A Quick Revisit of the Resistant Starch Research

Even though there’s a thousand or more (Amazon PS purchases) worldwide now on various forms of resistant starch (potato starch, mung bean starch, green plantain, green banana, tapioca starch, and even hi-maize) and so far—in compiling anecdotes for the book—positive experience outnumbers negative better than 9-to-1 in self reporting in comments, there are naysayers. Most of them are VLC and Keto Zealots, though as has been shown, they’re already so fucked with physiologic insulin resistance it doesn’t work very well (and remember who reported this—we did); which is to say, no harm, but not a lot of benefit—though long-term benefits to having a more robust, well fed 100 trillion gut bugs—whether direct feeders, co-feeders or commensals—is unknown, since there’s not a lot of fiber period, anyway.

But as Jeff Leach has suggested by actually testing shit (literally), VLC or Ketogenic fucks up your gut biome.

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Jeff’s Gut With Fiber and Without

Human Food Project

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 pH to more alkaline. Under these conditions, the genus Bacteroides within the phylum Bacteroidetes, were able to bloom as strains of Bacteroides that 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 an upcoming blog post. [emphasis added]

So, like I said, you didn’t have to hear it from some Keto-24/7/365-Zealot that it’s not going to do much for you, you heard it hereThey’re physiologically insulin resistant and have a fucked up gut that’s not producing sufficient short chain fatty acids on site—and all the butter in the world isn’t going to help them. SFCA’s are needed to be produced in the colon itself. Again: you heard that here, from myself, Tim, and Marie, with data to back it up—and Marie is a trained PhD physical scientist. If anything, our bias was that it would hopefully work for keto people whereas, the bias of the keto-crowd is that it won’t do anything, and then they dishonestly act like it’s a gotcha.

So, Keto-Zealots, you might want to stop going around pretending like you’re onto something, or that it’s all a sham because it didn’t work for you with your too-fucked-up guts and insulin resistance, and even autoimmune issues brought on by tight-junction malfunction through chronic starvation modeling dietary practices.

But anyway, I have all sorts of Google alerts set up so I literally see everything that’s being said out there about resistant starch. So far tons of articles linking back to various here, 95% open mindedness, estimated 90% positive results in the primary things reported, with the primary negative (though not really a health condition) being flatulence. For most people, including me, it resolves after you un-fuck-up your gut biome. Things like bloating or weight gain (much greater weight loss being reported) are temporary, except in just a couple of instances I know of. Headaches, but several have found that SBOs resolve that quickly. Perhaps the most serious are various autoimmune flair ups, and how do you suppose they got autoimmune issues in the first place? Long term VLC and ketosis, that’s how. Tight-junction malfunction, like I said above.

Perhaps the funniest lie of all is the pretending that this is all some radical new thing we pulled out of our ass, as the world’s biggest fart joke, or something (that would actually be funny, and we’d probably get a lot more fame out of this deal, if it were true). There’s just one problem: it’s not true. This isn’t a discovery at all, but somewhat of a rediscovery and application. The only thing novel about it is using potato starch, but Tim has explained in podcasts how he came upon that idea. He read a pig study, and guess what they gave them? Potato starch. Soon enough, he saw it on the supermarket shelf.

But let me illustrate how silly and dishonest this notion is. Go to PubMed, search the following three terms and compare the number of results.

  1. Resistant starch: 8,335
  2. ketogenic diet: 1,881
  3. paleo diet: 91

Now, for a bigger laf, narrow your results for 1-Jan-2013 to present.

  1. Resistant starch: 164
  2. ketogenic diet: 193*
  3. Low Carb Diet: 6
  4. paleo Diet: 1

*Scan through…99% neuro stuff (epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, etc.), not diet, weight loss stuff.

Resistant starch has been studied for over 30 years now, extensively, so when someone lafs, or says they’re going to try it so they can laf, it gives you insight into the level of ignorance and dishonesty you’re dealing with. And here’s the thing: all of the anecdotes people are posting? Sure, they’re great, but I see them mainly as motivational, to get others to just give it a shot and see how it works for them. But nobody really needs to pay any attention to self-reported anecdotes. Just consult the literature where you’ll find all the same reported benefits in terms of blood glucose control (and other things) in controlled settings, usually using about the same 30 grams per day we’ve been suggesting, equal to 4 TBS of potato starch, taken raw, always. In humans and animals as well. In fact, once I dug into it, it’s probably the most unambiguous, consistent set of clear benefits I’ve ever seen: heads and tails above all the diet war, cholesterol, heart disease studies, etc.

In the book that Tim and I are writing—and Dr. BG-AnimalPharm (link removed) is editing for science mess-ups, as well as adding some nice science sidebars and such—we’re probably at over 400 primary references at this point, tons of them published in 2013 and now, even 2014. I found stuff so new that I’ve had to go back and do edits, such as when I recently discovered that infants aren’t born sterile as has been asserted since 1900, but get an initial gut biome via placenta and amnionic fluid. It was pretty simple to discover. Just sequence the stool of a newborn, immediately, before anything could have had a chance to bloom from the bacteria picked up in the birth canal, from breast milk, or hand to mouth.

And here’s the rub, all this bla-bla from the Keto-Zealots just exposes that they didn’t even bother to consult the literature independently to verify all the above, or even the blog posts I’ve put up summarizing some of the literature.

You’re probably wondering, did we cherry pick these? We did two things:

  1. Tried to use human studies where possible.
  2. Excluded all but maybe a couple in part 2 that were funded by National Starch or other corporate interests.

Nonetheless, I’ll have to ask Tim, or he can pipe up in comments, but in all the months I’ve been looking at this, I’ve yet to see a single study find anything but benefit to resistant starch intake.

Also, you don’t have to go dose potato starch either, if you don’t want. It’s merely about the cheapest, easiest way to get it. There’s the other options I list at the top, and here’s a post with a 7-page PDF Tim compiled, and that was a shit ton of work digging up, via tons of references.

Alright, that’s enough dealing with abject ignorance strutting around for one day. We have 16 chapters, about 350 pages fully drafted, and chapter 5 is calling my name for the 1st intense editing pass.

Don’t let the Keto-Zombies get to you.

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. Ellen on February 13, 2014 at 16:58

    What about mung bean Sprouts? Do they have the same RS as raw mung beans as listed in the PDF?

    this time of year I always get a craving for sprouts.

    • tatertot on February 13, 2014 at 17:04

      Sorry, Charlie – Sprouts have no RS…the starch gets converted to sugar, it’s what makes them grow.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 13, 2014 at 17:14


      If it’s any consolation, I asked Tim the same question a few months ago. I love bean sprouts just by themselves, or in just about anything.

    • sootedninjas on February 13, 2014 at 21:44

      another favorite dish of mine that I can bring back to my diet since I went LCHF.
      Real food from “old world tradition”

      How to cook mungo (mung beans)

      @richard have you ever tried this dish ?

    • Jonas on February 14, 2014 at 06:49

      Hi Tatertot –

      All this talk about sprouting is confusing me. What about mung beans soaked overnight and then boiled the next day? This is how my family makes it. When eaten warm, is it a decent source of RS?


    • tatertot on February 14, 2014 at 10:04

      Sprouting is soaking taken to a new level. An overnight soak doesn’t generally cause a seed to sprout. The sprouting activity involves converting the starch, a storage from of glucose, into sugar, a usable energy source for the now growing seed.

      So, soaked = OK for RS
      Sprouted and green/growing = no RS, but plenty of other good stuff.

  2. Grace/Dr.BG on February 13, 2014 at 17:37

    Richard/Tim ~This is a very important post that you’ve made. We certainly are ‘bringing RS to the next level’! Intense comments there! Hopefully someday we will have StarTrek tricorders to evaluate our gut profiles and get custom spore/microbial ‘drugs’. LOL ahah. Right now I love the Genova Diagnostic GI Fx stool profile. IT provides the tools to see what’s in there and some clues as to why the gut is broken.

    With antibiotics with both World Wars, we ignored the fact that they kill the colonization of our symbiotic colonizers though they saved lives from wound-related septicemia. Yet with my favorite therapeutic diets, it’s the same curse. I posted this to Spanish just a second ago.

    What is the most effective way to kill and make extinct our beneficial symbiotic flora?

    Over evolutionary time, our guts shrunk because our host body became more and more reliant on their work capacity so that it could enlarge the DNA genome for other important things — talking, cognition, mating, making Valentine’s LOL, hunting, defense, group dynamics, child care of progressively premature infants, et cetera. Our guts do so much and we blast them in gratitude with potent synthetic antibiotics. The ramifications are evident now.

