The Numbers Matter and Only The Numbers Matter

I didn’t need to look far and wide to find the usual hysterics over this post: How Eating Heaps of Safe Starches Cured My “Diabetes”. It’s good enough, though. Hate still = passion, and I prefer a mix of both just to keep things real.

Nowadays, I only just skim that kinda stuff, looking for something actually helpful—maybe a valid criticism I can correct—that goes beyond the very boring “Richard is such an asshole” stuff. Kinda duh, really. This is news? I know of no other way to get valuable information across effectively, overcoming the background noise that’s everywhere, now. Some people seem to think I don’t love being seen as ‘his royal highness, the asshole,’ perhaps unfamiliar with the 10 year history of 4,000 posts here, where being asshole in noise as best I can be—so as to avoid John Doe vomiting on me for general banality (bonus to the 1st commenter who gets the ref)—has always been paramount; accepting, even embracing the “adverse” consequences.

It’s almost embarrassing to see people anguish over my choices as they do, as though I ever saw what I do differently, or wrung hands over how other fingers might type! in reaction. I simply have the self trust to do it my way, daily. Sorry if some lack the confidence to trust in themselves as much as I trust in me, 53 years and running. Not sorry if that bugs the living shit out of some. That part I love, actually. Here.

99% of human problems boil down to an absence of self trust, combined with an obsessive compulsion to seek the approval of the very ones who’ll suck the life and joy out of you. It’s a recipe for failure and unhappiness. Detect it. Dump it. Let them fend for themselves. Hope they starve to death for the attention in the demolition they always seek, as building values is not their forte; that requires talent and conscience.

Yea, I wrote that, so it’s true. Trust me.

…I’m not seeing a lot of numbers in these elsewhere places, in the context of normal or improved glucose regulation—nor any other thing, really. Just sour, dripping resentment—high perturbation (rhymes with masturbation) that the project Tim and I started, and Dr. Grace joined, has gained so much traction all over the place. And now, Mark Sisson has a Definitive Guide to Resistant Starch. I’m betting that Mark doesn’t make a Definitive Guide until he’s certain it’s something that merits permanence as a part of the diet, or Primal-styled health.

I posted numbers, a lot of background, and I think the logic flow makes some sense:

  1. A way better gut biome (prebiotics and probiotics) helps a lot and affords other benefits that have been tossed around by LOTS of people.
  2. Safe starches that have been prepared to maximize prebiotics help a lot. Exercise metabolic response, or go with a limp-dick metabolism. Your choice.
  3. Together, they’re synergistic. That should be no surprise. Right, Grace (link removed)?
  4. The numbers don’t lie.

Perhaps it’s a trust issue, so next time, I’ll have to eat my 80g starchy meal in front of a USA Today, on video, then show my postprandial glucose numbers with the time & date of the meter visible. Because, some of the stuff I see out there, I have to conclude that it’s from people who simply think I’m lying, and their assessment of my untrustworthiness is so profound that they don’t seem to care about looking like fucktards when it becomes clear and obvious they’re wrong, which of course they are. The numbers are the numbers, and it means something. News flash: I and my wife both had unacceptably high fasting and post-meal glucose readings, caused by chronic glucose starvation, and adding in lots of starches fixed it right up. That’s the truth, those are the numbers, and I’m an asshole for rubbing it in faces. You really have to love it. OTOH, they’re on safe ground in that what they type with their fingers! will never be seen by anyone but the Richard haters. It’s got to be in the hundreds, by now. Don’t worry, I’m working on it and we’ll get those numbers up there to more respectable levels.

…So, I’m just seeing squirming and temper tantrums, because why else would anyone care?

  1. Do I care that some people (and lots and lots of very young people) do great on LC? No. I did fabulous myself in 1991, at exactly 30 years old, first time I tried Atkins. Quickly dropped 10-15 pounds, heartburn went away, etc. Bee’s knees. It’s like “Ha, I have found the secret!”
  2. Do I laf at 20-somethings who scoff at people like us, with 20-30+ years more dietary and metabolic experience? Of course I laf, because in this context, they’re adorably ignorant and it’s a bit reminiscently sweet, if you ask me on a good day. Hell, I used to be way smarter and more knowledgeable about everything at 30, the last 23 years being a downward spiral of increasing levels of ignorance on all fronts. At this rate, by the time I check out, I’ll think I don’t really know anything at all.
  3. I’ve not only my own experience, but that of my wife, other family members, hundreds upon hundreds of blog commenters in over 90 posts on resistant starch with about 10,000 comments; and even, various forums where people are figuring this all out on their own—including ulcerative colitis and a bunch of other stuff. This has grown far beyond Free the Animal, now, and I see everything. The Launch was over with almost a year ago, and it is more popular than ever.
  4. It’s not going away. Plus, it’s just delicious how it so puts the 24/7/365 very low-carb and ketogenic catechism peddlers in bunched panties under short pants.

Sure, a relatively small percentage of people have had some adverse issues with RS—especially autoimmune from leaky guts in the first place—but many tweaked that with the unique, soild-based probiotics and reported back with improvements, just as predicted by Dr. Grace (link removed)—someone with actual clinical experience, not just fingers that type! Now, the probiotics are actually sold out in some places. Reports coming in daily, mostly positive.

…The very first post on resistant starch was over 90 posts ago, April 24, 2013, with a prophetic title: Prepare for the “Resistant Starch” Assimilation; Resistance is Futile [emphasis added]. See, I actually did lots of homework on this with Tim, prior to sticking my neck out—while admonishing him that he’d better be right. It’s naturally going better than according to plan and I simply intend to keep at it. The numbers tell the story, and it’s a way to live in a natural, fed mode of being, rather than an unnatural, simulated starvation mode in chronic VLC or ketogenic fad dieting, typing LOLS with their fingers! at people who point out that even the Inuit were never producing ketones above the normal.

…my post was targeted at the low carb gurus and promoters who wrote books, websites and articles claiming that the Inuit and other carnivorous cultures were ketogenic. I have three different studies here (one from 1928, one from 1936 and one from 1972) and in each case, there were no ketones in any of the Inuits’ blood. None. Zip. Nada.

In 1972 they even used the fancy “strip paper technique, which is sensitive to concentrations of 1 mg/100 ml or greater and all serums were negative” for ketones. (The only time ketones were ever found in the Inuit was when they fasted).

How did these low carb fanatics miss this? How did they dismiss it? And why didn’t they investigate it further? Why did they bastardize what these cultures actually did (eating raw, fresh animals)? Think of how many people went low carb and got sick because of those misleading suggestions.

So, if you want to eat low carb, great! Do it. But, don’t go around telling people that the Inuit were a ketogenic culture. Don’t go around telling people that homo erectus didn’t eat carbs. The evidence just isn’t there to support those statements when you consider what these cultures were actually doing.

You have websites [that] want people to believe that carnivorous hunters were always ketogenic. What [they] don’t seem to understand, or don’t want people to know, is those carnivorous hunters who chased down animals and slit their prey’s throats would plunge their fists into the carcass of their kills and pull out the glycemic equivalent of a giant cupcake…and eat it as quickly as they could.

All I’m here to say is that the ancestral-based justification of permanent ketosis is complete bullshit. That has nothing to do with the efficacy of LC, for those who absolutely need it.

