What Transactions Have the Royal Society of South Africa Been Up To?

OK, so after my post of day before yesterday juxtaposing Grace Liu being a normal inquisitive soul with cool ideas vs. whatever it is she's going on about on her blog, I was watching comments and seeing one after another deleted that inks to her own writing. Duck got one comment to stick.

You know I have a lot of respect for you, but your assertion that raw starches are not ancestral is extremely weak and is in no way supported by the anthropological literature. It's sloppy.

For instance, using 5 "ancestral" species of bacteria that are inherited from non-starch eating primates as proof that raw starch is not ancestral is a logical fallacy. It's very misleading.

Humans eat starch. Primates do not. Therefore, raw starch is not ancestral? I'm afraid you will need to do better than that.

It's well known that USOs are extremely important to human evolution, for millions of years, and it's more than a little odd that you would try to claim that only "cooked" USOs were eaten when they were perfectly safe to eat raw.

Tiger nuts are just one example of a sedge tuber that has had a close relationship with humans since the dawn of humankind. The tiger nut is safe to eat raw and was one of the first cultivated plants in Ancient Egypt. Even today, kids in Europe snack on raw tiger nuts as candy and the Valencians drink their raw horchata as a medicinal superfood.

Paleo Indians at Mashantucket were shown to have yellow nutsedge (weedy tiger nut) starch all over their tools. To suggest that these sedge tubers, which were perfectly safe to eat raw, were somehow only eaten cooked will require far more assertive evidence than a short poorly-researched paragraph engineered to needle your ex-collaborators.

Not only is there overwhelming evidence showing the importance of sedge consumption by our distant ancestors, but there are plenty of studies showing a variety of different sedge tubers consumed by H. Sapiens.

For instance, here is a study that was published last week!

Nuts for dinner? Cladium mariscus in the Middle Stone Age at Sibudu, South Africa

The Middle Stone Age ended ~50–25,000 years ago. To suggest that sedge tubers were only eaten cooked is like suggesting that pecans were only eaten roasted. It's preposterous.

As you can see, there are a wide variety of raw sedge tubers besides tiger nuts out there. I hope you don't plan on trying to discount the raw consumption of every USO that's ever been classified.

I was interested in the new study. Someone found the full text for me right under a tattered pillow with lots of dog hair stuck to it. The abstract is online.

Nuts for dinner? Cladium mariscus in the Middle Stone Age at Sibudu, South Africa

The sedge, Cladium mariscus, has been identified in Middle Stone Age deposits at the shelter Sibudu, South Africa, where the leaves were used as “bedding” – an informal floor covering for various activities. Cladium mariscus nutlets were recovered from layers 73,000 – 39,000 years old and are likely to have entered the shelter on the plants harvested for bedding. This paper explores the possibility that, in addition to the use of Cladium mariscus leaves for bedding, the nutlets were collected for food. The underground storage organs and nutlets of many sedge species are eaten by contemporary people and they are known to have been eaten in the past at other sites. Nutritional analysis of the nutlets and rhizomes of Cladium mariscus indicates their potential as a food source, notwithstanding the small size of the nutlets. Although there is no evidence for the preparation of Cladium mariscus for consumption at Sibudu, the abundant nutlets produced by the plants, their nutritional value and the ease of harvesting the nutlets indicate that they could have been a useful dietary item. At Sibudu, as early as 70,000 years ago, the complicated mastic recipes for hafting stone tools indicate that the shelter inhabitants possessed advanced pyrotechnological skills and sophisticated knowledge of the chemical properties of materials. It is possible that these abilities were applied to the processing of Cladium mariscus nutlets. Such activities could imply an early example of intensive collection and possible processing of a particular plant food.

Beyond that, I think the dogs would bark if I gave out the full text, so you'll have to be satisfied with my confirmation bias, unless you know the same dog owner.

INTRODUCTION

Ripe for the picking, would an abundant, easily harvested and nutritious resource have been ignored by people at Sibudu in the Middle Stone Age? The fruits of the sedge, Cladium mariscus (L.) Pohl subsp. jamaicense (Crantz) Kük fulfil these desirable criteria and were available in the uThongathi River, which flows at the base of the steep cliff in which the rock shelter Sibudu is situated. Approximately 12 km down- stream from Sibudu, the uThongathi River reaches the east coast of South Africa and flows into the Indian Ocean. Although Cladium no longer grows near or downstream from Sibudu, it was present in the past (Sievers & Muasya, 2011) and was used for “bedding” – plant material informally laid down on the dusty, stone-littered shelter floor to provide a clean and comfortable surface for a range of activities (Wadley et al., 2011). In this paper I argue that in addition to the use of Cladium leaves for bedding, Cladium nutlets (< 3 mm, single-seeded, indehiscent fruits) were eaten and that even though it is possible to crush and grind the nutlets between one’s teeth, processing of the nutlets at Sibudu is a possible scenario.

So, they ate them, maybe processed them.

The use of Cladium leaves as an informal mattress need not preclude the use of other parts of the plant for other purposes. Sedge nutlets, corms, tubers and rhizomes are widely reported as food in archaeological and ethnographic contexts, in southern Africa and further afield (e.g. Van Wyk & Gericke, 2000; Simpson & Inglis, 2001; Crawford, 2007; Sievers, 2011) and likely were an important dietary item for hominins even in early Pleistocene times (Van der Merwe et al., 2008; Wrangham et al., 2009; Sponheimer et al., 2013). The prolific production of nutlets on individual Cladium inflorescences indicates that the nutlets are an abundant food source and this warrants analysis of their nutritive value; the rhizomes are more difficult to harvest, but their nutrient values provide useful comparative data.

Need I even get into Dental Calculus Reveals Unique Insights into Food Items, Cooking and Plant Processing in Prehistoric Central Sudan?

The evidence extracted from the dental calculus has shown the use of fire, and possibly smoke, in all periods. Cooking on an open fire does not always fully gelatinize starch granules. Variable gelatinization of starch granules following open fire cooking). The Hadza, for example, are known to cook their tubers for a very short time, possibly to facilitate peeling and chewing, while leaving the interior of their food raw [38]. Therefore, despite the raw appearance of the starch granules in the pre-Mesolithic samples, they could have come from food items that had been lightly heated...Some of the ‘char’ observed in the calculus samples may also derive from exposure to fires for non-culinary purposes...In the pre-Mesolithic samples...all these starch granules appear undamaged. In some cases starch granules occurred in groups of two or three, still intact and lodged within remains of the thin cellular wall (Figure 2). This suggests little or no external processing...No diagenetic effects [20] are apparent and the granules display no evidence of any form of processing or heating either in the presence of water (which leads to swelling) or roasting (which leads to drying and cracking); this suggests the plant food may have been ingested raw or after only little heating.

Or, you know, there's lots of Paleo Brownies to Order ONLINE! Free Shipping!