    Duncan et al (2007) AEM 73; 1073-1078

    A study was done examining the shift in gut populations with Atkins in obese patients. The best way to extinguish our worker beehive symbionts was a fiber/RS-less diet (eg Cordain’s Paleo, Robb Wolf, Whole9, GAPS, SCD, SIBO/FastTract, VLC, Atkins, Bernstein, Phinney, Volek, Eastman, GCBC, me). (Sorry didn’t spare anyone — I’m INCLUDED tee hee)

    See slides 10-14.

    4 very significant anti-inflammatory, longevity associated and butyrate-producing subpopulations were DECIMATED by the fiber/RS-deficient diet.
    –Roseburia (Cluster XIVa)
    –F prausnitzii

    Do these populations ever return? Is it like a single course of antibiotics where they may never re-establish even after 2 years?

    Though he blasts potatoes, even Cordain has published that early hominins consumed ~25% of their diet from underground storage organs (starchy, fiber and RS-rich tubers).

    This is the case for 2 million years of our ancestors evolution!

    Several of these that are lost above are in high quantities in centenarians. Biagi et al also found the connection between “The decrease of both Clostridium cluster XIVa [Roseburia] and F. prausnitzii group members was also correlated to frailty condition, hospitalisation, antibiotic treatment and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory therapy.”

    Clostridium cluster XIVa is also referred to as the Clostridium coccoides/Eubacterium rectale group which are potent cross feeders of resistant starch and raw potato starch in clinical experiments. [E rectale are poor RS fermenters but they live symbiotically with keystone gut species that DO EAT and ferment RS to secondary food (substrates) which E rectale consumes like a hog on fire.]

  3. Grace/Dr.BG on February 13, 2014 at 17:57

    Back in Oct/Nov, Tim, I don’t know if you recall but we talked about this that I sent you…
    “Eubacterium rectale, Ruminococcus bromii and
    Bifidobacterium adolescentis [are] the main colonisers of
    resistant starch particles”

    Eubacterium is also known as Roseburia, one of the species that goes extinct with low fermentable fiber diets.

    While the great majority of cultured colonic bacteria can
    utilise soluble carbohydrates for growth, a more limited
    selection appear able to degrade polysaccharides present in
    insoluble food particles [22,23]. Leitch et al. [24] found
    relatives Eubacterium rectale, Ruminococcus bromii and
    Bifidobacterium adolescentis to be the main colonisers of
    resistant starch particles, and these same species were
    detected using stable isotope probing with labelled starch by
    Kovatcheva-Datchary et al. [25]. Many other species ferment
    smaller soluble carbohydrates that are derived from the diet
    or are released by primary polysaccharide degraders [26-29].
    Interestingly, a higher proportion of the gram-negative
    Bacteroidetes 16S rRNA sequences were recently shown to
    be present in the liquid phase compared with insoluble fibre
    particles in human stool [30]. This suggests that this group
    mainly utilises soluble carbohydrates, which seems
    consistent with what we know about the organisation of its
    carbohydrate-utilising enzyme systems [27]. In contrast,
    members of the low % G+C gram-positive Firmicutes phylum,
    in particular a group of Ruminococcus-related organisms,
    showed a preferential association with the particulate
    phase [30]. There is evidence therefore that the major phylogenetic
    groups of colonic bacteria differ in their substrate
    preferences for soluble and insoluble dietary carbohydrates

  4. PaleoJew on February 13, 2014 at 15:30

    Great work. I have incorporated your suggestions into my paleo/PHD lifestyle the past few days. So far so good. Look forward to the book.

  5. tatertot on February 13, 2014 at 16:39

    Well, let’s see. There are several studies that did not show what they were hoping to see, like massive weight loss or quickly improved insulin sensitivity, and there are a few that showed other forms of fiber had better results than RS, for instance wheat chaff or psyllium showed better results at clearing implanted cancer cells. There was a study that showed men benefitted more from the insulin sensitivity gains than women, and there was one that showed RS had no impact on a herditary form of colon cancer

    BUT, most of those were done in the 90’s and didn’t give enough time for the gut flora to adapt, or they were just really short–like 2 day studies, or there were other design flaws, or it was just something that RS will never do. Some studies showed that RS had a few shortcomings when compared to other fermentable fibers, which is to be expected, but all-in-all, RS just keeps getting looked at harder and harder and the results keep coming up clear: RS has a big impact on the gut microbiome which leads to better insulin sensitivity, lowered cancer risk, lowered inflammation body-wide, yada, yada, yada.

    The thing about RS that is different than most anything else we look at, is that it is all study/paper-based evidence, nobody was trying it out. Mostly this was because until we “discovered” potato starch, there wasn’t a reliable way to dose RS. With potato starch it’s easy and cheap.

    Most any other dietary intervention, low carb/keto/vegan/etc…, have mostly anectdotal evidence that people look at and decide if they want to try, there are hardly any studies or papers, and the ones that are there, usually say it’s not so great. With RS it’s just the opposite–tons of papers saying how great it is, but nobody trying it.

    Many of the papers on RS after they started realizing how important the gut flora was in all this, made comments on the range of effetiveness being related to the gut bugs of the study subjects. We have seen the same thing, not everybody responds the same way.

    Now, thanks to Grace for finally getting our attention, we have some ways to help people who aren’t responding like others. There are lots of probiotic interventions, fermented foods, and some other things like parasites and overgrowths that need addressed and these will hopefully help the large majority who don’t respond to RS alone.

    I think what we are seeing is that people just want an easy way out, and go straight for the potato starch. If it works, then great, but if it doesn’t work, then many will immediately come to the conclusion this is a stupid idea and move on to the next magic bullet. But maybe the real takeaway should be the fallacy behind using very low plant matter, zero starch diets as long-term strategies for health. Potato starch works because almost everyone is deficient in prebiotioc, fermentable fiber which has impacted our guts to the point we don’t know what it’s like to get a good night’s sleep, or even what it’s like to take a good dump.

    I feel humbled sometimes that so many people are trying this and looking at it from all angles when all I really wanted to do, almost a year ago, was just make the point that potato starch is a valid form of RS and easily measured, cheap, and possibly effective. Up until then, every article on RS ended with “eat more potato salad.”

    I wanted people to have a way to get RS when they read all the reports on how great a thing it is. I knew after just a few weeks it was working for me and had to share. At the time, Richard was about the only one who gave it a second glance. Paul Jaminet also backed RS from the start but more in a ‘real food’ kind of way. Then Grace came along and helped us complete the picture with probiotics, despite Richard and my objections that they weren’t an important element in this.

    I have no doubt that one day, some really smart person will figure out the optimal RS source and dose and the optimal probiotic species we need, and exactly what gut bugs we need in our guts throughout our lives to keep us healthy, but for now, this is all we got and I intended to keep harping on it til the day comes when we know everything there is to be known.

    • Tim Malloroy on February 14, 2014 at 08:07

      I do want to thank Richard and tatertot for all the work. When I was diagnosed as T2DM, the first thing that came to mind was gut health. I immediately started supplementing with inulin, fructooligosaccharides, and psyllium husk while keto to lose weight (no longer keto but still moderatly LC – 60+ grams carbs a day when I was 20-50 before).

      When I found RS, I thought it would be good to try. I did a personal 28 day challenged (ended this last Monday) and saw some improvement in BG and a more narrowly controlled FBG (mid-80s to low 90s now where it had been upper 70’s to low 100s with most in the high 80s).

      I’ve even added some beans and rice — as long as I don’t over do it I stay in my personal goal of around 140 max after meals and a drop of under 110 by the 2 hour mark. (If anyone wonders- 4 oz by weight cooked Asian short grain rice cooked in a smart rice cooker, cooled, and then frozen — heated to under 130 degrees which is about a cup with Kerrygold Butter and I’m using black beans done the same basic way).

      So, amazing success — no. But it did good, did no harm, and I ain’t gonna stop now.

      BTW, I also upped non-starchy veggie intake up to 1.5 lbs by weight per day (weight uncooked if eaten raw or cooked if eaten that way) so that might be part of this as well.

  6. Grace/Dr.BG on February 13, 2014 at 17:15


    But don’t despair, like soaking and fermenting legumes, there are fantastic probiotics and spores on the mung beans that augment health and use the fuel from the fiber (and RS foods that you eat). The spores are resistant to cooking and your stomach acid.

    See the ‘soaking tips’ and what organisms you’re getting (probably analogous to mung beans)

    • gabriella kadar on February 13, 2014 at 18:06

      Thanks Grace. I like soybean sprouts (not mung bean sprouts) but they emerge on the other end looking like…. sprouts. So I figured, screw it. I’m not paying money for something I clearly do not digest, at all. But, if there’s potentially good bugs on this stuff, then I’ll chow down on them.

