The Great Robb Wolf on Potato Starch

He dropped this comment on the Facebook thread on my last post, where I expressed disappointment over Fred Hahn’s convenient dismissal, since even though he found a potato diet worked wonders to lose weight, it has to be fundamentally from a low-carb perspective (read the thread). Resistant starch basically makes low carbers look like ignorants and Fred can’t have that. But it just does render them wrong. They have been essentially and fundamentally wrong for four decades. Because, if RS via forbidden foods fixes all sorts of problems people complain about on LC, then in the words of Mr. Brownlow, ‘low carb is an ass.’

Been doing RS (jumped right in at 4TBL/day…I guess I got lucky I did not explode) Purely subjective findings: Digestion is better than in past 15 years. My pesky problem of not tolerating the carbs I need to train MMA/BJJ is largely gone. I still partition more carbs PWO, have fewer on non-training days, but overall very impressed with the results. I bit leaner, good performance. In the past my concept of “gut health” largely started and stopped with “avoid gluten.” Now I look at green plantain chips as a means to get “awesome poos” and stave off blood sugar wackyness. I would have called extreme BS on this as I;ve always eaten a ton of greens, squash etc but I find Richard does not align with silly shit AND the solution was like $2/bag. When shit is that cheap, it’s got to work.

As emphasized, potato starch is just food. Here, watch…and especially, to anyone who’s been lied to by any glom-on charlatan recently, that it’s “man made resistant starch” or thereabouts. Here, you can make it yourself if a few bucks per bag of BRM is too much for you.

Oh, and liars will always lie.

Thanks to Robb for not tarnishing himself by posting about a bullshit week long “test” and trying to cover his past ass by dismissing it and though it’s meaningless.

Hopefully, Fred Hahn’s fans will take his behavior into account when evaluating anything he says to them in the future. For the record, it is immaterial whether PS is something that works for Fred or doesn’t. My beef is with the “study” method and “reporting.”

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  1. DuckDodgers on January 22, 2014 at 12:20


    I think you guys (with help from Jeff Leach) have discovered the key to pathogen killing in the gut.

    Check this out…

    Ripley wrote:
    The part that I’m finding interesting about Resistant Starch is that by increasing SCFA production in the colon, this increased acidic environment has beens shown to have beneficial effects that many people haven’t even considered. In my first post, I mentioned how Jeff Leach at the American Gut project has been talking about how the acidic environment from SCFA production makes a gut environment that breeds good bacteria and either kills off (or inactivates) pathogenic microbes and bad bacteria. On the surface, it all sounds like a mild change, but I think the acidic environment from SCFAs (and the SCFAs themselves) that is actually the KEY to RS.

    Case in point. Many people don’t realize that Candida has a growth gene that switches on in an alkaline environment, but switches off in an acidic environment. It is literally like a light switch that turns it from a pathogen to a fairly benign yeast. And many people hear about certain SCFAs that are effective against Candida and then run out to buy a bottle of that particular fatty acid. But, they don’t put two and two together — your body is supposed to produce enough of that SCFA, with prebiotic food/RS, to keep those pathogens, like Candida, in check.

    H. pylori (though, in the stomach, and not the colon) will actually secrete ammonia in an attempt to weaken the acidity of the stomach so that it can survive (it dislikes acidic environments). This weakened acidity likely helps promote SIBO/GERD.

    When it comes to the digestive tract, the evidence suggests that acidic is better — which makes sense — and RS (via SCFA fermentation) helps create and maintain that beneficial acidic environment in the colon. And that’s where a lot of the changes probably come from — in addition to the SCFAs themselves.

    The small intestine should be mostly sterile, and any bacteria that accidentally set up shop there can certainly cause problems. But, RS seems to be a weapon against that too.

    For those who want to see the studies and detailed scientific evidence that shows how Candida’s growth gene “switches off” in an acidic environment:

    Alkalinity promotes Candida overgrowth

    For those who want to see why eating prebiotic foods — including RS — promotes SCFA production and therefore an acidic environment in the colon:

    American Gut Project: Sorry low carbers, your microbiome is just not that into you

    EDIT: Holy crap! Not only does the SCFA production and acidic environment stop Candida growth, but the most potent Candida and antimicrobial fighting bacteria, such as Saccharomyces boulardii actually thrive in an acidic environment — provided they are in place and are fed prebiotics. Jeff Leach was right!

    The whole damn system is designed to function with RS to maintain an acidic state!!!!

  2. sootedninjas on January 22, 2014 at 17:03

    not very good in this kind of thing. but how do I make this RS friendly. The most RS it can deliver with sufficient amount of carbs that I can use for Carb Backloading


    1/ ¼ cup chickpeas
    2 Tbsp. Vitacost PBSlim Powdered Peanut Butter
    1 Tbsp. water
    2 Tbsp. cacao nibs
    2 Tbsp. dark chocolate chips
    ¼ cup Walden Farms Pancake Syrup
    1 tsp. vanilla extract
    pinch of salt

  3. Beans McGrady on January 22, 2014 at 11:18

    I am going to wear out the tape on this one.
    I just found out the other day that the BRM distributor in Mexico does not carry potato starch, even though they do carry a bunch of other BRM products.
    It might be something I could convince them to do in the future, but I have been trying to get going with this for a while now, upping the RS in real foods all along.
    This will help me get the full dose.
    Also, very excited about the book. You and Tim are making a huge contribution here.

