Moving Forward: My Approach to Evaluating the Science and Knowledge of the Gut Biome and Resistant Starch

Time to look forward. There’s no question that since my very first post on resistant starch in April, 2013, things have changed in a number of ways. I like to think that the more than 130 posts related to resistant starch or the microbiome in some way—many including contributions by others, like Tim Steele and Grace Liu—have contributed to the general impact of recognizing the importance of gut health and the role of resistant starch in the whole picture. Since there’s now a number of voices out there on the topic and some dispute about some things, I thought I might put some rules or guidelines out there I’m going to use to evaluate things moving forward.

The MetaRulz

  1. The vast majority of what’s to be known and understood about the complex workings of the human microbiome and its interactions with the host remains to be discovered.
  2. The things we think we know and understand are mostly wrong or incomplete in some way.
  3. The struggle is in the process of becoming less wrong over time, not in searching for ways of being right.

The ThumbRulz

  1. We don’t know what the “ideal” gut microbiome looks like. It’s more likely there’s no such thing.
  2. Gut bug composition changes meal to meal and season to season. RNA sequencing, then, is perhaps best done in a fasted state of at least 24 hours to get a better idea of an individual’s “metagut.”
  3. RNA sequencing is flawed, where even the same sample taken in the exact same spot yields some vastly different results.
  4. Hunter gatherer guts are probably of limited value to non huntger-gatherers. Perhaps better would be the sequences of people in your neck of the woods, same age and gender, who are lean and have a clean medical history (esp. no signs of autoimmune disorders).
  5. Just because a particular species of gut bacteria is generally associated with good things doesn’t automatically mean that more of it is better. 1% of 100 trillion is a very big number.
  6. Excluding testing error (#3), a decrease in a species associated with good stuff could have a number of explanations: all good, all bad, or a mix. For example, if Akkermansia drops in population, could it be because something else good increased and the previous levels of Akk are no longer necessary, or needed?
  7. Is a different mix and relative proportion of bugs called for in a diseased person than a healthy person; and moreover, is it possible that the mix in the diseased person is actually helping them from getting worse, rather than a direct cause of their state of disease?
  8. Horizontal gene transfer is a factor in all of this, and I don’t think sequencing is yet sophisticated enough to detect that. In other words, it’s the genes and their expression in the gut that’s fundamentally important, not species classification (just a way for us to…um…classify).
  9. Some humans, owing to their specific human genetic makeup, i.e., what needs expressing and what needs repressing, and control of specific pathogens, will require different sets of genes in their gut.
  10. Some species associated with good (or bad) stuff may have significant members of their ranks “hiding out” in mucosal layers, biofilms, whatever, and be relatively undetectable in sequencing tests.
  11. One thing we do seem to have a pretty good handle on is clear pathogens (or overgrowths of even “good” bugs) and this should dominate therapeutic intervention for now. Once that’s out of the way, we’ll have all the time in the world to worry about boutique bugs.

There may be more. Feel free to suggest. I already incorporated some stuff by Gemma in the last few rulz.

Ok, so one issue at hand now, spearheaded by Grace (link removed), is questions over the propriety of using raw potato starch as a supplement, or perhaps more poignantly, in high dose. It’s important to go back to the beginning, the very first post, and look at how this all got started. In the words of Tim Steele.

Most scientists used 20-50 grams RS per day in their human studies. Most recommendations are for the ingestion of 20-40g/day for maximum benefit, and there seems to be an upper limit of about 60g where it stops being effective, and a lower limit of about 20g where it has little effect.

My next step was to target RS in the 20-60g/day range from common foods…this proved difficult.

I learned there was a bit of RS in cooked and cooled rice, like sushi rice, but only a small amount, like 5g per cup.

He goes on to lay out the RS content of a bunch of common foods, then suggests potato starch at the end as supplement, alternative. Check it out. And, later on, Tim painstakingly put together a 5-page PDF listing RS in a whole bunch of foods, by weight.