  7. Q on February 13, 2014 at 18:10

    I think the book should have a troubleshooting section called “troubleshitting”. Just cuz I think that would be funny –and helpful. :)

    • tatertot on February 13, 2014 at 18:37

      Q – Good idea! I was working a chapter called ‘Farts’ but I like your title better! What’s funny, is I was just reading some studies that talk about the same co-feeders Grace mentioned in the post right above yours, there are gut bugs that produce different gasses and other gut bugs that degrade these gasses. When these get out-of-balance, flatulence gets out of control.

      Grace – I remember that convo well, but funny when I see it now, all these decades later, I read it in a whole new light. Back then, it solved the riddle of how RS was broken down and degraded by several key players, now it makes me think about what missing some of these key players is doing to the whole ecosystem.

    • gabriella kadar on February 14, 2014 at 08:53

      Tim, what I was wondering too about the people who can’t stop farting: roseburia deficiency? It’s a lot easier to boost bifidos but what about the roseburia?

      Plus, I was also wondering about the reports of initial weight gain: maybe the bad bugs that steal nutrients are getting flushed from the small intestine and the body gets more nutrients from the food. Then this initial phase appears to settle out. People need to adjust their food intake a bit, but since the PS has some appetite regulatory effects, this isn’t difficult and maybe happens naturally.

      Am I slow? Again?

    • Richard Nikoley on February 14, 2014 at 19:41

      That’s my suspicion, gabs.

      Better gut, more energy from food, takes a while to get things back in order. I thought just the PS was highly satiating but now I find that with the added probiotics it’s even more so. I don’t use the scale much, but since first starting PS back April or May I think, about 10-12 pounds gone without even trying. Hadn’t stepped on the scale in maybe a couple of months (I judge by how my pants and shirts fit) but did so yesterday when I noticed a similar thing in my face to Charles in my latest post, and it was 5 gone since last I recalled stepping on one.

      For my money, those prancing around saying “I gained weight” are simply looking for a way to discredit, and they don’t even realize how ignorant they sound, since RS calories count for ZERO.

    • gabriella kadar on February 14, 2014 at 20:04

      Richard, I don’t think RS is zero. The bacteria use some of the calories for themselves, the other bacteria use the products of the first bacteria for themselves. But the butyric acid, propionic acid and acetic acid do provide energy to the human body. If shit is 60% bacteria, then eating RS makes lots of more bacteria. The energy from the potato starch leaves the body in the bacteria that end up in the toilet.

      So I don’t know how many calories we’d absorb in the form of short chain fatty acids. Not enough to gain 10 pounds in a month, that’s for sure.

      The knock-on effect of being able to absorb other nutrients more effectively could explain the weight gain.

      It’s like that NIH director’s blog article on Kwashiorkor in the Malawian twins. Good bacteria, bad bacteria.

  8. Nick on February 13, 2014 at 18:45

    Just saying, you’re point about the search results is unfair because you don’t use quotations around the search terms.

    “resistant starch” –> 568 articles

    “ketogenic diet” –> 1293 articles

    • Richard Nikoley on February 13, 2014 at 19:50

      The interesting thing about a solid chain like that is one would expect that a free flowing term like diet would render hundreds of thousands of results.

      So, if you’re claiming that I was simply searching for ‘resistant’ OR ‘starch’ in any study, vs. ‘ketogenic’ OR ‘diet’ in any study, why I didn’t get hundreds of thousands of results for Ketogenic Diet.

    • tatertot on February 13, 2014 at 20:58

      Yep, he got ya! I just searched for the last year, the words Ketogenic, Resistant Starch, or Paleo in the title only.

      Ketogenic – 88
      Resistant Starch – 44
      Paleo diet – 0

      But, what’s funny, it looked like nearly all of the ketogenic diet studies were discussing epilepsy.

  9. Grace/Dr.BG on February 13, 2014 at 18:54

    Q HAWWTNESS ~ur making me shit out loud

    Tim TIM TIM ~everything looks different in the whole light, huh??? I tried to stuff the RED PILL down your and Richard’s throat for so an eternity but y’ll protested like whiny little grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrls

    • Q on February 13, 2014 at 19:18

      I’m serious! There should also be a “Tips for Tooting in Public” or “Farting for Dummies” section. And because there are the different types of farts that one must be cognizant of, maybe a “Field Guide to Farts.”

    • tatertot on February 13, 2014 at 20:42

      Sneak peek:

      Pull my finger
      Farts are almost unnatural. Since when does hot gas fall? Doesn’t it rise? Shouldn’t it come out the upper end of our digestive tract? Flatus is brought to the rectum by specialised contractions of the muscles in the intestines and colon, a process called peristalsis. These waves in the large intestine are what direct turds towards the toilet. Toots have a humble beginning, they start out as microscopic beads of gas that collect in pockets and empty spaces throughout the bowel, when enough of these collect, they are forced downward along with your poop towards your butt. Peristalsis creates high pressure, forcing gas to move towards an area of lower pressure, and eventually freedom. The average person expels about a quart of gas per day divided into about 15 farts per day and we don’t normally pass gas when we sleep. Generally, people can’t exude anal emissions on demand, but when they feel one coming on can easily put their weight on one leg, slightly lift the other and get some good volume and pitch. Great laughter can result when this amazing skill is accompanied by a suave hand gesture, facial grimace or wisecrack. A few notable artists employing their wind instruments have emerged throughout history;

    • tatertot on February 13, 2014 at 20:46

      Glad we are all on the same team again. Sometimes we get tunnel-vision and don’t want to see what’s right in front of us. We promise never to talk back again, mommy.

    • McSack on February 14, 2014 at 09:54
  10. kxmoore on February 13, 2014 at 19:44

    some of the RS studies feature starch that was baked with positive results. RS manufacturers talk about societal health benefits if the food industry included resistant starches in their food products. Maybe this would be a game changer in helping reverse obesity/diabetic epidemics. Not everyone is going to do the PS thing. Imagine if govt encouraged resistant starch minimums in schools meals. I’m having trouble finding RS numbers after baking and cooling baked goods. I know heat destroys most RS but what about retrograde starch?

    • tatertot on February 13, 2014 at 21:08

      No. There seems to be a whole lot of ‘industrial secrets’ in this area. I found a document one time telling bakers exactly how much of a particular fiber they needed to include in recipes for baked goods to get a ‘high fiber’ rating, it was very small, like 2 or 3g per serving. They were using a frankenfood modified potato starch, too. I’ll see if i can find it. It was very discouraging.

      I think we are a long ways from seeing RS listed on food labels. Too many variables, although you’d think they could come up with something. As soon as people start asking for it and RS is selling products, you can bet the ‘High RS’ labels will start appearing.

      For processed foods, all the manufacturers are interested in is getting a high fiber count to display, whether it’s from sawdust, wheat chaff, or hi-maize.

      Here, read this, keeping in mind that none of the stuff they are talking about is real food (like Bob’s Potato Starch) but super-refined modified starches that will withstand the heat of baking. Maybe this is OK for gut bugs, but it ‘bugs’ me.

      Penford Food Ingredients, a leader in innovative carbohydrate systems and technologies, today announced the introduction of PenFibe® CW non-GMO white corn fiber. This corn fiber contains a minimum of 80 percent dietary fiber while simultaneously reducing calories when used in place of flour. PenFibe CW can be used in a variety of applications including baked goods and snacks. PenFibe CW is non-GMO, clean-label, non-allergenic and Kosher.

      PenFibe CW has the following recommended applications and functional benefits:

      Recommended applications:

      · Baked goods

      · Beverages

      · Breakfast and nutrition bars

      · Gluten-free products

      · Snacks

      · Tortillas

      Functional benefits:

      · Easy to use

      · Texturizer

      · Good gut tolerance

      · Heat and pH stable

      “PenFibe CW is another great product that addresses the nutrition gap in daily fiber consumption,” said John Randall, president of Penford Food Ingredients. “Additionally, its ability to aid in cutting calories is ideal for healthy weight management and in low-sugar products for both adults and children.”

      PenFibe CW works well with Penford’s existing PenFibe portfolio including PenFibe® RS and PenFibe® RO. PenFibe RS is a potato-based insoluble resistant starch that provides at least 85 percent fiber and reduces caloric content. PenFibe RS can help lower calories and provide fiber in baked goods and snacks when it is used as a partial replacement for flour. Depending on the specific needs of a customer, these products can be blended to produce desired outcomes.

      PenFibe RO is a non-GMO, potato-based soluble resistance starch that contains a minimum of 56 percent dietary fiber. It can reduce calories and provide fiber when used as a replacement for ingredients such as flour and sugar.