  4. Greg on January 22, 2014 at 11:21

    Further discussed by Robb, Kiefer, and Rocky Patel on Kiefer’s new podcast:

    • sootedninjas on January 22, 2014 at 16:04

      is this a recent podcast ?

  5. Amy on January 22, 2014 at 12:05

    *** especially, to anyone who’s been lied to by any glom-on charlatan recently, that it’s “man made resistant starch”

    Yes it’s convenient how Jack Kruse ‘unexpectedly’ acquired a SAD typical gut biome in order to best proceed with his ‘biohack to put all other biohackers in their place’.

    Interesting how Jack Kruse suddenly pulled out a six month experiment from thin air.
    No hints, and no respect paid to Tim (who as AK Man) first introduced Kruse to the idea waaaay back.

    If nuts and raw cocoa float your boat over potato starch then go for it. Charge your members $79 to hear about some fake biohack. Shame.

    • Richard Nikoley on January 22, 2014 at 13:53

      Lying sociopaths will be lying sociopaths.

    • Amy on January 22, 2014 at 15:30

      In a nutshell (lol) – YES they will.

      I want to join the legions in thanking you, Tim of course, Steve, Grace, Jeff Leach and many others for being so open minded…and sharing experience and insight freely as it came to light this past year.
      Bucket loads of integrity, the lot of you.

    • sootedninjas on January 22, 2014 at 16:18

      he told me that I was bias against real food implying that potato starch is man made food. that raw nuts has RS. sure there is BUT how much nuts you need to eat to have significant RS that will be effective. how about the amount of o6 that you will get by consuming too much nuts.

    • sootedninjas on January 22, 2014 at 16:19

      then I mentioned raw plantain or plantain flour. did not received any comment on that.

    • Amy on January 22, 2014 at 16:52

      Given we are not all optimally fit and healthy, using a naturally occurring part of something natural in order to redress a balance shouldn’t make you biased. It makes you smart….if potatoes work for you that is. RS from potatoes might not suit everyone. RS from nuts isn’t going to work for everyone either.
      Great to have the opportunity and freedom to experiment – without sociopathic attempts at undermining good honest work.

    • Linda on January 22, 2014 at 18:58

      What happened to EMF being the root cause of all health evils? Pre-empted by talk of resistant starch perhaps. One-upsmanship strikes again.

    • Amy on January 23, 2014 at 16:39

      His stuff on emf’s effect on redox potential is actually pretty interesting…

      But the microbiome and it’s role in every human’s health is HUGE and the whole evolving picture on resistant starch deserves to be added to in a constructive way, not one clearly driven by marketing objectives.

      (To his credit Kruse does say in his webinar he thinks potato starch could be a really good N=1 for people with crohns or colitis…just that nuts suit him better. and his labs agree.
      I take everything the guy says about his labs, and his history, with a grain of salt.)

  6. DuckDodgers on January 22, 2014 at 12:27

    It’s also worth pointing out that indigenous tribes have been known to make their own starch by hand.

    • tatertot on January 23, 2014 at 09:59

      I read this in a book recently:

      The first settlers of China relied on sago for starch. Sago comes from the spongy centers of the stems of several tropical palm trees. When a palm tree reaches about 15 years old it will flower and set fruit, up until that time the tree devotes its life to storing starch inside its stems which will provide energy for its ripening fruit. The trees are cut down just before it flowers and the average tree will yield nearly ½ ton of starch. The starch is easily removed and kneaded through cloth in a trough of water. Soon the starch settles to the bottom of the trough where it can be easily collected and used in cooking. Sago starch is unique in that it forms some of the highest RS3 after cooking and cooling, than any other starch and served as an excellent prebiotic fiber for the early settlers of China.


  7. Kiran on January 22, 2014 at 17:43

    OK I get Potato start and its effects and all that looks good. Maybe I missed something in the many comments or articles here, but why not just eat a raw (or cooked if you like) potato? is there an advantage over whole foods?

    • Richard Nikoley on January 22, 2014 at 20:01


      Complete difference RS wise between raw & cooked potatoes (the whole point). Potato starch (which you can make yourself from raw potatoes) is an easy way to get the RS in concentration and without some of the other stuff in raw potatoes, like water soluble solanine, what most with nightshade issues have a prob with (though some are still sensitive at these low levels).

    • La Frite on January 23, 2014 at 01:09

      Well, have fun eating a whole raw potato … Unmodified raw PS is just way way more convenient. And if you follow an LC diet, that’s the ticket to better gut and overall health without changing your daily eating habits.