Chronic VLC and ketogenic dieting as somehow ideally healthy for most people is utter bullshit and hurts many people, documented about anywhere you care to look, with actual stories. That it’s not actually harmful for most people—especially as they get older—is also utter bullshit. Sorry, but some fat loss—until you stall—isn’t worth any of the problems I had, my wife had, and that I’ve seen reported thousands of times over more that five years at this Paleo blogging gig. And I was a big LC advocate way back too. I’m betting that I and a couple of human collaborators, and 100 trillion micro-friends are not going to let me down; and that most folks will gradually take a very different view of VLC and ketogenic dieting, not even close to the panacea pitched. I’ve been doubling down on this bet for over a year—even before RS, when I saw what The Potato Hack did for stuck LCers—all while others have been shorting me.

Chronic VLC and ketogenic dieting ought come with a huge warning label and ought only be performed under medical supervision, kinda like chemotherapy. OTOH, probably 100g of starchy carbs will be fine for a lot of folks. Just look at all the health benefits from eating 100-200g of starches daily, on Paul Jaminet’s [easyazon_link asin=”1451699158″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”fretheani-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Perfect Health Diet[/easyazon_link]. Seriously, do take a look at the list of conditions. They might ring a bell as exactly the stuff reported in the comments of this blog all the time, resulting from years of chronic VLC and ketogenic dieting where elsewhere, these sorts of complaints were always met with the same answer: your carbs aren’t low enough! Or, the most laghably ridiculous one of all: oh, you have the ‘low-carb flu’ hahaha!

Or, stuff like this comment that came in just a few minutes ago, a daily occurence mutiple times, on multiple of the 90 posts going all the way back.

DeeNH // Mar 27, 2014 at 13:46

I just want to report that I read AnimalPharm’s superb 7-part series on how to cure SIBO (link removed) back in the Nov/Dec 2013 time frame where the details of how-to RS, etc. were nicely laid out. And then I found great reading here on freetheanimal. In early February I finally started twice daily doses of [easyazon_link asin=”B000UYIQHK” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”fretheani-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Organic PS[/easyazon_link] + [easyazon_link asin=”B00CD94HIW” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”fretheani-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]ORAC green powder[/easyazon_link] + [easyazon_link asin=”B002RWUNYM” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”fretheani-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]psyllium[/easyazon_link] + [easyazon_link asin=”B000GWG8FS” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”fretheani-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Primal Defense[/easyazon_link] to awesome results (thank you). Fasting blood glucose finally dipped from above 100-120 to 80-90 and SIBO/IBS symptoms almost vanished (excretion almost back to normal). Great to know you are working on a book together now. I will purchase it for sure. [emphasis added]

I think that due to the popularity of VLC—combined with the marketing hype and willingness to cherry pick everything that tends to support it—while finding fault with any study that has other findings—it’s going to fuck up a lot of young people. Unfortunately, many, especially women, won’t realize it for a long time—and maybe not until it’s too late. Unlike the popular low carb proponents, I could no longer stand to see stories of problems over stories of problems, blithely repeating over and over, “well, carbohydrate drives insulin drives fat storage. You need to lower your carbs even more. And, you need to get a blood ketone monitor to make absolutely certain your carbs are low enough and your ‘nutritional’ ketones, high enough.”

I’m an asshole, but with a conscience.

Adding in the range of 100-200g daily of safe starches while eating otherwise very nicely (paleo/primal), it’s my bet that this is going to help the most people and minimize the individual need to try endlessly to tweak every little thing.

…Because, you know, when you go out in nature, all you’re seeing is animals tweaking their diets.

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


  1. marie on March 27, 2014 at 16:44

    >>”All I’m here to say is that the ancestral-based justification of permanent ketosis is complete bullshit. That has nothing to do with the efficacy of LC, for those who absolutely need it.” <<

    Of course ketosis has biochemical and physiological uses.

    It’s the chronic or permanent state that’s a problem, just like at the other extreme a chronic or permanent high-sugar diet is a long-term problem. We cripple ourselves, reduce our options, if we stick to one metabolic pathway all the time. That’s doesn’t allow the building of resilience.

    From my little perspective eating mostly traditionally since childhood with what are now called ‘moderate’ levels of starches and with traditional fasting, I figure that exercising both pathways is exercise, that is, it produces long-term beneficial changes you can tap into under different circumstances.

    Those benefits come with both types of metabolism: from ready insulin response, healthy mucosa, thyroid and other effects (enhanced by moderate starch, a mostly glucose-based metabolism), to hunger-resistane, greater mitochondrial efficiency and perhaps SRT1/apoptosis and other effects (enhanced by fasting/ketosis).
    There there are all the gut biome diversity benefits….

    It’s really nice not having to tweak and it’s also nice not having to worry about what daily life or travel or an accident might throw at you. Resilience.

  2. marie on March 27, 2014 at 16:47

    …and it would be even nicer if I remembered to close the bold around “is” exercise :)

    • Richard Nikoley on March 27, 2014 at 17:19

      What would be nice is if people just left the fancy stuff to me, so as to not detract from the visual aesthetic of the post. :)

      Marie, you closed a bold tag with an italics tag. Not sure, but I think that’s pretty far up on the list of unforgivable.

    • marie on March 27, 2014 at 17:27

      Groan! Is there no place for the blind author in your Metaphysics? :D

    • Kate Berger on March 27, 2014 at 17:41

      Hi! Marie!

    • Richard Nikoley on March 27, 2014 at 17:47


      C’est psycho épistémologique, plutôt et en outre.

    • marie on March 27, 2014 at 18:23

      Kate, Hi! So nice when we both pop in at the same time :)
      I kinda like bean salad for a good RS food. See this :

    • Kate Berger on March 28, 2014 at 04:34

      Now that I would eat! But I can feel my gut bloat just thinking about it. I am interested in your RS and alcohol experiment. Did you get really drunk for us to find out if it works?

    • marie on March 28, 2014 at 14:01

      Not yet, but for you I will make this supreme sacrifice…. :D

      I did get tipsy on 3 drinks the other night, which is still better than my usual “one and she’s laughing”, so would indicate a long-term gut biome effect.
      I had not had any pre-drink of PS in water – which seems to agree with the idea that tolerance is even better if the PS is ingested 30′-1hr beforehand like on St.Paddy’s weekend (when I was demonstrably coordinated and could use arithmetic/checkout chart after 5 drinks).

      And soak and rinse those beans, even for 4 hours if you’re really nervous, black-eyed don’t need as much as others (eg. giant/broad beans – best to leave those overnight).
      Then I’ve got a surprise for you : once they nourish a healthy colony, you may be able to just rinse and eat the canned ones, if you want, they really are the weakest of the ‘bloaters’.
      Of course, if antibiotics kill off many of the good bugs at some point, you’d start over with the soaking.

      That’s how it’s always worked for me, family etc….which doesn’t mean it has to for anyone else, that’s a heck of a diverse biome we’ve all got, not to mention pathologies like SIBO, candida etc. and relative numbers aren’t constant even in a single person.
      But I guess at least we can share the possibilities with each other, things that have worked/are working. And those that don’t – just as useful.

    • gabriella kadar on March 28, 2014 at 15:49

      Marie, went out today and bought the fixings for the black eye pea salad. They are now soaking. But I got hungry. Been pigging out on ham and artichoke hearts (that was for the lamb, okra stew….). Good thing I bought two tins of artichoke hearts and at least a 1 pound hunk of ham. Oh lawdie! There’s always tomorrow…. Love artichoke hearts…….mmmm. I must have been switched at birth. ;)

      Feeding the bifidos.

