us outside the U.S., the problem is worse, because Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese brands available worldwide are of dubious reliability: the starch itself is OK, but in it we encounter not only the usual nightshade toxins but also sulfite preservatives, not to mention shelf bacteria in abundance.

Fortunately there is a remedy for these problems—my headaches stopped cold the day I started implementing the following. This method rests on the fact that solanine and chaconine DO dissolve in acid, even a fairly weak solution—in fact experimenters have successfully used as low as 1.5%:

—In the evening, fill a suitable bottle 3/4 full of water and dump in tomorrow's dose of potato starch, together with one heaping teaspoonful of citric acid powder (available in the baking-aids section of any supermarket). (Alternatively, make up a reasonably sour solution with white vinegar, but this is less satisfactory.) Shake well to fully disperse the starch and dissolve the acid crystals. Then wait a couple hours while the starch falls to the bottom to form a non-Newtonian mass. Then, carefully pour off the liquid—which now contains the solanine, etc., in solution—while the starch granules, tightly packed together, adhere in a clump on the bottom. Then, as a rinse: re-fill the bottle with fresh water, shake vigorously again to re-disperse the starch, and let it all sit till morning.

In the morning, again pour off the water, which is now only very slightly acidic. What you now have on the bottom is CLEAN potato starch, which can either be mixed in the same bottle with juice, milk, or water; or dug out and used some other way. I know this all sounds complicated, but I've clocked the total procedural time at about 2 minutes—a small price to pay for poison-free starch, in my opinion... and 100 trillion tiny mouths will thank you.

~~~

Thanks Ken. No telling how many people this will really help who would benefit from the PS, but just couldn't do it. Now they can try again.

So, I'd ask that all of you who've seen reports like this in the various forums and such you've frequented, please spread the word and help spread the benefits.

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Sweden Update: Resistant Starch On The Rise, LCHF Steffanson Myths On The Ropes

A couple of months back, Swedish reader and blogger Per Wikholm put together a post for us on the goings on in Sweden in reference to resistant starch. Today, I received this email from him concerning further developments.

I think it's safe to say that he's stirred things up quite a bit over there.

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Hi again Richard!

The RS issue is really cathing fire here in Sweden and is now a big trend among the LCHF community, especially among diabetics. Recently I wrote a piece on RS for the LCHF Magazine with 6,000 subscribers, and Sweden's second largest tabloid, Expressen, had an article on RS in their lastest LCHF supplement.

But since I can't avoid to stir things up, I've also started a Swedish war on the Inuit diet, claiming that their diet was never ketogenic. That made Sten Sture Skaldeman, one of the founding fathers of the Swedish LCHF movement (and author of the The Low Carb High Fat Cookbook) go ballistic on a FB-forum.

This war will continue, so I've been in contact with “Duck Dodgers” who has reserched this subject more than anyone else.

One question I have is if there are any scientist or arctic explorers who've ever stated that the Inuit ate something in the neighborhood of 80% fat, without reffering back to Stefansson. Since I knew that the response from my writings on the Inuit diet would be "read Stefansson," I read Stefansson's "bibles" Not by Bread Alone and The Fat of the Land only to find out that he actually never claims that the Inuit ate 80% fat. Half of that book is about the Indian (native American and Canadian) recepie for pemmican. That's 50% by weight lean, dried buffalo meat and 50% melted fat. According to my calculations, that equates to about 73% fat, not the minimum 80% fat that Stefansson claims is the standard for pemmican.

But it gets even more interesting. In a few sentences, Stefansson admitts that the Inuit pemmican (based on caribou rather than bison) was much lower in fat. Here, the standard recepie was 2/3 lean caribou meat to only 1/3 melted fat. According to my calculations based on the USDA figure for grassfed bison meat, that would mean that the fat content of the Inuit pemmican would be less than 60%. You might get into mild ketosis if the fat content exeeds about 2/3 of calories, but 60% won't make it even if the inuits ate 100% pemmican year around—which they never did! Their diet was a high protein diet, just like the Northern Scandinavian aboriginal Sami people with a climate, flora, and fauna very similar to that in Alaska, northern Canada, and Greenland.

Best regards,
Per Wikholm

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It's gratifying that the work that's been done here to get to the true facts over myths for the purposes of conducting a massive dietary experiment with no healthy population basis ever, is being carried on internationally.