      O also prefer whole foods but really, there are days where I would have about 0 starch and reaching the ~ 30g/ day of RS is really hard with whole foods, especially because I like my foods cooked. So, raw PS in yogurt and that’s it :) No sweat. I do eat green bananas (because I like them, I started that before knowing about the whole RS thing), stir-fried parboiled rice, etc. But I won’t gorge on those to reach the recommended value of RS.

    • sootedninjas on January 23, 2014 at 08:50

      I eat 1 small raw potato to compliment the starch alternating with raw green plantain. I love eating the raw green banana but it seems like I always catch the ones in the store kinda yellow green.

  8. doogiehowsermd on January 22, 2014 at 19:01

    Richard, if you’re so inclined, would you consider creating a master index of foods with resistant starch and placing it on your blog? I would imagine that a decent and comprehensive list will help with Search Engine Optimization once you launch your book. The current offerings on the internet are a little bit all over the place and to my limited knowledge, sources like Fit Day etc do not report this figure (although I could be wrong).

  9. Richard Nikoley on January 22, 2014 at 19:11


    Here. :)

    Top result. 7 page PDF

  10. Bobert on January 22, 2014 at 19:59

    Ps + maca + citruline malate in spring water = your spouse/sig other thanking you

    All real foods.

    • Joe on January 22, 2014 at 20:53

      Why? I can do my own searches (and did), but I’d like to see if you could explain yourself…

    • Thomas on January 23, 2014 at 04:06

      Yeah, I second that. Don’t be lazy Bob!

    • Dave on January 23, 2014 at 09:26

      Maca – An adoptgenic herb that supposedly has libido strengthen effects.
      Citruline malate – A supplement that supposedly increases the amount of nitrate oxide in your blood system (and supposedly helps with getting it up stronger and longer)
      PS – Some have reported libido increases on it (though I have no idea what the physical mechanism is that it would affect that would increase it)

      Basically, it sounds like a super cocktail for the libido. Though be careful to not wear your partner out (or get more partners).

      Oh, and I said supposedly, as your personal mileage may vary with each of the supplements.

  11. Steve on January 22, 2014 at 22:52

    This may sound strange but if i am doing a stint of ULC type dieting (Carb Nite) for example, are the carbs in Potato starch just not counted as “net carbs”??? So if i was trying to keep carbs under 30g a day and took 4Tblsp of potato starch these carbs would not be counted???

    • Richard Nikoley on January 23, 2014 at 06:37

      No, you don’t count the carbs in potato starch. They don’t get digested by you. Same thing when you take out the insoluble fiber from your calculations.

    • Rino Pino on November 7, 2017 at 08:40

      Yes, you do count the digestible carbs found in raw potato starch.

      Carbs in Raw Potato Starch are near 60% to 70% Resistant to digestion. The rest are to be counted.

      40gr of raw potato starch powder –> 32gr total carbs –> 19gr/22gr resistant starch –> 10gr/13gr net carbs

  12. Doug on January 23, 2014 at 09:06

    Just want to say, I heard your RS theory on Coppola’s podcast. Have been self experimenting with 1 tablespoon of potato starch mixed with homemade coconut milk kefir before bed. Some deep interrupted sleep, although I’ve been waking up after between 6 and 7 hours. I ALWAYS get up to pee at least once a night. Haven’t done that once since I started on starch.

    Vivid non stressful dreams. Even bagged an Xrated dream the first night. I really like those. Four nights in a row without one now, though Very disappointed. Will be upping the dose from 1 to 2 tablespoons in hopes it will come back.

  13. Debbie on January 24, 2014 at 08:48

    I’ve been doing this since I heard you on Coppola’s podcast as well. I get you about the gas but my pants are fitting better. I am wondering about SIBO though since the conventional wisdom is that RS makes it a lot worse since it is supposed to feed both good and bad bacteria. I did have acid reflux for the first time since starting the paleo diet two years ago and that is worrisome. Anyway, my poops are much better than they have been in years so I will keep doing it despite the gas.

  14. Adam on January 24, 2014 at 11:06

    Any way to download an mp3? I prefer to listen on the go.

  15. LCHF + Resistent stärkelse! | Highfatfitness on April 16, 2014 at 05:00

    […] Richard Nikoley på Free the Animal, skriver om hur Robb Wolf introducerade honom till stärkelse (här) Jimmy Moore testar resistent stärkelse (här) Per Wikholm skriver om resistent stärkelse […]

  16. bacarney on December 2, 2016 at 08:11

    not sure where else to post this, but just saw a disturbing study on SCFAs:

    “The researchers found evidence of inflammation in the brains of transgenic mice with typical microbiota that was not present in germ-free transgenic mice. When the team fed short-chain fatty acids—microbial metabolites—to germ-free transgenic mice, the animals developed inflammation, α-synuclein aggregates, and motor deficits. The authors propose a mechanistic link between the disease and the production of short-chain fatty acids by gut microbiota.

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