Podcast: How Resistant Starch Foods Can Make You Smarter, Faster And Healthier

Ameer Rosic is one of those people that conjure my favorite saying in French: s’il n’existait pas, il faudrait l’inventer.

Ameer has an ever present smile, he’s high energy, and he thinks. And I always like that.

I recorded a podcast with him a couple of weeks back and it went live today.

If you want to use iTunes, download for drive time, or whatever, those options are available at the page. Also, I believe there’s a transcript.

Memberships are $10 monthly, $20 quarterly, or $65 annually. The cost of two premium coffees per month. Every membership helps finance the travel to write, photo, and film from interesting places and share the experiences with you.


  1. Debbie on January 27, 2014 at 21:16

    I had pica as a small child–could never understand by. Here is a definition of pica. Sound familiar?? Raw potatoes are on the list of nonnutritive items people eat. I craved paper. I think my body was trying to tell me something. I craved paper.

    • gabkad on January 28, 2014 at 01:22

      Debbie, iron deficiency anemia is a common cause of pica all over the world, children and adults.

      There was an excellent article in the NY Times some years ago about a woman who ate paper and (can’t recall exactly) loved to sit in the concrete stairwell because of the smell…. she was finally diagnosed with celiac. (If you have that you’d probably know by now).

    • junkgrl on January 28, 2014 at 08:15

      I craved the burnt heads from kitchen matches. I can still taste them in my mind. I can’t explain why my sister sat under the kitchen table eating dog kibble.

    • gabriella kadar on January 28, 2014 at 14:52

      My kids used to eat dog biscuits. It was one of those slide beneath the movie seat moments when the Tom Hanks character on Turner and Hooch wanted the dog to eat the biscuit and not drink the beer. One of my kids piped up ‘I like dog biscuits. They taste good.’……

  2. mike ede on January 27, 2014 at 15:35

    Is there an email I can reach you on? Got a potential n=1 you may be interested in (and I could possibly use some input into) I know you’re busy so feel free to tell me to sod off!


    • Richard Nikoley on January 27, 2014 at 15:41


      I take your question to mean that you haven’t ever read my About page, and I’m hurt.

    • Richard Nikoley on January 27, 2014 at 20:59


      Ignore me. Email is on the About page.

    • Mike Ede on January 28, 2014 at 02:19

      Don’t be hurt, for some reason in my browser it has a line through it which lead me to believe that you no longer used it. Sorry about that.

    • Doug on January 28, 2014 at 04:46

      The same thing happens when I view About. I thought he didn’t like email :)

    • Charles on January 28, 2014 at 14:44

      I assume that’s to avoid SPAM by fooling the bots that troll through web pages looking for email addresses.

    • Richard Nikoley on January 28, 2014 at 20:55

      Exactly right, Charles. It’s a java code deal.

  3. Amy on January 27, 2014 at 16:10

    I love Ameer’s embedded interview up there.
    Not least because the way the arrow is smack between the basket of potatoes and Richard’s head suggests some kind of incredible vegetable to Man transformation might have taken place…

    • Richard Nikoley on January 27, 2014 at 16:16

      You’re doing the whole artsy, metaphor, deep meaning thing, aren’t you Amy. Hey, my bowl is dry. Got any? :)

    • Amy on January 28, 2014 at 12:28

      You have to admit the way Ameer made your pic sort of potato shaped is provocative.

      Further into the video it’s square again. ;)
      I’m not losing sleep over this. No it’s definitely adding to my quality of life this week. Thank you both!!! :D

  4. gabriella kadar on January 27, 2014 at 16:59

    Yup, eat your yoghurt/potato starch combo then follow up with romano beans and buckwheat noodles. Then next day you can do the ‘marching fart’ like the tuba in a brass band. The bloat wasn’t fun but the sound effects were great. Not doing it again.

    • Spanish Caravan on January 27, 2014 at 20:34

      Hey Gabby, those were exactly the farts during my salad days of PS supplementing. I call it a whale belch but the “tuba fart” is exactly what they sound like. Deep, sonorous, baritone. The kind that Luciano Pavarotti would unload after downing umpteen linguini with clam sauce and a dozen espresso.

      These days, not so much and there never was really bad smell. I have a theory as to why. I’ve noticed that the farts only smell if you’re slow in transit. RS acceleratse your BM so smelly farts are never a problem.

    • Amy on January 27, 2014 at 22:25

      Spanish Caravan, (apologies if you’ve answered this already somewhere)….Did you carry on with the enema variety of RS supplementation or did you eventually tolerate effective oral doses?
      That seems like a pretty bold kind of question I know (!!!) but I’m really keen to know because I’m struggling due to long-term SIBO yet convinced RS is worth persevering with. Thanks in advance. :D

    • Spanish Caravan on January 28, 2014 at 00:14

      I haven’t done enema in a while. But I can tell you, it’s stronger from the bottom up. You basically deliver it directly to your distal colon. No need for psyllium husks. I’ve only done it with RS and a few probiotics. Now, having said that, I’d be wary of doing certain SBO probiotics that way. Most probiotics, I think, have been tested for tolerance the mouth-gut route, not the other way. So if you have to do it, stick to RS2 via retention enema and, if you have to, the regular lactobacillus and bifidum variety that way.

      I can tell you, 4 tbsps of PS orally is probably equal to 2 tbsps the other way. The strength quadruples. The sleep effect magnifies and you’re in RS-induced euphoria the whole day. Seriously, if anyone’s every been depressed, this is a cure not only for insomnia but malaise.

      Oh yeah, if you got SIBO, then why go through the small intestine when there is a more direct way. Don’t beat around the bush.

    • jgibson on January 28, 2014 at 05:10

      If that were during the adaptation phase, then wow, I can see how that would turn your ass into a ghettoblaster. I still want to smack the dude who suggested eating yogurt/RS with apple. I think my nose hairs are still singed.

    • junkgrl on January 28, 2014 at 08:13

      OMG. I work at a library and I am standing here at the circ desk sneaking a peak at this site and trying not to fall over laughing, but since I am trying PS for RS these last 2 weeks, that may be a dangerous move in this quiet place.

    • DuckDodgers on February 5, 2014 at 18:39


      Serious question, but if butyrate were being produced while you are retaining the PS enema in overnight, shouldn’t you have to fart while the enema is in?

  5. kxmoore on January 27, 2014 at 19:45

    Getting deep into the microbiome rabbit hole. These critters effect mood, mind and health. We are controlled by aliens. They live inside us.



  6. Spanish Caravan on January 27, 2014 at 21:16

    I just listened to the podcast. What stuck out was Richard’s observation that farting is a “social construct.” I agree completely and the antipathy to flatulence has arisen from working indoors. Everyone works indoors these days. Only those with their own office can get away with farting freely and frequently. Most people who inhabit cubicles will have to hold it and then they unload in the bathroom in front of others like there is no tomorrw.

    I never understood this phenomenon. Why is it acceptable to fart loudly in the men’s room but not in the conference room? It is a social etiquette, sure, like belching isn’t tolerated while dining. But when you do, you say excuse me. But you’re not gonna be excused if you unload a tuba fart during a company luncheon. You’d think that people are in denial that humans fart. The way people react, it seems only normal if you fart in private.

    Intolerance to flatulence has evolved as a form of constrictive social decorum, part and parcel of modernization. It is similar to political correctness which began to inhibit free expression of speech and thought in the last century. But what’s striking is that this intolerance seems to have evolved while men gravitated indoors to office jobs, away from factory floors and warehouses where there is more space and a noisy background, allowing you to fart freely and frequently. You simply don’t have that much luxury when you have a desk job with a computer.

    But there is nothing wrong with farting, health-wise. I suspect the opposite is true: the inability to fart, or the deliberate suppression of your flatulent urge to comform to social correctness, has adverse health consequences. It probably promotes abdominal bloating, sometimes severely, and inhibits peristalsis, inducing constipation. If I had to guess, the reasons for IBS being so widespread in Western countries may have something to do with this social correctness that has taken root with industrialization.

    • gabkad on January 28, 2014 at 01:35

      Spanish, is this your hypothesis?