    • marie on March 29, 2014 at 20:29

      Can drop those artichokes right in that salad (if there were any left!), so good vinegary.
      Plus, you’re likely feeding the l.ontarientis, oh sister from another mister ;)

  3. Harriet on March 27, 2014 at 17:25

    Data doesn’t lie. Data is just data. How we interpret it or whether we ignore it is another matter.

    After 5 years of LC I had to admit that my blood sugars were getting worse. I had to be more and more rigid in order to avoid a blood sugar spike – one piece of sweet fruit was too much by January. That shouldn’t be the case. I put on weight after every work out (blood sugars went really high). Now 3 months on PS I have put on weight though my fears about needing a new wardrobe are so far unfounded – though I’m at my upper limit.

    As one with AI (RA & AS) I am one who has to tweak what I’m doing. Yes I got flares in the early stages and when that is acute I feel really miserable and question what I was doing. But I know what I was doing before (lowish carb paleo) wasn’t working and intuitively RS felt right. Then my rational mind looked at it. Modern medicine didn’t have any answer other than more and more drugs. Logic told me the closer I came to eating close to nature – meat and veges, herbs and spices had to be closer to the healing journey than anything else I could come up with. So I am continuing to trial it.

    I have obviously had more issues than many, but such is life. I would strongly recommend that if someone in my situation can easily have their gut biome analysed then do it – then get someone like Dr Grace to review it and make recommendations (she doesn’t charge much to do it by email). And do take the probiotics Richard, Tim and Grace recommend if you can get them. It is more difficult if you live on the other side of the world as I do and you have to do things by intuition and guesswork and the getting of the probiotics is a logistical nightmare and I’ve so far only got one of them to me. Two more are in the US postal system.

    Interestingly when I started taking the potato starch at the beginning of January my greatest problems were in the upper gut, just under my rib cage. Now 3 months later I have pain and cramping in my low pelvis. The pain moved down my abdomen, then up my abdomen, then back down again. (Down the small intestines, then up and around the large?) The story I tell myself is that I’m pushing problems down and it won’t be long before I don’t have any distension, bloating or cramps. But what I’m really looking forward to is improving my physical strength that so many of you are reporting.

    • Intrigued on March 28, 2014 at 21:55

      Harriet, for AI problems you may want to drop the potato starch (nightshade) in favor of green bananas or plantain flour. My joints did not like the addition of potato starch. I have had much more success with adding frozen green banana to my kombucha based smoothie. Best of luck in healing your gut.

  4. Kate Berger on March 27, 2014 at 17:35

    Ok, I admit. I have been a nay sayer on this RS thing. I tried it, but was not religious about it and nothing happened. I did not enjoy spooning potato starch in a glass of water and gagging it down. I am/was a VLC advocate because it worked for me before menopause. But now it isn’t working. I can just imagine the damage going on in my 56year old body. So..I give in. I will try again. I just don’t want to supplement. I want real food. If it is supposed to be the next best thing since sliced bread, why can’t I just eat it? Cold rice? Bar boiled what ever? Green bananas? Really? There has to be a real food way.

  5. Kate Berger on March 27, 2014 at 17:37

    Oh, by the way…I think deep down, you do care….or you wouldn’t be so pissed off at the Paleo trolls dissing your hard work. You would have just said “I don’t give a shit” Rush Limbaugh of the blogosphere really has a heart.

  6. jim on March 27, 2014 at 17:40

    You owe me.

    Hugs and Kisses,

    Matt Stone

    — How bout we talk about you being in my MLM downline now, Richie?

  7. Regina on March 27, 2014 at 19:06

    Fart Wars. Revenge of the Starch.
    should be the title of your USA Today 80g carb expose.

    I wouldn’t miss one of your posts. Great information and great fun.

  8. Ron Padot Jr. on March 27, 2014 at 20:39

    Thought it’d be nice to enter the fray with a bonus — Se7en

  9. Ron Padot Jr. on March 27, 2014 at 21:07

    I agree. That one comes as close as I’ve seen, where at the end of a movie, the bad guy blows away the good guy and walks away laughing. Great film. Nice reference.

    • marie on March 27, 2014 at 21:32

      You people are evil. I’ve been trying to forget that movie for nearly 20 years.
      D’accord Richard, “psycho épistémologique” par excellence.

  10. Chris on March 28, 2014 at 11:20

    Rich, please keep doing what you’re doing. It already pays off and it will pay off even more in the future!

    Ignore everything else. Ignore the negative crowd. Seek the results. Get feedback and improve on them. I know you’re on the right track!

  11. John on March 28, 2014 at 02:29

    Thanks for that last line. Killer.

  12. bornagain on March 28, 2014 at 03:41

    Nikoley haters in the hundreds you say? My estimate is that Nikoley haters number tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands. And that, Richard, is why we love you!

  13. Arthur on March 28, 2014 at 06:57

    I have a question. Are the VLC BG numbers relevant to a persons BG numbers on the SAD diet?

    I have never intentionally been VLC, though I’m sure at times I am. Anyone living in my area (New England) as a hunter gatherer would have a hard time coming up with any significant amount of carbohydrates for many months. Those hunter gatherers would have had high BG numbers during the winter. Would this make them inherently unhealthy? I don’t know. I have always viewed the whole VLC thing as an interesting survival mechanism but maybe there is more to it on a seasonal basis.

    I have been doing the RS thing since the middle of December along with my homemade kefir and assorted fermented vegetables and feel pretty good overall. No hate here, more of a loathing:)

    • Richard Nikoley on March 28, 2014 at 09:14


      When you actually look into it, there’s lots of stuff available in the north, in winter. This is all fantasy cooked up to justify eating nothing but grilled steaks.

      BTW, do ruminants turn to carnivore in the winter up north?

    • Richard Nikoley on March 28, 2014 at 11:10


      Also, I think it’s great to go into ketosis briefly, just like it’s good to get your heart rate up to max, briefly.

      That’s why I think a nice diet of plenty of good starches, clean Paleo, with an IF tossed in ever week or two (lunch to dinner next day is what I like, making it a true 24 fast) is going to be the sweet spot for a lot of people. Good for hormesis and autophagy and when well fed with a robust metabolism, I don’t see the IF causing problems. And also, unless fat loss is the goal, IF ought not be about under eating, but about crowding 7 days of nutrition into 6 days of eating.

    • marie on March 28, 2014 at 12:07

      Sure, the ruminants ate the plant’s cellulose above ground, humans ate the plant’s starch/storage organs found below ground. Then there’s nuts and berries etc. as well as the glycogen in very fresh kills.

      What I’ve always wondered though is : how do we know that the earliest northern fossils aren’t from hominids who died-off in the winter? There’s evidence of human ‘migratory’ behavior in other areas already. So perhaps at first there would be seasonal small migrations to the deepest north, but those earlier hominids turned around and went back south or died if they became stranded.

      Until humans first started storing nuts and tubers.

      In other words, unlike warm places where humans ate the variable but visible food sources year-round and later started to store foods (and then later preserve), the north could have been first settled by people who already were at the food storage stage?

