Resistant Starch, Gut Biome, and Low Carb Tidbits and Links

My blogging time has been severely limited lately, leaving me mostly brief interactions here & there on social media. You’ll understand why in the near future. In the meantime, it’s probably going to be a lot of linking and quoting, so as to save my clever prose for other things.

But first, a slap.

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~ One after another, diabetics—both types—try supplementing resistant starch (primarily through Potato Starch) and end up slightly hypoglycemic and have to reduce insulin dosages. Mariet Hoen of Amsterdam in The Netherlands is the latest report.

Steve its going very, very good with my RS experiment , Yesterday FBG 3.7 (67n), Today 4.8 (86) afther hypo in the night 2.7 ( 47 ). I have to reduce my insulin!!! Thanx for showing the way […]

Thank you, Richard Nikoley for being the big pusher of Resistant Starch, it was that what I needed just now. After 2 years HFLC/Ketosis, it did not work enough anymore. Again higher BS. With RS: back on track […]

Thank you!! I’m 70 now 24 year DMT2, want to be 100 #healthy. It goes the right way now, you gived me more hope through RS :)

~ Steve Cooksey, who, incidentally first reported about Mariet, has an update post up on his 30-day RS experiment, along with a Q&A: Resistant Starch: Why? Q & A. In the post, he states:

For me the results are no longer ‘early’ I will flat out state …

  • FACT: Resistant Starch has reduced my Overnight Fasting Blood Sugars (read this post)
  • FACT: Resistant Starch has reduced my Blood Sugar spike post Potato (read this post)
  • FACT: Resistant Starch IS helping other diabetics. These are people I know and trust to report the results honestly and accurately. (read this post)

I mention ‘early results’ because I’m far from finished. I’ll continue to experiment with highER carb foods, exercise, etc.

~ Someone at the Human Food Project did a 10-day experiment going full LC. Here’s the before & after of his gut bug composition.

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(click the image to open full size)

So, going from lots of meat, fat, plants and fiber to meat, fat and little fiber (ketogenic, most certainly) has a profound impact on gut bacteria, and rapidly. The question is, is this good, bad, or does it matter? The author writes:

Yes, you can shift your gut microbiome (dramatically) with diet in a very, very short period of time. Below is my microbial composition – at the phylum level – after shifting my diet. In short, while maintaining a high fat / protein diet, I simply dropped out the plants and fiber. This, in theory, resulted in less fermentation in my colon which shifted the pH to be more alkaline. Under these conditions, the genus Bacteroides within the phylum Bacteroidetes, was able to bloom, as strains of Bacteroides are pH sensitive and don’t grow as well in acidic conditions created by the productions of short chain fatty acids and organic acids during fermentation of fiber/resistant starch (and fermentation of host-derived substrates). Take home message (IMO): acidity good, blooms of Bacteroides (which is driving the spike in the phylum Bacteroidetes in right-hand side pie), not so good. I will discuss more of this in n upcoming blog post. [emphasis added]

I will hasten to add that “short chain fatty acids” are the words we use so that we don’t have to say “saturated fats;” upon which utterance, NAZIs always seem to show up, often in company with The Spanish Inquisition. SCFAs are also what butter munching low carbers, executives, and drinkers of coffee safe from bullets are always on about (I enjoy a BP coffee now & then, BTW, but you must make it right!). Butyrate is a SCFA. But unless it gets to your colon where it…

Butyrates are important as food for cells lining the mammalian colon (colonocytes). Without butyrates for energy, colon cells undergo autophagy (self digestion) and die.[1] Short-chain fatty acids, which include butyrate, are produced by beneficial colonic bacteria (probiotics) that feed on, or ferment prebiotics, which are plant products that contain adequate amounts of dietary fiber. These short-chain fatty acids benefit the colonocyte by increasing energy production and cell proliferation and may protect against colon cancer.[2]

…does all that good, it’s probably not much different than any other saturated fat to your stomach and small intestine and human metabolism in general. And there’s nothing that produces SFCAs right there onsite in the colon like resistant starch.

~ This was interesting news from Fred Hahn, a pretty solid low-carb proponent over many years. Anyone remember our “Potato Hack,” precursor to our resistant starch “fad?” I haven’t really revisited that, but I hear all the time through the grapevine that there are tons of people—particularly women, even in low-carb forums—that swear by it and have carried on the torch.

Fred gave it a try himself and reported his surprising results on a public Facebook post.

My experience on the all potato diet has provided some very interesting thoughts on low carb diets and fat loss.

I believe I’ve been wrong/confused/stoopid on some of the mechanisms and I am going to revamp/revise my thinking on the issue. […]

If fat loss stalls on a VLC diet, what it one to do? Eating more fat/protein will certainly NOT increase fat loss – that’s a no brainer. So what will? Answer: Eating less calories. Even if you were to eat less fat and increase carbs BUT still eat LESS overall, you’d lose.

What does this suggest? Well…

When I did my all potato/no fat diet for 5 days, I went from 173 lbs. to 169.75 with no loss of muscle as my body water readings were ~3kg HIGHER. My workouts were fine/same. No better, no worse. My pants were looser. My trainers commented that I looked ripped.

I WAS eating less total calories than when I was eating plaeo. No question. I was trying to keep cals the same, but it was hard. VERY hard. My best day was about 1500 cals. So you could say my fat loss was due to just eating less food than before. BUT it was all carbs! So if carbs make you fat, why didn’t I get fatter if carbs (potatoes!!) make you fat? […]

What this means is, the PRIMARY reason why you lose fat on a LC/HF diet is a lowered calorie intake. You lose fat because your body mobilizes stored fat to make up for the shortfall in energy requirements. It’s not just because your insulin levels drop thus allowing fat to be used for fuel, but also because you’re not taking in enough total fuel.

Go read the whole thing. Salute to Fred, in being willing to identify being wrong about something and STOP DOING THAT! rather than do what so many try to do in order to protect their fragile little egos.

I will correct Feed on one point. It’s not all carbs. There’s about 4% complete protein and a smidgen of fat in potatoes. Let’s call it 95% carbohydrate…in the form of the “nothing but a bag of glucose,” as Art De Vany once called it. In spite of that, he lost 3.24 real pounds over 5 days, and in spite of adding 6.6 pounds in glycogen binding water (2lb per day net tissue loss from baseline?). The water makes perfect sense for a long time low carber. I can recall after being faithfully LC for a long while and going on a carb binge, the most immediately noticeable thing was extreme thirst the next 24 hours.

I posted this comment, which is basically a summary of my “why calories count” post way back.

BTW, the real reason people stall 10-30 pounds from goal is that they reach equilibrium. Going LC means more satiating fat/protein (potatoes are hugely satiating, but for different reasons), less junk food engineered to make you eat more, etc. You eat fewer calories (on average, but while you lie and make it sound like that 2 lb steak is every day). You eat fewer calories, so you drop pounds and the protein helps retain lean tissue (but, if fat, 25% of the gain is lean, so you have some to spare anyway). But, as you loose weight, your energy requirements go down and one day, whether it’s 10, 20 or 30 pounds from what you think is ideal, you loose no more weight and wonder why. Calories count.

After all is said and done, there’s no escaping the fact that eating less than your body requires to maintain weight over time loses weight and eating more gains you weight.

Ok, that should about do it for this time. Enjoy.

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


  1. Gemma on January 4, 2014 at 01:43


    It was maybe mentioned before on this blog that Nazi Germans used raw potato diet etc. in their concentration camps during WWII. It definitely happened to my Czech grandfather imprisoned in Mauthausen (Austria) between 1942-45. He was included in a test group surviving on raw food only combined with hard work in a stone mine. Too painful for me to recall family stories (he died in 1984) or search for the archived information. But I found this:

    “How Spuds Saved American GIs in Nazi Prison Camps During World War II”

    • tatertot on January 4, 2014 at 14:07

      @SpanCar – This is the FDA paper on solanine.

      It’s real, but apparently not much of an issue with modern commercial potato breeds.

    • Gemma on January 4, 2014 at 06:05

      Yes, his war stories were collected including photos, not by me. I personally can not even look at that booklet. It makes me sick. But this topic does not belong to this blog.
      It more made me wonder if amidst all that horror his raw potato diet (and some raw beet as well, if I remember correctly) was a good thing. He survived and many others did not.

    • Spanish Caravan on January 4, 2014 at 09:15

      So what’s the deal on raw potatoes having solanine and should be avoided. Did he have any health problems eating raw potatoes? I suppose if you’re starving, solanine or no solanine, it wouldn’t matter.

    • Spanish Caravan on January 4, 2014 at 14:45

      @Tatertot, thanks, the article implies that it’s under the skin. So even if you peel it, you’ll have some. But the dose makes poison and the toxic threshold is 25mg. So we shouldn’t eat more than 300 grams of raw potato. Does that sound right?

      Does this mean our earlier attempts at grinding raw potatoes to make home-made potato starch should be abandoned? You need to follow the proper starch production technique? If you did eat raw potato slices, however, the toxic dose is 300 grams (8 x 100 x 3)? I thought some of us were eating raw potatoes above that amount, though.

      I’m wondering if the issue really is organic vs. non-organic. Non-organic commercial potatoes are basically soaked in pesticide that they won’t sprout even if you leave in the fridge for 3 months.

      So which is more important: solanine or toxicity?

  2. Ellen on January 4, 2014 at 06:05


    Try it both ways. There are so many variations in blood sugar problems and hormonal interactions. So while the RS seems to help almost everyone, with some going off their meds or lowering them, others still need some assistance along with the RS. Also, time may be a factor. So I would say stay on the supplements and continue with the RS and every month see what happens without the supps. For a few days.

    My Fasting number was down 10 points pretty consistently. Then I added an adrenal support supplement and it is back up !

  3. DuckDodgers on January 3, 2014 at 18:33

    Someone at the Human Food Project did a 10-day experiment going full LC. Here’s the before & after of his gut bug composition.

    I’m almost positive that was Jeff Leach — since it’s a very small project and he does all of their blog and Facebook posts. Did anyone see the post where he was visiting the Hadza? Real hunter gatherers, he documents them eating raw stomach contents from their kills…

    Probably puts our guts to shame, but the project is taking their samples and will report on their true HG guts.