What Happens When Fake Doktors With Authority Complex Get Hold Of You

It is very important to understand that since the beginning of this resistant starch revolution, two people have been pretty humble (Richard and Tim Steele) and one has ceaselessly tried to mount the pedestal of all knowing authority on all things gut (Grace Liu—and even though when you read gut studies, they are often shrouded in more mystery than certitude).

The only thing Tim and I have been really adamant about is that feeding the gut is critical (and RS has a big role to play), and that feeding is probably more important than "weeding." Those trillions of bugs have well evolved ways of managing an ecosystem we're only scratching the surface of. We both come down on the side that says: you can't really figure it out precisely, so feed it, let nature take root and work magic over time. In other words, it's better to just throw lots of darts than engage in the futility of hitting bullseyes. Grace wants you to believe you can throw lots of Bullseyes; and oh, she's the single "Goddess" to direct your hand.

Bullsshits.

I quote from Lisa in comments to my Animal Farts 1.0 Supplement Powder With 13 Gut Foods.

...I don’t think I’ve ever posted but wanted to tell you thank you and Tim for your great blogs and how they have benefited me. Resistant starch has made my life so much better. It cured insomnia probably caused by very low carb diet. It also improved my metabolism via better thyroid and adrenal function. I am warmer and have to take less thyroid and have more energy and feel happier. Who wouldn’t feel happier when they increase their sleep from 4-5 hours sleep a night to 7 or 8? I just reread your refining the resistant starch story [Part 2]. I was looking for help because for the last several months I had been reading grace Lius blog regularly. I got sucked into her opinion that raw potato starch is bad and dropped taking it. She seemed like a smart lady and I trusted her. I also didn’t know for some time that you and Tim disagree with her. The first time I caught wind of that was several weeks ago. It was the last time Tim posted over there. Grace was saying he’s messed up because he has bifidus animalis rather than bifidus longum and that it is obvious rps did him bad because he has Nash and gout. Tim seemed pretty peeved and disagreed, don’t remember exactly what he said but seemed to go off in a huff and never posted again. I wasn’t totally sure what to think. I was disappointed cause I love Tims posts but Ive reall liked Graces blog and it has helped me. Some of her recommended probiotics have been really helpful. I told Grace I was really disappointed about dropping rps because it had helped me so much and that I was trying just doing rs3 from food and it wasn’t getting as good results. I told her I thought maybe it was because it was hard for me to get enough rs just from foods to get results for my particular body. I asked her if there were any convenient rs3 powders like rps that someone can quickly easily boost their rs with no matter what is going on how busy they are traveling etc and she said no she doesn’t recommend processed items like that just whole food. I told her but I sleep with rps and I don’t as much without it. She said that she just doesn’t recommend rps because in the long run it cuts off at the knees our ancestral core, was I think the way she put it. You know akkermansia, b longum etc.

[Don't listen to how you feel in your core. Listen to a Fake Doktor instead. -Ed]

So I’ve believed her and tried it. But gosh darn it I just don’t feel as well. Last week I was traveling and couldn’t eat as well as normal and my sleep had gotten pretty bad by the end of a week and night before last I had a hard time going to sleep and then woke up after 4 hours and couldn’t go back to sleep. Yesterday I was tired and grumpy. So I had had it. I thought I don’t know whether rps will cut my ancestral core off at the knees or not but I know if I take it I’ll sleep! So I took a tbsp with each meal yesterday along with my rs3 whole food and other fibers and last night I went to sleep easily. My head hit pillow and I was out. I slept six hours straight, woke up needing to go to the bathroom and then fell back asleep as soon as head hit pillow again and slept for another 2-3 hours. I woke up feeling rested and great. Yesterday I was thinking that I didn’t know how something could help me so much and be so bad. I Decided to go to his blog and yours to explore rs2 and whether it really does hurt people. I found your post about that and it was very helpful. Now I’ve been reading the refining resistant starch story. I had read it before but I didn’t remember what it said about rs2 being in the traditional foods of numerous people groups. I hope you do go ahead and analyse more of the claims she is making. The info you are providing is helping me get to the truth so I can benefit from rps and not get ripped off from that because of a false idea that the benefits I’m seeing are some kind of short term trick that rps is playing on me only so it can stealthily destroy my most important gut microbes and take me down.

I like grace and I don’t think she is being intentionally malicious [I do. You have no idea how she hates me and will chew up anyone to get to me. -Ed]. What is going on is that she had some problems after starting rps like gerd and weight gain. Somebody convinced her it was the rps causing it. I think it was some guy a lot of people would listen to like some microbiota researcher, maybe the one that she follows saying that the microbes she calls the ancestral core are the holy grail. I don’t remember his name.

It wouldn’t be the first time that someone has gotten convinced of an idea backed by a lot of emotion and then interpreted studies to support their view even when they don’t. I think a lot of times people actually believe they are seeing and interpreting correctly because their filter prevents them from seeing the evidence that contradicts their view.

It really helped me to see that all these people have been eating rs2 for millennia. How could rps be so bad then? And maybe it did cause problems for grace but for me it has seemed to do nothing but good. Or maybe it was just coincidence and rps had nothing to do with problems grace was encountering.

It would be interesting to tackle graces claims that rps is responsible for Tims Nash and gout. I saw in some post where you or Tim clarify that gout was caused by cocoa nibs or some such. I have had gout like symptoms before from having too much Oxalate containing food.

In closing, I appreciate your work.

Don't expect Tim or I to attempt to prove the negative that RPS didn't do something bad, any time soon. It's too ridiculous. Grace doesn't even have the ethics necessary to actually only reference studies that actually support her statements—rather relying that people won't actually read them.

To make the motivation of this post explicit: this went up because, and only because, this good person went to "Dr." Grace sincerely, telling her explicitly that potato starch helped her hugely (sleep, body temp, less thyroid meds), then she stopped taking it it per Grace's "Goddessness" (typical doG, eh? They have a plan for you) and stuff went to shit again. What does the "Good Doktor" do? Tells her, essentially, that her vision of the perfect gut just doesn't jive with Lisa's real results—so suck it in and tough up; after all, we have to discredit Richard and Tim and you must be willing to sacrifice your well being for that cause.

She goes back to using potato starch and regains the well being she'd come accustomed to.

Astounding "malpractice" on the part of Grace. Thankfully, she decided to get herself all fucked up with me, because I will highlight this kind of stuff. I want all y'all having good sleeps and dreams out there, feeling warm & cozy. It's your life.

Nestle Invests $65 Million In A Microbiome Fad

Or, take your pick: maybe they stepped up to back up the FDA in putting the kibosh on fecal transplants. Or, maybe the FDA decided to let 100,000 or so more people die from C. diff in the name of drug company profits, which would absolutely be the first time anything like that happened.

Nestle backs microbiome firm Seres with $65 million

Nestle Health Science, a subsidiary of the Swiss food giant, has invested $65 million into the USA’s Seres Health.

Seres is developing a novel class of biological drugs that are designed to treat diseases by restoring the function of a dysbiotic microbiome. Its portfolio currently focuses infectious, metabolic and inflammatory diseases.