      I think maybe people should just take a crap at home in the morning before they go to work and not walk around all day with a descending colon full of poo. Probably a lot of people don’t respond to nature’s prompting because they are in a rush to get to work in the morning and they sleep in for as long as they think they can get away with it or have a long commute.

    • kayumochi on January 28, 2014 at 02:42
    • Thomas on February 5, 2014 at 06:14


      what the hell is that?

  7. Gemma on January 27, 2014 at 23:00

    Haha, farting as a social construct. Sometimes it can even deconstruct:

    “Methane gas released by dairy cows has caused an explosion in a cow shed in Germany, police said.
    The roof was damaged and one of the cows was injured in the blast in the central German town of Rasdorf.
    Thanks to the belches and flatulence of the 90 dairy cows in the shed, high levels of the gas had built up. (…)”


  8. GTR on January 28, 2014 at 01:37

    Ameer mentioned “Gaia hypothesis” in the podcast. Unfortunately this one has been debunked – the best shot at Gaia is a book by Peter Ward “Medea hypothesis”. Peter Ward is a specialist in mass extinctions, especially the largest one – Permian extinction (a separate book “Under the green sky” covers this one).

    The general thesis of Medea hypothesis is that life itself is suicidal. One of the examples given is that life eliminates life-giving carbon from the biosphere, by depositing it as a limestone. This the end of plant life might be as close as 500 milion years from now, because of depletion of CO2 from the atmosphere.

    Even more interesting are mass extinctions. Apparently the greatest ones in the latest like 350 years, except for the KT meteor impact that killed dinosaurs, were caused by the overgrowth of suplhur (rather than oxygen) processing bacteria in the ocean, including the Purple photosytethizing ones. Apparently in seas or lakes that have non-oxygenated bottom due to little sea currents (which is caused by low temperature difference between poles and equator during hot periods) there’s a layering – upper layer is oxygenated, lower layer is dead, and between those layers lays a layer of sulphur processing bacteria. An excinction was caused by this layer moving upwards, to the surface, thus allowing these photosyntesizing bacteria that use sulphur to grow like crazy. These produce H2S as a result of their metabolism which in turn both kills animal life directly, as well as destroys the ozone layer, thus killing plants and plankton which creates another phases of extinction.

  9. Mike on January 28, 2014 at 06:52

    Thought that this was appropriate.

    A man walks into his doctor’s office after getting the results of his last checkup. His doctor looks up from his chart and says, ” Your doing remarkably well, a great improvement over your last check up. Have you been exercising and cutting back on the bacon and eggs like I recommended?”

    “Not really, haven’t changed much at all”, said the man. “Except …”

    “Except what?”, asked the doctor.

    “While, I’ve taken to nosing around on the internet and came across a couple of articles that talked about the benefits of resistant starch. Thought I would give it a go, so I mix a couple of tablespoons of potato starch into some water and drink it down once a day.”

    “Really, I have never heard of such a thing, how did it make you feel?”.

    “Great, sleeping like a baby, energy seems to be much better, I just feel better, and not much to the downside”


    “While, there’s a bit of a side effect, it gives me terrible wind. But not as bad as you might think as generally, they are not too loud and they don’t smell at all. Is there anything you can do about it?”

    The doctor looked at the man and smiled, “Sure, I have just the thing, take on of these pills twice a day and come back to me in two weeks and we’ll see how you’re doing.”

    The man returned to the doctor’s office two weeks later and did not look happy. “Doc, these pills are useless, worse than useless!”, exclaimed the man.

    “Why do you say that?” asked the doctor.

    “They have done nothing to cut down on the wind doc and not only haven’t they worked they have made things worse! My farts are now smelling pretty foul”.

    The doctor looked at the man and smiled, “Good they are working as planned, now all we have to do is work on your hearing.”

  10. Allison on January 28, 2014 at 07:21

    Okay—no more promoting Bob’s Red Mill Potato Starch. It is becoming so popular that I cannot get it anymore with my subscribe and save with Amazon. I just called amazon and they don’t even know when it will be available to me. To buy on Amazon you have to buy from a third party seller that has jacked up the price! Is Bob’s Red Mill clueless about what is going on with their sales of this product? Have you been contacted? Are they going to increase production? I guess I just have to go to a health food store and pay health food prices. :)

    • pzo on January 28, 2014 at 14:12

      Go to your Asian food store. Much cheaper and the starch I’m buying actually tastes a little better than Bob’s. The brand I buy is “Pyramid” or something like that, plus Vietnamese labeling, yellow bag, Made in USA.

  11. EF on January 28, 2014 at 08:47

    Just tested blood sugar on potato starch

    My baseline reading was 87 at 11 am. I then consumed 3-4 TBLS of potato starch on an empty stomach. At 15 minutes my first reading was 112. I then took two readings immediately thereafter and they were 95 and 87. At 30 minutes, the readings were 85 and 87

    My conclusion is the PS has minimal impact on my blood sugar and the 112 reading was an outlier.

    • pzo on January 28, 2014 at 14:21

      Established months ago by GK.

      My personal experience is that nothing happens for 45 minutes, which is also a typical peak glucose time for me. It bumps up a bit and then is all gone at 60 minutes.

  12. Brian on January 28, 2014 at 11:37

    Any advice on buckwheat? What is best?
    Buckwheat flour
    Buckwheat groats
    Buckwheat noodles?

    I’ve been eating steel cut oats soaked overnight in Greek and yum yum but always looking to expand RS choices.

  13. Julie on January 28, 2014 at 11:44

    Since Day 11 of taking Resistant Starch (on its own, without probiotics, psyllium, etc.) I’ve had a bitter taste in my mouth, on and off. It happens especially when eating or drinking something – even sweet things like coconut water.

    I think I’ve read somewhere that it can be an indication of heavy metal detoxing (?) but I don’t have a a history of that kind of exposure (no mercury fillings, etc.).

    Is the bitter taste normal when starting with RS? Bad? Good? Coincidence?

  14. john on January 28, 2014 at 12:03

    The latest article in SuppVersity made me laugh for 10 minutes and still is amusing.

    Well it is from Nigeria for a start.

    Then the data suggests that if one drinks tea, one has a pretty good chance of suppressing the actions of α-amylase and α-glucosidase on starches. Hey presto, no need for concentrated sources of resistant starch- with tea it will mostly all slide down to the colon bio-reactor.

    I wonder if tea started disappearing about when obesity gained ground? Darned people in Hong Kong- so slim, so much tea drunk.

  15. pzo on January 28, 2014 at 14:29

    Just another update on PS and my bike riding and FBG.

    Three months into 6 tbl’s a day and my performance is STILL increasing. I just set a new personal best for one destination, I’m up one or two gears for a given situation, and I have reserve power like never before. Compared to my average speed in the autumn, I’m up some 1.3mph.

    Although my Florida winter is mild, I don’t ride near as much now as in the summer, so it’s not just a matter of cardio training.

    My FBG remains lower than what I used to get even years ago when I was younger.

    BTW, I was the one that pointed out that farting’s bad reputation is a social construct. Alert the media.

  16. Charles on January 28, 2014 at 14:52

    “Chronic, low doses of antibiotics cause mice to gain 15% more body fat. This is consistent with the weight gain found in farm animals who are put on similar antibiotic regiments. Early exposure to antibiotics also causes weight gain in humans.” (HT KXMoore, above.)

    How about chronic, low dosages of antibiotics (from residue in animals fed antibiotics) over decades and generations?


  17. gabriella kadar on January 28, 2014 at 15:32

    I haven’t opened the research link yet but here’s from HuffPost: (more on gut biome)


  18. Fredrick Hahn on January 28, 2014 at 15:37

    From Dr. Art Ayers:

    “Truth: We don’t need Grains and other sources of starch, but grains also typically cause health problems, e.g. sensitivity, intolerance or celiac, for most people…”


    • Richard Nikoley on January 28, 2014 at 21:34


      It’ll be in the book, but this post and Art’s later one (yesterday, I think) have not impressed my collaborators.

      It’s true one doesn’t need grains, though rice is pretty benign.