  4. frankie on January 3, 2014 at 19:04

    Has anyone tried Rs for treating fungal/yeast overgrowths like candida?

  5. frankie on January 3, 2014 at 19:30

    Found it!Thanks

  6. David Thompson on January 4, 2014 at 00:44

    What is Richard up to? Resistant Starch – The Book?

  7. bornagain on January 4, 2014 at 01:06

    @David Thompson. I fucking hope he is. He wrote his Paleo book a bit late into the Paleo era and he was a bit light on delivery in my opinion. He has no such problems with RS! Let’s hope the old cunt and Tatertot write a best seller this time.

    I certainly hope he gets something out before 2 APW (APW: after Paleo war and BPW: before Paleo war).

  8. bornagain on January 4, 2014 at 01:08

    … and if, if he is, let’s hope he’s shredded! I want to see his abs on the cover!

  9. Spanish Caravan on January 4, 2014 at 01:26

    If it took that long for Fred Hahn to realize that it’s calories and not metablic advantage, well, then, how long would it take someone like Jimmy Moore or Dave Asprey? Colpo is right. They’re MAD!

  10. Rs711 on January 4, 2014 at 01:52

    “there’s no escaping the fact that eating less than your body requires to maintain weight over time looses weight and eating more gains you weight.”

    It HAS to be true given enough time for the energy conversion processes to occur..
    However, we also know that you can’t gain/maintain weight drinking 2,000kcals of only water – all foods lie on a spectrum affecting how we convert their energy into mass (fat, muscle or other).
    Again, ‘Calories in calories out’ must hold true but it still doesn’t tell us anything about how or why different foods ‘behave’ the way they do.
    What it does do is play down the obvious differences between real foods and (supposedly) edible-items (after all, if everything is just energy…)

    • Richard Nikoley on January 4, 2014 at 11:36

      “Again, ‘Calories in calories out’ must hold true but it still doesn’t tell us anything about how or why different foods ‘behave’ the way they do.”

      Well, this is kinda Taubes’ line. Fine, but I also think Paleos in general understand a lot about this, having tried different mixes of foods by now. And I think what it comes down to is that because protein cannot long term be more than about 30%, then it’s a teeter-totter between carbs and fat and what seems clear to me is: high carb? Fine, then low fat; and if high fat, fine, then low carb. What seems to be clearly ill-advised is high fat AND high carb….which is an apt description of a lot of processed food and even home cooked “comfort food” (think mashed potatoes loaded with butter and cream/H&H/Milk, with a fat-based roux and milk or cream based gravy on top; think chicken fried steak with the same gravy—plus the mashed potatoes with still the same gravy; think fried chicken…) I’d wager that in the long history of human home cooking, “comfort food” with copious carbage and fatage is responsible for more obesity and ill health than the brief history of processed and fast food.

      The fallacy, as even Fed Hahn found out, is the simplistic notion that “carbs make you fat, per se.” Simply not true, and done right, from natural foods, I see no compelling evidence to suggest it’s unhealthy, either. Too many rice, legume, potato as staple eating populations to just dismiss.

      All that said, the question I’m most interested in is: why do we eat to excess no matter what the macro composition? Insulin? Leptin? Other hormones? Or, more fundamentally, is it the 100 trillion bacteria in our gut whose chemical secretions influence such hormone release and signal resolution. It’s the latter where I’m placing my bet.

  11. Mariet Hoen on January 4, 2014 at 03:00

    Richard, Thank you for posting my story on your site. In the Netherlands we follow you very close also.

    The first one who pointed RS for me is a Dutch blogger, Melchior Meyer, with his website: I think it is nice for the Dutch people to read about it in their own language.

    He invited me to start the experiment and and see with what a result !

    I am very grateful for the so unselfishly shared information to him, you and Steve Cooksey. Give credit where credit is due :-)

  12. Nils on January 4, 2014 at 03:04

    What I wonder about the gut biome thing, why does it not include Archae / yeasts and funghi in its results? The guts aren’t just the bacteria show. I’d speculate that the increased acidity would probably be harmful to most yeasts and funghi, whereas certain Archae might actually thrive, contributing to more overall health.

    • The Natural on January 4, 2014 at 10:39

      @Nils, reason why I am going with GDX Testing instead of American Gut. GDX gives fungi and yeast counts but not sure about archae. My kit should be arriving in a few days.


  13. Wenchypoo on January 4, 2014 at 05:33

    One after another, diabetics—both types—try supplementing resistant starch (primarily through Potato Starch) and end up slightly hypoglycemic and have to reduce insulin dosages.

    Oops! I took Hubby’s sugar-killer supplements away while I was testing him, so we were getting raw numbers. Sugar-killers are chromium, vanadium, and bitter melon (the last two mimic insulin). I thought you all were testing RS without benefit of insulin, supplements, etc.

    Still, it wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been–no 100 pt. climb or anything. 30 points in two hours may not be bad, but what scared me was IT KEPT CLIMBING over the two hours, and no return to baseline in that time.

    Awhile back, we tested bananas, and they caused a +10 spike, but then returned to baseline after an hour. But that was WITH sugar-killer supplements.

    So should I KEEP him on the supplements while testing, or test raw (with none onboard)?

    • pzo on January 4, 2014 at 06:50

      Wenchypoo, there is no sugar killer magic bullet. You have bought into some kind of woo-woo unscientific myth.

      Table sugar is a simple molecule of glucose and fructose. Your pancreatic enzyme sucralase breaks into the simpler sugars. They are fully absorbed in the small intestine. It doesn’t matter what minerals you eat, they all arrive in the bloodstream together.

      Bitter melon is one of a number of plants that appear to help with blood sugar control. Cinnamon and prickly pear leaves are two others that come to mind. I suspect that they work by increasing soluble fiber, some of that reaching the colon and feeding those bacteria. There is no material that can be taken orally that mimics insulin. (Anyone out there know otherwise, I’m willing to learn!) There’s a reason there is no insulin pill and it must be administered by injection. And vanadium, while an essential mineral in very small amounts, cannot mimic insulin, a very complex hormone.

    • Wenchypoo on January 4, 2014 at 11:41

      As long as the “woo-woo” works to keep him from having to use insulin, I’m sticking with it. This combination seems to be the only one that works–the much-touted cinnamon (Ceylon variety) doesn’t do anything but make him burp. Prickly pear turns HIM into a prickly pear (from prickly heat–allergy symptom). With it, he’s consistently in the 80-90 range, except after eating a high Omega-3 food.

      As for no oral med that mimics insulin–Metformin?

    • pzo on January 4, 2014 at 13:56

      Nope. While Metformin is an often first choice to T2 diabetes, it doesn’t “mimic” insulin. Insulin’s role and methods are many pronged, not just to prevent hyperglycemia.

      And I know that you know about the placebo effect.

  14. Mark. on January 4, 2014 at 06:33

    Long-time type 1 diabetic. Some weeks on daily Bob’s potato starch and… mixed results. Fasting blood sugars are often excellent but sometimes astoundingly high, and I’ve gained six pounds. Not sure what’s going on. Probably will reduce amount from 4-6 tablespoons a day to 2 for now and see what happens.

    • Spanish Caravan on January 4, 2014 at 09:12

      Mark, how much insulin are you taking? RS isn’t that effective if you’re on a low-carb diet with minimal insulin usage. Same with anyone who’s taking care of their t2 diabetes by VLCing. So little insulin comes out that the sensitizing effect of RS doesn’t have much room to work with.

    • Mark. on January 6, 2014 at 17:21

      20 units before each meal, plus long-acting Lantus (15 units) before bedtime. Usually 2 meals a day; extra insulin for high blood sugar. This is half of what I used to take before low-carb. I’ve dropped my RS to 2 Tbsp. a day, with probiotic bacteria powder. We’ll see whether things work out.

  15. John on January 4, 2014 at 08:28

    What’s become abundantly clear to me is that Calories In, Calories Out was never wrong. The Metabolic Ward studies pretty much prove that. What is also clear is that most of the advice that comes from the mainstream that cites CICO is flat out stupid and dangerous. In fact, they might not even understand the entire Calories In, Calories Out concept, and it’s pretty straightforward. For example, people who just suggest you just slash your food intake (which will reduce calories in) don’t consider the effect that it will have on lowering your metabolism (which will also reduce calories out). Makes a lot more sense to me to dial in food quality first, fix underlying issues that may be sabotaging your weight loss efforts (like your gut, thyroid, hormones, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, injuries, other issues), and then focusing in on calories. In fact, many of those underlying issues may require that you rest (aka move less) and eat more for a period of time.

  16. Wolfstriked on January 4, 2014 at 12:45

    John,another area that needs to be accounted for yet is ridiculed when ever its mentioned is exercise or more specifically just being in shape.In the past I have gotten amazing results by doing high intensity aerobics and I posted this on the health forums but the idea that exercise is a huge key gets shot down rather quickly.People that are 400+ pounds will start saying how they exercised for years and are still fat and got fatter.I mean so many people will come out of the woodwork and shoot this down.They do this with such passion and proof that exercise has nothing to do with it that eventually me being the weakling of mind always gives up on my hypothesis.Well once again I joined a gym last week and am sitting here much skinnier and feeling much healthier.

    What I feel happens is that as people age they slowly lose aerobic capacity and this is a major factor in health and well being.I think that obese people are just very prone to getting severely out of shape while the people that can eat anything they want do not lose fitness as fast and never go below a certain threshold.I see this all the time at my job which is strenuous.The skinny people have this amazing work ethic and are able to just power thru the day with little effort.The heavy set people though seem to drag themselves into work and then complain all day at how hard the days work is.Just now at a mall sipping my coffe I watched a few people climb this one flight of stairs and its dead set on fat people are out of shape and huff and puff while skinny people do not get out of breath at top of stairs.