The money from Nestle Health Science will help the progress of Seres’ lead product candidate, SER-109, for preventing the recurrence of Clostridium difficile infection, into Phase III trials.

And: Seres Health Presents Final Data for Study of SER-109 in Recurrent Clostridium difficile Infection at ICAAC 2014 Conference.

Cambridge, Massachusetts — September 10, 2014 — CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Sept. 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Seres Health, a clinical-stage therapeutics company developing novel treatments for diseases related to the human microbiome, today announced final data for its single-arm, open-label clinical trial of SER-109, its first-in-field, oral microbiome therapeutic. SER-109, a mixture of bacterial spores, is designed for the treatment of recurrent Clostridium difficile Infection (CDI). The data presented at the 2014 Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) show that in patients with recurrent CDI, SER-109 resulted in clinical cures, with 29 of the trial's 30 patients (97 percent) reaching the 8-week endpoint free of infection.

Uh, I'm not sure, but I suspect that in the pharmaceutical world there's an official expression for a "drug" with a proven 97% cure rate. "Holly Fucking Shit!" comes to mind, but it's probably a trade secret (no patent required).

Oh, one more point from that article, and it's difficult to emphasize only any one part.

Analysis of the microbiome using next-generation sequencing technology demonstrated that a single oral dose of SER-109 was capable of generating long-term changes in the microbiome, including the restoration of microbial diversity in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract of patients. Evidence for this was the engraftment of spore forming commensal bacteria from SER-109 in the patient's gut microbiota over the 8-week period. Unexpectedly, it was also determined that SER-109 catalyzed the outgrowth of other healthy non-spore forming organisms in the GI tract. This included critical genera that were missing in patients due to long term exposure to antibiotics.

Those who've been following our ridiculous foray into resistant starch prebiotics and SPORE FORMING probiotics over 2 years, 130 posts, and 10,000 comments know the ridicule endured—particularly when it came to "peddling dirt." Well, Nestle just invested $65 million into edible dirt.

And take particular note of this: "Unexpectedly, it was also determined that SER-109 catalyzed the outgrowth of other healthy non-spore forming organisms in the GI tract. This included critical genera that were missing in patients due to long term exposure to antibiotics."

Now, recall that in addition to the ignorant scoffers, there were the far worse yogurt and kefir-making hand wavers and wringers who thought dairy is the only way to get a probiotic and not the earth itself, because it killz U or something. But in actuality, looks like those spore aliens might help those ugly lacto stepchildren stay put—or fit into a glass slipper.

Finally, one of my regular interlocutors took the time to look up Seres' patent application for SER-109: Synergistic bacterial compositions and methods of production and use thereof. Among lots of interesting stuff:

Fecal transplantation has been shown to be an effective treatment for patients suffering from severe or refractory GI infections by repopulating the gut with a diverse array of microbes that control key pathogens by creating an ecological environment inimical to their proliferation and survival. Such approaches have demonstrated significant potential to decrease host susceptibility to infection. Fecal transplantation, however, is considered to be a procedure of last resort because it has the potential to transmit infectious or allergenic agents between hosts, involves the transmission of potentially hundreds of unknown strains from donor to patient, and is difficult to perform on a mass scale. Additionally, fecal transplantation is inherently nonstandardized and different desired and/or undesired material may be transmitted in any given donation. Fecal transplantation is not approved by the FDA and is unlikely to gain approval since the product cannot be standardized and characterized according to regulatory requirements for identity, potency, purity and safety. Thus, there is a need for defined compositions that can be used to decrease susceptibility to infection and/or that facilitate restoration of a healthy gut microbiota.

Thus practitioners have a need for a much safer and reproducible treatment for disorders currently treated on an experimental (non-FDA approved) basis using fecal transplantation. In order to prepare a therapeutic with commercial potential, we have designed bacterial compositions of isolated bacterial strains with a plurality of beneficial properties based on our understanding of those bacterial strains and our analysis of the properties that would enhance the utility and commercialization of a bacterial composition.

The very short version of that is that the FDA is such a dinosaur, that it's impossible to develop a lot of new cures or therapies, because it's locked in an old institutional paradigm where anything worthwhile ought to be able to be deconstructed—to a chemical equation in the case of drugs.

As we're increasingly coming to understand, the complexity of earth's biome defies such scientism.

Teff Flour Has Resistant Starch

I've known Injera—made from teff, an ancient Ethiopian grain—are gluten free, but not that they have other benefits too.

[easyazon_image add_to_cart="default" align="left" asin="B000EDI0X2" cloaking="default" height="500" localization="default" locale="US" nofollow="default" new_window="default" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/411DtPVo8iL.jpg" tag="fretheani0c-20" width="348"]Bob's Red Mill Whole Grain Teff Flour, 24-Ounce Packages (Pack of 4).

From an SBS piece: "Ms Radd said Teff is also nutritious and can be used for a variety of things.

'It tends to be a bit higher in a trace element called Manganese, and Copper and it does have the nutrients that all the other whole grains have, which is protein, good carbohydrates and fibre and so on. But it also includes something called resistant starch.'

'Now research on all whole grains has shown that fibre and resistant starch are incredibly important for our gut our bowel, because these components promote the growth of healthy bacteria which are known to be really important for our immunity. In fact they're now saying that about 80 percent of our immunity in our body occurs at the gut level,' she added."

If you do go to an Ethiopian restaurant, which I highly recommend, make sure they have injera made with teff and not wheat. The place I go to has both, so make sure you ask.

Is Resistant Starch By Means of Potato Starch Bad For You?

My thesis is that if it is, it's not because of anything Grace Liu of Animal Pharm is feverishly posting, in five parts so far. The time for vitriol and snark is over; so this time, it's just the facts, ma'am, and you can judge for yourselves.

...I mean, really. If she'd just say, "I don't recommend PS, I think there are better prebiotics," then fine. I'd still think it plays a role, but whatever. Chocolate. Vanilla. But this endless cycle of "proof" that "PS is destroying gutz!!!" is quite ridiculous, smelling a lot more like a campaign to discredit those of us who've been advocating it than honest, science-based inquiry.  Since I'm seeing little in the way of this "doctor's" conclusions being challenged, I guess it's time to do so semi-formally.

This addresses just the first part of the last of her posts on the topic: High Dose Potato Starch Can Make You Fatter, Insulin Resistant By Lowering GLP-1 AND ESPECIALLY If You Are Missing Bifidobacteria longum and Akkermansia mucinophila, aka SAD Microbial Fingerprint (Part V) NSFW (December 24, 2014).

First off, she cites Bodinham, 2014 and Table 1. Her take:

The drop in the gut hormone GLP1 was quite significant and was one of the few parameters that met statistically significance in this study.

Optimal gut health is supposed to yield better fat burning, leanness and metabolic improvements, no? Not high dosage RS2 it appears. Why? [emphasis added]

Then she lists everything from Table 1 as "proof" that RS2 is bad vis-a-vis gut health or downstream consequences. The problem is, almost everything on that table is labelled NS, meaning not statistically significant. The few things that are not labelled NS, she misinterprets as BAD!!!