  19. JP on January 28, 2014 at 15:53

    Not RS related, but here’s an interesting article about an experiment (extreme low-carb vs. extreme low-fat) conducted by twins:


    Neither diet was pleasant, nor were the results (weight was lost, but a lot of unpleasant tradeoffs). The main takeaway: “Speaking with scientists working in cutting edge nutrition, they decided that the real problem was the combination of sugar and fat found in many processed foods.”

    Another nice tidbit (that most of us already knew): the twins were both medical doctors, but neither knew much about nutrition.

  20. Harriet on January 28, 2014 at 17:18

    An update on my personal biohack. I’m now about 3 weeks into taking PS. As I have a history of ankylosing spondylitis and rheumatoid arthritis I took it slowly. One week at 1 tbs a day, then just over a week at 2 tbs a day. Then up to 3. This coincided with a return from holiday where I had been overdoing it as regards my eating of non-paleo food. When I got home I went into major adrenal runs and at first I wondered if this was to do with adding the 3rd tbs but I decided it was due to a return to my normal lowish carb diet. The next morning I awoke at 4 am and it was like I had someone or something pushing random buttons to see what would happen. I woke up with an adrenaline run, then a hot flush, a headache started followed by twitching and shaking, followed by deep relaxation, more adrenaline, then deep despair (for all of 20 seconds), then euphoria (again about 20 seconds), aggression (2 mins). These symptoms continued randomly for about two hours till I decided I’d had enough and got up to take the dog for a walk.

    The 3rd tbs of PS also set off active inflammation in my lower back (AS) but as the adrenaline surges were more annoying I upped my dose yesterday to 4 tbs. WOW. I went to bed at just after 8pm as I was tired after the 4am wake up. And I slept almost immediately (normal for me), waking at 3 am for an hour of more of what happened at 4am yesterday. Then back to sleep with those vivid dreams till 7.30. That was around 10.5 hours of sleep! And I woke up only because the dog was complaining outside my door that she wanted her walk. I’d have stayed sleeping if I could as I felt like I had taken very strong sleeping tablets.

    Do I have a sleep deficit that needs to be made up? I am hoping things will settle down once I’m used to it as I’m in midsummer here and I’m used to making the most of my early morning cool period. In the interests of full disclosure that might be helpful to others my rheumatoid arthritis finger pain has reduced to almost nothing and the stiffness is starting to resolve and the ear inflammation that causes excrutiating itchiness at night has waned considerably.

    • Spanish Caravan on January 28, 2014 at 18:21

      Wow, you’re pushing through the RS protocol alright, despite AS et al. During my first month, I did end up becoming very tired in the afternoon. I supplemented with Gaia, the adrenal support supplement recommended by Dr BG. I don’t know if that’s working or RS or both, I don’t have that issue anymore.

      Sleep is the most tangible and early benefit you can reap: falling asleep quickly, falling into a deep REM sleep, and not waking in the middle of the night.

    • Harriet on January 30, 2014 at 00:46

      Its now a couple of days later (I think), and I’m feeling very sorry for myself. The inflammation (AS) is now much worse than the adrenaline runs and I’m thinking through my options. Do I stay on the PS? Do I drop it back a bit? Do I take some anti-inflammatories for the pain? I am very stiff and sore.

      Now the “safe” way to deal with this is to forget all about PS and go back to starving the critters that are driving this (Krebsiella according to tatertot). But I want to heal things not just reduce the symptoms a bit. And stopping the PS is no guarantee things will settle down anyway.

      What really annoys is not just the pain, its all the other inflammatory side effects including the losing of IQ/the ability to remember and to use logic and judgement.. That really pisses me off. I want to get rid of this damn problem, not just hide it.

      So I might give it one more day and reassess tomorrow. I’ll also not do anything that requires judgement – like driving and karate class. Though I might just get my husband to drive me to karate – that’s an idea. I have to keep moving anyway and class might make me feel better.

    • gabriella kadar on January 30, 2014 at 04:26

      Harriet, you may be doing too many varied things to determine what’s what. If your guts are so sensitive and your body in general is so vulnerable to inflammation, why would you take the situation so casually by consuming all sorts of junkfood during the cruise? Seeing as how you are recording in such minute by minute details all of the adverse sensations you are experiencing, perhaps go back and check your records for how you were affected after previous cruises and indulgences. There may be a pattern.

    • Harriet on February 1, 2014 at 19:33

      Thanks for your comment Gabriella. My guts aren’t nearly as sensitive as they used to be but yes I am vulnerable to inflammation. And my symptoms weren’t due to junk food eating on the cruise, but to adding PS to my diet.
      I don’t think I was casual about my eating on the cruise. I didn’t consume junk food much at all – just more than usual (usual = nil). I did have some small desserts which I later discovered had some gluten in them and most had sugar which I don’t usually eat. However one cannot go through life being an extremist eater all the time – well I choose not to anyway. Until I started the PS I had the best health I’ve ever had in 60 years – its just not right yet, so I choose to experiment a bit, hence the potato starch. I’m always interested in the little aspects and find it helpful when I read the results of other’s experimentation. And the fact that PS makes my AS much worse indicates some gut issues. I’m happy with that feedback, though on bad days I feel really sorry for myself.

    • Pone on February 3, 2014 at 03:31

      Harriet, have you been seen by a gastroenterologist to diagnose Celiac or SIBO or FODMAP issues? It sounds like you may have one or more serious food metabolism issues and you should get them diagnosed. A little known fact is that people with celiac – or other wheat absorption issues – also often have issues with one or more of the FIVE different FODMAP sugars. Two of those five FODMAP sugars are diagnosed through a hydrogen breath test, and just finding a place to get that test done is tough. Typically it is only done at gastro labs of major hospitals or university hospitals, not private labs.

      Once you get a diagnosis, you should get a dietician who *specializes* in FODMAP issues, because managing the diet around these is tough.

      The psychological result you report around dreaming is really interesting. Have you tried taking MCT Oil before? How do you react to that? See my hypothesis below that maybe potato starch is releasing short chained fatty acids that metabolize to ketones. MCT Oil also metabolizes to ketones. Ketones and glucose are the only forms of energy the brain can use. Maybe your brain is having some issues around processing ketones, and if yes I would expect MCT Oil to create similar kinds of experiences for you, but maybe not as intense.

      For me MCT Oil is very thermogenic and can result in rapid heartbeat. I use it very strategically only with starchy carbs because there are studies that show it causes the glucose metabolized from the starchy carbs to store as glycogen, which I need and want. To contrast, dairy fats appear to cause insulin resistance. For me, drinking a lot of dairy cream sent my fasting glucose and LDL particle counts SOARING.

    • Pone on February 3, 2014 at 03:40

      Harriet, why do you associate inflammation in your lower back with “the losing of IQ/the ability to remember and to use logic and judgement…”

      What you are describing is more like a brain fog, which has nothing to do with inflammation. It’s an extremely serious symptom that stands on its own. And to me that sounds like a classic celiac or serious serious food metabolic disorder. I’m not a doctor. I’m not diagnosing. But you would be irresponsible to not march over to a gastro and report that symptom and tell him you want a full checkup for food metabolism disorders including Celiac, SIBO, and FODMAP.

      Someone who is losing IQ or memory or judgement shouldn’t be trying to fix such problems with potato starch. There is something way way more serious than anything potato starch is going to fix going on there.

    • Spanish Caravan on February 5, 2014 at 23:16

      Pone, having a brain fog is very common if you have a rheumatic disease, which AS is. You don’t need to be Celiac or have Fodmaps. It’s a peripheral symptoms if you have any of the rheumatic autoimmunity or any of its comorbidities: hypothyroidism, CFS, fibromyalgia. For AS, it might be related to uveitis, which basically feels like having your eyeballs squeezed and you get headaches.

    • gabkad on February 6, 2014 at 04:20

      Spanish, in re: brain fog. Personal experience: poor sleep quality. This was many years ago and it was caused by chronic pain. What could make it infinitely worse was Costco family size apple pie. *junkfood* My kids and I would go shopping to Costco on Saturdays and end up bringing home one of these monsters. On Monday I was a duyduyduy…..Then I cut the junkfood and brain fog was gone. Probably eating that crap degraded sleep quality even more than it was from the pain. I had a sleep study done in 1998 and I ‘didn’t sleep’ i.e. only experienced a few minutes of stage 3, was having 60 ‘arousals’ per hour. That was exhausting. Crappy food just made it worse.