And yes, in spite of that, a lot of people ignored trying to get much from foods, because they come in grains and starches. You know why? The Very Low Carb Menace, that’s why. In Tim’s case, he was already eating lots of cooked and cooled potatoes, beans, and his own dried green plantains. In my case, I did the 4 TBS daily for a while, then went intermittent (1, 0, 3, 6, 0, 0, 0, 2, etc.). Now, sometimes I go a week or more with zero and a while back went more than a month with zero. Why? Because I eat plenty of beans and potatoes. Rice sometimes. Even bread…very only sometimes (doing my part for hormesis).

Nonetheless, if we are to look at studies showing that high dose raw potato starch is a questionable practice, which I’m willing to do, we have to look at anecdotes or, more accurately, the relative lack thereof. But, one thing out of the way: I agree, a regime that’s like 4 TBS every morning at 6:38 am, with the exact same smoothie or food, is not the best approach. Intermittency and variation in all things, please.

This morning, I scanned through all sales via my Amazon shopping link (13,200 orders) from April, 2013 to today, looking for products associated with gut health. Here’s the list with order totals:

  • [easyazon_link asin=”B0082DDQH6″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”fretheani-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]AOR Probiotic-3[/easyazon_link] – 1,195
  • [easyazon_link asin=”B00L82H6HY” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”fretheani-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Prescript-assist probiotic[/easyazon_link] – 1,436
  • [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 ULTRA[/easyazon_link] – 1,261
  • [easyazon_link asin=”B002BHSKAC” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”fretheani-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Amazing Grass[/easyazon_link] – 298
  • [easyazon_link asin=”B00HGJ7VAU” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”fretheani-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Banana Flour[/easyazon_link] – 591
  • [easyazon_link asin=”B00B93GV6Y” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”fretheani-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Baobab Powder[/easyazon_link] – 15
  • [easyazon_link asin=”B004VLVCGU” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”fretheani-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Potato Starch[/easyazon_link] – 891 (these are 4-packs, so 3,564 packages)
  • [easyazon_link asin=”B009939UI2″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”fretheani-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Hi-Maize Resistant Starch[/easyazon_link] – 12 (50-pound bags)
  • [easyazon_link asin=”B000F9ZM5Y” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”fretheani-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Plantain Flour[/easyazon_link] – 328
  • [easyazon_link asin=”B00L4JURMM” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”fretheani-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Organic Raw Tigernuts[/easyazon_link] – 510
  • [easyazon_link asin=”B00FEPUNUS” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”fretheani-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Amla Powder[/easyazon_link] – 170
  • [easyazon_link asin=”B004JLEP5C” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”fretheani-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Larch Arabinogalactan Powder[/easyazon_link] – 21
  • [easyazon_link asin=”B001BAA15C” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”fretheani-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Inulin and FOS Powder[/easyazon_link] – 409
  • [easyazon_link asin=”B002AISTA8″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”fretheani-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Glucomannan Powder[/easyazon_link] – 38
  • [easyazon_link asin=”B000FL9EAG” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”fretheani-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Primadophilus Reuteri[/easyazon_link] – 36
  • [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 Husk Powder[/easyazon_link] – 72
  • [easyazon_link asin=”B0082FQKAE” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”fretheani-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Yacon Root Syrup[/easyazon_link] – 15

Tons of other things gut related, but I excluded anything with less than 10 orders. There’s also the case of commenter Wilbur, who takes all manner of various powdered fibers and claims impressive results.