      “We are constantly innovating to serve our customers’ needs, and right now, fiber is in high demand. Our PenFibe line is flexible enough to address the varying needs and applications in the food and beverage industry. We are excited to be able to add another great ingredient to this functional line of products,” concluded Randall.

    • tatertot on February 13, 2014 at 20:36

      This is actually happening in Australia. They have the highest rate of colorectal cancer in the world despite 20 years of ‘fiber education’. They are now in bed with ‘big-agri’ to get Hi-Maize and Barley-Max added to every loaf of bread and muffin. They set a recommendation of 20gRS/day for everyone to strive for. Hopefully it works.

    • kxmoore on February 13, 2014 at 20:57

      tatertot have you found data on RS in baked goods using these manufactured RS’s ? Also I’ve been baking alot with PS and tapioca starch but can not find if any RS remains or if there is retrogration.

    • kxmoore on February 13, 2014 at 20:59

      a flatbread with decent RS content would be damn useful.

  11. Ellen on February 14, 2014 at 12:45

    Hey Tim,

    When you have some fresh fish, try steaming it. The texture is amazing. With frozen, it isn’t bad, just
    Nothing special. Although there may be some tricks I haven’t found yet. I had been using the steamer function of my pressure steamer, but just got this and it’s a cinch.

    Can use in microwave if you have one. I use my toaster oven.

  12. Andrew on February 14, 2014 at 01:43

    Am only just getting up to speed on all this, fascinating posts Rich.

    Am potato lectin senstive so am going to go for Tapioca Starch – from what I can tell the Bob’s Mill Tapioca Flour is the same as Tapioca Starch? Probably a dumb question but want to do this right!

    Many thanks

    • Jojo on February 14, 2014 at 07:38

      Richard/Tim, is this the one that has 80% RS?


      From Bob’s Red Mill website:

      Tapioca flour, also known as tapioca starch, is a starchy white flour that has a slight sweet flavor to it. Tapioca flour is an alternative to traditional wheat flours and has a variety of uses in baking. The flour is made from the starch extracted from the South American cassava plant. When the roots have fully developed, they are harvested and processed to remove toxins. The starch is then extracted from the root by a repeated process of washing and pulping the mixture, then separating off the liquid.

    • Andrew on February 14, 2014 at 07:51

      Thanks Jojo – Will get started then!

    • Jojo on February 15, 2014 at 16:39

      If you google “tapioca starch site:freetheanimal.com”, you’ll see that Tapioca Starch is not recommended.

  13. golooraam on February 14, 2014 at 06:26

    Hi Richard,

    Thanks for keeping up with this message. I have a pot of black beans simmering now in a crock pot with mangalitsa sausage, smoked ham hock, and various spices – this will be my breakfast tomorrow – having oven baked French fries with valentine’s day dinner tonight

    for those of us who are still using VLC or Keto on most days to lose fat (I do it now for simplicity as I still haven’t learned portion control w carbs) – perhaps use 4-6 tbs of RS on days we do eat carbs? For me that is about 2 days a week – I always do that – I don’t test my blood sugar, but the science you have presented seems sound, so why not right?

  14. Melinda on February 14, 2014 at 06:34

    I’d like to hear more about the autoimmune flare ups and more pointedly, what to do about them. Spanish Caravan got my attention about the danger of long term VLC (5 years for me) as I had very bad shingles 2 years ago and last summer, when I began experimenting with RS and more carbs, I’ve been slammed with something like polymyositis. I loved that RS “cured” my 40 years of weekly dysbiosis. I just couldn’t wrap my mind around the idea that something (RS) that fixed my gut and gave me great sleep could “cause” my immune system to freakout. I stopped PS and all nightshades on Wednesday and dysbiosed Thursday in spite of trebling my green banana intake. I’m going to get plantain flour today to restore my gut again. Any suggestions for the immune problem?
    What if healing and feeding the gut ecosystem “woke up” my immune system and it looked around and said “Holy Shit” this girl is riddled with viruses and fungus and what not, and this has been an eight month house cleaning instead of an autoimmune wig out?

    • gabriella kadar on February 14, 2014 at 09:11

      Melinda, you had a muscle biopsy? Any cytomegalovirus history or antibody titre at present?

      Highly unlikely it’s the potato starch.

      You had shingles before the potato starch. Then you had shingles again last summer after the potato starch? Or you got polymyositis last summer when you started the potato starch? You are not clear. At least not to my tired brain.

      Living in a mouldy house will cause problems. I don’t know where you live but anything like that will trigger problems as well. So will emotional trauma. So will chronic stress. I figure one less stressor would be a gut that functions well.

    • Melinda on February 14, 2014 at 09:32

      Thank you for your reply, Gabriella. I’m sorry I wasn’t clear. Yes, shingles 3/12. Started PS, green bananas and probiotics this last May/June. Yes to cytomegalovirus: Ebstein-Barr. Last June, I experienced 5 days of twice daily 103F fevers with no other symptoms, no gland enlargement or joint/muscle pains. I got active again and I really overdid muscle exhaustion laying tile in July and have been in a lot of pain and loss of function since then. I stayed steady with the extra carbs beans, rice, potatoes and in December I upped the PS to 2 TBP x day. Even better colonic health but in January experienced what seemed like mono. I’m underinsured so no formal testing but I’d be open to buying some tests if I knew what to choose. I’m testing avoiding nightshades now, don’t know what else to try.
      I live in Tucson in a newish house so no mold. High emotion trauma and chronic stress has been a problem.

  15. Doug on February 14, 2014 at 07:32

    Richard –

    Are you gluten free/kinda free? Also, do you believe the negative claims people have made regarding gluten? Finally, if you think gluten is harmfule then do you think RS acts as some counterbalance?

    • Richard Nikoley on February 14, 2014 at 07:58


      Funny you would ask. I intend to stay off the gluten grains for the most part. However, did a test last weekend while the wife was away, for the Olympics opening. I went and got a large pizza. I had beer in the fridge left from the NFC championship party (I almost never touch beer). So pizza and beer, the perfect storm for nuclear heartburn and crash coma.

      Stay tuned for an upcoming post about my experience. :)

  16. Dan on February 14, 2014 at 08:05

    The autoimmune flare-up issue is interesting. I’ve been adding PS for a few weeks now, gradually introducing some different probiotics with the hopes of clearing up my psoriasis. Since adding the probiotics I’ve noticed a little bit of a flare-up and some other issues like brain-fog and muscle aches. A bit of googling has shown that some people report a herxheimer-type reaction to probiotics due to the die-off of nasty gut bugs. Could it be that the PS with probiotics is causing such a war that the unusual number of dead bad guys is releasing overwhelming amounts of exotoxins? I assume this would indicate that people having a negative reaction to PS and probiotics are the people with the most dysbiotic guts, and thus in the most need of intervention.
    Recent research seems to indicate that psoriasis is the result of genetic expression combined with internal and external infections of staphylococcus aureus and possibly candida. This would mean that both internal and external treatments are required and that the typical medicines like steroids are just masking the underlying cause. I’m currently thinking of my psoriasis as a marker of my overall health rather than a condition that needs to be directly treated.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 14, 2014 at 08:30


      I believe you nailed it. TMI wise, I have had 90% bliss, 10% pain and one time last summer (way before introducing any probiotics or now, SBO pros) I was in Tahoe with family, did my usual dose of PS on the morning w water. We were all at different hotels, met in Harrah’s for lunch and I said what the hell, had a French dip sammy. And hour later I was not only farting up a storm, but this time, it wasn’t painless. I had and awful gut mess.

      The thing is, I have always looked upon these sorts of events as just as possibly good as bad. I recall way back taking a bunch of betaine hci after readin Kresser’s series on GERD and within an hour, had the nastiest, awful elimination of my life, maybe. And then I felt way better.

      There’s 100 trillion of them, 500-1000 species, and they are at war (I just finished editing a chapter called “Chemical Warfare” and since Tim & I are both ex-military, it is written 100% in battlefield metaphor). People always ascribe anything adverse to something bad when it’s entirely possible it’s good. The key is: acute or chronic.

    • Tanya on February 14, 2014 at 10:52

      “Could it be that the PS with probiotics is causing such a war that the unusual number of dead bad guys is releasing overwhelming amounts of exotoxins? I assume this would indicate that people having a negative reaction to PS and probiotics are the people with the most dysbiotic guts, and thus in the most need of intervention.”

      This has been my family’s experience. I mean–I don’t know if it’s exotoxins or something else or a combo, but it’s not atypical for us to see transitional problems when things are changing in our guts. Esp in my daughter, I watch to see if the intensity decreases over time, or whether the problems stay steady or increase–the latter means that whatever I’m doing clearly isn’t a good fit for her digestion. A recent example is that all of us had noticeable negative reactions to our first cap of Prescript Assist, but given that they are generally helpful and the reactions are decreasing already, it seems like a very useful support for us.