For instance: "OMG GLP-1 decreased!" But what does Bodinham actually say?

Fasting GLP1 concentrations were significantly lower (P=0.049) following HAM-RS2 compared with placebo; however, there was a significantly greater meal GLP1 excursion with HAM-RS2 than with the placebo (P=0.009; Fig. 1C). [emphasis added]

...and

Indeed, GLP1, a well-defined incretin, was found to be elevated postprandially after HAM-RS2 intake, again a finding which was not found in our previous published work in those without diabetes (23) but has been reported in studies of RS in animal models (24). Interestingly, there was no effect of this elevated GLP1 on postprandial insulin levels and so any effect on postprandial glucose disposal may have been through insulin-independent mechanisms. GLP1 has been shown to directly increase muscle glucose uptake in rodent models (25), with the GLP1 receptor recently localized to human skeletal muscle (26). GLP1 acutely raises nitric oxide (NO) levels and so acute changes in both microvascular recruitment (27) and endothelial function (28) at the level of the muscle are believed to be involved in this effect. In the current study, glucose uptake across forearm muscle measured directly using A-V sampling was increased following HAM-RS2 intake and against a background of elevated GLP1 (Fig. 1) [emphasis added]

So, while fasting levels were lower, the after-meal effect was higher. GLP-1 has a half-life of 1-5 minutes in the blood. The lowered fasting GLP-1 is probably a good thing, but seen simply as a curiosity by Bodinham. To make a lesser point, her series is about potato starch, not HAM (high amylose maize RS2).

And just as an aside—a lesson in dishonest manipulation—here's the line item on pancreatic fat she makes a big—32.5% INCREASED, WTF!?!?!—deal of:

Screen Shot 2014 12 28 at 3 52 12 PM
 

Beyond the fact that the non-significant findings overlap in potential +/-, if you wanted to manipulate someone, would you tell them they were driving 13 in a 10 zone, or that they were breaking the speed limit by over 32%!

But here's the real kicker...this Bodinham 2014 study was conducted on "well-controlled T2 diabetics."

Bodinham's conclusion:

In conclusion, this is the first RS feeding study in human T2DM where the metabolic effects of RS (rather than a manipulation of dietary glycemic index/glycemic load (37)) have been investigated. HAM-RS2 intake improved meal glucose tolerance in patients with existing good diabetic-control due to a mechanism which appears to involve increased muscle uptake of FAs and increased S-IMCL. However, as a caveat, changes in both ectopic TG distribution and plasma TG were found, the clinical significance of which is unknown. Further work is now warranted to elucidate the molecular mechanisms within muscle tissue attributable to HAM-RS2, which would be vital in terms of recommending diet/exercise interventions to maximize the benefits for muscle glucose uptake. A larger scale intervention should now be undertaken in patients using high-fiber foods, with less well-controlled diabetes and over a longer time frame before a change to the evidenced-based dietary guidelines could be proposed. [emphasis added]

Bodinham is saying he thinks that RS2 has further improved T2D in these subjects —just like we've been saying here for 2 years in over 100 posts—not destroyed them in any way...but there were a few metabolic changes they were not expecting to see. These were not normal, healthy, people...they all had diabetes and were either taking meds (15 out of 17 participants) or being controlled through diet and exercise (2/17):

All participants had well-controlled diabetes (mean HbA1c levels of 46.6 (s.e.m. 2) mmol/mol at screening) and were diet and exercise controlled (2/17), taking metformin (13/17) or metformin and pioglitazone (2/17), were weight stable, and excluded if they had a history of gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, or other endocrine diseases.

OK. Then she invokes an older study, same dude, Bodinham 2012. She does the same thing: takes Table 1 and makes all of the NS items sound like a death sentence. Unfortunately for her, the only thing on Table 1 that was really significant was a reduction in fasting glucose. She explains this is really—trust her—a bad thing. Yes, you'll read that right:

Fasting glucose THIS TIME decreased BUT that is because all the spikes in post-prandial insulin is shoving all the glucose into adipose cells now and making them fatty which is clear by the increased TG and higher insulin-related consequences: higher systolic and diastolic blood pressures. wtf. I bet it lowered GLP1 where it is already low and lame in overweight and T2 diabetes subjects. [double emphasis added]

What did Bodinham say?

This study was designed to further explore the effects of HAM-RS2 on insulin secretion. To our knowledge this is the first study to demonstrate a significant improvement in first-phase insulin secretion following short-term supplementation with dietary fibre in the form of resistant starch (HAM-RS2). This work adds to our group’s previous findings of a positive effect of HAM-RS2 on insulin sensitivity. [emphasis added]

Let's take another look at her GLP-1 "theory."  In this 2012 study just cited, Bodinham said:

However, whilst there are data from rodent studies showing increases in GLP-1 following RS intake [15]–[17] data confirming this effect in humans are lacking, and indeed, one study in humans has shown that it may take a year of increased fibre intake (increase of 20 g/day) to increase GLP-1 secretion.

But just 2 years later, in 2014, he did show that RS2 raised postprandial GLP-1 in the human T2D subjects. So, all of this GLP-1 "proof" is completely wrong, and seems intentionally misleading.

Indeed, GLP1, a well-defined incretin, was found to be elevated postprandially after HAM-RS2 intake, again a finding which was not found in our previous published work in those without diabetes... (Bodinham, 2014) [emphasis added]

Yet, here's what she says says:

What is GLP1?

I love GLP-1.

It helps us to burn and remodel fat. "Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), a gut-derived peptide, has been reported to have profound effects on metabolism and to reduce insulin resistance (Yang et al 2013)." High protein diets raise GLP-1 and satiating PYY gut hormones to cause nice fat burning. It appears that high dosage raw starches causes a downward trend of this fat-burning molecule. Ruh-OH. This time it does not depend on either the pre-existing gut or what human gut symbions are missing. It happens in healthy human subjects in several trials so far. [emphasis added]

So, she uses a guy's study to try and "prove" what's not proved, implying it's relevant to healthy people; is going to make them fat, when it actually involved diabetic people and improved their status on balance. Then, she finally acknowledges the diabetic point, but only to make a false distinction in healthy people, claiming results that don't actually exist.

OK, I think I've wasted enough time on this. Really, the whole post is a mess. The links don't jive with what she's saying. She's just making stuff up, as in the foregoing. I suspect that a similar close examination of her Parts 1-4 are going to yield similar poison fruit. And, if you have a good memory, you might even remember when she wrote this in her own comments:

(Akkermansia is good for us ;) lol unless overgrown in defective barriers

So...

Unfortunately, so very many just read post titles, skim—maybe check a few sycophant comments—and chalk it up to another "excellent post" by the "Gut Goddess" Fake Doctor. In contrast, there are over 130 posts here on RS and GutGeneral, over 10,000 comments, over two years. The positive anecdotes of N=1,000+ are legion.