      If so, northern humans may never have been entirely dependent on what was freshly available in the winter. By the time westerners studied the Inuit or Laplanders/Sami, they of course had developed both storage and preservation/fermentation methods that gave them ‘carbs’ in the winter (not the paleo-fantasy that has frustrated people).

      It’s just a thought and for all I know it was settled some time ago. I’ve looked but no luck. If anyone has come across an anthropological reference or two that addresses this, I’d be grateful :)

    • marie on March 28, 2014 at 12:44

      Richard, I certainly agree with that idea of the sweet spot, thank you for spelling it out.

      It frustrates me to see bizarre and very very emotional criticisms of this whole RS/fermentable fiber/good starches work, by people who keep trying to paint it as “LOTS of CARBZ! No Ketosis, EVER!”

      It’s not lots, for one, and it’s not any old carbz – nature kinda took care of our BG by packaging the ‘good starches’ with RS or soluble/fermentable fiber (apart from the classic cellulose/ non-fermentable fiber that maybe has some mechanical effects, if that).

      Plus, not only is ketosis not disturbed at all, it is actually promoted by straight RS/SCFA production.

      Right there you hand them a tool that helps even those who choose or who need to stay in ketosis.

      All the while feeding a diverse, healthy biome, which gives an immediate immunity boost, emotional stability (neurotransmitters), resilience to dietary variation/weight vacillation, lower BG and/or better BG control when needed, Healing of gut lining…… apart from the middle/old-age resistance to colon cancer.
      For crying out loud…!

    • tatertot on March 28, 2014 at 13:04

      Marie – I saw a study once that showed the earliest human fossils found up north were all adorned with sunglasses and flip-flops, so I guess your theory is wrong.

    • marie on March 28, 2014 at 13:27

      Sacre bleu! So that’s where the Tarahumara came from, chasing down the Yeti in flip-flops, across the Bering straight.

    • Ellen on March 29, 2014 at 04:13

      We do that here . The old timey name for it is ” the clamp”

    • gabriella kadar on March 28, 2014 at 15:56

      Marie, it’s the emotional instability: the bad bacteria have taken over. Mind control to maintain status quo.

    • Grace/Dr.BG on March 28, 2014 at 16:59


      GOD I LOVE UR PHRASE “Sure, the ruminants ate the plant’s cellulose above ground, humans ate the plant’s starch/storage organs found below ground.” Then we ate the ruminants!!

      If the earliest hominins died off in the winters, at least they sure probably tried hard — look how long the common roots/tubers can be stored in ice/cold storage?? I’m shocked actually.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 28, 2014 at 17:18

      The widest variety of root vegetables I ever saw was when I visited Sevastopol (then USSR, then Ukraine, now Russia :) in 1990. Cooked and pickled in every conceivable way.

      Those people know how to store calories for the cold, lean, and even worse times.

    • marie on March 28, 2014 at 20:52

      Grace, you always get it :) Yeah, that’s why the ones who were storers would be the ones who gave rise to these amazing northern food preservation traditions.

      There’s only so much your atlatl can do for you when it’s -40C with the windchill factor and you can’t see your hand for the snow blowing around.
      No game is gonna be out there either, in the Yukon or the Siberian tundra. For weeks at a time.

      So really, who cares if they knew how to get to the snow-covered plants and buried tubers or if it was a barren moon-scape in the winter, it’s the bloody winter and they wouldn’t survive without stored foods. That means stored summer plant foods just as well.
      I think.
      But then, the wind was howling again today and we expect more snow tomorrow, winter does not want to let go of western New York and I’m not amused…

    • marie on March 28, 2014 at 21:04

      PS> that site you linked is brilliant for cooking or preparing the roots, tubers and veggies too ! Quite apart from the cold storage section, where I relished this :”There are many passive methods for cold storage of veggies; the simplest being a hole in the ground, covered with straw.” :)

    • Richard Nikoley on March 28, 2014 at 22:21

      ” the simplest being a hole in the ground, covered with straw.” :)”

      Poor man’s root cellar.

      My dad, bro & I built a root cellar, once. Dug an 8x8x8 hole, framed it, sheathed it in 3/4″ plywood on the outside and covered that in tar paper, then filled it it and put a good mount of dirt on top (there was a vent of course).

      Yep, constant low 60s all year round.

    • Foxylibrarian on March 30, 2014 at 17:01

      I work in a large urban library and the best part, of course, is the stories I hear from the diverse population I serve. I’ve gotten really into Sandor Katz and fermentation recently and had a great discussion with a hearty octogenerian patron who survived the Russian winters as a boy in WW2 on nothing but potatoes and sauerkraut. He claims he was never healthier, and he still adores sauerkraut and potatoes.

  14. John on March 28, 2014 at 07:26

    Reference seems like the line from Kevin Spacey’s journal in the movie Seven, where he is describing vomiting on someone.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 28, 2014 at 09:11

      Yep John, but someone was already first. :)

    • John on March 28, 2014 at 11:38

      !!! I did a ctrl f for Seven! My new ctrl f “se7en” has found what I did not previously.

  15. leo delaplante on March 28, 2014 at 09:26

    never in history of man have humans deprived themselves of AVAILABLE carbs

    • kxmoore on March 29, 2014 at 09:04

      oh the carbs are available now alright. = worldwide obesity epidemic.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 30, 2014 at 12:17

      “= worldwide obesity epidemic”

      Nonsense. Carbs have always been available and in fact, because of their relative cheapness compared to animals, fish and poultry they have been staples for all modern societies for thousands of years now.

      The obesity epidemic is the result of eating too many calories, much of it in liquid form, as well as crap industrial food, overuse of antibiotics, destroying gut health and with it, the proper absorption of food, vitamin synthesis and gut-brain signaling.

      Carbs, per se, have less than fuck all to do with the obesity epidemic.

    • Christoph Dollis on April 1, 2014 at 16:09


      Plus too-frequent snacking (liquid or otherwise—including lots of “convenience foods”, “protein” shakes, and “sports supplements”).

  16. Gina on March 28, 2014 at 22:57

    Reporting with N=1 alcohol/potato starch data…

    Took potato starch and drank nearly a bottle of wine before dinner. This is not enough to get me buzzed, but usually enough to get me wanting more and make me uninterested in dinner. I was still hungry when I got done cooking dinner (pasta with marinara sauce and garlic bread with Earth Balance “butter”), so I ate. Finished wine, started on beer. Shitty red wine; decent beer (Killian’s Irish Red).


    Subject is habituated drinker, vegan, taking probiotics and potato starch. 1 bottle of wine; 1 six pack. Vaping 12mg/ml nicotine juice in an ecig (4 volts).

    No euphoria or buzz, but nice sense of well-being. Impairment but no stumbling or slurring.

    Usual rumination not present. Subject feels no need to listen to Simon and Garfunkel or Pink Floyd. Usual activity at this level of impairment is knitting and music. Current activity is reading (Nick Tosches’ Me and the Devil). Just started music (Yo-Yo Ma). Music appreciation increased as per usual.

    Typical libido increase absent. (Perhaps TMI, but you people routinely talk about defecating, so sod it.)