  17. Eric R on February 14, 2014 at 08:52

    My kindergarten-level take in the autoimmune thing: it’s nightshade/alkaloid related. A dose of potato starch right to the gut and boom, psoriasis goes crazy. At least that’s how it was for me, and after six weeks with zero nightshades it’s hugely better. It’s sort of ironic that RS is probably good for autoimmunity but PS specifically is a problem. What’s the solution? Plantain flour? Tapioca?

    • gabriella kadar on February 14, 2014 at 15:15

      Eric R, probably given the way in which potato starch is produced, there would be a few micrograms of alkaloid in what a person is consuming with 4 tablespoons. This is about the same amount as arsenic in rice. Highly unlikely to cause a problem.

    • Harriet on February 14, 2014 at 17:03

      I don’t know what it is in the PS that set of my AI issues but I only had about 6 bad days over the 6 weeks I’ve been taking PS. I also need to report that at week 4 seeing I was taking PS I might as well reintroduce potatoes and tomatoes back into my diet. I didn’t know that the amount of potential problem was so small in PS as reported by gabriella. Anyway I got a negative autoimmune response on the morning after my first tbs of PS with it settling down towards the end of the first week, so I upped the PS to 2bs and had several bad days. The worst was when I upped the PS to 3tbs at about week 3 and I was seriously thinking about medicating. However after 2 days the symptoms started reducing and although I’m not yet at pre-PS levels of problem I mostly don’t have enough symptoms to even think about them. I had no negative sequelae to adding back (limited) potatoes and tomatoes into my diet which surprised me.

  18. Brian on February 14, 2014 at 09:04

    I’m 2 months into RS – 2x a day 2T. Almost everything has been solid and I’m excited to get my blood tested next month but wanted to see if anyone has seen after a couple months of usage 1) decreased libido 2) a bit of weight gain. I was wondering if a 5/2 regimen might be better. Take 5 of 7 days within a week. I also do IF and barely eat till dinner time (maybe a couple hard boiled eggs or sardines for lunch) so I’m surprised I wasn’t dropping more weight. Should start bringing in eggs/beans for breakfast ala 4HB? I was planning on adding in a couple things to see if it might help move both of these in the right direction. 1) add in apple cider vinegar 2) reduce eating cold steel cut oats 3) add in more legumes (lentils/blackbeans). Would love any suggestions.

    • gabriella kadar on February 14, 2014 at 09:20

      Brian, you have too many confounders to figure this out. Was your libido better before and were you doing everything exactly the same in regards to diet and IF?

  19. Brian on February 14, 2014 at 09:44

    Libido was better before starting and really good for the first month of taking it while the darting was big. Now things have tailed off as far as farts and wanting tail. ;) I only really do RS and along with VLC so thinking adding in more RS from whole foods and eating a bit at breakfast might help amp up my metabolism.

  20. Danae on February 14, 2014 at 10:14

    For those who are wary of potato starch because nightshade sensitivities, I’d like to mention that it hasn’t been a problem for me. The offending components (alkaloids?) must wash out in the processing. I generally get joint pain from eating solanaceous plants (potatoes, eggplant, peppers), and the problem seems dose-dependent: an occasional serving is usually okay, but eating something like potato salad for several days in a row will result in the characteristic pain. However, I’ve been taking 2-3 Tbs of potato starch a day for 3 months now, and haven’t had the joint problems. I couldn’t have eaten the equivalent in whole potato. I’m sure that there are different types of nightshade sensitivities, so this won’t be true for everyone, but it might be worth experimenting before ruling out the PS.

  21. JimCart on February 14, 2014 at 10:23

    So, I’ve been following a moderate carb (100-120gs per day) with quality success over the past year. I would like to add back some of my favorite carbs to my diet and it would seem resistant starch would facilitate that based on info you’ve published so far.

    Couple newbie questions. One, I read someplace that a raw russet potato had about 7 grams of resistant starch per ounce. Anyone know if that is in the ballpark? Second, since I count carbs, should the raw potato carbs be counted or do they pass straight to the large intestine without blood sugar impact?

    At least in my case, the moderate carb diet helped me lose weight and maintain it; my blood lipids profile improved to point of no longer being labeled high risk by insurance company; my fasting glucose and the a1c levels markedly improved; and a long-term case of eczema has disappeared (woo-hoo).

    I want to try to tweak those improvements by helping out my gut amigos, plus adding some healthy carb foods back. Besides the PS helping me to do that, I like raw potato and want to add it too – that’s the reason for my two questions.

    • DuckDodgers on February 14, 2014 at 11:24


      Eating raw nightshades isn’t recommended, they are quite toxic, so do so at your own risk. When our ancestors ate raw tubers, they weren’t eating nightshade tubers — they were eating tubers from completely different families of plants.

      Potato starch is a much safer approach when it comes to nightshade RS, and there is nothing artificial about potato starch. If you grate some raw potatoes and wash those gratings in water in a pot and let it sit, you’ll find starch granules on the bottom of the pot after a few minutes. Those granules are in the tubers, it’s just a matter of filtering them out. People have been extracting starch from plants since at least since the peak of the ice age. And my guess is they were doing it long before that.

      Of course, if you absolutely decide you must eat raw potatoes, make sure you discard the peels. And any tinge of green under or on the potato peels and the entire potato should not be eaten raw. Green is an indicator that solanine has flooded the entire potato.

      Finally, if while chewing a raw potato and get a mild burning sensation in the back of your throat, stop eating the potato. That mild burning sensation is the solanine. Solanine poisoning can take 6-12 hours to manifest itself, and it’s not very fun.

    • tatertot on February 14, 2014 at 10:34

      Jim – If you want to go the raw potato route, figure for every 100g of raw potato there is 20g of total starch, 15g resistant starch. You’ll have to convert to ounces, my math sucks!

      If you are totally into counting every single gram of carbs, count RS at half the rate of normal carbs.

    • JimCart on February 14, 2014 at 11:09


      If I did the conversion correctly, there would be 5.7 RS grams per ounce of raw potato based on your figures. (beware, not a math major)

      As you suggest, I will only count half of the carbs.

      I will slowly add carbs back into the diet using PS and raw potato to hopefully control any glucose spikes.


    • JimCart on February 14, 2014 at 13:11


      Because of my mother’s kitchen training, greenish potatoes under skin were to be avoided, peel a few layers well past the skin and scoop out the ‘eyes’, to play it safe.

      I have eaten raw potato since being a kid and never had issues with following the above advice (always a first time, though). Also, I think some are more vulnerable to nightshades’ toxicity in general.

      My plan was to add 1 to 2 ounces of raw potato to determine if it had impact on glucose and BM cycle. Maybe eat every other day.

      Didn’t ‘tatertot’ eat a boatload of potatoes (raw too?) in a previous n=1 experiment? Do you know if he had nightshade/toxic issues with big potato consumption?

    • tatertot on February 14, 2014 at 14:23

      Jim – i don’t think eating raw potatoes is all that bad. I’ve eaten them since i was a kid…Mom used to cut up potatoes and let them sit in a bowl of water to prevent them from turning gray before she got around to cooking them, my brothers and I would swipe slices and eat them.

      Last year I ate one full pound just to see what it did to my BG–nothing.

      I still very commonly eat 1-2 thick slices of potato when prepping them to cook. Do I recommend an all-raw potato diet? No.

      DuckDodger’s comments should be taken to heart, though. Solanine poisoning is a real possibility. If you ever bite into a raw potato that causes your lips and tongue to burn or tingle, don’t eat it.

    • DuckDodgers on February 14, 2014 at 16:46


      Sounds like you know what you are doing. A few months ago, I experimented with “scalded” potatoes to get a raw “stone in the middle”, like the Irish used to. Saw some green under the peels but figured I was safe with the partial cooking. Had the mild burning sensation and then 6 hours later had major stomach issues and wooziness. Luckily I had some activated charcoal on hand, but it wasn’t fun. I think you can get away with it if you use super-fresh potatoes, but let’s just say that I’m never going to try it again. Some nasty toxins in those things.

    • sootedninjas on February 14, 2014 at 22:20

      I also use activated charcoal when getting major stomach issues BUT it DOES NOT happen often. As a matter of act took some today because I ate something that did not agree with me yesterday and it has been 2 days and it is not clearing on its own.

      Anyway, you don’t think that activated charcoal does not have any effect on the good bacteria ?

      Any insights on this Dr Bg ?