      Pain all day long degrades sleep quality even if during sleep there is no pain. I had to figure out how to improve this because in a bed I was having major issues with my arms going numb at night. In 2011 I bought a Mayan hammock and since then I sleep like a baby. People who know about this think I’m some sort of eccentric oddball. But it entirely relaxes my over worked back muscles so when I get up in the morning, I’m not stiff and sore anymore. The potato starch has improved sleep quality one more step. I don’t know for sure how important it is to remember dreams but I assume getting more REM is a good thing.

      There was a potential confounder in that since early December I have been taking Cytomel. But if I don’t take the potato starch, I don’t dream.

  21. ras on January 28, 2014 at 18:13

    To all,

    Some foods, such as chili, taste better after a night in the fridge. Is this, at least in part, due to the change of digestible starch to resistant starch? There is, after all, a certain “thickening” component to the change, in addition to the blending of flavors.

  22. Hrvoje on January 29, 2014 at 05:42

    According to this study (Effects of amylose content, autoclaving, parboiling, extrusion, and post-cooking treatments on resistant starch content of different rice cultivars) , it’s not all roses:

    About 10% of pigs
    fed steam-flaked corn and challenged withB. hyodysenteriae
    developed SD, whilst pigs fed cooked medium-grain rice
    were completely protected from disease (Pluske et al.
    1996; Sibaet al. 1996). Interestingly, subsequent work by
    Kirkwoodet al. (2000) and Lindecrona et al. (2003) failed
    to find a protective effect of cooked rice on the incidence
    of SD. These workers, however, used parboiled rice, and as
    demonstrated in the current study, this has a much higher
    RS content than the cooked white rice used by Pluskeet al.

    It is possible that an increased colonic fermentation
    occurred as a result of this RS, and this activity supported
    the growth of B. hyodysenteriaein pigs fed parboiled rice.

    Hence, when studying the influence of rice on intestinal
    function or enteric infections, it is important to standardise
    the variety used and the methods by which it is processed
    and stored.

  23. Hrvoje on January 29, 2014 at 05:44

    Same study:

    This is important since RS is known to influence
    ileal starch, faecal crude fat and energy digestibility, and the
    extent of proliferation of colonic microbes (De Schrijveret al.
    1999), including pathogenic species (Pluskeet al. 2002)

  24. HansK on January 29, 2014 at 06:44

    Dear Nikoley, I noticed that when I use potato starch I get heart palpitations. Do you know whether potato starch contains glycoalkaloids? I’ve read that solanine could (amongst others) cause heart palpitations.

    • gabriella kadar on January 29, 2014 at 19:26

      Unmodified raw potato starch contains neither glycoalkaloids nor solanine.

      If you are experiencing heart palpitations, see a doctor. Correlation is not causation. You may have a serious medical problem that came to light because you began paying more attention.

    • HansK on January 30, 2014 at 00:15

      Hi Gabriella, Thanks for your respons. I’m not the type who visits a doctor when he notices something. I prefer to stay far away from conventional medicin. i’m doing fine. I never had heart palpipitations (or whatever they call it) before. The palpitations stop when I quit the PS. Maybe my PS was not without Glycoalkaloids (they often use patato’s with skin). BTW: Solanine is a Glycoalkaloid. Thnx again.

    • gabriella kadar on January 30, 2014 at 03:16

      Hans if you are making your own potato starch from fresh potatoes, then possibly if you did not remove a thick layer at the peel, you can get solanine. However, commercial potato starches are made from peeled potatoes.

      If the potato starch lowers your blood glucose and you’ve got an underlying medical condition you may be getting problems which is why any time people experience anything they believe to be heart palpitations, they should get at least an ECG done along with blood pressure checked. Most atrial fibrillation is asymptomatic but some people notice when they get them.

    • HansK on January 30, 2014 at 06:22

      Hi Gabriella. I don’t think it was or feeled like atrial fibrillation. It was more if though every now and then a beat was skipped. It’s over now. I’m a lower carb paleo (perfect health diet) guy. My bloodsugar is always low. I’ll just leave the the PS for what it is and rely on RS-rich whole foods. Unless I get an accident, doctors will not touch me :-).

    • HansK on January 30, 2014 at 06:23

      feeled is felt of course ;-).

    • Tanya on February 1, 2014 at 14:59

      If you want to experiment with it again, consider supplementing some magnesium at the same time. My kids and I all tend to get low mag symptoms when we change a lot in our digestion, and I don’t think we’re particularly odd in that way. Back when I was younger, I had some irregular heartbeat stuff that went away when I added in magnesium, which I did for a different reason–doctors hadn’t found anything bad/wrong with my irregular heartbeat, so I wasn’t thinking about it.

    • Pone on February 3, 2014 at 02:47

      Gabriella, what is your source of information that potato starch has glycoalkaloids removed? What is the industrial process for removing them? I have been searching for that question all over the web and I cannot find a single article that discusses this. Any juice or material extracted from a potato should contain glycoalkaloids, although the interesting question is what is the density.

      This blog discusses in some detail the toxicity of glycoalkaloids and talks about potatoes:


      In a response in the comments section at the bottom, the author makes the point that it is difficult to get glycoalkaloids out of the food chain because potato starch is in so many processed foods. The context of that response seems to be that potato starch does contain glycoalkaloids.

      What is a particular concern is that the toxicity of these substances is cumulative. You can start out not triggering a reaction but over time the toxicity can build. So checking the density of the toxin in four tablespoons of starch against the critical toxicity levels defined in the article above might be a really good idea.

    • Pone on February 3, 2014 at 03:01

      This patent application for a process to remove glycoalkaloids from potato is rich with information on the industrial processes used:


      Maybe someone with enough time on their hands can dissect that and figure out how many potato starch extraction processes would be at risk for glycoalkaloids.

    • HansK on February 3, 2014 at 04:37

      @Tanya: I already take 400mg of magnesium per day. Thnx for the tip.
      @Pone: I looked for the same answer, but could not find it either. I think the amount of glycoalkaloids will differ per manufacturer and proces. With you I think there must be glycoalkaloids in the PS. This YouTube gifs an idea http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGe_0CDsqNw (4min,40sec).

    • HansK on February 3, 2014 at 08:12

      @Richard Nikoley: Next time I’d better listen to the podcast before asking you questions. I just listened and heard what you think about glykoalkaloids (including solanine) in PS. BTW nice podcast it was. Cheers.

    • Pone on February 3, 2014 at 12:59

      Hansk, looking at that video, does anyone for a second believe that a small potato starch factory is getting all of the skin off those potatoes? I would be amazed if they removed more than maybe 60% of the skin. And I don’t really understand enough about the starch making process to know how much they would end up concentrating or diluting the remaining glycoalkaloids.

    • Pone on February 3, 2014 at 13:01

      HansK, how many minutes into the podcast is the discussion on glycoalkaloids?

    • Bernhard on February 7, 2014 at 02:30

      “Glycoalkaloids could not be detected in starch extracted from tubers with a glycoalkaloid concentration of 6.6 mg/i 00 g (fwb).”

    • HansK on February 7, 2014 at 02:44

      @Pone: It’s more a general video regarding the making of PS; I don’t think they mention GA
      @Bernard: Thnx for the link; The questions remain: What quality potatoes is used, What of the potatoe is used an What is the applied proces of making starch.

    • Bernhard on February 7, 2014 at 03:28

      Hans was it you who said “the doctors will not get at me?”
      If so this deserves applause.
      As to what potatoes and quality, this you can find out only if you’re able to track the producer. Am certain not even the distributors know and it appears some company in Denmark? produces a lot of starch and sells globally in different brand names? As to processing, this has been discussed with some links here on FTA. Somehow having difficulties to work the searching tool here on FTA, otherwise I’d search for the links.
      Austria, small country, still has it’s own manufacturing of starch and also produces organic stuff which we bought in a 25 kg bag. Still, it’d be some more effort to get the information of exact quality and process. Possible, but an effort I don’t consider worthwhile here at the moment.