Take home points:

  1. There is one hell of a lot of people worldwide experimenting with potato starch and to lesser extent, other fibers. And probiotics (the soil-based ones as Grace harped on almost from the beginning) are pretty huge. Add to that their mention now on hundreds of other blogs and websites, using their own associates links. Add to that, the the folks who just grab it at the supermarket, as I sometimes do. Very lots.
  2. If the argument that ritual supplementing of 4 TBS or thereabouts daily is not the best approach, zero argument from me. More on that below.
  3. If the argument, however, is that this stuff is really going to harm you (and some have been using it for 20 months), then I need to see some really compelling anecdotal evidence of that. Instead, what we have is thousands of positive anecdotes in comments (and I get many emails), compared to a relatively small percentage where some level of discomfort was experienced, like bloating, joint pain, rash, etc.
  4. I don’t think that a changed gut RNA sequence cuts it, for reasons outlined in the thumbrulz, above, and especially if not accompanied by some sort of clear physical downstream effect that shows up significantly in a lot of people. We are still bound to the scientific method, here.

But again, this may not even be worth arguing because I am all on board with expanding the mix. First of all, eat the damn food! Second, if you do supplement, then keep it real, use a mix of the prebiotics, and incorporate the probiotics, especially the dirt.

So, right now, I’m experimenting with mixes of a variety of stuff. Usually, it’s about a third to half PS, then a bunch of other stuff from above, and Wilbur’s list too. And yes, I hope to develop a product once I nail down proportions I like and do some beta testing. Yes, you’ll know the ingredients, but the proportions will be my trade secret. The idea is that by using economies of scale to purchase bulk, I can get you a single product with a mix of about a dozen things that costs less than buying all of them, saves space, saves the trouble of spooning out individually or mixing yourself, and ads convenience to your life. Of course, anyone can develop such a product, BUT ONLY ONE WILL BE CALLED…”ANIMAL FARTS!” :)

Now, when I have a smoothie, which is maybe 3-4 times per week: it’s 1 raw egg, two heaping TBS of my mix (roughly 40% PS), 3-4 oz orange juice, the rest of the 14 total oz topped off with whole milk. I don’t bother with blenders anymore and I’ll just eat fruit. I put all that in one of those 14 oz shakers with an agitator ball in it. Comes out perfectly smooth, tasting creamy like an Orange Julius. It’s the only smoothie recipe I need; might use other fruit juices sometimes.

A final note, about my Hashimoto’s announced here, and expounded upon here, with input by Chris Kresser. Some points:

  1. Since I’ve had elevated TSH since about 1998-2000 when it first showed up on a blood test, it’s likely that it was the same autoimmune condition.
  2. I can’t recall what those numbers were back then, but in 2008 my TSH was 16 in a 1-5 reference range.
  3. One would expect the condition to get worse over time. TSH was in normal range in the 2009-2011 timeframe because I was on Armour Thyroid, which of course does not address the underlying issue of the elevated TPO antibody.
  4. While I don’t have a TPO AB reference point, since my TSH went from 16 to just under 10 from 2008 to now, and I haven’t been on any meds in 2-3 years, it’s more likely that I have LESS TPO antibody now, not more.
  5. …Meaning that the WORST one can say about my supplementation with raw potato starch over the last 20 months is that it almost certainly did not make this autoimmune condition worse (and if there’s any effect at all, it’s far more likely to have been a positive one).

But, now I’m interested in fixing it. First, I have to get rid of things I don’t need that may be adversely impacting my gut: all alcohol, gluten, processed and fast foods. It’s not like I do a lot of the latter, but I can get pretty sloppy. Thankfully, I’ve been pretty weight stable at around 185 for months now.

So, gonna eliminate all that stuff, drop 20 pounds, get off my ass and exercise more, and really target the gut with foods and my powder mixes and probiotics and a few other supplements, do it for 90 days and retest in mid-March.

With me ruck.

Update: Well, the truce didn’t last long. I have permanently severed all ties with Ms. Liu:

Fear of Raw Potato Starch Ingestion is Probably Irrational

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  1. Gemma on December 12, 2014 at 00:09


    OK, thanks, but that was yesterday :-) Today I feel like linking this on horizontal gene transfer:

    “Standard evolutionary theory does not account for the possibility of complex organisms suddenly acquiring genes from other species, let alone how those foreign genes might change a creature for better or worse. Think of it this way: if the genomes of living species are flowers on different branches of the great evolutionary tree of life, horizontal gene transfer is a subversive wind whipping pollen from one part of the tree to another.”