    Now what I feel the big shots in the health circle should be doing is forgetting about insulin etc for awhile and looking into what hormones control the level of fitness an individual has.Maybe its a simple hormone we can control or maybe its as easy as JUST FUCKING EXERCISE AND STOP COMPLAINING!!!Sorry,just angers me that most people will counter this with examples of why being in shape has nothing to do with it.And you obese people that will say….if you had my knees or my this or that….then stay fat you dumb shits.;)

    I go to gym and do a 5 minute cardio workout 3 times per week.yes only 5 minutes and I see results.Warm up for a minute and then put treadmill at highest incline and a fast enough speed to where you can stay in control and not go flying off and huf and puff till pain is too high.Lower speed/incline and rest till you can go again and do one more and your down!!Give it a try.

    • Richard Nikoley on January 4, 2014 at 21:49

      “No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!”

      Nobody. Many clips bound, but this is my fav.

    • pzo on January 4, 2014 at 14:04

      @Wolfstriked: Aerobic conditioning happens at the cellular level. Nothing to do with hear or lungs, although everyone thinks so. McGuff in “Body by Science” explains this, and is the reason that HIT oddly enough confers aerobic capacity without doing “cardio.”

      No need for the obese to run and damage all their knees and feet. Lift weights.

      As I’ve posted here, PS has helped my bike riding immensely. Far more than the amount I’ve been riding would have normally done so. Once again, it’s at the cellular level, which the SCFA’s improve.

    • Edward on January 4, 2014 at 18:01

      I do something similar without a gym. Luckily, I live at the bottom of a 12% grade paved road and I walk up it as fast I can without running. It takes about 5 minutes and by the time I get to the top, I am huffing and puffing enough to blow the little pigs’ houses down, even the brick one.

      No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!

    • Edward on January 4, 2014 at 22:15

      Yes, a round of those cushions would be enough to break anyone! I might even eat cake!

  17. Wolfstriked on January 4, 2014 at 12:47

    Forgot to add that I ate donuts and chinese food last week.And right now I am having chicken wings and fried rice as I type this.

  18. […] SEE OUR RECOMMENDED BOOKS, FILMS, KITCHEN TOOLS, FOOD, AND DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS AT AMAZON.COM ← Resistant Starch, Gut Biome, and Low Carb Tidbits and Links […]

  19. Wolfstriked on January 4, 2014 at 15:46

    This is what I mean…..@Wolfstriked: Aerobic conditioning happens at the cellular level. Nothing to do with hear or lungs, although everyone thinks so. McGuff in “Body by Science” explains this, and is the reason that HIT oddly enough confers aerobic capacity without doing “cardio.”

    WTF does that mean?Its like you throw shit out there to confuse people.

    • Richard Nikoley on January 4, 2014 at 21:10

      “@Wolfstriked: Aerobic conditioning happens at the cellular level. Nothing to do with hear or lungs, although everyone thinks so. McGuff in “Body by Science” explains this, and is the reason that HIT oddly enough confers aerobic capacity without doing “cardio.””

      lafing. I’m sure Doug would be, too. You have to know Doug. See his presentation at The 21 Convention. Google it. Seriously. Doug is favorite people for me. Smart people for me, too.

  20. Spanish Caravan on January 4, 2014 at 17:53

    If there is one thing that Gary Taubes got right, it’s the futility of exercise. He got that right alright. I have no quarrel with Gary on that. Maybe that’s a little strong. It’s not futile. It’s definitely helpful.

    But once you start saying that calories do matter, some people think it’s okay to believe exercising will make you lose weight and is actually equivalent to diet. Look, Wolf, get the big picture, here, ok? It’s diet 90%; exercise 10%. It’s that lopsided. Exercising is good. It burns calories, yes. But it’s marginally important compared to what you shove down your throat on a daily basis.

    • Nick on January 4, 2014 at 19:14

      Oh come on, get your head of the sand. Exercise isn’t futile. I would say more but I’m lazy and this recent article is a good start:

      It’s funny because you’re big on resistant starch to increase SCFA like butyrate, and exercise can do the same. Here’s a rat study which saw n-Butyrate concentrations of 8.14 umol/g of cecal content in the exercise group versus 4.87 in the control group.

    • Richard Nikoley on January 4, 2014 at 21:32

      “It’s diet 90%; exercise 10%. It’s that lopsided. Exercising is good. It burns calories, yes. But it’s marginally important compared to what you shove down your throat on a daily basis.”

      This is perfectly true.

    • Richard Nikoley on January 4, 2014 at 22:27

      “Here’s a rat study…”

      Cool. How does that compare to hundreds of hunan personal, n=1 anecdotes?

    • Murray on January 6, 2014 at 12:54

      ” It’s diet 90%; exercise 10%. It’s that lopsided. Exercising is good. It burns calories, yes. But it’s marginally important compared to what you shove down your throat on a daily basis.”

      Absolutely. When I lost my 30 pounds the first thing people would ask me was what workout program I was on. I can say without a doubt that my workouts were 10% of the formula at best.

  21. Edward on January 4, 2014 at 18:10

    We don’t exercise to burn calories. That’s the fallacy that we see when people talk about exercise versus diet. We exercise to raise BMR, to provide stress that makes the body respond with development of muscle or in other ways (hormesis.) I can’t imagine that anyone would believe that all you have to do is control your diet. Movement is very important. All you have to do is try it, and you will verify its role in health.

    Just a pedantic moment. We don’t loose weight, we lose weight. Loose is something that isn’t tight. Lose is the opposite of win or gain. Lose is a verb, loose is an adjective, usually. To make something loose, we loosen it. Loose can be verb, but only in the passive voice: “the hounds were loosed.”

    • Richard Nikoley on January 4, 2014 at 21:59

      “I can’t imagine that anyone would believe that all you have to do is control your diet. Movement is very important. All you have to do is try it, and you will verify its role in health.”

      So yawn. All my 4 grandparents and 1 great grandmother lived into their 80s and well vibrantly until the last weeks. Pretty much all smoked and drank, and a couple like fish. Not a single one ever darkened a door of a gym or, to my knowledge, ever picked up a single weight that wasn’t like some piece of furniture or garden feature deemed to be in need of being moved.

      I laf.

      At the same time, I love deadlifts. I just don’t project their awesomeness and keep it in context.

      “Movement is very important.”

      Yea, can’t even recall the last time I saw a human being move, at all.

    • Ellen on January 5, 2014 at 16:10

      I think posture has a lot to do with the elderly falling. The further the head is forward and the butt tucked under the worse balance is going to be. So muscle tone and proper alignment.

    • Ellen on January 5, 2014 at 17:48

      So they become even more frail because they can’t eat proper meals?

      Weston Price was certainly right about dental health and bone structure being good indicators of overall condition.

    • Nick on January 5, 2014 at 05:48

      Eh. Have you read any of the meta-analysis?,5

      I think if someone walks ~14,000 steps/day (about the level of many hunter-gatherer tribes) they can be perfectly healthy. That’s sufficient exercise to me. But <10,000? Not a chance.

    • BrazilBrad on January 5, 2014 at 08:49

      @Richard, doesn’t it depend on what you mean by “vibrantly” and quality of life or lifestyle? I can understand that prior years/decades of little exercise is needed if all you need/want to do in your laters years is sit around watching TV/reading, moving furniture and gardening. I had a grandmother who lived to 95 and did little exercise besides a bowling league into her 60’s. But her last years she couldn’t walk very well and needed help taking care of herself in the bathroom. Would a more/different exercise in earlier years have helped her in her last years? seems plausible. I’ve always thought that her bowling helped her as well. I don’t know for sure, but I’m hoping my strength training will make it more likely that I will meet with the ideal end of “live long, drop dead” versus whither away.

    • Richard Nikoley on January 5, 2014 at 11:42

      Probably the biggest benefit to lifting heavy is the positive effect on bone mass.

    • BrazilBrad on January 5, 2014 at 14:56

      No doubt that is very important and is a long lasting effect. The elderly fall and often break bones as you know. But often what makes them fall more often is a lack of muscle strength they can use to catch themselves when they get off balance, or cushion the impact of the fall. That plus the stronger tendons/ligaments connecting the bones to the muscle. I’m no expert but I’ve often wondered why the elderly break hips so much when they fall instead of wrists and arms. Slower reaction time? Outside being able to poo unattended, being able to do things like work a clutch, carry a bag of groceries, and walk a flight of stairs… normal living stuff… is a big deal to me. Hence I’ve started doing more leg training to bank some muscle mass and bone strength well ahead of sarcopenia setting in.

    • Richard Nikoley on January 5, 2014 at 15:55

      Everybody falls and trips throughout life, mostly as kids and elderly with the odd events in-between, unless you ski and fly hang gliders (i do both).

      Muscle bulk, strength, or twitch rate hasn’t fuckall to do with any of that. What you need is a nice bruise for educational purposes, not a bone break for a fall that ought not come to that.

    • Richard Nikoley on January 5, 2014 at 16:00

      Let me clarify a bit. Good muscle tone will help prevent falling in a case when one normally ought not. It does nothing for a trip, and with old people, for various reasons, tripping will happen.

      I think having good muscle tone is always good. Heavy lifting is in arguably the best way and helps bones the most, but if not your thing, do something else. Get kettlebells or something. Many ways.

    • gabriella kadar on January 5, 2014 at 16:37

      Ellen, ever notice that the frail elderly with walkers are the ones with no teeth? According to the WHO if a person has less than 20 teeth they are disabled. The lack of muscle strength starts in the head and neck. Even with the best of the best dentures, the person has only 20% of the bite strength as a person with their own teeth. Right there, right off the bat. So the muscles atrophy.

      Elderly people who have most of their own teeth are most often not as frail and out of balance as the ones with old, worn out dentures. And of course, these people prefer to eat food they can masticate. Old people with worn out dentures have about 1% of the bite pressure as a person with their own teeth. They can’t even bite through a 2 mm thick wax sheet.

      Good idea to keep the teeth g-d gave you in the best shape possible.

  22. Nick on January 4, 2014 at 18:58

    Amen, Edward. Especially with regards to the grammar lesson.

    Interestingly exercise also alters the gut microbiota. Specifically, exercise raises butyrate concentration, at least in rats:
    Incidently, increased butyrate (via feeding the beneficial microbes) is also one of the principal benefits of resistant starch.