    Typical increase in conviviality present. I love you guys. I only visited this blog because I heard such horrible things about its author and commenters, but now I look forward to visiting every day. I find the atmosphere here one of refreshing free inquiry, irreverent humor and a spirit of wanting to help fellow humans. Rumored groupthink, vitriol and misogyny is absent, at least in my admittedly limited reading and participation. I have, despite my being new (and vegan!), been treated with naught but kindness and respect. I must be a little drunk because I used the word “naught.” Some gals get trashy; I get pretentious. ;)

    Will continue to imbibe and report as needed.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 28, 2014 at 23:12

      “This is not enough to get me buzzed”

      Story of my life (though with whiskey). I almost never do beer, though. There’s just no redemption from feeling like crap and I’m an expert at whiskey management, though I drink less and less.

      Moreover, this:

      Go Pro(Vari) or go home. Just got it this afternoon after hating the girly pens. First notice: I gotta cut the nic down to 12 or 6. Shit I haven’t had shweddy palms like this since like 2 packs of smokes in 4 hours cruising bars of Olongapo in 1984. And I didn’t smoke.

      “or Pink Floyd”

      Bite tongue, subject!

      “sod it”

      That’s my gril!

      “Typical increase in conviviality present”

      My new world. Not new actually and I still love visits to dark and mean places, just far less often and I enjoy the uplifting ones more, scoff less.

      It’s all curvature.

      Let me tell you why I know you’re here. You’re smart, unique, and most importantly, basically trust yourself to manage a life all your own.

      Welcome again, Gina.

    • LeonRover on March 29, 2014 at 06:21

      “Typical libido increase absent.”

      Yes, it was in fact, “naught” – or naught naughtiness.

      Did Gina grow up speaking Non-American English ?

      Americans tend to use “ought” for “naught”: shotgun gauge 0-0 is “double ought” vs “double naught”.

      Nowt pretentious ‘ere, Lass.


    • Gina on March 29, 2014 at 19:15

      So jealous of the Provari! I’m going to have to start building. Big clouds look relaxing.

      Thanks for the kind welcome. I’m sober now and still feel the love. ;)

      Hangover was pretty brutal despite precautions (NAC, C and B-1). Totally worth it for science!

    • marie on March 29, 2014 at 22:37

      Gina, “totally worth it for science” + “music appreciation increased as per usual” =
      Is best appreciated whilst in a certain state (‘whilst’ goes with ‘naught’, nay?)

      I luv you too….. and I haven’t had a drop – it’s the resistant starch, I tell ya! ’tis what’s making Richard so mellow, clearly. As for the downright maudlin part? For that he has no excuse. :D

    • LeonRover on March 31, 2014 at 01:53

      Curieous, dat.

      When I arrived back in Dublin on Thurs I had 5 shots of Glen Grant and 300 gms of Lindt Chocolat Noir avec Noissettes Entiéres(!).

      Forgot the cold potato, luckily nothing saffron or loud occurred.

      I guess Richard listens to this a lot:


    • Gina on March 30, 2014 at 23:12

      I will be listening to that every time I get drunk for science! Excuse me, whilst I get drunk for science. I love you too. ;)

      I was born and raised in Texas.

    • LeonRover on March 31, 2014 at 01:32

      Texas, well there you go, Gina:

      You will have learned to be “doubly ought” careful when a pick-up passes you on I-45 South.

      :) :)

    • marie on March 29, 2014 at 23:05

      Gemma, great finds! I’m rereading tonight to follow some of the links. Thanks for sharing.
      It’s amazing to watch just how many aspects of health are found to be influenced or controlled by those gut bugs. Any work that shows a specific host gene affecting specific gut microbe populations (and vice versa?/epigenetics?) is staggering.

    • Gemma on March 30, 2014 at 05:36

      Marie, staggering indeed. And think of all those unnecessary, drastic weight loss surgeries when the same could probably be achieved by diet change gut microbiota modulation gene expression. One doesn’t know if to laugh or cry.

  17. Harriet on March 29, 2014 at 17:55

    There is a war going on in my guts. After changes and trying to muddle things up a lot – thanks for the idea Richard – I have some enormous activity going on. So some days I have a lot of PS, sometimes less, sometimes rice, sometimes cold potatoes, plus and increase in homemade sauerkraut, drinks made from homemade natural pineapple vinegar and now water kefir. I’m having times of acute abdominal pain, times of bloating, occasions of farting, times of a lot of abdominal movement that can be heard, times of calm, occasional temperatures, some AS flares of back pain, some hours when I function well, some times I would rather forget. But remarkably little diarrhoea, and even then its been at the Bristol 5 rather than 6. As it is going to be some weeks before my purchased Prescript Assist etc, arrives I’ve been making do with what I have. But overall all I can say for sure is that I’m having some battles going on in my gut and I’m continuing in the hope the good bacteria win.

    To others with autoimmune disease who are wondering whether its worth the flares to come off the low starch diet I would have to say that at the almost 3 month level I’m convinced enough to keep on trialling it and living with a slightly lower (but only slightly) quality of life in the hope and expectation that this is the right road for me to be on in the long term. But I have to say this isn’t easy and nor has it been fast for me. But then I’ve had the problems all my 60+ years so why would I expect it to be all OK within a few weeks?

    And after this last difficult week I’ve had to get out a belt for my trousers as what was too tight last week is now so loose it needs to be held up. So something has changed.

    And please, a little online encouragement to keep on track would be nice. Its lonely doing this on the bad days.

    • Grace/Dr.BG on March 29, 2014 at 22:23


      In autoimmunity, the bad bugs certainly can overwhelm and conquer. I love your story and please continue let us know your progress. When my gut acts up, I do as the animals do and eat some clay. It calms the bad guys down fairly quickly!

      It’s called weed weed weeding…

    • tatertot on March 29, 2014 at 18:12

      You go, girl! I have been following you best I can. Glad you keep reporting in. Funny you have started losing again, I have always felt that most people just have to stop worrying about weight when they are trying to heal. I know I almost gave up on PHD when I started gaining weight, but it stopped all on its own at about 10 pounds and then 5 of it just vanished without trying. When you are eating right and your gut is back in control, amazing things can happen.

      Good luck, and I hope the new probiotics help, too.

    • gabriella kadar on March 29, 2014 at 18:43

      Harriet, I hear you. You’ve got the ‘why I stopped insisting on eating raw kimchi and raw sauerkraut’. Whatever’s in them and it’s not the bacteria because I drink kefir, no problem, my guts rebel.

      I’m ‘doing’ the beans thing (no rice) and finding ultimate comfort. I’m not a gassy person anyway (unless I drink beer….?gluten) so that’s not an issue. Just the fermented vegetables irritate my guts and too bad PHD and everyone else. I can eat cooked sauerkraut and kimchi without problem. So that’s what I’m going to do. As one of my patients said after I told him about the sauerkraut “too much of a good thing is too much.”

    • marie on March 29, 2014 at 23:58

      Harriet, you’re impressive! Most people would have thrown in the towel by now if they were up against all that.

      However, it sounds like you can use a break, if it’s possible not to back-track during that time?

      I have a suggestion, from noticing what happens when people Fast while switching to a gut-feeding diet.
      It’s very few people yet, mind you, and I’m rather partial to fasts so probably influenced by that.
      Also, I can’t say for myself whether gas and rumbles decrease when I’m fasting, because I don’t usually have them the rest of the time.

      However, for what it’s worth, if you take only your probiotics that you have already and the prebiotics, but eat/drink nothing else except coffee/tea/water, you’d be depriving some of the bad guys of their fave foods and at the same time supporting some of the good guys.
      If this worked in the absolute, that is, if all the bad guys could be starved and all the good guys could be fed, it would be a type of cure for imbalances, but of course nothing in the gut works quite so simply, since even with selective feeders (and many are not), a lot of the microbes work synergistically, not only antagonistically.