    The gene that jumped

    And now some more jokes about hamsters and gerbils, please.

    Who are we?

    • space on December 12, 2014 at 01:21

      Wow, super great article!
      Ok can’t think of a hamster/gerbil joke (will leave it to the experts!) but I’m more than happy to accept that I might already be one!

      ps. Sorry if I shouldn’t have re-pasted your post. It was just too good though!

    • Gemma on December 12, 2014 at 01:34


      Hey, it’s all right, don’t worry :-)

      More questions than answers, indeed.

    • space on December 12, 2014 at 01:42

      But I really meant it when I said you should start a blog or something. !!
      You have a better handle on this stuff than well… nearly everyone. (no offense to anyone else!)
      If not, well I hope at least you work in this field.
      You. Very. Good.

  2. Sean D. on December 11, 2014 at 13:34

    I’ve always been curious about the function of the raw egg in your prebiotic/probiotic smoothie. Does the trypsin inhibitors help the probiotics survive through the stomach? Is it for the avidin, which is theorized to have anti-bacterial properties? Is it for the undenatured glycoprotiens that might have a prebiotic function? All the above or more?

    • LeonRover on December 11, 2014 at 13:46

      ” All the above or more?”

      You are just being a smart arse.

      Richard is no using his stick-blender:
      it’s so muuch easier to foork-whip raw egg.

    • Richard Nikoley on December 11, 2014 at 14:31

      Sean, it’s that my mom always put raw egg in blended smoothie kinda drinks. :)

  3. McSack on December 11, 2014 at 14:06

    Not sure if anyone’s mentioned this already, but I was looking at Tim’s list and noticed that pumpernickel stuck out as a pretty high RS source in the bread category. For some reason I was curious enough about what the difference was between pumpernickel and regular rye was and looked it up on Wikipedia. Interestingly I noticed that the origin of the word for pumpernickel is “Devil’s fart”. Check it out:

    Just thought that might be appreciated here. :)

  4. gabkad on December 11, 2014 at 15:00

    Richard, too many variables. Start with gluten. Because based on your protocol, if your antibodies go down, you’ll never be able to have another drink for the rest of your life………….mwahahaha! Or smoke. Or toke. I was going to suggest ‘no sex’… but heh… whatev.

    Anyway, I don’t think it’s the gluten. You went total all out paleo for a while there and felt cold.

    It’s stress. Think about that. You burned down the business.

    • Richard Nikoley on December 11, 2014 at 16:07

      Meh, I’ve been cutting way back lately anyway. Tired of it. Also, I find I never get heartburn if consumption is minimal—even Indian buffet, the “acid test” for me.

      So, for all I know, the improvement is recent and that’s part of it. Doesn’t booze fuck up your “intestinal fortitude?”

      But beyond that, not doing anything crazy like an “autoimmune diet,” since it’s of no use if it’s not largely a diet I’d want to eat. I’ll just go on the synthetic Ts and be done with it.

    • GTR on December 13, 2014 at 06:08

      “It’s stress. Think about that.” – like you can try to regulate stress via HRV or EEG neurofeedback devices and software?

  5. doGnuts on December 11, 2014 at 16:43

    I’d be interested in the impact of america’s finest native tobacco on your gut biome. Maybe go cookies and toking for a month versus cold turkey for a month?

    • Richard Nikoley on December 11, 2014 at 17:07

      Hmm, I don’t do much marijuana at all. Less than once per month on average (I have friends who keep it around, I never do) and at times when I have had periods where I was toking daily, I’l always able to stop on a dime. Weird.