    • JimCart on February 15, 2014 at 04:58

      Well…I think I’ll be a little more cautious about the raw potato consumption with your warnings in mind. I reviewed a few articles about nightshades and the toxicity problems…definitely food for thought ;-)

  22. Krista on February 14, 2014 at 10:26

    It sure isn’t true for me….I experience joint pain just as badly, if not worse, from potato starch as from potatos. I’m bummed about it, because it worked really well for me for sleep, FBG and BMs. Using plantain flour now with much less satisfactory results.

    • Bernhard on February 14, 2014 at 13:35

      Had a real bad go on pain, from knees to half up the back. As bad as 19 years ago with slipped disk operation, pain ever since. No position without severest pain for one and half/ two weeks. Yet the pain felt different, kind of “healthy”.
      This, already 3 weeks into PS, when started to “super” dose to 8 Tblsp., likely a 100 gram or more a day.
      After two weeks pain subsided, back and all pain has not been as negligible, most of the time non existent for the past about 20years. A friend who is doing this since a couple months, reports healing of cracked skin, when getting off RS, skin cracks within a few days again (shown today, this really is bad) she restarted immediately but also reports quite some pain in knee joint.
      Just saying. Peace.

    • Michael on April 12, 2014 at 11:07

      I have been supplementing with 2-4 Tablespoons of raw unmodified potato starch for the past several months. This has helped my bowel movements, but I noticed that I was experiencing increasing severe knee pain–along with tennis elbow pain.

      Has anyone else experienced joint pain on potato starch? A Google search indicated that several people had experienced this problem–and I also noticed that some people have joint pain when eating nightshades and/or potatoes.

      I had thought the pain related to a new probiotic I started taking, but the pain persisted even after I stopped taking the probiotic.

      I have stopped taking the potato starch because the pain is excruciating at this point.

      I am a 56 year old male who walks 3-4 miles a day–and has done so for the past eight years with no pain. I eat a low carb Paleo diet (plus cream and full fat yogurt) but almost no gluten.

      How long will it take to recover?

  23. BigRob on February 14, 2014 at 10:43

    This is my experience so far. I do 4 tbs of potato starch about an hour before bed. I’ve been eating a lot of black beans.

    My hunger has never been killed like it has right now. The combination of beans and the potato starch is absolutely stomping my hunger into the ground.

    • Brian on February 14, 2014 at 11:14

      BigRob – has it been better taking it all at bedtime? Also – are you eating black beans from the can or making your own and soaking? Is it ok to eat canned beans? How about refried beans from the can….love those.

    • BigRob on February 14, 2014 at 14:28


      I make my own properly prepared beans. I brine the beans per Cook’s illustrated instructions and ferment the beans for 24 hours. I only use black beans or pinto beans. I then cook them to a riotous boil for ten minutes and then put on a low simmer until done. Usually 2 hours. Then freeze them for at least 24 hours to get more resistant starch.

      Roll your own refried beans out of the properly prepared beans you make. It’s super easy. Just a little fat, some garlic, add beans and fry for a minute. Then mash and add bean liquid if its too thick. Don’t over cook it.

      I take all 4 tbl of PS at once an our for bed because I find it knocks me out like a tranquilizer and that I don’t wake up hungry. Hope that helps.

      Avoid the canned beans if you can.

    • Brian on February 14, 2014 at 16:24

      Great advice. Thanks. I’ll need to get my hands on the cooks illustrated method.

  24. Mike M on February 14, 2014 at 11:00


    All I can say is Thank You! for all the hard work on RS.

    For all of 2013, I was sick as a dog! I had severe bloating, stomach pain, brain fog, fatigue, nausea, and all my stools were runny. I went to GI docs for endoscopy, had two ER visits because my bloating was so bad it spiked my blood pressure and I thought I was having a hard attack. I went to PCP’s and naturopaths. I was given meds, probiotics, digestive enzymes, told to control my stress levels, etc, etc. Nothing worked.

    And of course I spent thousand of wasted dollars for no relief!

    What pissed me off most is that I eat a mostly paleo diet and work out. I’m 39 and fit. None of it made any sense!

    I read a couple of your articles on RS and immediately went to Sprouts and bought some Bob’s Red Mill PS. 3-4 TB per day and I am a new man!! In one month’s time!

    All, and I mean all, of my symptons are gone! And I have you to thank. If you are ever in Phoenix contact me and I will treat you to a steak and cocktails… Thanks again!

    • Richard Nikoley on February 14, 2014 at 18:26

      Hey Mike:

      That’s really great. Don’t know whenever I’ll get to Pheonix, but I sure appreciate the gesture nonetheless and it must be said that just hearing stories like this is more than reward enough for me, as it’s a chance it will lead someone else in a better direction.

  25. Marc on February 14, 2014 at 11:12


    not a good idea to stop for a whole week abruptly with your PS regimen , from my experience.
    8 day biz trip and forgot to bring some along . By day 5 tummy was a mess ( I ate clean nothing out of the ordinary).
    Took two days of being home with 4 tbs a day spread out over late morning with water and before bed dose with bit of kefir, milk and smidge of honey and was back to my good pooping self.

  26. Robert Cooney on February 14, 2014 at 11:42

    I like the idea of RS as a means of actively working to restore gut health and even more because it is ‘true’ Paleo, at least in Pacific Northwest terms.

    But, we need more data . . .

    Not that it isn’t worth using. Those who are able should be checking it out. It may do much to help understand why the Pima, the Kitavans, Okinawans, Chinook, etc did well eating a variety of starchy carbs. It may also explain why it is sooo important to avoid the crap carbs that may have led to dysbiosis and health issues initially. I do hope that this use of RS foods and improved gut health (?) doesn’t lead people to believe that this can again give them license to use/abuse the things that caused the problem. Toxic is toxic in this case, I believe. How much cocaine would you want to try to get away using everyday? Or, how do you know whether you are a Keith Richards or a Len Bias?

  27. Regina on February 14, 2014 at 11:50

    Great post. Thank you Tim for so eloquently further elucidating. I had a question for you. What is a standard diet of your “neighbors”? We’ve been watching some of the Alaska shows like Yukon Men and note that many of these characters have huge sloppy guts. Their lives are so physically demanding and they are eating wonderful wild meat, fat and fish. What are they doing or not doing to be packing on this sloppy fat? Not enough veg? too much beer? Donuts? Doritos?? Thank you. Regina

    • tatertot on February 14, 2014 at 12:22

      Regina – Most people in Alaska, from the Inuits/Eskimos to the city dwellers eat like total shite.

      The city dwellers eat SAD, as expected, but the people living remotely, like the folks you see on the reality shows and to a greater extent, the native Alaskans living in remote villages, eat even worse than SAD. Even though those folks have superb access to subsistence type foods, hardly anybody lives a true subsistence lifestyle. Sure, they may eat fermented seal flippers or muktuk once a year, but they are generally living off of sugar, flour, vegetable oil and drink waaaaaay too much, and smoke.

      Very little fresh vegetables is another biggy, and total reliance on prepared foods–Ramen noodles, mac&cheese, Spam, Bisquick, Margarine, that sort of stuff.

      Out in the Native villages, fetal alcohol syndrome and rotten teeth rule the day. They drink sodas instead of water.

      I used to be the same way, I’d fill my freezer with fresh caught halibut and pike and eat it all as deep-fried beer battered morsels along with french fries and hushpuppies. Now I eat it mostly smoked, raw, or sauteed. Same with moose–used to go mostly in spaghetti sauce or Hamburger Helper, now it’s eaten just lightly pan fried or grilled. I grow a garden full of great veggies and freeze lots for winter eating. I still have 200 lbs of potatoes in the garage from my garden last summer.

      Also, what doesn’t help Alaskans are these long-ass dark winters. Hardly anybody knows or cares about Vit D supps. My wife and I had levels of like 10 when we got tested a few years back, and have been keeping them up around 50-90 with Vit D3 5000iu/day now. Living here, i like the potato starch, I think it really helps keep the gut in top-notch in such an unforgiving place.

    • Regina on February 18, 2014 at 14:26

      Gosh I’m only seeing this reply now Tim. Thanks so much!
      Thanks for the great detail. My husband and I were so perplexed by the adult bodies on the shows.
      The kids aren’t so bad but the adults are waddling around and frustrate easy like mean drunks.
      Those industrial oils are liquid poison – as Paul Jaminet says.

      Long winter here in Chicago too. PS is definitely helping. I also take a D3 5000.


    • Charles on February 18, 2014 at 15:09

      I moved up to where I am (between Seattle and Vancouver) from southern California five years ago. The last time I moved to the Pacific Northwest, the darkness really got to me, and I eventually had to move back down south. This time I started right off taking 5,000-10,000 IU of D/day, and the long dark days have not bothered me at all. It’s not like I don’t notice them, but the last time I tried living this far north, I could barely get out of bed. (I eventually got a high intensity full-spectrum light, but I haven’t need that at all.) At the higher latitudes, Vitamin D in large amounts is pretty much a necessity. I never get sick either, and I attribute that to the D as well.