    • HansK on February 7, 2014 at 04:49

      @Bernard: Indeed no doctors will get at me. After I got interested and studied cell biology and physiology in my spare time I found out that most of the conventional doctors and even specialists know “S**T” about these matters.

      I now get my starch from a Belgian producer. I’m not sure about their quality. I’ll by a bag of Bob’s Red Mill, Potato Starch, Unmodified, 24 oz (680 g) at iHerb or so and try it. I’m a RS-believer.

  25. Sarabeth Matilsky on January 29, 2014 at 19:07

    I have been experimenting on all five members of my good-natured family (ages 1.5-43), but three weeks is too early to tell what the heck is going on; I shall wait a bit longer before I report. :) But I do have a couple of questions:

    In many posts and comments on this site, folks have noted that “it would be very hard to get the same amount of resistant starch from food as can be obtained in ~4 tbs. of PS.” Which makes me wonder: does this amount of starch comprise a temporary, therapeutic protocol? Should people in general be trying to eat more resistant-starch containing foods? And how does one decide when ones body has had enough starch? (Maybe too early for anyone to know this!)

    I must also clarify that while perhaps it is socially acceptable to fart loudly in mens’ rooms, I do NOT think that the same holds true in the women’s room! Last week, I think I scared a woman at the other end of the restroom with my amazing volley; I had this simultaneous urge to laugh hysterically, and to hide in my stall until she left. I am slightly ashamed to admit that I ended up doing the latter…

    • Richard Nikoley on January 29, 2014 at 21:36


      1st, you’re my kinda gal. Would love to laf over drinks with you.

      “Which makes me wonder: does this amount of starch comprise a temporary, therapeutic protocol?”

      Very, very valid question. I don’t know. There is no way to know, as of yet, would have been an evolutionary norm in terms of non-extreme environments (high altitude, high altitude). Storage tubers seem to have the most. It’s probably all over the map.

      So far it has done me no harm, and I can take up to 8T per day with not much farts, and I can eat beans and fart not much at all. Something has happened. i don’t know what. Im willing to take it forward.

      I’m kinda ambivalent about whether to get from foods or concentrate via PS and other similar. My thinking is that you ought to feed the critters and how you do so is less important than that you do. Some people are going to stay LC no matter what, so they probably want to do 2-4T per day of PS. Others who get starchy stuff, some cooled, might do 1-2 every few days.

      Totally individual.

      Would have loved to be in that ladies room to have a laf with you.

      You can always consider getting yourself a Toot Tone


    • gabriella kadar on January 30, 2014 at 03:35

      Richard, I was just thinking the other day that the mixing of potato starch into yoghurt is just a new paradigm on Activia. That yoghurt, manufactured by Danone, contains inulin. Many people have discomfort from inulin. Less people appear to have problems with potato starch. According to the information that’s somewhere (probably around here) that inulin is not the best form of soluble fibre to encourage butyric acid production.

      Yoghurt + potato starch + teaspoon of honey = le voila! almost a faux commercial tasting product for those who associate yoghurt with ‘sweet’.

      My friend is making smoothies from frozen banana, milk, yoghurt, frozen strawberries and potato starch. It’s her ‘dinner’. Sure is making her a much calmer person. I was a bit tentative in recommending this all to her because she has a history of acid reflux, burping, intestinal gas pain, and constipation. This regimen has eliminated all of these problems.

      Oddly enough, when a current stressful situation has arisen (she’s had not water at her place since Saturday due to a water main burst under the street) she is remarkably chill. I met with one of her old friends yesterday who mentioned this to me and he is an unbiased observer. I told him I’d already noticed this and explained that I think it’s the potato starch. But when I told him she’s crapping into plastic shopping bags and putting them out in the garbage because she can’t get enough bottled water into her place to justify using it to flush her toilet. He was all ‘TMI’. LOL! She is not a survivalist who would have found situations like this to be a benign challenge. My how things do change.

  26. Hrvoje on January 31, 2014 at 03:10

    If RS feeds both good and bad guys (bacteria), then before you do start taking RS, you have to be sure you don’t have bad guys all over the place, right? This should be the most important thing before even considering it, as studies have shown that RS can aggravate some conditions where bacteria is to blame

    • gabriella kadar on January 31, 2014 at 03:58

      Hrvoje, RS fermentation in the gut results in acid production by the bacteria thereby lowering pH. Pathogenic bacteria and candida prefer higher pH levels. This is how beneficial bacteria outcompete the bad guys.

      Check AnimalPharm. Dr. BG has a great deal of information re: protocol for dealing with SIBO.

      It’s always a good idea to go slow. Don’t just load up with 4 tablespoons of PS. Start with 1 teaspoon for a few days and increase gradually depending on how you respond. Add it to live culture yoghurt (if you can eat this stuff). That way you get pro and pre biotic at the same time.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 1, 2014 at 14:04


      Echoing Gabby (sorry, Gabs :). What you are proposing is maybe impossible, at least impractical. Sure, you could take a round of antibiotics and try to start over, since human antibiotics are carpet bombers, generally. But you’re tossing away a ton of the good.

      I’m editing our chapter in the book right now on this very subject, at least in part. The working title is “Chemical Warfare” and is replete with military metaphor. Bacteria have evolved in battle over 3 billion years and it is our proposal that you just arm your allies and let them specifically target antibiotics or, create an inhospitable environment.

    • tatertot on February 1, 2014 at 14:26

      Richard! Our Science Editor is going to be all over you for that answer.

      What Hrvoje is asking may be valid for someone with serious gut problems. In that case, they would want to get a gut profile test and see exactly where they are, then maybe need to work on killing parasites or out-of-balance normal microbes. This is where the 7 steps come in: url-removed/2013/11/how-to-cure-sibo-small-intestinal-bowel.html

      For those who just want a healthier gut and want to take steps to let their gut work itself out like we did, then just starting with PS and RS foods is fine.

    • gabriella kadar on February 1, 2014 at 14:51

      Agreed Tatertot. But I think Hrvoje’s question is hypothetical. Unless this person already knows they have serious gut issues, then going slow and observing change is the best course. Don’t want to ‘carpet bomb’ with resistant starch either.


  27. Pone on February 3, 2014 at 03:12

    I am really fascinated by the reports people have of vivid dreaming while taking potato starch. Does anyone have a hypothesis about a mechanism for this?

    One idea might be that an overwhelming quantity of potato starch is resulting in extremely high quantities of short chained fatty acids like butyrate, and that enough of this is being produced to escape the gut and go to the liver to create ketones. A flood of night-time ketones might be providing energy for extensive imaginative dreaming during sleep.

    Hey, I’m just trying to think on my feet here. It’s a very curious and very interesting report.

    I guess it’s that or the glycoalkaloids are poisoning your neurons and inducing hallucinations. :)

    • Charles on February 3, 2014 at 07:50

      We think we know that there is an increase in GABA production by the intestinal bacteria. That’s the explanation I think is most likely at this point. You can take GABA in capsule form and get the same result, both of better sleep and increased dreaming.

    • Pone on February 3, 2014 at 12:50

      I take GABA all the time, and it induces a coma. :) I have never had any enhanced dreaming from that. No question GABA does improve sleep. GABA also has an initial flush sensation that leaves you feeling almost short of breath. It’s very distinct and not very pleasant until it settles down. Has anyone reported that same symptom with potato starch?

      What would be the pathway to create GABA?

    • Charles on February 3, 2014 at 13:54

      This is why I think GABA may be playing a role, besides the fact that the sleep I get feels kind of druggy when I get up. It feels similar to the effect I get if I take GABA.


    • Pone on February 3, 2014 at 14:01

      Charles, I’m reading on GABA, and while there are heresay and unreliable first-person reports of vivid dreaming, the pharmacology of GABA is that it doesn’t cross the blood brain barrier. So it’s hard to see how it would induce vivid dreams?

      Ketones on the other hand are a direct fuel source for neurons.

    • Pone on February 3, 2014 at 14:09

      Charles, note in the article you link that GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter. If it doesn’t cross the blood brain barrier, then you would expect it to have a calming effect on the neuromuscular system outside the brain. So the nerves and muscles in your body twitch and respond to stimulus less.

      Maybe that state of deep relaxation would induce dreaming for some people? I guess that is possible.