      I do enjoy American Spirit 100% additive free tobacco now & then, though. But I also have a ProVari vaping outfit, so I’ll be getting a bit more use out of that.

    • John on December 12, 2014 at 00:56

      American Spirt make the best tobacco by far. I doubt you enjoy it every now and then though. It’s hard not to smoke the stuff everyday.

      I thought the whole potato starch revolution would give the paleo followers a 2nd though about their fantastic high fat, 2 pound daily meat intake.

  6. Sky on December 11, 2014 at 18:24

    Uh, oh!

    High Dose RAW Starch Appears to Suppress Christensenella, Akkermansia, and B longum That Make Us LEAN:


    This is what I was talking about when I mentioned that screwing around with a such a diverse, unknown, and complex system such as our microbiome could be asking for trouble some time down the road!

    • Richard Nikoley on December 11, 2014 at 18:52

      In just 5 minutes of Googling around, I found the following:

      1. Tons of people in forums that have rated raw potatoes all their life, or when they were kids because it was a family tradition (salt & vinegar mentioned).

      2. Here’s a crunchy, near raw potato dish from China, of all places.

      Guaranteed you’re not going to tough hardly any of the PS in an entire raw potato with a 1-min starry.

      3. Sometimes they eat the dish raw:

      “It’s not a myth.

      “In China raw potato in julienne cut is a common dish: usually mixed with some vinegar and sesame oil.

      “It’s crispy, not starchy. Served chilled it’s refreshing in the summer.

      “In the US, most Sichuan restaurants offer this dish, though maybe not as good as in China.

      “While we’re comparing it to eating apples..imagine if someone gives you as your first apple ever: a supermarket waxy, milly red probably wouldn’t ask for an apple anytime soon.

      “Most supermarket potatos wouldn’t be fresh enough to eat raw.

      “And pardon me as I ramble, but I’m just reminded of how full of flavor and crunch a fresh water chestnut tasted when i was in Hong Kong…wow! I would never had been able to gather that from the canned ones we usually get in Chinese foods!”

      I could go on and on. Just scratched the surface. Eating one raw potato is going to get you about 50-60 g of RAW POTATO STARCH.

    • Richard Nikoley on December 11, 2014 at 18:34

      “that screwing around”

      You mean eating food? Potato starch is a raw food. You can make it yourself. Grate a potato into water, swish it around, strain it through cheesecloth an the stuff that settles in the bottom is potato starch.

    • Groker on December 11, 2014 at 20:53

      Grace says in the comments

      “I have warned Mr Nikoley as well – the high dosage RPS for over the last 1-2 years probably prevented the healing of his autoimmune Hashimoto’s. Thoughts? Would love to entertain unscientific pseudoscience speculation. I recommended he get a gut test and fix what is missing and lower the pathogens.”

      So in this logic if the TSH numbers improved it’s potato starch fault they didn’t improve more?


  7. Wilbur on December 11, 2014 at 19:37


    Thanks for the mention! The main thing I want to say is that in the 5+ months since the post you linked, nothing has changed! Except that I seem to weigh about 3 lbs less. I’ve been through periods where I eat a lot, eat little, work out a lot, work out little, and my body self-adjusts. All autoimmune stuff still gone.

    You caught me on a day that I was remembering how different things were just over a year ago. I recently found a quart-sized ziplock travel toiletry bag in a suitcase that I haven’t used in a while. Lordy! Immodium AD, anti gas pills, Tums, Allegra AD. Stuff that I haven’t even thought about in many months. Don’t need any of it any more.

    I am perhaps a little more anal and regular than you suggest. It’s not 6:38 but definitely between 8:30-8:40 am as this is between the kid’s school bus and my morning errands, so that all the liquid has time to work its way out before my 2-hour walk. Similar for the night dose. People who know me would likely describe me as unwavering.

    Call me an Amazing Grass convert. I put one scoop in my fart drinks. Makes me very happy for some reason, even though the taste is, well, dubious?