    • Richard Nikoley on January 4, 2014 at 22:15

      Shorter Nick: ‘I just love being in league with someone, and pointing out the fact that he surreptitiously made fun of spelling errors. I called it a “grammar lesson,” but I was in a rush. I’m sure I want to such Edward’s cock soon. Spelling, Grammar..WhaaaaatEverrr’

    • Edward on January 4, 2014 at 22:20

      That would usually require at least a C cup.

  23. Spanish Caravan on January 4, 2014 at 22:26

    You guys are missing the point big time. I didn’t say that exercising is not important. I commented about the relative importance of exercising. It’s not as important as dieting. Whether in terms of weight loss or in preserving the integrity of your gut microbiome. Can anyone seriously argue against this?

    And Gary Taubes, when he was talking about the futility of exercise, he was referring mainly to weight loss. He is absolutely right. I mean, bang on. But does anyone doubt that exercising is good for health?

    It’s the stupid argument about relative importance. And Gary is brilliant on this score, I admit, because mainstream media and convetional media characterize health as “diet and exercise.” That is Health = Diet + Exercise. It implies equivalence, that is, 50-50, so you should put half your eggs in each basket.

    That is simply not true. I think anyone with the IQ of an average paramecium will recognize that. But then maybe I’m overestimating the quotient. Btw, that is why Gary is, in the apposite words of our Jimmy Moore, “brilliant.”

    • Nick on January 5, 2014 at 05:44

      Well I do agree on their relative importance, i.e. diet>exercise (by a long shot). And we also agree that exercise is amazing for all facets of health. But why create a false dichotomy between diet and exercise? One can do both :)

      And was Taubes reallyyy right about weight loss and exercise?

      From a 2009 meta-analysis from Obesity Reviews:

      “In summary, a combined diet-plus-exercise programme provided greater long-term weight loss than a diet-only programme.”


      It’s a meta-analysis so I’m going to go with that for now instead of the Book of Taubes.

      I’d like to see why you believe exercise is so worthless for weight loss. If nothing else, exercise preserves lean muscle tissue when in a caloric deficit. Why would you want to diet only to lose muscle?

    • BrazilBrad on January 5, 2014 at 07:43

      @Nick, Yes! I totally agree. I’m experimenting with the potato hack which is a calorie deficit diet and this was my first thought. No way I’m not working out during the hack no matter what I feel like. Minimally one and maximally three times per week. And the more intense the lifting the better I think. You should send a very strong signal to your body (like your life depends on it) that you absolutely MUST retain your strength/muscle. According to many, your body is loath to give up it’s hard earned muscle, but sending a strong signal that it is needed can only help, no?

    • BrazilBrad on January 5, 2014 at 07:54

      @SC, One problem is the label “exercise” and what exactly that means. The type and amount has varying effects on one’s hormones, basal metabolic rate, tendency to gain fat, etc., and this obviously is inter-related with diet. Is it 50%? Dunno, prob not, but it’s not important to quantify it. The effects on body hormones like GH, Testosterone, etc. is enough. Intense muscular strength training is important, so just do it and forget which is more or less important. I think Taubes and many others are mostly referring to “cardio” exercise and it’s effect on fat loss (calories out).

    • Richard Nikoley on January 5, 2014 at 09:12

      Yes, what exercise?

      How do you quantify the difference between someone who, for instance, walks the dogs in the neighborhood for 40 minutes every day and once per week goes on a several mile hike with a 1,000 ft overall climb, and someone who does neither, works in a cubicle, watches a lot of TV but does an intense weight lift once or twice per week?

      And then you have all the guys who work construction and other physically demanding jobs.

    • Spanish Caravan on January 5, 2014 at 19:03

      You don’t know when to give up. This is why you can’t argue with someone who believes 1+1=3. Look, do you think the Okinawans exercise like you do? Do they lift weights? Hang themselves from trees? Do you think the Cretans roll tires around? Do you think the 7th Day Adventists in California do HIT? Do you think the Amazon tribes swing kettle bells around? All they probably do is climb some tall trees and kick the leaves around.

      That’s the source of your utter confusion. It’s not only physiological but psycho-cultural. Americans think that to be healthy, you need to either start a cardiovascular regimen or do HIT. There isn’t a single healthy group of people around the world that obssess over exercising like we do. And you don’t realize how unbalanced your perception of health is because that’s the only thing you’ve seen and heard.

      Look, wake up! Taubes point was mainly regarding exercise. But it can be extended to health in general. Exercising is optional. And what we call exercising is part of a lifestyle in those parts of the world where healthy people almost always never lift weights or exert themselves aerobically. Most centenarians never exercised a day in their lives. Most don’t even know what exercising is because it’s inherently counterintutive. Why exercise? Why not rest? When your daily life involves walking and moving around.

      This is why I still admire Taubes. He managed to wade through this idiocy and pen a common sense article, despite the utter stupidity that infests the health-and-fintess industry. Seriously, you’ll find the lowest IQ in those who work in the health fitness industry. It’s lower than those who work in broadcasting.

    • Richard Nikoley on January 5, 2014 at 20:45

      Spanish: +1

    • BrazilBrad on January 5, 2014 at 22:17

      -Calorie restriction is correlated with longevity. So what?
      -Formal exercise isn’t always required to *exist* for a long time. Big deal.
      -Lifting is quality-of-life insurance.
      -Good diet and proper exercise are not mutually exclusive.
      -Exercise is not more important than diet. And?
      -Relative merit is not a good reason to ignore beneficial things.

    • DuckDodgers on January 6, 2014 at 14:25

      Look, do you think the Okinawans exercise like you do? Do they lift weights? Hang themselves from trees? Do you think the Cretans roll tires around? Do you think the 7th Day Adventists in California do HIT? Do you think the Amazon tribes swing kettle bells around? All they probably do is climb some tall trees and kick the leaves around.

      Couldn’t agree more.

      Sometimes, when I see someone running long distances, I think to myself how foolish it would have been for someone to “go out for a long run” and waste their energy on such a pointless task in Paleolithic times, unless something precious needed to be transported quickly across a great distance.

      If you think about how the Marathon was invented, some dude needed to transport a message over a colossal distance…and then he died on the spot.

    • DuckDodgers on January 6, 2014 at 14:30

      Sorry, that “dude” was Pheidippides.

      Anyway, I think if someone needs to become a warrior or a hunter, the body will obviously adapt to support such a required stature and strength. But does greater muscle mass, improved VO2 Max and muscle strength translate to longevity? I could be wrong, but I don’t think Olympians have cornered the longevity market.

    • BrazilBrad on January 7, 2014 at 03:09

      If you want to value one thing only – longevity – which is merely existence… being alive, then OK. But existence is not everyone’s goal. Quality of life matters to many people and QOL is not quantified or widely analysed/published for those groups of long-lived people. “Olympians” is an exaggeration and playing logic games. Bottom line is all those peoples including the amish move around a lot (in addition to eat healthy). You want the same, do the same. Move around a lot. If your work is sedentary that means formal exercise. If you do that *and* you throw in some strength training so you can do more than roll a bocci ball, is that such a bad thing? Making excuses is just laziness, but it’s your decision.

    • gabriella kadar on January 10, 2014 at 19:04

      Spanish: FROM THE HEART! +2

    • Charles on January 18, 2014 at 12:38

      Olympic-level (or professional-level) athletic training isn’t a strategy for long-term health. I’ve worked with elite athletes and they are some of the more damaged people I know, physically, unless they’ve been lucky to have a really uniquely good trainer, of which there are almost none. They train for short-term results at the expense of longevity, whether consciously or not.

    • Janet on February 20, 2014 at 17:44

      I agree. I am 65 YO woman with thin bones. My doc says I have to pump some iron and do exercise that puts pressure on my bones–NOT elliptical or stepclimber machines or swimming. But walking, running, sprinting, lifting. That I am trying to do because tripping, balance and not being able to hold yourself up IS the biggest cause of broken bones in older folks and we lose important muscle every year. Boy, I feel good after I lift–really, really good.

    • gabriella kadar on February 20, 2014 at 20:29

      Janet, really weird exercise but the vibration in the bone apparently increases density: stand and then get up on tiptoes. Let your heels fall fast so there’s a vibration going through the spinal column. Repeat 20 times Do it several times during the day. Supposed to increase spinal column bone density.

    • Janet on February 22, 2014 at 06:21

      Interesting. I will start doing that. I can see how that might be beneficial. Thanks.

  24. BrazilBrad on January 5, 2014 at 11:28

    @Richard, is it important to try to quantify and/or answer the question “which is better?” Or is it enough to realize that there are various benefits to each and so you should do a little of all of it, if possible… the low intensity calories-out stuff and the beneficial hormone amplifying effects of intense physical stuff like weights, sprinting, BJJ/wrestling, dwarf tossing, etc. I think often as with diets people tend to go out of their way to justify why they only do one or the other that they prefer, or why one form is superior (LC/Paleo!), rather than embrace it all inside the volume+intensity limits that has been shown to be generally beneficial. Unlike our ancestors, most of us have been cursed with having a choice in the amount of volume and intensity of exercise that we perform.

  25. Wolfstriked on January 6, 2014 at 12:40

    Bringing up certain people and how they never exercised yet live long lives is what I mean when I say that we are missing a crucial point in obesity.Its my belief that some people just get out of shape very quickly when not doing strenuous activity.IMO this is the mystical factor that accounts for the constant”I knew a person that did this and that and yet…etc”.Take myself as example with my job of delivering boxes out of a truck.Its strenuous with the jumping in and out of the truck,loading heavy boxes onto handtrucks and pushing these loaded handtrucks to the destination all done with timed deadlines at 8am/10:30am/3pm/4:30pm.I am constantly running around and lifting heavy stuff so why am I fat…..and more importantly why is it when I get off the train(to and from work)do I get winded climbing the subway stairs out to the street?I can see and feel the gasping in the people that climb the stairs with me and pretty close to 100% THE SKINNY PEOPLE DO NOT HUFF AND PUFF FROM A FEW FLIGHTS OF STAIRS.