  28. rs711 on February 14, 2014 at 13:53

    @ Tim
    “Most any other dietary intervention, low carb/keto/vegan/etc…, have mostly anecdotal evidence” —> This doesn’t seem quite accurate Tim. There are many ways of looking for information pertaining to high-fat diets (of all sorts) on Pubmed without necessarily restricting ones search to the keywords “ketogenic” or “low-carbohydrate”.

    LCHF, ketogenic, VLC, LC or whichever label is assigned to a diet —> this is simply a ‘template’ and poor short-cut to accurately describing a diet relative to other diets. Hence, the “don’t judge a book by its cover” adage.

    If the name of the diet is solely what the diet is based on then I couldn’t agree more; all these diets just mentioned CANNOT be healthy be definition, because they don’t include principles relating to —> toxic loads, anti-nutrients, food quality, immugenicity, microbiota effects, wider environmental impact etc….

    The anecdotal, anthropological & multitude of formal scientific evidence relating to RS so far seem to suggest that it is at the very least something well worth trying to include in ones diet (with some exceptions) and at best an truly important component of the human diet.
    This is exciting! It’s one more tool people can potentially use to improve their health and more!

    However, I fail to see this as a zero-sum game: why the ‘success’ of RS implies ‘failure’ of low-carbohydrate approaches (whatever is mean by this vague label).
    Even from the purely logical standpoint: RS isn’t a directly absorbed monosaccharide & thus can’t technically contribute to someones ‘dietary carbohydrate intake’…whatever the diet. It seems to be a unique kind of fibre.

    To the best of my understanding, VLC/Keto/LC/Atkins do not preclude fiber, on the contrary, they seem to encourage it (for the most part)!

    There are zealots, of all kinds, everywhere, since humanity could muster opinion. There will be RS zealots & there might already well be. And yes, some groups will be more afflicted by this very human tendency more than others, no doubt.

    IMHO, discovering more & understanding the effects of RS on human health will be best served by formulating hypotheses followed by honest attempts to destroy these; pitting IDEAS one against the other, not PEOPLE or ‘camps’.

    [but, WTF do I know…]

    • tatertot on February 14, 2014 at 15:01

      rs711 – WTF do you know? Plenty, actually.

      You are right, this doesn’t have to be about us vs them.

      What I was getting at was the complete lack of anecdotal evidence on RS, until Richard started blogging about it. There was none. Nowhere. Just 30 years worth of studies and some lame advice to eat potato salad.

      Now we have tons of anecdotal evidence, even doctors using RS in their practices. And who tries to knock it down? The low carbers. Nobody else.

      Anyway, all your points taken to heart.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 14, 2014 at 19:17

      Moreover, rs711, it’s the strutting around laffing, in complete ignorance. Huck huck huck….”I don’t have a starch deficiency”….huck huck huck.

      I have made my issues surrounding chronic VLC and keto very limited to the sorts of adverse anecdotes I’ve been seeing for years now, some of which I experienced myself. Do I need to list them? It is extremely unlikely that in time, those reporting the benefits they’re getting from RS are suddenly going to find that it’s harming them instead.

      As for your general philosophy of the whole thing sure, I see your points. Just keep in mind this is a blog post, partly for entertainment purposes, and not a published paper in the medical literature, so there’s context to consider as well.

    • rs711 on February 15, 2014 at 04:35

      There is no doubt that Richard (& you) have brought RS out of the academic setting & into the more Paleo “main-stream” in a meaningful way. A pretty cool thing to have had a hand in if you ask me :) !

      My understanding from my time on the interwebz is that ‘low-carbers’ have been consistently bombarded with decades and decades of low-fat, high-finer, CICO, vegan & other such dogmatic views…So it shouldn’t really be surprising that their hypersensitive guard went up when a ‘new term’ appeared containing the word starch in it.
      Regardless, it was/is a mistake: digging into the subject past the superficial ‘name’ layer reveals it’s a ‘special’ kind of fiber.

      Predictably, I think it this is a good example – again – of how people have difficulty thinking for themselves, LCers & non-LCers alike.

      “And who tries to knock it down? The low carbers. Nobody else.” —> Thank them for it, seriously…at least those who do it in good faith – granted, there may not be as many as one would like out there. But if your ‘hypothesis’ isn’t tested to its limit, it’ll likely break at the worst time [the history of science is full of those examples, as you well know].

      Count me in as one of those who’ll try to tear the RS hypothesis down. Count me in as one of those who’ll do the same with the LC hypothesis – with the genetic theory of cancer, with the *name your theory* etc,…but also count me in as one of those who’ll use RS & defend vehemently the more & more I am able to independently verify its claims.

      Agreed – context matters.

      Anyways, if you guys/gals need additional brains looking at RS papers & what-not I’d be happy to.

      PS: if you don’t have “Mendeley” to organise your research papers library I highly suggest it.

    • Miles on February 15, 2014 at 06:02

      I am closely following the RS topic here, plus living the experiment. RS is helping my blood sugar control, which makes me extremely happy.

      With that said, I continue to find the “us vs. them” framework that many of the RS articles here are presented in to be without merit – and, to be honest, worthless.

      I follow 41 health blogs in my RSS reader, with the vast majority being low-carb and/or paleo. I could not recall a single blog I follow taking issue with the RS case that is being built here. I just did a search via my RSS reader to refresh my memory and was unable to come up with a single anti-RSS article since January 1.

      Now, these are blogs that many of your readers are familiar with and it could be there are commenters in those blogs who are spewing anti-RS diatribe (my RSS reader does not search blog comments). But the idea being pushed here is that there is some evil anti-RS crusade being pushed by major low-carb proponents. Good news, that is not happening, based on my readings.

      A suggestion. How about in the future when you identify a anti-RSS blog article, and you conduct a useful article rant here, you provide a link to the anti-RSS blog with a name? This simple step would provide proper “context” and provide evidence that there is an actual anti-RS crusade taking place in the world of paleo/low-carb.

      Let us know, who in the health blogosphere is doing the anti-RS crapola and show us where (zealot commenters on other blogs don’t count). That would be of real value instead of the over-the-top boogeyman caricature under the bed routine.

      Truly, keep up the great RS work being done here. Y’all are providing a fantastic knowledge source and benefit for overall health. Looking forward to your book.

      Miles B.

  29. Charles on February 14, 2014 at 16:37

    My position is that in the short and medium term, for many people with the right genetics, ZC, VLC, LC are good approaches. Hell, it has done a lot for my health over 40 years of doing it. Long term, I think, is an open question. And when you’re in your 60s, as I am, you start to think long term.

    Though there are those who deny it, some people who have been in ketosis for a long time, or go with various levels of LC-to-ZC develop issues like thyroid problems, insulin resistance, gut dysbiosis, etc. Now you can say that all this would be cured if they would just really go ZC, but I’m not sure we have evidence that works for everyone, or works long term. (And by long term, I mean lifetimes, not just ten or twenty years.)

    And if the evidence for long term are the usual cultures that are mentioned, if we look at their diets we seem to be finding fermentable fiber as a component. As I said, we didn’t even know what fermentable fiber was until the late 80s, so from what I can tell, we didn’t pay any attention to some of the fermentable fiber foods (like tubers or nuts or seeds/grasses) because from a caloric or micronutrient point-of-view, they didn’t seem significant. We figured if we just got enough calories or micronutrients from the other stuff–meat, milk, blood–we had it covered.

    Foods that have fermentable fiber don’t have a lot of nutrients, and that’s not their value. Their value is what they feed in the gut. And we have many, many studies showing what they feed are bacteria that are very good to have more of. Or the fermentation creates butyrate, and having more of that is really good because it protects the linking of the colon, specifically in ways that help prevent tumors forming. But there are lots of other things as well.

    So again, this is only a hypothesis. And I just think it’s worth considering, especially if you’re basing your diet on things you can learn from ancestral diets. (Which I think is a good thing to do.)

    • Charles on February 14, 2014 at 16:38

      Sorry, I should have made it clear this was a comment I made over at Charles Washington’s Zero Carb Facebook group…

  30. TR on February 14, 2014 at 18:17

    Have you considered adding a tab on your Homepage. Kind of a “New to Resistant Starch Supplementation? Start here”

    • Richard Nikoley on February 14, 2014 at 20:26

      TR, yea, thanks for reminding me. I had also thought about pointing it to a page that basically gives a link to every post along with a short summary, kind of an expanded table of contents.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 14, 2014 at 21:34

      Now done, TR. For now it goes to the Tag link, but in time I’ll make an RS page.

    • TR on February 15, 2014 at 09:18

      Nice. A great start for Newbies.