    • Charles on February 3, 2014 at 14:39

      @Pone, That’s only a WAG. I don’t know that we’ll be able to tease out the cause of the dreaming and sleeping without a lot of research. But it’s real, and ultimately, knowing the exact cause isn’t critical, though it is interesting for sure. If I take GABA, I sleep better and dream better. Is the same process going on with the bacteria in the gut? Dunno. But it’s not a bad guess.

    • Pone on February 3, 2014 at 15:16

      Charles, since you have taken GABA separately, do you think you have the same feeling morning after, and is the type of sleep the same, as what you experience with potato starch?

    • Charles on February 3, 2014 at 15:38

      No, the GABA is more like a drug. The sleep quality I get from RS is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. I was never a great sleeper, so maybe I’m just experiencing normal sleep, but it’s almost all the way through the night, unless I get up to pee, and then I’m right back to sleep. It used to be that if I had to get up, it was harder than hell to get back to sleep. Now I can’t stay awake. GABA would help with the getting to sleep, but not so much with the staying asleep.

      Before I started the PS, I found that when I was traveling, if I ate a baked potato for dinner, I’d get a slightly better night’s sleep than my usual crappy night’s sleep. I thought it was the carbs in the potato. And that’s probably part of it, but maybe not all. The PS was almost miraculous, for both me and my GF.

  28. Pone on February 3, 2014 at 14:14

    Is there any trick with this commenting system to sort by the date posted? It’s often very difficult in a long thread like this to see where the new posts are!!!

    • Richard Nikoley on February 3, 2014 at 14:21


      The best way is to subscribe to the threads you want by email, and in the email comes a link to the specific comment.

  29. Pone on February 7, 2014 at 19:44

    There are a number of studies that indicate that blueberry husks also release large quanties of short chained fatty acids in the gut. One of these is:


    Does anyone know of a commercial source for blueberry *husks*?

    • gabkad on February 7, 2014 at 19:59

      Pone, commercial source for blueberry ‘husks’? I did a google image search and couldn’t find nary a one.

      What the hell is blueberry husk? Someone needs to email the authors of those research studies.

    • Pone on February 7, 2014 at 20:11

      It’s probably the blueberry’s outer skin, but someone correct me on this.

      I would assume it is a byproduct of making juice or concentrated extracts from berries, and it is probably being sold in bulk wholesale for use as a mulch.

      After research like that it is strange that no one bothers to sell a product for human use.

    • Pone on February 7, 2014 at 20:22

      What’s bizarre to me is how did those Swedish researchers even get the idea to study blueberry husks in the first place? Seems fairly random, but I agree with your point to contact the researchers.

      What I really like about this as a resistant starch is that in theory you should also get lots of antioxidants, and get them in a really high dosage. That would give it an edge over potato starch, and getting some variety of starches might also be very desirable.

  30. Charles on February 7, 2014 at 20:34

    Here’s a plan. This is kind of way out there, but go with it. I know it sounds crazy.

    Eat Blueberries. Whole.

    • Pone on February 7, 2014 at 23:57

      Sorry Charles, but that doesn’t work at all. To get the same amount of fibre from the blueberry you would also have to consume quite a lot of fructose. A pectin powder normally gives you the fibre without the calories.

      In my own case, I have fructose malabsorption, so that is a simple no starter. But for people who love fruit, I think it would also not be an optimal way to go. 50 Blueberries contain 8.25 net carb grams but only 1.6 fiber grams. If I wanted to eat 10 grams of blueberry fiber, that is 313 blueberries.

      10 grams of fiber is a pretty reasonable intake target for the fiber alone. 313 blueberries is probably not a reasonable daily intake target, even for someone who tolerates fructose.

      And don’t forget this is all assuming that I even was correct in my assumption that the husk is the skin. If the husk is actually the outer shell of the seed, this becomes even more lopsided.

      We want to find a source for the husk, stripped of digestible carbohydrate.

    • Charles on February 9, 2014 at 13:51

      My comment was only partially serious. I was commenting on this desire to always deconstruct foods into their active ingredients, or actually what we *think* are their active ingredients, and then cranking up on those. At this point it’s pretty clear, for instance, that taking antioxidants in isolation is a bad idea. So not paying attention to the full thread, I just jumped in. But I do that “eating whole foods” is a good rule of thumb…or guts.

    • Pone on February 9, 2014 at 18:28

      What have you been reading about taking antioxidants in isolation? I wasn’t up on that at all.

  31. Pone on February 9, 2014 at 13:41

    I wanted to know how quickly / easily potato starch would become digestible after cooking. The answer is REALLY easily, and REALLY fast. I found a really nice study that looks at potato starch in detail here:

    They conclude that the absorption in the human gut directly relates to the degree of gelatinization (DG) of the starch.

    Cook potato starch for about 10 minutes at only 135 degrees F and it 40% gelatinized. Well, that’s too low a temperature for cooking even bread, but it shows that low temperature won’t really prevent the effect.

    Cook potato starch at 150 degrees F and in 10 minutes it is 95%+ gelatinized.

    Just a warning on the study above: Figure 6 showing glucose response is showing response *beyond* the fasting glucose level, which is taken to be about 4 mmol/L.

    The bottom line: no cooking technique that uses heat is going to avoid making potato starch digestible in the gut.

    And this does further suggest that eating the starch raw is really the only effective way to feed it directly to the microbes in your gut and bypass human digestion.

    • Charles on February 9, 2014 at 13:54

      Someone is commenting on FB that cooking the PS in a “dry” recipe doesn’t cause the digestiblity. I’d rather not worry about it and just consume it raw, as you say. It’s not a chore to do so, there are so many ways to add it to cool liquids, yogurt, etc. I just mix it in water most of the time, and knock it back.

    • Pone on February 10, 2014 at 02:55

      Potato starch is commonly used as a thickener in cooking recipes, and as an ingredient to substitute for gluten in gluten-free breads. So the main reason for my curiosity was to find out if any of those cooking applications could be done in a way that leaves the starch resistant.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 10, 2014 at 06:46

      Asked and answered a billion times. No. You cannot cook potato starch.

    • La Frite on February 10, 2014 at 06:49


      Ben alors! Mais si, you can. It will no longer be resistant though ;)

    • Pone on February 11, 2014 at 01:29

      But I wasn’t asking “can you cook potato starch?” i was trying to quantify and qualify how quickly it would become digestible if you did cook it.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 11, 2014 at 07:57

      Depends on what it’s in and what temp you’re cooking at. Once the granules get to 140f they burst like popcorn.

    • Pone on February 11, 2014 at 13:32

      Read the study I posted, which is extremely detailed, contains a lot of cooking temperature graphs, and puts more nuance on this subject than we could in a blog conversation. It looks like a LOT happens between 130F and 150F, and yes somewhere around 140F most of the starch becomes a gel that can metabolize.

  32. Pone on February 12, 2014 at 16:47

    Okay, my first experience yesterday with potato starch. I waited one hour after dinner and took one tablespoon, just to test for any allergic reaction. After about 90 minutes, I took another tablespoon and decided that would be enough. What happened next is interesting to say the least.

    I didn’t get to sleep until 4:30am. Normally, bedtime for me would be around 1am. Rather than making me tired, the potato starch seemed to very quickly metabolize in some way that fed me more mental energy. It was not a stimulant like caffeine. Rather, it felt like like my mental metabolism was maybe 30% stronger. So I sat at the computer trying to get a tough project done, and I kept waiting for the potato starch to kick in and make me tired, but it did the opposite of that. I think if I had forced myself to go to bed it would not have interfered with sleep. The energy would have just channeled in a different way (maybe dreaming?).

    Unfortunately, getting to bed that late meant I didn’t get a lot of sleep, so it’s hard to test how much potato starch affected quality of sleep. But on waking I had a definite profound sensation across my whole body that I have not experienced before. I was trying to compare it to the feeling you get when you take GABA to sleep, but it was definitely different.

    Have any of you tried to measure ketones before and after potato starch? I have never measured these before but I think it would be a very good idea for us to start some experiments around this idea and collect data. My best hypothesis of what is happening here is still the same as before: I think the potato starch may be causing a massive production of butyrate. Some of that feeds colon cells, but the excess is going to the liver and creating a flood of ketone bodies. The ketones would explain the mental energy: channeled in my case to a work task before sleep, but possibly to dreams if it happens during sleep.