    Then I start doing high intensity cardio and my body shape changes and I seem to be able to eat whatever I want and not gain.I finally got into my 32in pants this past friday and after a weekend of LOTS of beer,Chinese food,donuts etc my pants are still loose on my waist.I have always been that person that says…..whatever I eat goes right to my stomach yet I get in shape,where I am not huffing and puffing climbing the subway stairs,and suddenly I can eat whatever and not gain weight and actually lose weight.

    What I think is main reason for my experience is that the more in shape you are the better your body is able to utilize fat for energy.Increase of VO2 max after all does just that,allows more fat to be burned for fuel.If you get into great shape,aerobic conditioning wise,the body then can take the sugar thats incoming and store into muscle and so you burn fat while at rest or walking/climbing stairs etc and have high glycogen levels for when you need to exert yourself anaerobically.When you sit around,and if your prone to losing fitness levels quickly,the body just shuts down its fat burning capacity and burns the sugar away quickly leading to you feeling like shit….unless you pound the sugar and we all know thats not very smart thing to do.

    Here is a video of man who loses 37 pounds on Mcdonalds diet.And lets not forget that the movie Fathead had Tom lose weight and get healthier eating Mcdonalds also.I had asked him why he quit eating Mcdonalds if he got healthier and he said that he believes that LC grants even greater health benefits so….

  26. Gemma on January 7, 2014 at 01:35

    Resistant starch, gut microbiota, SBO etc. in a new podcast by Chris Kresser on Living la vida Low Carb (time 38:19). Though the whole podcast about “The 5 challenges Of Very Low-Carb Diets” is worth listening:

  27. Ellen on January 9, 2014 at 04:53


    How is you dog doing?

    At this point mine seems to be doing very well on a pinch of plantain starch every three or four days. I have reduced from twice daily to once daily, etc. I am just going by her appetite and frequency of bowel movements as well as a very slight licking thing she does that may be some acid reflux. It is a much milder version of what she does before she throws up. There seems to be a Goldilocks effect with the RS.

    Of course both you and Tim have talked about how you change it up with not only the kind and amounts if RS, But the frequency too. It is so hard to get out of the more is better mindset. But now I can see that some inconsistency makes sense from a Paleo perspective, so am doing that more with myself now too, and so far so good.

    • Richard Nikoley on January 9, 2014 at 18:40


      Do is doing fine. I do about a tsp per day, most days but not all. The poops are the best he’s ever had.

  28. Dust on January 9, 2014 at 11:00

    I’ve been following the RS discussion for several weeks now and really want to ask Richard (or other RS experts) this question: don’t you think that (since RS is called a “third type of fiber”) all the miracles of RS can be achieved by consuming just …regular fiber?

    I mean does anybody know that 4 tbsp of RS is superior than, say, some fiber capsules from a health store or Jeff Leach’s protocol (eat a lot of fibrous veggies, up to 100 grams a day)?

    • BrazilBrad on January 10, 2014 at 17:59

      @Dust, That comment is so ignorant as to make me believe you are either lying or just an idiot. See “prebiotic” on Wikipedia and come back when you have learned how to read and comprehend what you have read. Then read all the RS/potato-starch posts and discussions here on FTA starting with the first one. We don’t have time to educate those who are unwilling to put out a minimum of effort to educate themselves.

  29. tatertot on January 9, 2014 at 11:50

    @Dust – Wow! never really thought about it…could be. Maybe we are wasting our time.

  30. David on January 9, 2014 at 13:26

    tatertot: It’s all become an Emily Litella “Never mind!” Anyway, thanks for trying.

  31. Harriet on January 9, 2014 at 16:40

    I suspect there is something to this resistant starch stuff – hey don’t need to be rude, I might be late to this. I’ve been eating paleo for five years and my weight was stable for three of these years and declined for two. But lately despite being strictly paleo it has been slowly trending up again.

    So I’ve been searching around for what I can do differently. I’m female, over 60, and with residual rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. I’ve got rid of my pre-diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, depression and general misery.

    I thought I would start on the RS slowly. So two days ago started with one measured tablespoon of potato starch. I had an incipient headache much of the following night – that is sort of there, but not quite. I took the same amount yesterday. My weight has increased by a kilo which I hope is just water and the growth of but biome. I was thirsty. Both nights I had more vivid dreams than usual and both nights woke up for an extended time. Last night I felt terrible – emotionally screwed up as I used to be when I was my sickest. My RA fingers are sore with mobility limitations – much worse than usual and my back has become stiffer. So I suspect the biome is growing something that is not as helpful as I would like. This morning I don’t feel great and am finding it difficult to focus. I’m going on holiday tomorrow so will need to think carefully as to whether to continue this while I’m away or put it aside until I return. Are there reports of people who find that things come right after a rocky start? Or am I just going to get worse and worse? Or is it a toss up and it helps with some and not with others?

    I do find myself feeling slightly bloated and not needing to eat as much protein.

    • Richard Nikoley on January 9, 2014 at 18:56


      Wow, interesting. It’s going to be up to you what you do. I think it’s entirely plausible that radically changing the biome could have some interesting effects, especially initially. Perhaps RS feeds some bad ones too, and thing is, you can’t predict whether in time they’ll get put under control by the good ones, or not. There’s a lot of talk about Prescript Assist as a good soil-based organism probiotic, so you might consider that.

      I certainly wouldn’t do this before your holiday, but another option is to double down and do 4T and just see what happens. I’ve done as many as 8T in a day with no issues but flatulence.

  32. gabriella kadar on January 9, 2014 at 18:19

    Initially my friend and I had some ‘bungage’.( I have taken the liberty of Richardismly modifying British terminology: all bunged up …. i.e. didn’t poo.) But when it came out it was not hard. Both of us are now totally regular. His diet and mine are entirely different. He is the green smoothie man, consumes dairy, eats grains, rice, doesn’t eat much meat and I’m the carnivore who chews my vegetables and has a couple of drinks after work. There’s other aspects of our various intakes that are as ‘chalk is to cheese’. It took a bit of time before things settled into a nice rhythm. And yes, drink more water if you are thirsty. I felt bloated for a while (but I’m wondering if that came from the trial of a bit of psyillium.)

    The difference in water for soft or hard stool isn’t that much. Maybe 30 ml. But the starch picks up water to itself prior to the bacteria digesting it in the large bowel. The extra water is absorbed in the colon.

    Jeff Leach’s gut biome took 10 days to change after he drastically modified his diet. So it does take time for the bacteria to sort themselves out. The type 2 diabetics appear to require approximately 4 to 6 weeks or even longer to see results.

    Reduce the dose to 2 scant teaspoons or less for a couple of weeks and introduce the change more gradually. If after 2 weeks of such a low dose you still have adverse additional symptoms, stop. Raw potato starch is probably the most innocuous source of dietary fibre a person could consume.

  33. tatertot on January 9, 2014 at 21:33

    @Harriet – RS and AS are both auto-immune conditions, very intimately linked to gut flora. AS even moreso, and particularly with a gut microbe called Klebsiella. People with AS are commonly put on very low carb diets just to keep Klebsiella numbers low. Here’s a very recent study on it:

    I take it you have been eating a very low carb diet? It’s possible you have crazy Klebsiella numbers and they are feasting on the little bit of potato starch and going crazy.

    If anybody else came here and said they had those same problems after 2 days, I would probably just ignore them and think they were crazy, but with AS, it might be completely different.

    AS is a gut bug problem. It seems a shame the answer is to further starve your gut bugs and allow the homeostasis to continue. I think if someone I knew closely had AS and was eating LC to keep it in control, I would recommend starting with potato starch mixed in yogurt and at the same time taking a good probiotic supplement with as many different species in it as possible, the Prescript Assist looks good. Open the pills and dump them into the yogurt/PS mix and let it sit a few minutes before eating. Start out with like half a teaspoon of PS and work your way up over a couple weeks.

    Take this advice with a grain of salt. Stuff like this scares me. Just out of curiosity, how many carbs have you been eating the last couple years? And what type carbs? Have a look at the study and tell us if any of it rings true.

    Good job on using paleo to get all the other stuff in check, though!

  34. Harriet on January 9, 2014 at 22:40

    Tatertot, I have been low carb for years but not very low carb. I moved from eating potatoes to eating sweet potatoes because I read that those with AI should stay away from nightshades. However potatoes have never given me much in the way of problems, though I have vomited after a heavy tomato salad. I’ve never liked bell peppers.

    How much carb? Well no grains, no sugar, no legumes, only sweet potatoes (30 – 80 g of sweet potato before cooking per meal, twice a day). Other than that lettuce, cucumber, avocado, various onion family and cabbage family veges plus greens such as spinach and swiss chard, plus fruit after lunch and after tea in the evening. I try to stay away from snacking. Breakfast is eggs or bacon and eggs. Just as background: eating the equivalent of 4 pieces of fruit a day will make me go down with some infection or other. 30g of dark chocolate will keep me awake for 6 hours at night, though 10g gives me no trouble at all. I love my chocolate so only eat 50% or darker chocolate, and only 10g a day. Chocolate is my only processed food other than Christmas cheese. I even gave up yoghurt, though I might try that again with the PS.

    Despite reading Richard’s comments above I made the decision to have some more potato starch today. My symptoms aren’t bad (compared to what I have been through in my life). I have developed a strong intuitive sense of what should work and what is causing me problems (by experience about 80% accurate in retrospect). Its largely on the basis of this that I’m giving RS a try. I KNOW I have gut problems and 5 years of paleo has improved things but it is taking less and less breaking of the diet to set symptoms off. So therefore I have to do something different to what I have been doing over the last five years. I’ll take things on a day by day basis and report back when I get back from holiday (on a cruise boat for 14 days).

    On the plus side my 60 years of thyroid problems and depression lifted 12-15 months ago – a huge load. I now have energy and general life is much more enjoyable.

    And while I have AS back stiffness the PS hasn’t set off my related eye problems. If I get red eye I can lose 50% of my sight overnight and that would make me stop the PS immediately – though steroid drops should have me OK again within 2-3 days.

    • Harriet on January 9, 2014 at 22:55

      Just had a look at the study. I never knew there was a link between AS and Crohns disease, and I’ve never been diagnosed with CD but I have had IBS all my life until the last few years. My generally improved health has also meant an improved bowel situation though still easily upset. So much, much better than before, just not right yet. The potato starch is having an effect already – my gut and bowel functioning is already different. I’m bloated and heavier with different farting though not in a bad enough way to make me want to stop this. I’m not feeling badly uncomfortable.