      So, at best can expect some bad bugs will be hurt while some good bugs bolstered.
      That part is all good for not ‘backtracking’ during the break.

      What it is likely to do is give your gut and you a relatively quiet break, noticeable mostly on the afternoon of a dinner-to-dinner 24-hr fast.

      My husband enjoyed this ‘feature’ so much he tried to follow me into a second day (after years of rarely doing single-day fasts) – and predictably was ready to chew on chair legs by the second morning.
      So I don’t advise this ;)

      He did however repeat the experience a couple of days later and swears by it. From the, um, acoustic perspective (!) it seemed to me that activity was lower than before the fast once food restarted and then decreased more after the second time.
      Still, it’s just a thought.

      If you decide to try it, the easiest way to do it is from dinner one evening through to dinner the next evening (or as far as you can get – but you know, if your tummy has calmed down by that afternoon, you’ll be loathe to stir it up again and that helps get you all the way to dinner).
      Lunch to lunch is usually harder, because if hungry at bed-time, sleep won’t be great. It also helps if you have a pretty fatty meal that first night.

      Meanwhile, fasting has all kinds of unique advantages by itself, I doubt I’d think of it otherwise.

    • Harriet on March 30, 2014 at 01:56

      Gabriella, What makes you say its not the bacteria that are giving you the problems? How could you know? And this is a genuine inquiry. I was assuming the bacteria were battling it out amongst themselves as I changed my diet around, though that is a completely untested belief. I would have thought that the bacteria in kefir might be quite different from the bacteria in sauerkraut and kimchi so that it may be only some bacteria that could be causing the issues. Again I was assuming that although I was having some unpleasant symptoms with the fermented veges and vinegar that the reason I had the problems is because they were actually doing some good along the way. For example when I started the PS I had some really horrible AS days but over time they have become less and my assumption/belief is that the PS encouraged the good bacteria to deal with the bad ones and I’ve been hoping/assuming that this is the case with the addition of the sauerkraut, etc.

      Now I’m the first to admit that my beliefs are only what I call useful beliefs rather than anything proven. If I assume that I can do nothing and that the doctors are right then I wouldn’t have the quality of life I have now (which is OK, though I want better) and would be grossly obese, diabetic, hypertensive, actively AI etc, etc. Useful beliefs help me take action even when things may be temporarily less than desirable when it feels intuitively right, as this does. Looking back over the decades my intuition is about 80% accurate which isn’t a bad track record.

      Its nice to know that others have the problems I do, though I wouldn’t wish them on anyone. I’m just interested in your rationale as its different to mine.

    • Gemma on March 30, 2014 at 09:29


      What king of autoimmune do you have? Have you read / heard this? Prevotella copri the culprit/bystander? Perhaps a question for Dr. Grace?

    • Harriet on March 31, 2014 at 01:13

      Grace, you suggest eating clay. Could you please be a little more specific? I’ve heard of people eating bentonite clay so is this what you are suggesting? If so where would I get it from? How much does one take and how (with water)? Could you recommend something purchased from iHerb? They are the only company I’ve found that reliably gets stuff to me on this side of the world.

      If Grace doesn’t see this, could anyone else make suggestions?

    • Lauren on March 31, 2014 at 02:04

      Harriet, I’ve done the clay as part of Grace’s protocols. (I know she mentions it in her Feeding The Microbiota post on her site.) Bentonite. I bought it locally (NZ), not through iHerb. If I were to buy in Oz, I’d probably use Healing Clay Australia (they have a bentonite specifically entitled ‘edible.’) Most reputable folks who sell clay can answer your questions. I’ve done between 1 teaspoon and 1 Tablespoon on an empty stomach before bed with good results. Good luck!

    • Grace/Dr.BG on April 1, 2014 at 16:59

      Thx Lauren!

      The company that makes Prescript Assist also makes one of the best clays to chelate heavy metals and detoxify the gut including parasites and pathogenic microbes… I use it and it’s great. Good luck Harriet! Where are you located?

  18. quattromomma on March 29, 2014 at 20:49

    Gabriella, I have the same issue with sauerkraut and kimchi. I can have all kinds of fermented dairy with no issues, but the veggies give me headaches, acne and irritability. Maybe histamines?

    • Guttural on March 30, 2014 at 16:41

      @gabiella This may help explain why kefir and Primal Defense Ultra don’t give you the same problems?

      Histamine producing bacteria: Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus reuteri, and Lactobacillus bulgaricus (Found in most yogurts and fermented foods).

      Neutral bacteria: Streptococcus thermophiles (also in yogurt) and Lactobacillus rhamnosus (shown to down regulate histamine receptors and up-regulate anti-inflammatory agents)

      Histamine degrading bacteria: Bifidobacterium infantis (found in breast milk), Bifidobacterium longum, Lactobacillus plantarum, and some soil-based organisms.

    • gabriella kadar on March 30, 2014 at 03:11

      Quatromomma, I don’t know if it has to do with histamines. The bacteria in sauerkraut and kimchi are the lactobacilli. Depending on how well fermented and sour the product, so the species change. But Primal Defense Ultra contains the same lactos. I get no reaction. Kefir contains L. plantarum and a lot of other bacteria and yeasts… no reaction.

      I can eat cole slaw, no problem. So there’s something about the raw fermented cabbage that speeds up my gut peristalsis. This is not always a welcome thing.

    • Gemma on March 30, 2014 at 08:11

      @Harriet, quattromomma, gabriella kadar

      Have you read the latest Heisenbug’s blogpost? The message there is “always eat your sauerkraut and kimchi with some fat.”

    • gabriella kadar on March 30, 2014 at 09:34

      Gemma and Quattro, definitely the reaction to homemade kimchi was histamine or histamine like. 15 minutes after ingestion = facial flushing. 60 minutes after ingestion = entire bowel evacuation. (I’d already gone to the toilet earlier in the day and the food consumed with the kimchi was the first real meal of the day around 11 a.m.) Entirely unpleasant. Went to the toilet two more times that day.

      I just thought maybe there was something toxic happening in the kimchi since I’d never made it before. I threw it out. I’ll let the pros make it from now on. The kimchi from the Korean supermarket does not have this sort of over the top effect. But it does loosen the bowels.

    • Wilbur on March 30, 2014 at 11:40

      Gabriella –

      I might be telling you stuff you already know. I do a lot of fermenting, and eating kimchi. A histamine-like reaction to me sounds like a mold got into your kraut. I normally skim mine off with no issues, but I guess if you got too much… This might account for the bowel issues too.

      As far as the difference between sauerkraut and kimchi, they can be quite different products. Heisenbug and I had some discussion about this. Everything I have found says kimchi is typically a short-stage ferment depending on temperature, whereas kraut is a long-stage ferment. Also, traditional kimchi often uses flour (typically rice, but wheat is also possible according to Sandor Katz). The funny thing is that I have never seen this listed as an ingredient in Korean store kimchi. It is used to help keep the ingredients in suspension. I don’t have any issues with either, and neither loosens my bowels.

      Likewise, I do not have issues with okras you mentioned elsewhere. I LOVE okra. I might see a few seeds, but that’s it. That said, I have a major issue with mushrooms. The funny thing is, this is new since starting high fiber. I grew up with my mother loving mushrooms, and we ate them all the time. No issues. Since November, I now have explosive problems and gas cramps for at least a day when I eat mushrooms.