I can only conclude that she wants to stop or inhibit that for her own selfish gain, because she has statistically insignificant relevance to do with any shred of it. She's made no long-term meaningful contributions—often inhibiting—but rather, only tried to dishonestly garner an unearned limelight.

Finally, she's spent five posts on a straw man, because except for diabetics and those who insist on remaining VLC, high dose potato starch was never touted as the be-all-cure-all. Not even from the very first post on RS. I've addressed this before.

Now, this simply serves as something linkable next time someone asks me to address her idiotic posts that they don't want to take the time to examine closely themselves.

Fear of Raw Potato Starch Ingestion is Probably Irrational

Unfortunately, a certain blogger still seems more interested in promoting that irrational fear. I'll leave it to readers to discern motivations.

So, first a little housecleaning. I waffle back and forth between regretting taking down a post laying out my beefs with Ms. Grace Liu, and being relieved because of the involvement or proximity of other parties. The latter outweighs the former, so it will forever remain as is. I was also relieved because it presented an opportunity to move forward and debate the science: Moving Forward: My Approach to Evaluating the Science and Knowledge of the Gut Biome and Resistant Starch.

I'm moving forward alright, but with absolutely zero contact or collaboration with Ms. Liu. She is simply not behaving in accordance with, or in the spirit of our agreement when she asked me to take down the post and I agreed, with conditions.

Hours after I made 100% good on my end, I get an email asking to make sure I acknowledge her "contributions" in the book, going so far as to say, explicitly, that everything Tim Steele has said or written since October of 2013, he got from her. Without agreeing with her delusion, I grit my teeth and agree that I will acknowledge her, even offering to email a pre-publication copy to make sure it was to her satisfaction.

Then, this comment shows up in her blog: "I have warned Mr Nikoley as well - the high dosage RPS for over the last 1-2 years probably prevented the healing of his autoimmune Hashimoto's." I feel embarrassed to even have to refute such illogical muddled balderdash. My untreated TSH improved between 2008 and today. It was normal during 2010 - 2012 because I was on medication, which I ceased over two years ago and have not had a test of any kind until last week. Moreover, I told Ms. Liu this in an email and the answer back was 'no, potato starch compromised your gut and that's why you didn't heal.' It's like saying: Yea, your hypothyroidism got better during the last 2 ears of not being on medication, but it's because of the RPS it's not improved more! Pretty illogical; as unfalsifiable as it is unprovable. Incidentally, I just had two comments on my blog this morning from guys whose TSH has gone down since supplementing PS.

Then, the kicker in her comments this morning. I suspect she's answering her own sock puppet.

Anonymous said...
RN is a little skank and i support you. so will other people.

Dr. B G said...
Thank you Anon. I appreciate your warm support. I won't be silenced, by lies or skankiness. ;)

The final thing is Tim's post that I will address below: Raw Potato Starch; A Great Prebiotic!

Accordingly, the following outlines my course of action moving forward.

  1. This will be the very last time I will speak or write of Grace Liu in any way; will accept no contact from her, regardless of context or terms.
  2. I have taken steps to have all 700+ links to her blog going back to 2008 (352 of them from her) expunged from mine.
  3. I will not acknowledge any asserted "contributions" by her in any manner.

Now, on the matter of Tim's post, one of the falsehoods bandied about is that we encouraged people to load up on raw potato starch with no concern for food or other fiber supplements. I already addressed that, but let me reiterate. Here's a comment by Tatertot himself in the very first post we did on resistant starch.

I have heard that banana flour and plantain flour is the same thing.

Raw Potato Starch contains virtually no micronutrients. The banana/plantain flours contain more as they are not isolated starch, but the whole ground fruit.

Inulin powder is not RS, but it is a plant fiber that resists digestion. It is usually avoided by people with FODMAP intolerance, while potato starch is not a FODMAP. That being said, Inulin powder would probably be a good choice to put a bit of in a smoothy with potato starch as Inulin is considered to be a prebiotic, just like potato starch.

Taro powder also probably has very little RS as it seems to be made of amylopectin starch, which is not resistant. If you read up on ‘Poi’, which is fermented taro, it sounds like a really good source of nutrition.

I’m thinking a really good idea would be to make a mix of known RS starches and prebiotics, like potato starch, taro powder, banana flour, inulin, etc… and make a smoothy or mix with milk or yogurt every day. Go heavy on the potato starch or banana flour and a bit of the others.

And here's what he wrote in the post itself:

Edibility-wise, potato starch is not bad. It mixes well with any liquid and has no real taste and is not gritty, mealy, or pastey. I've eaten up to 4TBS (48g), which is 30-35g of RS, on an empty stomach with no digestive problems. I think it is a very good addition to your arsenal of RS foods.

So, after months of research, it's come down to this: I eat potatoes almost every day, cooked in a variety of ways, a few raw slices, and lots of cold potatoes. I eat sushi when I can, beans on rare occasion, and I keep a baggy full of dried plantains on the counter to snack on. When I buy bananas, I get the greenest ones I can find. Sushi is eaten guilt free, especialy with raw fish and seaweed. I will eat legumes from time to time if thoughtfully prepared to remove toxins. I also keep a container of potato starch on the counter and am finding all kinds of ways to use it--in smoothies, milk, kefir, mixed with water and eaten with berries and mashed bananas, or just mixed with water and drank.

In short, PS was merely an entry point for some, particularly LCers and diabetics who were unsure of adding any digestible carbohydrate to their diet. One thing it did do for most people is convince them in no uncertain terms that the gut biome is very important. That there are clear effects is hard to miss.

And yet, in Ms. Liu's (neither will I refer to her as "Dr.") comments, she has some so irrationally fearful that I've seen stuff of the form, 'oh thank you thank you thank you; I'm so upset that Tim and Richard put the health of myself and my family at risk.' Her responses to these kinds of comments generally signal, to me, what her underlying motivations are in this.

Tim's post is about a single variable science experiment with 4 individuals, covering a six week intervention with a single intervention theme (1 subject had it in kefir, another with a bit of psyllium). You guessed it: raw potato starch. Some of you actually helped make this happen by funding the project.

I'll not take away Tim's thunder and besides, he does a very careful job of laying out the testing hypothesis, something I find quite refreshing vis-a-vis the manner in which Ms. Liu presents her assertions.

  1. Well, clear stated hypothesis
  2. Logical set of questions for research to answer
  3. Establishes a clear standard of success by means of reference to the very latest published research (November, 2014)
  4. Presents clear results that meet the standard of success

Here's the punchline. These four species are specifically mentioned as important targets of attention in the research Tim cites.

Gut Resuls2

Tim says:

To recap the dietary interventions:

Adult 1 - Added 4TBS of potato starch daily
Adult 2 - Added 2TBS of potato starch daily, mixed with kefir
Child 1 - Added 1TBS of potato starch daily, plus 1tsp of psyllium husk
Child 2 - Added 1TBS of potato starch daily

The dietary intervention lasted for 6 weeks, and the final fecal samples were taken on the last day.