    • tatertot on January 9, 2014 at 23:04

      What jumped out at me on a re-read of the study is that you may have a genetic issue that causes the AS and increased klebsiella.

      When you get back, you should see if there’s a way to get tested for this. It may make a big difference in what you do.

      From the study:

      Increased starch consumptions by genetically susceptible individuals such as those possessing HLA-B27 allelotypes could trigger the disease in both AS and CD by enhancing the growth and perpetuation of the Klebsiella microbes in the bowel.

      Exposure to increased levels of these microbes will lead to the production of elevated levels of anti-Klebsiella antibodies as well as autoantibodies against cross-reactive self-antigens with resultant pathological lesions in the bowel and joints.

      Hence, a decrease of starch-containing products in the daily dietary intake could have a beneficial therapeutic effect on the disease especially when used in conjunction with the currently available medical therapies in the treatment of patients with AS and CD.

    • Spanish Caravan on January 10, 2014 at 19:57

      Even with those sweet potatoes, you’re on a VLC diet. Depending on your protein intake and your body weight, it’s could even be ketogenic. Your starch carbs are only 30-35 net carbs. No other starch carbs, no meaningful fruit consumption, no grains, and no legumes, and you could be teetering on the edge of ketosis. Everytime someone says I low carb, I don’t VLC, I realize that they indeed are VLCing.

      So a VLC diet with AS and RS could make things interesting: you probably attained your best metabolic and weight loss biomarkers while VLCing. And your autoimmune symptoms may have improved due to weight loss, the normalization of trigs, HDL, liver enzymes, FBG and A1C. But the other side of the coin is that these improvements tend to give way to immune dysregulation, even when your autoimmunity can be traced to particular bacteria, as in AS and RA. That’s really the case with RA. Did you develop these 2 conditions prior to your VLC Paleo, not during? Food allergies, Raynaud’s, low WBCs prior to the onset or afterwards?

      In either case, there is a complex interplay of gut dysbiosis, hematology and leaky gut that makes one susceptible to a cluster of autoimmune diseases. I think “pushing RS through slowly” is the right strategy for etiologically-bacterial autoimmune diseases. Yes, there could be a temporary setback. There could be flares, especially RA inflammation. But over the long term, if you balance your gut microbes, your symptoms might normalize. That will not cure your RA, however (I don’t know about AS). There are studies where the gut flora was normalized in RA patients but they still had the antibodies signalling autoimmuen attack.

    • tatertot on January 10, 2014 at 20:17

      Spanish – That’s the big unknown. Will everything normalize when gut flora is back to normal. My hunch is that it may not be so simple. Immune system is trained from birth and all through life. I think getting the gut right is the first step, but may not be the last. The fact that diabetes and insulin sensitivity respond so fast gives me hope that some of these AI’s will turn around, too.

    • Spanish Caravan on January 10, 2014 at 21:08

      @Tatertot, that Daniel Littman article on RA and prevotella copri show exactly that. Those who underwent anti-inflammatory treatment for RA did see their gut flora normalize. Normalize in the sense that their gut flora seemed to revert in composition to those of a healthy sample that never developed RA. However, they still had RA and were in therapy.

      By “normalization,” it is not identical to the type of gut flora that you have. In terms of composition, the healthy sample’s firmicutes are 2x their bacteroidetes; your bacteroidetes are 1.75x your firmicutes. So you’re different than this healthy control; you’re probably much “healthier” than these guys, as there will hardly be anyone consuming RS and fermentable starches in any significant portion. However, they’re still “healthy.”

      However, this “macro” level is really not illuminating, as there is virtually no difference between those who were diagnosed with RA and those who’re healthy. The difference is really at the taxonomy level: your bacteroides (42%) account for about 90% of your bacteroidetes. The healthy control’s bacteroides % is similar at 80-85%. But in those who developed RA’s this is only 25-30%. The rest (60-70%) are dominated by the problematic Prevotellaceae strain, i.e., P. copri. In a healthy sample, this was only 20-25% of total bacteroidetes. You on the other hand, have no room for much if any Prevotellaceae. So we can infer that you have very little possibility of developing RA, unless you developed it already.

      But the problem here is that once the P. Corpri portion is reduced and Bacteroides are back to the healthy normal level, you still had RA that you had to treat. That altered gut flora was what was achieved through anti-inflammatory RA therapy. Remember, P. Copri is implicated in inflammation, which kickstarts autoimmune attack. In RA, you get inflammation first, then antibodies. So it’s possible to rollback autoimmunity entirely if you catch it in the early stage and implement strong anti-inflammatories, i.e., vanquish P. Copri and RA will not progress to the the antibody stage where it’ll not be possible to roll back.

      So the taxonomic normalization of gut flora doesn’t stop RA; it will greatly allay inflammatory aspects of RA, which is caused by P. Copri. But the autoimmune attack is in motion and whatever it is being sustained by (molecular mimicry, intestinal permeability, etc.) has not been stopped, though it may have been curbed.

      Conclusion: more work to do.

  35. tatertot on January 9, 2014 at 22:56

    Harriet – I’ve been reading about AS this evening. Good for you for listening to your body. Have you ever had your gut biome tested to see if you have the Klebsiella that seems to cause AS and even RA?

    It looks like your current diet provides next to no fermentable fiber for gut bugs, so it may be understandable why you react how you did. Klebsiella are not normal gut bugs, they are invaders, and take over. They obviously are getting just enough to eat to keep you mildly uncomfortable. Lots of people get relief by completely avoiding starch, even cooked starch, and all fiber. Makes sense on a symptom level, but no sense as a long term plan, seems to me it just exacerbates and perpetuates the problem. Again, I’m just some schmuck you met on the internet–I have no indepth knowledge of this.

    Here’s an interesting connection I just noticed. Did you see my American Gut results that Richard posted a month or so ago? Anyway, they compared my gut bugs to thousands of others, everyone else had a large ‘band’ of Proteobacteria, that’s where klebsiella and mostly pathogens lives. I had absolutely no proteobacteria, but I did have a big band of Actinobacteria, where everyone else had the tiniest band of it–that’s where bifidobacteria and other natural antibiotic producing bacteria live. About the only difference between me and them was my potato starch intake.

    I would love to tell you to experiment heavily with potato starch, but please be really careful. It is such a shame that our advanced medicine can’t fix gut microbe disturbances like the ones causing AI diseases.

    Let us know what happens. Have fun on your cruise, you lucky devil. I wouldn’t start anything new before a trip like that. Just focus on getting some sun and good food–stay away from the dessert tray!

    • Harriet on January 10, 2014 at 00:06

      I have given up on doctors and medicine, all the more so as I have a PhD in medicine with a focus on patient self management in serious illness so I’m au fait with all the psycho-social-spiritual components of health. Having been ill almost all my life and having worked in medical and nursing faculties for nearly two decades I know how the official stories of medicine do and do not fit in with patient experience. I’m used to taking 100% responsibility for my health, so don’t worry, I’m not going to blame you if things go wrong. The worst that happens is that I put on a whole lot of weight or have a relapse in my condition. I’ve been there before and pulled myself out. But if I didn’t experiment as I have done and I had followed my various doctors” advice I would still be grossly obese, diabetic, hypertensive, depressed, on massive painkillers and confined to a wheelchair and on a multitude of drugs with all the side effects these have – and I would have most of the side effects they cause!

      So I experiment – n of 1 biohacking has got me to where I am today. Fit and well enough to learn karate in my 60s for the last 3 years and happy after years of depression and anxiety that has now gone.

      The holidays don’t make much of a difference to the way I live my life. My diet won’t change other than eating potatoes because they won’t have sweet potatoes at every meal. At least if I feel ill I won’t have to do any housework or cooking, so the holiday is an OK time to experiment for me.

      I eat as much food as I can unprocessed from my own garden, without worrying too much about eating the odd bit of soil or garden muck – I wipe the obvious dirt off with my hands and eat from the garden as well as collecting the food for meals. I have strongly suspected for a while that there was something wrong with my diet but I couldn’t put my finger on it till I found this blog. So if its the lack of the necessary fibre that makes intuitive sense to me. I would rather not only supply it solely from potato however. If PS works I would be looking for at least half a dozen different sources of the fibre, and preferably natural – like the raw potato itself, and I’ll try to grow some (difficult in our hot desert conditions). But one step at a time. I have to be able to tolerate the PS for a week first.

      As an aside, on day 3, using the Bristol chart, I’m type 4 which is different. I’m usually either a 2/3 or a 5/6, so a difference in only 3 days. But I still feel really bloated.

    • tatertot on January 10, 2014 at 08:27

      Harriet, wow, I’m impressed with your commitment to yourself…so many people just looking for easy answers. We will be watching your progress closely. I’m glad that you can see potato starch is not the ‘be all, end all’ but more an introduction to RS and the changes it can make in the gut microbiome.

      Anxiety, depression, AS, RA, diabetes, and some other things you mentioned ALL are directly tied to the gut and immune system. The parts of the gut related mostly to this are the Peyer’s Patches and T Cells. Huge changes to both of these are seen when the gut is flooded with butyrate and dominated by beneficial microbes. Potato Starch gives that quick flood of butyrate which I presume is why so many see such quick changes.

      There is certainly a better long term plan than simply downing as much potato starch as you can. There is certainly an optimal blend of RS types (1,2,3) and sources (potato, tapioca, mung bean, rice, corn, plantain, sago, legumes, etc..) and dosing (once day, five times a day), and also individual variations in biome, genetics, and starting points.

      We have been intentionally steering clear of all the variations because soon enough there will be lots of people looking into this and designing ‘protocols’ and supplements. More power to them! The more the merrier. At least everybody who reads this blog will be able to smell the rotten fish when they start showing up.