    Does anyone have any recommendations on the most accurate ketone meter, preferably one that requires a minimum blood sample and has cheap test strips? Does anyone see any reason that the ketones from butyrate wouldn’t show up on a ketone meter?

    • Richard Nikoley on February 12, 2014 at 18:25


      That is some cool hypothesizing I had not considered.

      Yep, have gone to bed many times when I could easily have stayed up (my record is 5am, incidentally). OK, so now you have to see how that channels. 4 TBS before bedtime tonight. :)

    • Pone on February 14, 2014 at 15:46

      After taking four tablespoons of potato starch, the next day when I awoke after maybe seven hours of sleep I felt a little bit drugged. It was a feeling a lit like I had taken a strong sleeping pill and it had not worn off. That feeling stayed with me for most of the morning and even caffeine couldn’t really shake it.

      I don’t have enough experience yet to know if this was a result of the potato starch or if it was something else in my diet.

      I have a ketone meter and strips on order.

    • Charles on February 14, 2014 at 16:28

      Yes, Pone, that is often my experience as well. So far I’m theorizing it’s increased GABA production, or Serotonin or something along those lines. If you did a GABA drip all night, I think that’s how you’d feel.

    • gabriella kadar on February 14, 2014 at 17:34

      Charles, seeing as how Pone was concerned about getting an allergic reaction on Day 1, there is a reasonable speculation that his alertness for hours afterwards has to do with his ‘concern’.

      Day 2: Pone had sleep debt. If a sleep cycle is 90 minutes long, then at 7 hours he woke up in the middle of a cycle. Usually this would not be a problem at the 7 hour point because there would be a lot of REM happening. But since there was a sleep debt situation, it would have been better to aim for 7.5 hours. Better still, if you are needing ‘catch up sleep’, go for 9 hours.

    • Pone on February 14, 2014 at 17:55

      Charles, your description of “being on a slow drip” of some brain chemical seems to match my experience.

      This isn’t a way I would want to feel as a normal matter. It’s like being on a strong sleeping pill that doesn’t want to wear off quickly.

      I need more time to establish if this is an experience that repeats, and whether it goes away on its own, or at a lower dose.

      Gabriella, since I have irregular sleep patterns, I do understand that sometimes losing a small amount of additional sleep can make a big outcome in how tired you feel. But this sensation goes way beyond normal tiredness. It’s like someone dropped a few tranquilizers into my coffee. It doesn’t feel right.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 14, 2014 at 20:10


      I suggest you give yourself a couple of weeks of deep restful sleep and see how you’re doing.

      Always remember too that in many self experiments, one must consider the possibility that a “bad outcome” is a subjective judgment and that outcome may be a good thing or a predictable result of an underlying good thing.

      Farting is an example here. Oh, I’m farting, I’ve got gas! In reality, this subjective judgment of bad is wrong. The farts mean that your gut was in bad shape. When the fats go away it probably means the gut is in better shape. If they just don’t go away, it’s a sign that problems are too bad for PS to help, and other measures need to be taken, like adding the SBO probiotics (probably a good idea any way, just for kicks).

      In terms of sleep, what if you have a long term deficit that didn’t manifest with any symptoms you’re capable of detecting. Now, suppose you suddenly got on track to correct that deficit. Are you absolutely certain that upon waking, night #1 that your experience would be judged positive?

      Or, this:

      1. I’m taking PS and felt drugged in the morning.

      2. I’ve just taken a new drug that’s proven to enhance deep restful sleep with no unhealthful side effects.

      Now, the experience in the morning is exactly the same. But would you judge that experience exactly the same?

      Right, Gabriella?

    • Richard Nikoley on February 14, 2014 at 20:24

      Incidentally, your gut is what produces about 95% of your serotonin, I believe. Supposedly that doesn’t get to the brain, however, there are tons of neurotransmitters in the gut so I suspect it has something to do with the deep sleep and vivid dreaming so many report, including myself.

      And again, adding the SBOs has taken my sleep from good with the PS to off the charts. Almost every night now I get at least 5 hours of completely uninterrupted sleep. One time, 7.

    • gabriella kadar on February 14, 2014 at 20:45


    • Pone on February 14, 2014 at 20:48

      Richard, I think I’m in the first few days of an experiment. I don’t conclude anything from a few data points.

      I was disappointed by the drugged out feeling, but these things are complex, and we’ll see where it goes.

    • gabriella kadar on February 14, 2014 at 20:54

      But the short chain fatty acids go into the circulation and can have a good effect on brain function during sleep. So there’s that.

  33. Pone on February 14, 2014 at 23:01

    Another blogger sent me this study regarding potato starch digestion in humans:


    This study is claiming that only 12% of cold potato starch is escaping digestion in the small intestine.

    How can that be? It seems to contradict everything that has been written about it here.

    The same study finds that 75% of banana starch escapes digestion!! Given that I cannot locate any banana starch product (only banana flour), it might make sense for someone to contact the researcher of the study and find their sourcing for the banana starch they used. My guess is that any vendor selling banana flour might well be using ripe bananas and those would digest. In addition, a true starch product probably extracts out a lot of the sugars and discards them.

    I’m pretty shocked here honestly. How can 12% of three or four tablespoons of potato starch have the kinds of profound effects that people are describing. Seems quite incredible.

    • tatertot on February 15, 2014 at 06:33

      pone – in that study it’s comparing cooked (hot) with cooked and cooled (cold). And raw banana starch. I have the full pdf.

      Englyst and Cummins were the ones who discovered RS, they very accurately checked raw potato starch to be 78% using ileostomy patients. In 2002 the AOAC adopted a chemical assay method, called AOAC 2002.02 which places RPS at 64%, they highest of any starch, and in fact, when you send off for a test they will tell you they can measure RS from 2% – 64%. They use potato starch to calibrate their testing devices.

      read more:

      Bob’s Red Mill is RPS. No doubt. Joe just trying to get people to visit his copycat blog.

    • tatertot on February 15, 2014 at 06:39

      from that paper on AOAC2002.02:

      The most difficult sample to analyze was native potato starch, because of the
      high RS content and thus the difficulty in redissolving the RS

    • Pone on February 15, 2014 at 15:06

      tatertot, the original study abstract said “…3% of hot potato starch and 12% of cold potato starch” so that is extremely misleading. What you are saying is they cooked then cooled the potato starch, and of course that is a whole different ballgame! Bad abstract!

      So what about this issue of where to get plantain starch? Does anyone make the starch from green plantain instead of the flour from ripe banana? Any insight into where the researchers got their banana starch? The study you posted it looks like they just used green plantains directly. Would there be any reason to not just eat the green plantain raw instead of freeze drying and then milling it, as they did in the study?

      In the link you posted, table 3 gives the percentage of resistant starch, but very strangely they don’t seem to give the percentage as a percentage of *TOTAL CALORIC VALUE* of the material being studied. I thought the most useful information would be what percentage metabolizes to glucose and what percentage stays unmetabolized until it hits the colon.

  34. Richard Nikoley on February 15, 2014 at 00:26

    I believe Tim addressed this somewhere. It’s from 1991 and measurement techniques have improved dramatically since them.

    Always look at the dates of studies.

    • Pone on February 15, 2014 at 02:23

      Even for 1991, it would be a long way from 12% to 75%…. They would have to be pretty inept to be that inaccurate?

      I did a quick search for Tim’s response and could not find it. If someone would post the link it would be great.

    • tatertot on February 15, 2014 at 06:41

      But, seriously, do what Richard said. Make your own (it’s easy) and compare to any commercial potato starch. It’s all the same thing.

  35. Pone on February 15, 2014 at 15:13

    Has anyone else experienced a high frequency sound running continuously on waking after taking potato starch. I have had it every day I have taken it, and I didn’t make much of it at first. Since it has not gone away I thought it was worth mentioning. For me it is experienced as a pleasant flat tone that is right at the edge of my hearing range. It is barely discernible. It never stops, and over the course of the day it slowing dies off. I’m going to start paying attention to whether it is gone by end of day, but it starts right back up within two hours of taking potato starch at night.