An examination of the data shows that each subject had considerable increases in bifidobacterium, and mainly increases in the other bacteria suggested as targets for prebiotics by Rastall and Gibson. The slight decreases were most pronounced in the subject (Child 2) who ate the least amount of total fiber supplements, but ironically, this subject also had the largest increase in bifidobacteria.

The species of bifidobacteria detected in the samples were ~95% Bifidobacterium breve, with smaller amounts of animalis, dentium, longum, and pseudolongum.

So, even being skeptical of sequencing results, it seems pretty difficult and downright unreasonable to make a claim that raw potato starch harmed any of these subjects over six weeks, a claim Ms. Liu has been asserting for months in a bunch of posts.

Moving Forward: My Approach to Evaluating the Science and Knowledge of the Gut Biome and Resistant Starch

Time to look forward. There's no question that since my very first post on resistant starch in April, 2013, things have changed in a number of ways. I like to think that the more than 130 posts related to resistant starch or the microbiome in some way—many including contributions by others, like Tim Steele and Grace Liu—have contributed to the general impact of recognizing the importance of gut health and the role of resistant starch in the whole picture. Since there's now a number of voices out there on the topic and some dispute about some things, I thought I might put some rules or guidelines out there I'm going to use to evaluate things moving forward.

The MetaRulz

  1. The vast majority of what's to be known and understood about the complex workings of the human microbiome and its interactions with the host remains to be discovered.
  2. The things we think we know and understand are mostly wrong or incomplete in some way.
  3. The struggle is in the process of becoming less wrong over time, not in searching for ways of being right.

The ThumbRulz

  1. We don't know what the "ideal" gut microbiome looks like. It's more likely there's no such thing.
  2. Gut bug composition changes meal to meal and season to season. RNA sequencing, then, is perhaps best done in a fasted state of at least 24 hours to get a better idea of an individual's "metagut."
  3. RNA sequencing is flawed, where even the same sample taken in the exact same spot yields some vastly different results.
  4. Hunter gatherer guts are probably of limited value to non huntger-gatherers. Perhaps better would be the sequences of people in your neck of the woods, same age and gender, who are lean and have a clean medical history (esp. no signs of autoimmune disorders).
  5. Just because a particular species of gut bacteria is generally associated with good things doesn't automatically mean that more of it is better. 1% of 100 trillion is a very big number.
  6. Excluding testing error (#3), a decrease in a species associated with good stuff could have a number of explanations: all good, all bad, or a mix. For example, if Akkermansia drops in population, could it be because something else good increased and the previous levels of Akk are no longer necessary, or needed?
  7. Is a different mix and relative proportion of bugs called for in a diseased person than a healthy person; and moreover, is it possible that the mix in the diseased person is actually helping them from getting worse, rather than a direct cause of their state of disease?
  8. Horizontal gene transfer is a factor in all of this, and I don't think sequencing is yet sophisticated enough to detect that. In other words, it's the genes and their expression in the gut that's fundamentally important, not species classification (just a way for us to...um...classify).
  9. Some humans, owing to their specific human genetic makeup, i.e., what needs expressing and what needs repressing, and control of specific pathogens, will require different sets of genes in their gut.
  10. Some species associated with good (or bad) stuff may have significant members of their ranks "hiding out" in mucosal layers, biofilms, whatever, and be relatively undetectable in sequencing tests.
  11. One thing we do seem to have a pretty good handle on is clear pathogens (or overgrowths of even "good" bugs) and this should dominate therapeutic intervention for now. Once that's out of the way, we'll have all the time in the world to worry about boutique bugs.

There may be more. Feel free to suggest. I already incorporated some stuff by Gemma in the last few rulz.

Ok, so one issue at hand now, spearheaded by Grace (link removed), is questions over the propriety of using raw potato starch as a supplement, or perhaps more poignantly, in high dose. It's important to go back to the beginning, the very first post, and look at how this all got started. In the words of Tim Steele.

Most scientists used 20-50 grams RS per day in their human studies. Most recommendations are for the ingestion of 20-40g/day for maximum benefit, and there seems to be an upper limit of about 60g where it stops being effective, and a lower limit of about 20g where it has little effect.

My next step was to target RS in the 20-60g/day range from common foods...this proved difficult.

I learned there was a bit of RS in cooked and cooled rice, like sushi rice, but only a small amount, like 5g per cup.

He goes on to lay out the RS content of a bunch of common foods, then suggests potato starch at the end as supplement, alternative. Check it out. And, later on, Tim painstakingly put together a 5-page PDF listing RS in a whole bunch of foods, by weight.

And yes, in spite of that, a lot of people ignored trying to get much from foods, because they come in grains and starches. You know why? The Very Low Carb Menace, that's why. In Tim's case, he was already eating lots of cooked and cooled potatoes, beans, and his own dried green plantains. In my case, I did the 4 TBS daily for a while, then went intermittent (1, 0, 3, 6, 0, 0, 0, 2, etc.). Now, sometimes I go a week or more with zero and a while back went more than a month with zero. Why? Because I eat plenty of beans and potatoes. Rice sometimes. Even bread...very only sometimes (doing my part for hormesis).

Nonetheless, if we are to look at studies showing that high dose raw potato starch is a questionable practice, which I'm willing to do, we have to look at anecdotes or, more accurately, the relative lack thereof. But, one thing out of the way: I agree, a regime that's like 4 TBS every morning at 6:38 am, with the exact same smoothie or food, is not the best approach. Intermittency and variation in all things, please.

This morning, I scanned through all sales via my Amazon shopping link (13,200 orders) from April, 2013 to today, looking for products associated with gut health. Here's the list with order totals:

Tons of other things gut related, but I excluded anything with less than 10 orders. There's also the case of commenter Wilbur, who takes all manner of various powdered fibers and claims impressive results.

Take home points:

  1. There is one hell of a lot of people worldwide experimenting with potato starch and to lesser extent, other fibers. And probiotics (the soil-based ones as Grace harped on almost from the beginning) are pretty huge. Add to that their mention now on hundreds of other blogs and websites, using their own associates links. Add to that, the the folks who just grab it at the supermarket, as I sometimes do. Very lots.
  2. If the argument that ritual supplementing of 4 TBS or thereabouts daily is not the best approach, zero argument from me. More on that below.
  3. If the argument, however, is that this stuff is really going to harm you (and some have been using it for 20 months), then I need to see some really compelling anecdotal evidence of that. Instead, what we have is thousands of positive anecdotes in comments (and I get many emails), compared to a relatively small percentage where some level of discomfort was experienced, like bloating, joint pain, rash, etc.
  4. I don't think that a changed gut RNA sequence cuts it, for reasons outlined in the thumbrulz, above, and especially if not accompanied by some sort of clear physical downstream effect that shows up significantly in a lot of people. We are still bound to the scientific method, here.