    • Harriet on January 10, 2014 at 15:40

      Update: Day 4 (3 days x 1 tbs PS). Another 400 g weight increase (1.5kg in total). RA fingers no longer painful but still stiff. AS stiffness not quite as bad. Still woke up in the middle of the night for over an hour. This time no emotional overload but a weird physical response. My face started twitching. I could stop it but when I tried I started getting a bad headache. I reckoned my body knew what it was doing, so I let the twitching continue. It got worse, spread across my head and down my body. I twitched and shook for an hour and the headache disappeared. Then went back to sleep and woke up with an immense and unusual sense of personal peace. I’m not sure what this means but it might have been a spontaneous reduction in body tension that in others manifests as a headache if they don’t have an outlet for the tension. I only pass this on in the interests of complete data collection. I would rather not have weird reactions and of course its only correlational. It could have been caused by something else. I am really hoping that the weight increase is only gut biome related and not being put down as fat. This morning I feel less bloated than yesterday, with less farting.

      I’ve not had my gut biome analysed as I live in Australia and it was going to cost between $400 and $500 some five years ago and that was both outside my budget and I didn’t know what it would tell me or what I could do to change it.

      My concern is less the theoretical, though as an ex academic I’m always fascinated by it, than practical. I love waking up feeling like its a great to be alive. I want to lose another 12 kg or so and feel good in my body. I hate the bloated stranded whale feeling of being overweight. I’ve tried sago and tapioca but I put the instantaneous weight increase down to insulin spikes, though with my new knowledge this might have been gut changes. I used to eat a lot of sprouted lentils and beans and although I felt great at the beginning I ended up with terrible gut pain and very ill after a diet of eating them each day for 3 months.

      I’ll do more reading up on the specifics of the various forms of bacteria and what they do. It takes me a while to get all the detail on board. Thanks to you tatertot and to Richard for this info. Now off to pack.

    • Spanish Caravan on January 10, 2014 at 19:35

      That’s what I call “eurphoria” or a runner’s high, an endorphin rush. I get that when I do 4 tbsp of PS before going to sleep. The mechanism seems to be that RS controls microbes that regulate neurotransmitters. So it could be a bit similar to taking SSRIs if you’re serotonin-deficient. You’re right, it’s absolutely peaceful and you almost feel this “oneness” and unity with the world, just like you’re doing transcendental meditation. It’s also possibly palliative for chronic pain and terminal cancer patients, similar to what medical marijuana does.

      “Then went back to sleep and woke up with an immense and unusual sense of personal peace. I’m not sure what this means but it might have been a spontaneous reduction in body tension that in others manifests as a headache if they don’t have an outlet for the tension.”

    • tatertot on January 10, 2014 at 20:21

      Harriet – we expect an update when you get back…
      Bon Voyage!

    • Richard Nikoley on January 10, 2014 at 23:13


      The only thing I relate to is for a long time (since RS) I might wake up in the middle of the night, totally wide awake, but not hyper. Which is to say relaxed. I would just go with it, take pleasure in whatever I could think about and an hour to two layer would drift off and resume the previous vivid dream.

      The dreaming is so crazy I have done up to 12 hour stints in bed just to explore it. I don’t blog of it because it’s just too personal to make relevant. But it’s crazy.

      And now, after many months at 30-60g RS per day I find it hard to be hungry and hard to be tired. Life is changing pretty profoundly for me and I do not yet know how to sort it all out.

      Just the other night I was working on the book and suddenly realized it was 5am and I still wasn’t very tired.

      Many question marks.

    • Marybeth on January 12, 2014 at 16:51

      I have RA since 2008. I did the DMARD route for roughly a year because I believed doctors had my best interest in mind. I started to research more on my condition and read more about the medications for RA. Needless to say it was frightening. I took myself off the medication and started a paleo diet (not to lose weight as I’m 5’3 and 107 lbs.) along with avoiding nightshades. It helped some but I was still in some pain. I read about the antibiotic protocol and decided it was less evil and read how well others did. I am on 100mg MWF. Take a probiotic and make my own coconut milk kefir along with other supplements. Lately I have been questioning my choice and started some more reading. I came across RS through the comment section of Cooling Inflammation.
      I read as much as I could and decided to give it a try along with adding some fermented food (which I’m in the process of making). I started yesterday with 3T. Today I took 2T with my kefir and tonight before bed 2T w/water. No bloating and hard to tell about flatulence since I juice(green).
      My RA is pretty well contained but I haven’t yet thrown out the minocycline.

    • tatertot on January 12, 2014 at 19:27

      Here’s what I’d do. If this is bad advice, hopefully someone will chime in, I’m not a doctor.

      Stop taking the antibiotics for 6-8 weeks and go crazy on the potato starch. Take as much as you can handle, try to work up to 4-6TBS a day, taken like 2TBS 3X a day. Also take maybe half a TBS of psyllium husk when you take the potato starch. This should have a synergistic effect with the PS and make it flood the whole intestine better.

      As you are taking the PS, also go crazy on some good probiotics. Buy a couple different types, ones with lots of strains, especially of the bifidobacteria and lactobacteria strains. Don’t worry about amounts (20 billion live cells!) so much as a wide variety of bacteria. Also look at probiotocs that contain SBOs (soil based organisms). Take a probiotic at the same time you take some PS, even dump the pills in the PS mixture you are getting ready to take.

      Minocycline is a broad spectrum, equal opportunity killer of ALL bacteria. Everything you have down there is now antibiotic resistant superbugs. It can take years to straighten it out, but try this for 4-6 weeks or more and see what happens.

      You know your body better than me, if this sounds like bad advice, don’t do it. If it makes things worse, go back to what you were doing before.

      Good luck, let us know how it works out!

    • Marybeth on January 13, 2014 at 11:46

      I am starting today! I already am taking Ther-Biotic Complete which has 25+Billion CFUs with both bifidobacteria and lactobacteria. I will obtain SBO probiotic and psyllium husk this week. This morning I did put my probiotic into my kefir with PS.
      I keep a food journal so I will add my thoughts to my journal and will come back and report after starting everything. It is worth a try!

    • Marybeth on January 13, 2014 at 12:51

      I replied too quickly, as I reread your comments. Do you suggest I take the probiotics 3xdaily every time I take PS?

    • tatertot on January 13, 2014 at 12:57

      I would, but no need to go broke doing it. Divide the doses up, easy to do if it’s in powder or capsule form. Just sprinkle some in what you are mixing PS with. That will surely give you the biggest bang for the buck.
      Good luck!

    • tatertot on January 15, 2014 at 12:20

      Harriet – I just read this on the Pefect Health Diet website:

      This guy says a diet in healthy carbs cured his AS. So, there’s hope for you yet!

    • Bernhard on January 15, 2014 at 14:57

      As I just poisoned myself with buckwheat (even the grain not the leaves) you may be interested in reviewing your juicing routine. Here is a report on buckwheat green juicing poisoning:

      Plants are defending themselves, we did juicing here, to do it on regular basis may well be another not so good idea as we take in a lot of “refined” plant matter, maybe once again not in a way as nature intended.

  36. PegLeg on January 10, 2014 at 08:21

    I stumbled across resistant starch (RS) when googling something which I’ve completely forgotten about now (RS has now taken priority in my ruminations). I read this post on the Life Extension forum about a guy with Reactive Hypoglycemia (RH) and his big ole potato experiment indicated much improvement with his potato starch (PS) supplementation.

    The UK health service has diagnosed me with RH after doing their Glucose tolerance test, my blood sugar fell to 1.9mmol/l or 34mg/dl by their readings. I’m a very healthy guy and exercise alot, but have not really made much headway with beating the symptons RH leaves me with. They are, I beleive mostly as a result of adrenaline released to bring up my blood sugar when im low. Depression, anxiety, panic, sweating, racing/heavy heart beat etc.

    I learnt to avoid sugar along time ago, and more recently having been paleo for only a few weeks, I’m a lot more stable on just vegetable carbs, around 50grams per day. Time may well improve my symptons, but I’m still quite flat and depressed. I also seem to go hypoglycemic after I exercise hard, and interestingly when I eat even VLC foods on the day after I exercise.

    Since finding RS I’ve read everything I can, mostly on this website, this post from another website really encouraged me regarding the problem with exercise..

    I’ve got some PS from a local asian food store in the UK today and I’ve taken 2 lots ot 2T (despite the reccomendations of easing into the doseage), so I’m happy to share what happens to me and contribute to any evidence for RS usage in treating BS problems.

    Its been a few hours since I ingested my PS and nothing yet, I’ve never wanted to fart so much in my whole life! But after several long courses of antibiotics for acne as a teenager I fear there isn’t much left inside me. I’m a 32 year old 6ft 190lbs man btw.

    Thanks very much for all your efforts here.

    • tatertot on January 10, 2014 at 20:20

      I always tell people to go into this like nothing is going to happen. Hoping for something, or worrying about something can change the outcome. My advice, just take the PS, dose according to level of comfort (farts), and don’t expect anything. After 6 months, reassess your health. You may be disappointed if you reassess on a daily basis.

      Glad you found us! good luck

    • Richard Nikoley on January 11, 2014 at 00:42


      Let me chime in that I am 6-8 months into this and still discovering things. Just most recently my sleep requirements have dropped to nil. Which sucks, because I love the dreaming so much. But it’s true. In the last two weeks I think I haven’t slept less than when I used to work on ships at sea which is a 24/7 deal and something is always in need of doing.

    • PegLeg on January 11, 2014 at 00:56

      Ok thanks @richard & @tatertot, I appreiciate your encouragement. I will do my utmost and stick with it. I’ve shovelled all sorts of bizzare things down my throat over the past years, but do have a tendancy to give up after a few weeks if nothing obvious has happened.

      Ill follow all your posts and give an update now and then, as I doubt I’ll have anything intelligent to add to general conversation!

      Just got my self out of bed (8am UK) after my first night of PS. I woke very early for me (5am) and from then had non stop dreaming/waking up/rolling over/dreaming. Dream was more vivid than normal, but it wasnt a very nice one :-(

      Thanks again.

  37. gabriella kadar on January 10, 2014 at 17:48

    Harriet, since you live in Oz you have the perfect guy to help you: Dr. Borody. He’s impressive. Get a fecal transplant and get ahead of the curve.

