Resistant Starch & Gut Biome: A Family Science Project

One of the known limitations in posting Tim’s American Gut Project results a while back was the fact that there was no “before” picture. While his results are pretty dramatic and way statistically suggestive of a large benefit conferred via his supplementation of resistant starch, it would still be nice to have a before & after comparison.

So now we have a chance to see that done. Allen Folz has created an indiegogo fund drive to do just that with four study subjects—two adults and two kids.

I will purchase two “Microbes for Four” swab kits from the American Biome Project.

At the start of the project four members of our family, two adults and two children, will provide a stool swab.

Over the course of a 6 week study period I will maintain a food journal for each participant and provide a daily diet supplement of resistant starch in the form of Bob’s Red Mill Unmodified Potato Starch. Each participant will follow a unique supplementation regimen:

a) adult 1 – 2 TBSP mixed in water, consumed on an empty stomach

b) adult 2 – 4 TBSP mixed in water, consumed on an empty stomach

c) child 1 – 1 TBSP potato starch plus 1 TSP whole psyllium husk mixed into yogurt

d) child 2 – 1 TBSP potato starch mixed into yogurt

At the conclusion of the study period the four test subjects will provide a second stool swab for comparison purposes. The lab results from both swabs will be shared publicly on the internet.

Check out the whole project here, and please help get it off the ground. Additionally, Allan has a blog to document progress and you can read about him and his family right here.


Since Covid killed my Cabo San Lucas vacation-rental business in 2021, this is my day job. I can't do it without you. Memberships are $10 monthly, $20 quarterly, or $65 annually. Two premium coffees per month. Every membership helps finance this work I do, and if you like what I do, please chip in. No grandiose pitches.

12 Comments

  1. Tatertot on December 15, 2013 at 14:09

    I plan on being the first $25.

    I think this is such an awesome idea. Hopefully he gets enough funds to make it happen.

  2. Richard Nikoley on December 15, 2013 at 14:12

    “I plan on being the first $25.”

    Not if I get there first. 1, 2, 3…. GO!

  3. Tatertot on December 15, 2013 at 14:29

    think you beat me, couldn’t find my paypal PIN. Got it in, though! Did you ask for a written gratitude? I did–and it better be from little kid w/icecream face and not Dad!

    What a great project and website/blog. I wish AmGut wasn’t so slow.

  4. Allan Folz on December 15, 2013 at 15:01

    Thank you Richard and Tim.

    Tim, I’ll be sure to have Ada “ice cream face” Gene color a picture post card for you. Her older brother does a pretty good USS Constitution as well. Richard, that sounds like it might be up your alley.

    Wish us luck! :)

  5. Richard Nikoley on December 15, 2013 at 17:35

    “This is useless without knowing what to actually look for in the reports! ”

    Let me guess. You’re here to offer up your services.

  6. Richard Nikoley on December 15, 2013 at 17:41

    Read your post, breaking bad.

    “From the expert himself”

    Thank you. I have never uttered or written that phrase in my life. Now I get to dismiss you with ease.

  7. gabriella kadar on December 15, 2013 at 18:16

    Heisenbug, what do you do when you aren’t being Heisenbug?

  8. Richard Nikoley on December 15, 2013 at 18:25

    Heisenburg.

    I’ve noted that you like to write blog posts in response to my blog posts, then post them here in comments.

    You’re going to have to build your own blog on your own. I’m deleting all your comments and wishing you well.

    Good luck with your blog!

  9. Heisenbug on December 15, 2013 at 18:33

    Just care about the discussion. I’d just post them as comments, except they’d be way too long and unwieldy. The analysis wouldn’t work in a comment. Couldn’t care less about building up a blog, though.

  10. My American Gut Results | Ancestralize Me! on December 20, 2013 at 06:50

    […] doing this experiment, but I’m under the impression that it at least won’t be harmful. (I’m not the only one who is trying this […]

  11. Webraven on December 21, 2013 at 12:27

    Has anyone had success in building up tolerance of PS gradually? I don’t tolerate any pro – or pre-biotics. I tried a quarter of a teaspoon of potato starch and it caused very intense bloating, fluid retention etc (just like probiotics do) that lasted for days. I would be interested in finding out whether anyone has gradually been able to build up tolerance, and if so, how slowly did they go.

  12. Melanie Hamilton on December 24, 2013 at 12:51

    I will be VERY interested to hear the results of your project. I have discovered this past year that my insulin spikes with ANY starch. Not such a problem, I’m eating more whole foods instead. But still…you’d never know without an elimination diet or, like you, with a personal study.

    Every once in a blue moon I’ll have a bite of something starchy, usually a sweet potato (mmmm), never wheat though…

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