But again, this may not even be worth arguing because I am all on board with expanding the mix. First of all, eat the damn food! Second, if you do supplement, then keep it real, use a mix of the prebiotics, and incorporate the probiotics, especially the dirt.

So, right now, I'm experimenting with mixes of a variety of stuff. Usually, it's about a third to half PS, then a bunch of other stuff from above, and Wilbur's list too. And yes, I hope to develop a product once I nail down proportions I like and do some beta testing. Yes, you'll know the ingredients, but the proportions will be my trade secret. The idea is that by using economies of scale to purchase bulk, I can get you a single product with a mix of about a dozen things that costs less than buying all of them, saves space, saves the trouble of spooning out individually or mixing yourself, and ads convenience to your life. Of course, anyone can develop such a product, BUT ONLY ONE WILL BE CALLED..."ANIMAL FARTS!" :)

Now, when I have a smoothie, which is maybe 3-4 times per week: it's 1 raw egg, two heaping TBS of my mix (roughly 40% PS), 3-4 oz orange juice, the rest of the 14 total oz topped off with whole milk. I don't bother with blenders anymore and I'll just eat fruit. I put all that in one of those 14 oz shakers with an agitator ball in it. Comes out perfectly smooth, tasting creamy like an Orange Julius. It's the only smoothie recipe I need; might use other fruit juices sometimes.

A final note, about my Hashimoto's announced here, and expounded upon here, with input by Chris Kresser. Some points:

  1. Since I've had elevated TSH since about 1998-2000 when it first showed up on a blood test, it's likely that it was the same autoimmune condition.
  2. I can't recall what those numbers were back then, but in 2008 my TSH was 16 in a 1-5 reference range.
  3. One would expect the condition to get worse over time. TSH was in normal range in the 2009-2011 timeframe because I was on Armour Thyroid, which of course does not address the underlying issue of the elevated TPO antibody.
  4. While I don't have a TPO AB reference point, since my TSH went from 16 to just under 10 from 2008 to now, and I haven't been on any meds in 2-3 years, it's more likely that I have LESS TPO antibody now, not more.
  5. ...Meaning that the WORST one can say about my supplementation with raw potato starch over the last 20 months is that it almost certainly did not make this autoimmune condition worse (and if there's any effect at all, it's far more likely to have been a positive one).

But, now I'm interested in fixing it. First, I have to get rid of things I don't need that may be adversely impacting my gut: all alcohol, gluten, processed and fast foods. It's not like I do a lot of the latter, but I can get pretty sloppy. Thankfully, I've been pretty weight stable at around 185 for months now.

So, gonna eliminate all that stuff, drop 20 pounds, get off my ass and exercise more, and really target the gut with foods and my powder mixes and probiotics and a few other supplements, do it for 90 days and retest in mid-March.

With me ruck.

Update: Well, the truce didn't last long. I have permanently severed all ties with Ms. Liu:

Fear of Raw Potato Starch Ingestion is Probably Irrational

Cooking, Cooling, and Reheating Starches For Even More Digestive Resistance

One of the more common questions we've had since the very beginning of the Resistant Starch Explosion is: if cooling your cooked starches (e.g., potatoes, rice, beans, pasta) increases the resistant starch (retrograded RS3), will reheating it destroy it?

It was Tim Steele who came up with the info that not only does it not destroy the RS3, successive cooling and reheating actually increases it—though the the first cycle is by far the biggest bang.

Well, so now we have some testing on real people, using pasta: Is reheated pasta less fattening?

The volunteers were randomised to eating either hot, cold or reheated pasta on different days.

On one day they got to eat the pasta, freshly cooked, nice and hot with a plain but delicious sauce of tomatoes and garlic.

On another day they had to eat it cold, with the same sauce, but after it had been chilled overnight.

And on a third day they got to eat the pasta with sauce after it had been chilled and then reheated.

So what did happen?

Well we were fairly confident the cold pasta would be more resistant than the stuff that had been freshly cooked and we were right.

Just as expected, eating cold pasta led to a smaller spike in blood glucose and insulin than eating freshly boiled pasta had.

But then we found something that we really didn't expect - cooking, cooling and then reheating the pasta had an even more dramatic effect. Or, to be precise, an even smaller effect on blood glucose.

In fact, it reduced the rise in blood glucose by 50%.

So there you have it. Short & simple, too.

It makes me wonder if this is why I didn't get fat eating all that pasta at the mom & pop Sicilian place down the street from my flat when I lived in France. I'd walk down 2-3 times per week and if it wasn't a wood fired pizza, it was a bowl of pasta. But I recall one evening asking their son, Salvatore (who's limonadier he gave me when I left is still used to open wine around here, 22 years later), how they do their pasta so quickly, in single batches.

They precook it and put it in the fridge. Then they reheat in salty, boiling water, portion by portion. Go figure.

Update: OK, found the actual program website, as well as the short video segment.

And here's a chart I clipped.

Screen Shot 2014 10 16 at 11 38 58 AM
Dramatic!

Update 2: This appears to work for freezing and toasting bread, too.

The impact of freezing and toasting on the glycaemic response of white bread.

CONCLUSIONS: All three procedures investigated, freezing and defrosting, toasting from fresh, and toasting following freezing and defrosting, favourably altered the glucose response of the breads. This is the first study known to the authors to show reductions in glycaemic response as a result of changes in storage conditions and the preparation of white bread before consumption. In addition, the study highlights a need to define and maintain storage conditions of white bread if used as a reference food in the determination of the glycaemic index of foods.

Squinting At A Specifically General View of the Gut Microbiome

This was my very first post of more than 100 by now, April of 2013, that began my evolution in thinking about the gut microbiome: Prepare for the “Resistant Starch” Assimilation; Resistance is Futile. Yes, the narrative was initially somewhat hyperbolic, silver-bullet, miracle cure and all. I'll cop to all of it.

I am primarily an integrator, synthesizer, and promoter of things that make evolutionary sense to me and I always kick off with a bang. But I'm also the least intransigent blogger you'll ever meet. I expect being half or more wrong from the outset. Rather than spend endless hours, days, weeks and months checking all my jots and tittles in a self-deluded effort to not be wrong about anything (completely futile, because you're always wrong about something), I go full shotgun and brace for the criticism and constructive critique:

THESIS ---> ANTITHESIS ---> SYNTHESIS ---> NEOTHESIS (WRR)

(^ Wash, Rinse, Repeat—ad infinitum)

This manner of dialectic saves time, teaches more people faster—in fact, we all learn together, collaboratively—is an honest process, and seems to me to be the most natural way to build increasingly complex and closer-to-truth hierarchies of quality* knowledge (* See my AHS12 presentation: Paleo Epistemology and Sociology).

It is for this reason that in terms of most of my posts, I do not delve into "excruciating" detail. For instance, I'm typically not talking about a specific 1-in-1,000 species of a gut bacteria, unless it's a well identified pathogen run amok like C. diff, after a round of antibiotics (the antibiotics being the general issue—specific, to highlight general). Similarly, I don't dwell on deeply dysfunctional guts but rather, on the vast majority of guts, some better than others, but always with the idea of improving whatever you begin with—never achieving perfection.