      This is crazy stuff. Don’t give up on home ferments though. I’ve made stuff that is awesome and that will never be found in a store.

    • gabriella kadar on March 30, 2014 at 11:49

      Wilbur, I think you are probably correct about mould. I was kind of suspicious of the stuff. Okra doesn’t do anything adverse to me under normal circumstances. That shit upset my guts for quite a while. I think things have now settled down. It was kind of like explosive food poisoning. I don’t get it from store bought kimchi but it does loosen things. I don’t get gas from any of this stuff. I think my gut bugs are eating their own products until there’s nothing left.

    • Wilbur on March 30, 2014 at 15:24

      I’ve thought for some time that there is something hard to explain about having a healthier gut: it is more sensitive to bad things I eat. 99.9% of the time everything is perfect in every way. Then I eat something bad, and my gut tells me all about it. Like I said, I eat lots of kimchi. I go to the store and buy multiple 1/2 gallon jugs of various types. Anyway, I’ve been eating this stuff for months with zero issues, 250g /day. Suddenly, I’m getting loose bowels. After some experimentation and observation, I trace it to a specific jar of baby radish kimchi. Something is wrong with it, or with how it interacts with me. I dump it, and replace it with a new jar and all is ok. Weird stuff…

    • Guttural on March 30, 2014 at 17:15

      And the histamine-producing category is Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus reuteri, Lactobacillus plantarum, and Lactococcus lactis, Enterococcus faecalis, and various types of E. coli. And then the ones that seem to degrade histamine and be beneficial are lots of bifidobacteria species, but particularly Bifidobacterium infantis and then Lactobacillus rhamnosus and salivarius and sporogenes and Lactobacillus gasseri.

      Fermented foods are eliminated or greatly reduced on a low-histamine diet because the fermentation that’s happened in the fermented foods has produced histamine, so they’re some of the highest dietary sources of histamine. But it’s not clear what contribution eating a lot of fermented foods might make to someone who’s not — like if that might predispose someone to histamine intolerance. I tend to doubt it. It doesn’t really make that much sense from an evolutionary perspective. So, there are a lot of questions still to answer about this, and I’m looking forward to learning more.

      So I’m looking for a probiotic supplement with inflammation lowering…
      Bifidobacterium infants
      Bifidobacterium longum
      Lactobacillus reuteri (raises histamine in the short term but elevates anti inflammatory cAMP levels)
      But also Lactobacillus plantarum (lowers/inhibits tyramine and putrescine)

      Saccharomyces-Boulardii: I found a number of studies on its effectiveness in treating gastroenteritis, which some researchers have linked to high histamine/mast cell issues.

      Neutral strains…
      Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus Lactis, Lactococcus Lactis, and Lactobacillus plant arum which do not have any effect on biogenic amines like histamine and tyramine.

      But not…
      Lactobacillus casei (produces histamine and tyramine)
      Lactobacillus Bulgaricus (increases histamine alone)

      For now I’ve decided to avoid Lactobacillus casei and Lactobacillus Bulgaricus, until I find studies showing that their histamine raising qualities are in fact something we want, because it raises cAMP levels/fights inflammation.

      Weeding tips I guess.

    • gabriella kadar on March 30, 2014 at 19:00

      HaHa, yoghurt makes people fat and foggy? Definitely have not noticed.

      The yoghurt here at home has two lactos (one is bulgaricus) and a bifido. The kefir has a panoply of stuff.

      Cooked kimchi or sauerkraut is fine. Apparently even in this state it has beneficial effects.

  19. Harriet on March 30, 2014 at 02:00

    @ Marie – Ill bear the idea of fasting in mind though it doesn’t feel intuitively right to me at the moment. Mostly I just cut the amount of food right back rather than right out for 24 hours. I know that fasting is known to have benefits for men though I understand that there is little evidence that it actually benefits women in the same way – though I’ve not read the research myself so I hesitate to be dogmatic about that.

    • marie on March 30, 2014 at 12:58

      Oh, and what’s a good rant without a couple of references (just two recent human ones, including women).
      Subjects were 107 premenopausal women, overweight or obese. One of the longest human studies, six months. Compares Intermittent fasting using reduced calories (Intermittent energy restriction) to Continuous calorie restriction. Found weight loss and “…reductions in free androgen index, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, total and LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure and increases in sex hormone binding globulin, IGF binding proteins 1 and 2. Reductions in fasting insulin and insulin resistance…”

      Metabolism, Volume 62, Issue 1, Pages 137-143, January 2013
      (and a ‘bonus’: all three authors are women scientists :) ) :
      In this study thirty-two overweight volunteers, average age 42, were put on an ADF (alternate day) intermittent fast for 8 weeks. At the end of 8 weeks the volunteers had lost an average of 4kg and seen significant improvements in biomarkers related to the risks of diabetes and coronary heart disease. Interestingly, the weight loss was all fat, not muscle.

    • marie on March 30, 2014 at 12:04

      Harriet, sure, it’s just for a break in your case anyway and if cutting back works too, why bother.
      To get long term benefits, there’s Dr.BG’s approach to ‘weed’ first, which she’s mentioned somewhere above I think. It’s a comprehensive approach to ‘weed, seed and feed’ (I love that summary, Grace!) for which you can get much info on her site.

      As for fasting benefits, there’s no differentiation for women vs. men, not in the scientific studies and not in all the cultural fasting traditions.
      I mean, despite body-builders recently falling in love with it, this isn’t something new!
      Both men and women have been doing it successfully for millennia.

      However, do you know who are exempted in these traditions? Sick people universally (and a couple of other categories at certain times, depending on the religion).
      So if there’s PCOS or any hormone-related disease, I’d be wary, absolutely.

      Otherwise, it’s actually great for hormonal fluctuations, mood swings etc., quite apart from the usual energy/endurance boost and the long-term effects – which anyone talking to women who actually do this would find out.

      As a woman, I find it a shame that in looking at research to understand why sick women shouldn’t do it, there are sometimes extrapolations made to justify why no women should do it.
      Women miss-out this way.
      At least, western women miss out. On the other hand, go to the eastern Mediterranean, which has some of the longest-living women (and men of course) on earth and the grandmas just look at us funny for asking :)

  20. kayumochi on March 30, 2014 at 06:38

    The Bacillus Subtilis Story

    • Grace/Dr.BG on March 30, 2014 at 19:39

      Excellent K~!

      I didn’t know that historical background. Hey B subtilis is in fermented beans like soy-based natto and gochujang sauce. B subtilis is rather carnivorous/omnivorous — it requires carbs/meat/meat/meat/fat.


      Fermented coconut cream in Indonesia, semayi, with B subtilis

      Fermented ancestral wheat and dairy in Africa, kishk, with B subtilis, yeasts, Lactobacillus plantarum, L. brevis, and L. casei

    • Grace/Dr.BG on March 30, 2014 at 19:41

      Another African fermented food, Ugba:

      Ugba is a Nigerian indigenous, protein rich food obtained by solid state fermentation of seeds of African oil bean (Pentaclethra macrophylla) seed. It has a short shelf life of about 3-5 days. The mixed culture fermentation process converts the bitter and hard seeds to a soft, cherished protein rich product. Process optimization of the production using starter cultures, bottle/cup, packaging and locally adaptable pasteurization technique were evaluated.. Starter cultures of washed cells of Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus megaterium were used to ferment the sliced and sterilized cotyledons of the seeds in sterile round, wide – mouth bottles and aluminum cups with covers for 48 hours at room temperature (30±20C). The colour, taste, aroma, softness and other physicochemical properties of the product before and after keeping for six weeks compared favourably well with the locally produced ‘ugba’.