    • Spanish Caravan on January 10, 2014 at 19:24

      Get a fecal transplant when you have RA and AS? Don’t you think that’s rather drastic? I would wait to see how RS pans out, incorporate some probiotics, then try the enema thang with RS and probiotics, if you must, before even considering FT.

      The problem with FT is donor-screening. It really has to be done in a hospital setting. The reason you have to be careful with a donor is that autoimmunity is rampant these days and the chance of your donor having an undetected but seropositive autoimmunity is considerable. There are certain autoimmune diseases for which we have no antibodies, so detection is impossible until overt symptoms appear. You want a clean donor, not a contaminated one. And finding one that’s clean is harder than you think. I would certainly never consider anyone who’s beeing low-carbing, that’s for sure, if the gut flora is any indication! That would be like playing Russian Roulette.

      Even then, it’s not as simple as taking a stool sample, putting it in a mixer, dissolving it and put in an enema bag. I wouldn’t try it at home.

    • Richard Nikoley on January 10, 2014 at 23:37


      I just clicked in to suggest that she try megadose PS first, like the guy who originally gave me the idea and changed his life at 8TBS per day. I don’t do it everyday but most, and I’m a new person. Biggest result is that I require way, way less sleep. I was up til 5 am the other night, up at 8:30, not the slightest bit of tired until late the next night. Up until 1:30 last nigh, up 6:30, now it’s 11:30 and I have not felt the slightest fatigue and I’ll likely be up for several more hours.

      This is a very recent development and I’ve been on PS for many months, but only in the last month mega dosing up to 8TBS.

      This is all experimental, folks. I’m not recommending, just reporting.

      However, I noted just awhile ago that I feel as I did when I was losing the 60 pounds originally. I used to stay up til 1, 2, 3, 4 every night. 4-5 hours of sleep and perfectly good to go.

    • Richard Nikoley on January 10, 2014 at 23:45

      …oh, and also, the enema. Was that you, SC, who reported on that crazy weirdness?

      Well, weird, but no more so than a fecal transplant or the new shit pill I blogged about. …incidentally, I emailed Hyperlipid Petro a link yesterday about how so many effective prebiotics and probiotics are for animals only (he’s a veterinarian) and he emailed back that the most effective probiotic they use in the UK is some sort of a shit deal. I think it’s sterilized, so it must be dog feces based spores, I guess.

      Oh, and SC, do note that Gabriella referred Harriet to a physician who I’m assuming knows a bit about fecal transplant. It’s not like she advised her to do a shit smoothie enema.

    • Spanish Caravan on January 11, 2014 at 10:51

      Yeah, well that euphoria is much stronger with the enema method. If it took you 8, then it would only take 4. But I never tried 8 tbsps orally. It only takes me 3-4 tbsps before bed orally to get that high the next morning that lasts into the evening. That’s 4 tbsps with BRM PS.

      As for FT, I’m sure the hopital knows what it’s doing. But there is still risk. It’s not the risk of infection but the risk of importing whatever stealthy conditions the donor has. Through FT, you can transfer thinness to an obese mouse. Can you transfer autoimmunity or cancer? I think so. However cancer or autoimmunity at the asymptomatic stage? That’s possible. So you have to take a leap of faith.

    • gabriella kadar on January 12, 2014 at 19:23

      Spanish, where did I ever suggest perform a DIY fecal transplant?

      I’ll re-type in block capitals so you don’t miss it this time: DR. BORODY. He’s the fecal transplant specialist in Australia. Check him out sometime.

    • gabriella kadar on January 12, 2014 at 19:24

      Thanks Richard.

  38. Ellen on January 13, 2014 at 06:43

    I bought a jar of extra virgin oil infused with mushroom and sage at one of those very fancy olive oil stores that seem to be everywhere. I never used it. Then a few days ago I pressure steamed some russet potatoes and while warm, peeled them and tossed with a good amount of good sherry vinegar, the infused olive oil and salt and pepper and refrigerated it overnight. The next day I served it to hubby without saying anything, but thinking he would probably need to add mayo, or do something to make it more palatable. But no, he said these are delicious, which they were, and we both scarfed them down. I would serve these to anybody.

    Done right, cold potatoes can be gourmet food.

    But I do wonder if absorbing all that oil and vinegar before refrigeration had any effect on the production of more RS one way or the other.

  39. Perry on January 13, 2014 at 09:30

    Hey Tater,

    You have mentioned you eat very little sugar (except limited fruit?) and that you go out of your way to avoid the white stuff focusing on safe starches PHD style instead. I believe you have also mentioned observational the many study correlations for positive sugar consumption and colorectal cancer.

    Aside from this association, is there any evidence you have come across that points to sugar directly affecting the gut microbiome, i,e, eat sugar-feed bug xyz. There was once a discussion on perfecthealth were Paul J. thought ingesting pure dextrose (glucose only, he is low fructose advocate) in sufficient quantity to replace needed safe starch carbs could actually starve out bad bacteria while meeting carb requirements. So I was wondering why you made it a point not to consume sugars outside of some fruit a day?

    Do you think sugar, or the fructose in sugar, feed any “bad” bacteria in the intestines or is it more likely sugar consumption just pushes out more healthy foods and any RS they might contain?

    I was also wondering if RS has any effect on fungi.

    Thanks Tater

    • tatertot on January 13, 2014 at 10:24

      Perry – I just don’t eat much sugar because it simply doesn’t fit in with how I eat. I eat fruit daily, but nothing intentionally sweetened. Of course there will be the occasional sweet treat or maybe a salad dressing at a restaurant that has sugar in it. I keep a bag of coconut sugar around in case we make something that calls for sugar, but the bag lasts a looong time.

      I have not seen anything that says sugar is harmful to gut flora. In fact, for kids who need lots of energy and are healthy, some sugar is probably good for them.

    • tatertot on January 13, 2014 at 10:25

      RS effect on fungi…no idea. If fungi is warded off by an improved microbiome, then yes.

    • Perry on January 13, 2014 at 13:21

      Thanks so much Tim. You know, I consider that really important information – namely that you haven’t found study evidence of sugar having a negative impact on gut micro-biota.

      I wonder how many bacterial species can metabolize sugar in a non starch form and if its the fructose or glucose they use or both. If gram negative bacteria were less able to metabolize sugar compared to starch and fermentable fiber, then maybe using strained OJ or other juice or even coca-cola -shriek- in conjunction with RS one or two days a week therapeutically, could be a way to knock back the bad stuff over time.

    • tatertot on January 13, 2014 at 14:28

      I knew this had Ray Peat written all over it. Just kidding. Actually I did find this which shows probiotics taken alongside sugar increases survival rate.

    • Perry on January 13, 2014 at 16:06

      I really like Ray Peat but unfortunately he is very anti raw starch of any kind. In fact he says raw potato starch molecules are very large in size (RS?) and will literally jam small blood vessels and kill tissue. He likes potatoes, but only very well cooked.

      It’s the thyroid man…don’t you get it!

      Thanks for the link, glucose faired the best in the petri dish.

      P.s. If Ray wasn’t so nice he would publicly laugh at low carbers or former low carbers with hypothyroidism and GERD while shouting GET THE STRESS OUT YOU DUMB SLACKER.

    • Richard Nikoley on January 13, 2014 at 20:29

      “I really like Ray Peat”

      It has been six years and no matter how much I try, I have never been able to surpass the impression that he’s an old fuck who doesn’t matter, and doesn’t look at studies younger than 30 years old. I just don’t care and he’s irrelevant to to me. I eat oysters, did so on my own. I go through about a quart of fresh OJ every week to two, also on my own.

      Likely, starch particles scoop up shit in the bloodstream, too. This is where Peat always fails. If raw starch was a danger, we would be dead, because cooking is a rather modern innovation.

      I won’t call him a moron, only his followers who can’t really think for themselves.

    • Richard Nikoley on January 13, 2014 at 21:31

      I’ve done an couple ounces of OJ in Kefir and PS for months. OJ mixed with milk or kefir (raw egg=bonus) gives a certain Orange Julius quality.

    • BrazilBrad on January 14, 2014 at 01:37

      @Perry, isn’t it enough to know that sugar has ZERO nutrients?… I mean, outside the potential negative health effects, what would be the reason to eat the stuff? At the very least go with honey, molasses, or things like palm dates, prunes, raisins, etc. At least with those you get some nutrients.

      Don’t look for excuses to justify a sugar addiction. It’s not a Paleo or a natural food, it’s man made garbage. Perry, dunno if you’re doing that but I see it often.

    • BrazilBrad on January 14, 2014 at 01:46

      The idea that a healthy (non leaky gut) intestine would pass molecules to the bloodstream that are larger than the body can handle (ie, clog) makes no fucking sense at all… to me. Am I the stupid one here or is Peat?

  40. gabriella kadar on January 13, 2014 at 17:47

    Sugars are broken down and absorbed in the small intestine. I don’t understand how sugar would improve anything one way or the other. RS would slow the absorption of sugars in the small intestine, but most likely by the time RS gets to the colon, sugars would be gone. Or should be except if someone can’t break down sugars like lactose.

    Mind you sugar is a good ‘medicine’ for situations like cholera and probably other infections.

  41. Harriet on January 25, 2014 at 19:03

    Just back from 2 weeks on a cruise. I’ve got a lot of reading to catch up on and when I find a relevant blog I’ll post my updates on it. Basically now on 2tbs per day (up from 1 on week 1) and mostly OK. I still have some finger pain and loss of mobility (rheumatoid arthritis), but my back stiffness (ankylosing spond) has gone. Spectacular dreams!

    • tatertot on January 25, 2014 at 20:54

      Welcome back, Harriet! Can’t wait to hear your report. This is as good a place as any.

    • Bernhard on January 26, 2014 at 00:11

      Had this incredible back pain 3 weeks into (hyper) dose of PS. Then added Natto, by now alternating with MEK (which is dried Natto). One has to come over the taste and appearance (some can’t stand the smell even :-) ).
      It’s speculation of course that the vitamin K in Natto has changed things, for me this seems to work and the theory of K being crucial for calcium metabolism is out there.

  42. Resistant Starch: i benefici dell’amido resistente — Codice Paleo on February 20, 2014 at 23:39

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