Shotguns usually hit the bullseye, too.

I've done a number of podcast interviews over this last year or so, most about Resistant Starch. The truth is, I didn't have any idea at the outset whether RS would pan out at all, be the Next Big Thing, or more likely, be a very important specific piece of the general puzzle. I now believe it's the latter.

So, with that, here's my latest podcast interview. It's with Will Barron of Upgraded Ape, one of of those biohacking folks. Upgrade your gut biome for improved brain performance. Talking resistant starches and fish with Richard Nikoley. While RS is in the title, I can assure you that I took a far more general track with it.

  1. I take pains to emphasize that whatever devils are in details, it's the enormous complexity of the gut microbiome that's the important thing.
  2. That focussing on very specific things in terms of specific pathogens, overgrowths, etc., is the province of clinicians with clinical experience that builds with practice and is applied to more and more specific and identifiable problems.
  3. That while experimenting and supplementing with RS and dirt-based probiotics is fine, not generally harmful (suggestions that it is, are bullshit), it is nonetheless likely best to get most prebiotics from various foods, and probiotics from being less sanitary, a bit more dirty. But supplementation, while not ideal, is better than nothing.

Alright, take a listen, and if you've heard some of my earlier interviews that focussed primarily on resistant starch, tell me if I haven't upgraded my specific views in general.

Now, let's squint some more. This post was formulated only an hour ago, when I read Jeff Leach's account of taking it up the butt for science, over morning coffee and an American Spirit ciggie: (Re)Becoming Human: what happened the day I replaced 99% of the genes in my body with that of a hunter-gatherer.

When he announced his planned DIY fecal transplant some while back on the Human Food Project's Facebook, I thought he was deeply confounding variables. I suggested that a better first step would be to bed down and swap bodily fluids and microbes with a Hadza woman for some months as a first step (interest of science, y'know?) and only then take some Hadza guy's shit up his butt. 'Butt' it is what it is.

Anyway, take a good read at that post. I was going to do some excerpts and comment on them, but I don't want anyone to miss the forrest through the trees. In short, I'm now a much bigger fan of Leach, and it's this bit of writing that did it for me. Take particular note of the vast differences between a Hadza gut and an American gut.

Keep squinting, Jeff. Good work, anxious to see the ultimate results.

...To wrap it up, it's easy, in hindsight, to say that supplementing RS in forms like potato starch is "bad." It's complete bullshit, and I'll tell you why.

  1. It's not harmful. How can it be harmful to ingest a real food fraction?
  2. People in general Paleo/RealFood have been talking about prebiotics for-fucking-ever. Onions, Garlic, Jerusalem artichokes, bla bla bla.
  3. Nobody really listened and when they did, it was chest beating over a coupla grams. It was only ever predominately about bacon, grilled meat, and added spoonfuls of coconut fat and grassfed butter.
  4. SAD dieters get way more fermentable fibers than "Paleo" peeps (which isn't saying a lot in an H-G scenario not even ridiculously and fantastically focussed on the way outlier Inuit). And H-Gers get way more than SAD.

But for my last point, it goes back to the way above. Nobody has any tolerance for being only half right. This is always a mistake. Always. Prebiotics have been jerked off about forever, but nobody paid real attention.

Until fucking potato starch and suddenly, there are many thousands worldwide doing so. But that's a specific thing. What's the general thing they learned is that when they took some isolated RS2, they observed first hand that:

  1. It had profound effects that cut through the signal/noise ratio on many gut levels.
  2. Results for the vast majority were positive, over time.

Sorry, I have this quirky fault where I think that giving folks valid generalities, they run with it and create their own specifics. I'm no hand holder. Fucking annoying, time wasting, and manufactures and maintains dependence.

So, some will doubtless stay with the potato starch supplementation forever and call it a day. Optimal? Probably not. But, some folks will always just supplement vitamin D rather than get out in the sun. Optimal? No, but only a stupid fucktarded miscreant would suggest that they ought not then supplement with vitamin D.

Potato starch supplementation in isolation has changed the landscape in many ways. That's a simple fact. But you watch. There will be many coming on line to tell you it's not a good idea and that all the foods they used to shun are the way to go—as though they came up with the idea.

Well, biting feeding hands has always been the province of latching-on leeches.

Cold Rice and Bean Salad

I arrived back to San Jose yesterday afternoon, after a week away giving Beatrice time off from attending to two very spoiled and ornery rat terriers (she spoiled them; see how charitable I am IRL?).

Checked email when I got back and a blog reader, Brian, had a link for me: Rice and Bean Resistant Starch Salad; a post at Food Renegade by  Shannon Stonger (wouldn't it be cool if she was 'Shannon Stronger' or, 'Shannon Stoner'?).

I looked around. Bea had a pot of pinto beans in the fridge, and the rice cooker was on the countertop, with a full load from the night before. Hmmm, beans & rice dish? I'm in. After a quick surveillance of what else there was on hand, I set off to the market.

All I needed was two large heirloom tomatoes (I got a big red and a big yellow) a big [h]ass avocado, and a block of cheddar cheese. It calls for Mexican oregano, but I had Greek, which is the closest. Substitute a little lime juice for some of the vinegar and you'll approximate that lemon verbena thingy (I googled it on my iPhone 6, in the store).

See her full recipe here.

My variations:

  1. the rice was Ben's Parboiled. Doubt it makes any difference. It's just starch.
  2. went with 2 tsp of sea salt instead of 1 1/4.
  3. 1/2 tsp cayenne instead of 1/4.
  4. for the vinegar, used juice of a whole lime, 1 TBS coconut vinegar, and 2 TBS ACV.
  5. recipe calls for black beans or whatever your preference. I had pintos, but bought a can of black at the market which when drained, was 1 1/2 cup of the 3 cups called for. So, half pinto, half black.

The recipe doesn't specify, but you want to drain the beans of their liquid. Ought be obvious, but you never know. Some people do beans more like soup, so you want to start off the same.

My only thing I'd do different next time is to go with less onion. Recipe calls for a medium, the two I had were large and I picked the smallest one. Bit more chunky raw onion than I'd have preferred. Beatrice, on the other hand, loved it more than I. Definitely go with doubling the cayenne if you at all like a little kick. Even still, it's a small kick.

IMG 2682
Yea, it's a lot

So, there you have a week's worth of starchy, side-dish substrate for your proteins for lunch and dinner, for two people; and it's as cheap as sewer water.

IMG 2684
Yin Yang. Grace and Evil.

...I really loved the idea of a whole avocado for the dressing substrate (as opposed to mayonnaise, which I hate to make). Word of caution: if you go with the 2 tsp salt as I did, the dressing will be very salty. Remember, it's to dress a lot of stuff. You'll not need to add any more salt.

Potential future variations: Olives? How about fresh cilantro, either as garnish or in the dish itself?