    I wonder if some part of my brain is getting stimulated and is just adjusting to the new activity. It’s an odd one for sure. I wouldn’t even connect it to the starch except that I have never had anything like this sound before, and it started the very first day I took potato starch, and it restarts every time I take potato starch. Weird. :)

    • gabriella kadar on February 15, 2014 at 15:45

      Pone: tinnitus?

      Are you aware of clenching your teeth?

    • Pone on February 15, 2014 at 16:18

      Yes, it seems to meet the definition of tinnitus. Yes, I am pretty sure I clench my teeth occasionally. What’s the conclusion?

      Note I never experience this symptom without potato starch. So it may be my clenching or other behaviors set me up for this, but I can reliably make it disappear completely by stopping the potato starch.

    • gabriella kadar on February 17, 2014 at 15:38

      Sorry Pone, did not notice your reply.

      Clenching the teeth will drive the condyles of the mandible back towards the ear canal. There’s a ligament, called Pinto’s ligament that passes through the bone. When there is pressure on this ligament, the muscles which hold the three little bones in the middle ear become inflamed. The bones don’t vibrate properly and can cause tinnitus. If the situation is not addressed, reduced hearing acuity results because chronic inflammation will damage hearing permanently.

      Clenching of the teeth during sleep results when airway is somehow reduced. By clenching, the muscles in the throat open up. However, during sleep the protective reflexes do not work and people can clench much harder than they’d ever do while awake.

      Lots of things can cause airway problems: allergies, sinus congestion, tonsils, adenoids, asthma, inflammation from acid reflux, alcohol or any drug that relaxes the muscles, fluid retention, hypothyroidism, anatomy…. the list is long. Even sleep position will affect clenching activity. Sleeping on the back, for example, increases airway resistance because the lower jaw falls back when relaxed. Side or stomach sleeping takes advantage of gravity so the jaw falls forward.

      There are other reasons as well.

      It is unlikely that you have never clenched your teeth in the past. Possibly because potato starch results in deeper sleep, your body is getting more stage 3 your muscles are more relaxed and consequent airway constriction results. I don’t know your anatomy. If you have a small mandible, then this is a possibility.

  36. Pone on February 15, 2014 at 15:16

    I backed down to three tablespoons of potato starch, and I seem to tolerate that pretty well. I do sleep more deeply. I don’t have any vivid dreaming. I think I’ll hang out at that dose for a while and see what develops.

  37. Pone on February 17, 2014 at 15:04

    Has anyone done the experiment of measuring their fasting glucose in the hours after they take potato starch, with and without a starchy carb meal?

    Strangest thing happened today. I took my three tablespoons of potato starch at 8am, having forgotten to take them the night before. Now all day I am getting very high fasting glucose numbers around 115 mg/dL. That’s totaly out of my recent normal numbers around 90 mg/dL. Nothing else changed in my diet.

    I don’t have a ketone meter yet, so I can’t look at that, but I wonder if the potato starch is creating a lot of ketones, and if those somehow interfere with the glucose metabolism.

    This stuff is complex.

    • gabriella kadar on February 17, 2014 at 15:40

      Pone, you are saying here that you eat nothing all day?

      Interesting. At least they are stable. You are not getting any bouncing.

    • Pone on February 17, 2014 at 17:28

      Gabriella, my recent pattern has been something like the following:

      1) On waking, I get fasting glucose around 90
      2) I eat breakfast, wait one hour, and I have glucose under 110.
      3) After two hours, I am between 85 and 90, which I take to be back to a fasting level.

      So when I say “fasting glucose” I am really using that interchangeably with my glucose reading two or more hours after eating. Because my pattern has been that those two hour readings are *lower* than my glucose reading on waking. But they are so close to each other I can treat them as the same.

      It’s been ultra-stable in that pattern now, and I have been thrilled about that, because I started this whole journey with the glucometer a few months ago with my fasting number up at 115. Now I have improved on that so much that my *peak* glucose is lower than what used to be my fasting glucose! The rest of my problems with food mostly remain, and I am having terrible problems getting glycogen on my muscle, but at least I thought I had the glucose issue put to rest.

      The change I made to my diet to get the above good result: I switched from a Paleo diet that was probably very close to Ketogenic (unintentionally!) to the Perfect Health Diet, taking about one cup of starchy white rice one hour after each meal, three to four cups of white rice per day. It looks like this minimal glucose challenge was enough to reset my glucose metabolism in a very substantial way, and it effectively corrected my “prediabetes” physiologic insulin resistance to a pretty acceptable pattern.

      Today I take the potato starch at 8am and went back to sleep for two hours. I had nothing to eat. On waking, I have 115 glucose. Prior to the 10am reading, I had nothing to eat since maybe 1am (nine hours prior to reading). The only change to diet was the potato starch at 8am. How did I get to 115 mg/dL with no food to stimulate a rise in glucose? How weird is that?

      I have a regular breakfast, and one hour later I am at 115. Two hours after eating I am at 113. Three hours later I am at 107 mg/dL. That’s just STRANGE for me. It’s not my pattern at all.

      I’m not going to be surprised now if my glucose continues to return to a baseline over the next few hours. I’m going to keep monitoring.

      I’m very interested in finding anyone else who has been taking the potato starch who bothers to monitor glucose closely. It would be interesting to compare notes. I don’t have a ketone monitor so I really can’t point to ketones, and I don’t understand the effect here.

      It’s difficult to see how the potato starch wouldn’t be the culprit here, but it will take a lot more testing to know, and the details of why may never be clear. Whether it’s good or bad, what is clear to me so far is that this potato starch is an extremely powerful thing. It has real physiological impacts on the body. It’s not like any fiber I have ever taken.

    • gabriella kadar on February 17, 2014 at 17:46

      Pone, technically, fasting blood glucose means 12+ hours after the last meal.

      You’d need to get a normal circadian rhythm set for yourself to determine what’s actually going on. Waking up and eating potato starch, then going back to sleep for two hours is putting the body out of sync.

      People on nightshifts get fat. For example.

    • Pone on February 17, 2014 at 18:40

      Gabriella, technically yes. But I am sharing that in practice my two hour reading is lower than my fasting number. So for me I can truthfully say that my two hour reading is at or under my fasting level. I should have referred to the measurements at two, three, four hours as what?

      Circadian rhyhm doesn’t explain this result at all. I routinely have bad and abnormal sleep habits. It’s common for me to rise at 6am or 7am and be woken up repeatedly until 10am. My fasting glucose has reliably been 90 or lower every time this happens. So circadian rhythm would explain variations for some people, but definitely not for me. That isn’t to say I won’t see many health improvements from getting better circadian rhythms. But it isn’t an explanation for today.

    • Pone on February 17, 2014 at 18:47

      To say it more explicitly, every single weekday I have between three and six wakeup events between 6am and 10am. Today was no different than every other weekday. The only change to diet or sleep pattern was the potato starch, which I took two hours before measuring my fasting glucose, on waking at 10am.

    • gabriella kadar on February 17, 2014 at 18:48

      Pone, not with starch or anything, but I’ve done stuff like wake up truly fasted, take my blood sugar, eat nothing, go out shopping etc. for 2 hours, come home, test, and my blood glucose is higher than when I woke up. I figured it was from moving around.

      I haven’t tried fasted, potato starch and then watch for hours. I’ll think about it.

    • Pone on February 17, 2014 at 19:25

      Gabriella, when you wake up and move around, your body starts to produce glucose from liver. So your blood sugar rises somewhat. That’s normal. I haven’t been going higher than 95 after waking before meals, so it doesn’t explain either 1) the fasting glucose at 115 or 2) the fact that glucose stayed nailed to that number for many hours after eating several meals.

  38. Resistant Starches - Page 168 | Mark's Daily Apple Health and Fitness Forum page 168 on April 29, 2014 at 17:46

    […] 95%+ gelatinized. … somewhere around 140F most of the starch becomes a gel that can metabolize. Podcast: How Resistant Starch Foods Can Make You Smarter, Faster And Healthier | Free The Animal Originally Posted by tatertot Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing […]

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