  21. kayumochi on March 30, 2014 at 07:02

    Bacti-Subtil doesn’t seem to be available in the States …

    • David on March 30, 2014 at 07:25


      What a great find. Who’d a’thunk that freshly dropped camel poop would be good for the gizzard. A direct affect on acute infection, too.

      Even though the specific product mentioned, Bacti-Subtil, is not available in the US, B. Subtilis is found in other products including Prescript Assist and Primal Defense Ultra. I’ve not seen mention of sub-strains or -species so it may all be the same stuff.

    • kate on March 30, 2014 at 07:49

      It’s also in a lot of high end dog food.

    • kayumochi on March 30, 2014 at 08:41

      I take both those and am glad to know they contain B. Subtilis.

  22. Dave on March 30, 2014 at 14:18

    …for a food source of Bacillus Subtilis, I do believe that Natto would fit the bill

  23. Gemma on March 31, 2014 at 04:35

    Some more reading:
    Beneficial modulation of the gut microbiota
    “… here we highlight a variety of options, including the use of changes in diet (including the use of prebiotics), antimicrobial-based intervention, probiotics and faecal microbiota transplantation, and discuss their relative merits with respect to modulating the intestinal community in a beneficial way.”

  24. Path on March 30, 2014 at 16:24

    A while back, I read a comment somewhere on this website that talked about someone who took
    potato starch for a while and then abruptly stopped for a while to see what would happen. The result
    was, on day number two, the person had to run back and forth to the washroom many times throughout the day.

    Two days ago, I remembered reading this comment and decided I wanted to see what would happen if I tried the same thing. So after taking resistant starch everyday for 3 months I stopped for 48 hours. On day number one I didn’t really notice anything different but sure enough, on day number two, I did have a reaction. My reaction however didn’t involve constantly running to the bathroom like the other person but I did wake up with a burning sensation in my chest and the back of my throat today. This burning sensation has persisted all day and my chest also feels slightly congested.

    The reason I’m posting this is because I would like to know if this is a good or a bad sign and what should I do about it? Should I never stop taking the resistant starch for more than one day? Should I cycle it and maybe skip resistant starch on the weekends and see if this problem eventually goes away? Or, should I stop taking resistant starch all together? I should also mention I haven’t taken any SBOs yet because I haven’t been unable to find them in any health food stores where I live and getting them shipped to me would be too expensive. Thanks.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 30, 2014 at 16:48


      My idea is to see people target RS in foods and use PS and other RS supplements (and the probiotics) haphazardly. That’s what I do. I haven’t had any RS supplement in a few days right now, nor any probiotics. I’ll probably have some tomorrow. But, ever week I go at LEAST one day with nothing, and I try to fast completely once per week as well.

    • Path on March 30, 2014 at 17:53

      Thanks for the reply. I think I will try taking one day off a week for a while to see what happens.

    • Path on March 31, 2014 at 15:59

      Update: About an hour after my last post, I came down with a serious case of chills. I couldn’t stop shaking for about five hours last night. The chills then turned into a fever and I woke up several times throughout the night feeling like I was on fire(exaggeration). By morning, I was still quite hot but after drinking some cool water, I started to cool down. I also woke up this morning with a pounding headache and I’ve been mildly nauseated for the last 24 hours. The one good thing about all of this is, a little while ago, I had the biggest “number two” that I’ve had in a very long time! Anyway, that is my experience with abruptly stopping potato starch supplementation for 48 hours. Hopefully, when I stop supplementation later this week for 24 hours instead of 48, I do not have to go through all this again :P. I shudder at the thought of running out of potato starch for a long period of time, ugh!

    • tatertot on March 31, 2014 at 16:19

      That seriously just does not make sense. I’ve gone months and months without a break, then 4 or 5 days with probably less than even SAD levels of RS and didn’t notice anything other than poop was a bit ‘off’.

      I just can’t think of anything that would do that to a person unless you had some kind of alien microbes that demand to be fed. Have you had any missing chunks of time recently and dreams of bug-eyed people probing you?

      Just meeing with ya, but seriously–I find it hard to believe it’s related. The worst that could happen in my estimation, is that your turds would be less well formed. All the butyrate and neurotransmitters, colonocytes, Peyer’s Patches, T and B cells, and metabolism/immunity changes that may have occured don’t just break in 1 day.

      Have you ever fasted for 24-48 hours? Same kinda thing…people do just fine eating nothing for several days, they don’t go haywire.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 31, 2014 at 16:29


      I have curiously come down with mild “flu like” symptoms where I feel like I have a fever, perhaps 3 times since I combined the probiotics (no more, a while back). I’d get chills, go to bed, and in 2-3 hours feel like a fucking rockstar. Funny thing is—and it may be my personal placebo effect—but some of the most euphoric states of my life have been after an elevated body temp, once it comes down. ???????

      To put it as as simply as I can, the work on the book tells me that the best thing I can do is make sure as many of the species are there, feed them, and recognize that they have humans beat in evolutionary terms by about 2 billion years, and their evolution is 6 generations per day compared to out single generation in 30 years.

      I have no choice but to try to make sure they’re there, feed them, let chips fall.

      …As Evolution is my witness.

      Accordingly, I chalked up those bouts to a potentially good thing and once I didn’t have them anymore, almost certainly a good thing. Stuff was going on down there nobody fully understands, yet, but shit was going on.

    • Path on March 31, 2014 at 18:58

      Unfortunately, I have some kind of underlying health issues that makes fasting very uncomfortable for me. I have done a few 24 hour fasts in the past, but this was before I started taking potato starch and like I said, it was very uncomfortable. I have never attempted a 48 hour fast because I can almost guarantee that if I tried to sleep after not eating for 36-40 hours, it would be the worst sleep I had in my entire life.

      I should also mention gut issues run in my family. My grandmother has abused laxatives for probably close to 20 years now because of chronic constipation (yep, her gut is most likely messed
      up for good now). My mom has pretty much the opposite problem (she eats food and almost immediately has to run to the washroom) I’m somewhere in between but more like my
      grandmother than mother.

      Also, I was wondering, is it possible that when I stopped the potato starch, the good critters started attacking the bad critters which caused my negative reaction? Or is my gut just filled with bad critters and I desperately need some SBO’s? :P

    • Richard Nikoley on March 31, 2014 at 20:00

      “Also, I was wondering, is it possible that when I stopped the potato starch, the good critters started attacking the bad critters which caused my negative reaction? Or is my gut just filled with bad critters and I desperately need some SBO’s? :P”

      At numbers of 100Trillion, anything is possible.

      This is what I have desperately been trying to get across to people. They have zero concept of the enormity of it. That’s why I say to use everything. The SBOs combined with various RS from food to supplement has been a wonder.

      Biggest benefit, now? I breath clearly through my nose 95% of the time. Never in 53 years has that been the case.

  25. […] this post the other day and subsequent exchanging of some emails and comments here & there with those I'd […]

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