  31. CB on February 15, 2014 at 05:24

    It appears there is a correlation/causation of a lack of GI flora and autism. I would be curious to see if RS could cure a child with autism. See study here.


  32. […] But, of course, it brought out all the hand wringers, the generally entitled; those who believe, for whatever reason, that I or Charles owe them something. You'd have thought one photo they didn't like because of lighting differences was enough to undercut 3 decades of research and thousands of studies. […]

  33. Mike Ede on February 18, 2014 at 06:16

    Given the amount of talk about feeding / healing the gut I’ve often wondered why there is no mention of L-Glutamine? Would be pleased for someone to enlighten me if it is problematic in some way.

    Interesting article with regards effect of oral glutamine and the “tight junctions” Tatertot is fond of.


    • Charles on February 18, 2014 at 08:13

      A di-peptide of glutamine/alanine seems to work even better. I’ll find the reference.

    • mike ede on February 18, 2014 at 13:45

      Oh well, I’ve got a pot kicking around, I’ll add it to the mix. Doubt it will hurt…

    • Charles on February 18, 2014 at 15:12

      Yep, there has been research showing the benefits of Glutamine. Some newer ones showed that the dipeptide with Alanine helped transport the Glutamine, but the Glutamine alone has been shown to be effective.

  34. Paul on February 18, 2014 at 11:07

    Random note for those looking for help with cold fingers, etc. that haven’t been fixed by PS alone.

    I was not getting a full fix to this with potato starch. I constantly had blue/purple fingernails while sitting in my office at my desk job. Some days they would be less blue, others more blue. I couldn’t see a good pattern.

    I recently cooked a lot of lentil soup and have been eating that (in addition to 2-3 T of potato starch). I noticed that on days I ate it, I seemed to get the thermo regulatory benefits others had reported with just taking potato starch. Over the past week I’ve put it to the test more systematically. On days where I didn’t have lentil soup the night before, and don’t have it to eat for lunch, my fingers turn blue. When I eat lentil soup at either time, they are not cold.

    I did not get this effect with beans, but I’m not sure if they have a different kind of RS3. I do soak the lentils for 24 hours before cooking with them. I’m just glad to not have to spend all day with cold fingers any more. Doesn’t hurt that lentils are so cheap too. I’m guessing something about the RS3 in lentils has helped balance my gut bacteria more (there was increase fartage again for a while like when I started on potato starch).

    • Richard Nikoley on February 18, 2014 at 14:18

      Good experience, Paul.

      In my view, lentils are the king of legumes. I don’t think there’s anything more comfort food that a pot of lentils with some carrot, onion, and chopped up polish sausage, if not little cubes of beef.

      Why sweat it? If that works for you, go with it.

      I defrosted some chili beans I made for the NFC championship and had a bowl this morning with 2 eggs on top. I sit here typing with sweaty palms and fingers.

    • Bernhard on February 23, 2014 at 00:19

      Thank you very much Paul for sharing this experience.
      We tried it. Right away from serving lentil soup, first time the cold fingers problem resolved. And this when fingers only warmed up when asleep prior.
      Now we are startled when holding her hand to help her move and walk, to find warm hands and fingers.
      What the reason for this reaction might be, any ideas?

    • cobalt on July 3, 2014 at 17:31

      I know this post is old, but thank you very much. I have cold hands too so will give it a try.
      Do you soak the lentils first?
      And do you cook the beans in the same water, or with fresh water?

  35. Resistant Starch: i benefici dell’amido resistente — Codice Paleo on February 20, 2014 at 23:39
  36. Ken Willing on July 3, 2014 at 15:54

    How to remove nightshade toxins from potato starch:

    Contrary to widespread belief, the nightshade glycoalkaloid poisons alpha-solanine and alpha-chaconine are not soluble in water, so unfortunately it’s wishful thinking to assume that these headache-causing and arthritis-worsening toxins are entirely absent from potato starch — even a good brand like Bob’s. For those of us outside the U.S., the problem is worse, because Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese brands available worldwide are of dubious reliability: the starch itself is OK, but in it we encounter not only the usual nightshade toxins but also sulfite preservatives, not to mention shelf bacteria in abundance.

    Fortunately there is a remedy for these problems — my headaches stopped cold the day I started implementing the following. This method rests on the fact that solanine and chaconine DO dissolve in acid, even a fairly weak solution — in fact experimenters have successfully used as low as 1.5%:

    — In the evening, fill a suitable bottle 3/4 full of water and dump in tomorrow’s dose of potato starch, together with one heaping teaspoonful of citric acid powder (available in the baking-aids section of any supermarket). (Alternatively, make up a reasonably sour solution with white vinegar, but this is less satisfactory.) Shake well to fully disperse the starch and dissolve the acid crystals. Then wait a couple hours while the starch falls to the bottom to form a non-Newtonian mass. Then, carefully pour off the liquid — which now contains the solanine etc. in solution — while the starch granules, tightly packed together, adhere in a clump on the bottom. Then, as a rinse: re-fill the bottle with fresh water, shake vigorously again to re-disperse the starch, and let it all sit till morning.

    In the morning, again pour off the water, which is now only very slightly acidic. What you now have on the bottom is CLEAN potato starch, which can either be mixed in the same bottle with juice, milk, or water; or dug out and used some other way. I know this all sounds complicated, but I’ve clocked the total procedural time at about 2 minutes — a small price to pay for poison-free starch, in my opinion… and 100 trillion tiny mouths will thank you.

  37. Marcus on October 28, 2014 at 05:33

    Hey folks

    So, I have had a really good stab at this for around about six months now. I have been taking the three suggested probiotics + potato starch daily.

    Great poos, not much else feels different. The only thing that has really changed is my psoriasis is much worse. In fact, it is the worst it has been in the five years since I started paleo which really took it down to practically nothing on my one ankle.

    I have new breakouts in areas I have not had before (mostly on the ankles) and existing patches have got several times bigger and more angry.

    So, allowing for a battle of sorts between my gut bugs I have to conclude something is not working here.

    I do know that the standard paleo AI approach really works for me which of course means cutting out all nightshades including potatoes. A bit more digging and folks really see resolution of psoriasis outside of paleo even by pulling nightshades and dairy.

    The only other change here is that we have been eating more potatoes and brought them back in but I am thinking I maybe need to have a break and go paleo AI to clear it up a bit and then try again but with a non nightshade form of RS.

    Any thoughts or experience out there folks?


    • Richard Nikoley on October 28, 2014 at 10:09


      First, thanks for the monkey wrench. There’s no “you’re not doing it right” around here.

      There is a piece of useful info though, and it’s that you had a clear effect, assuming all other variables were about the same. The effect signals that it’s a microbial balance thing.

      2 ideas, off top of head.

      1 stop using soap and shampoo. That’s fucking with the micro flora on your skin. Water only. I’ve been doing this for six years.

      2 try the raw potato smoothie that Stuart has been talking about.

    • Charles on October 28, 2014 at 10:20

      I, too, get a skin reaction if I do too much potato starch. It’s not as bad as your psoriasis, but I get itchy scalp and itchy skin on my hands and arms. So there probably is some kind of allergy or sensitivity going on. There other RS2 sources out there: Larch aribinogalactan (“fiber aid”), XOS. I find those give the same improvements in gut health, but without the sensitivity issues. Do a search on Amazon for Fiber Aid or Larix. They aren’t as cheap as potato starch, but they are effective.

    • Marcus on November 4, 2014 at 13:08

      Hey Richard

      Thanks for the reply and sorry mine has taken a while (three young kids, halloween, a wedding, life in general).

      Yeah, fairly clear response here and unfortunately not a good one. I sincerely believe in this but I am going to try a non potato based RS source as my next experiment.

      Psoriasis has settled right down already and with a wedding this week and a bit of a big night with plenty of booze (another old trigger) and a less than perfect diet due not being able to choose our food this is some sign of how much the PS was not working for me.

      Shampoo and soap has been gone for years. Even before Paleo I knew they caused no end of issues for my skin so I have been a hot (and often cold) water man for years now.

      Plan is to get the psoriasis back to nothing via a few months of clean, nightshade free Paleo. Then, when it is clear and stable I will introduce some more RS likely via plantain flour or some such – any suggestions welcome.

      I can experiment a little easier than my wife (MS) so a skin flare up is something I can live with in the name of n=1 science.

      I will give it a good month or so under the new regimen and feedback. I would dearly like to think I could fix my gut enough to get some potatoes in again at some point (and rice) but I will test one variable at a time.

      Cheers for all you do skipper!

    • Marcus on November 4, 2014 at 13:09

      Hey Charles, that is really interesting. Will give them a shot and feedback. Thanks for the input!

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