    But I must emphasize that my typical diet also emphasizes fiber. I don’t know how much this matters. Today’s breakfast was an omelette with grassfed cheese, a ton of leeks, red onion, 3 large cloves of crushed garlic, and fermented hot sauce. I skipped lunch, going for a walk instead. I had a 2:30 snack of two carrots, one branch of celery, some hummus, 1 pint of blueberries, and a brown turkey fig. Dinner was two bowls of pinto beans with grassfed cheese, a bit of lamb, almost all of a bunch of green onions, a handful of cilantro, and more homemade fermented hot sauce. I’d say that’s typical, although dinner might feature meat a little more prominently.

    Good luck with Amimal Farts. Given my experience, I must say that it is a good step for most!

    • Wilbur on December 11, 2014 at 19:41

      Oops, I forgot that dinner also included about a dozen raw okra.

  8. Billy Bob on December 11, 2014 at 19:42

    First two comments, on very first blog on RS:

    Rob says:
    April 24, 2013 at 17:08

    I’d tend to respect Michael Eades over a potato farmer hiding behind the handle “tatertot.”

    Guess I’m wacky that way.
    Mark says:
    April 24, 2013 at 17:12

    Yeah Eades has never been wrong on anything. Ever. Anywhere.

    • Richard Nikoley on December 11, 2014 at 21:00

      Billy, that needs to be followed by one of those drum rifs after a bad joke in a comedy routine. :)

  9. space on December 11, 2014 at 22:53

    I did find Gemma’s points very illuminating, and quickly copied it.
    So I hope no-one minds if I take the liberty of pasting them again here for others who might find it useful.

    ‘The gut microbiome science is still scratching the surface only. Therefore, I think NOBODY should make any premature conclusions at this phase, given that:
    1. Fecal sample analysis might not represent the mucosa inhabitants (Akkermansia, Bifido) precisely.
2. I think it might not matter so much what species are there (except the clearly pathogenic ones). It matters what they DO, what genes they express. This is not reflected in AmGut or Ubiome reports, of course.

    3. There is something called horizontal gene transfer. It can easily be that the bacteria exchange (=steal) the needed genes and when doing that, they do not politely ask: “are you Bifido or not? Or, are you animal or human strain?” So it might be that the particular species composition expressing the right genes is performing its role just fine.

    4. Some “animal” Bifido were shown to be even better in displacing pathogens and protecting the mucosa then “human” species. I see no reason in celebrating some strains only. Everybody is different, displays different glycan composition and attracts or needs different bugs.

    5. When discussing the available info on mucosa guardians Angelmansia, pardon me, Akkermansia, it was proposed that they maybe show up when needed by us, in case of emergency. Maybe it is the opposite: they are high when there is enough for them to eat, and they also increase their numbers and provoke the creation of richer mucosal layer when THEY feel hungry, e.g. when an animal is hibernating and/or starving. They are predators, they do not care for us, they care for THEMSELVES, the little devils.
    And we could go on… ‘

  10. Harriet on December 12, 2014 at 01:46

    I have been sort of trying to give up my 4tbs potato starch habit off and on over the last six months but it has so many good things going for it that I’m loathe to do without them. When I stop taking it my sleep is nowhere near as good – not that its perfect when I take it, just that its much worse when I don’t. I regularly sleep reasonably well with PS and don’t without it. Regularity and consistency is great and general wellbeing is improved on PS. I’m trying to be much more irregular in what I eat without a great deal of success. I don’t know if its summer or if its because I’ve got things going a bit better (weeding a staph infection) but I’m certainly better than I was in March to October with slightly increased muscle strength and stamina these last couple of months as well as improved wellbeing.

  11. Sky on December 12, 2014 at 04:35


    Correct me if I’m wrong, but over on AnimalPharm, Dr. BG mentioned that you’re suffering from Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and he advised you to stay away from adding PS to your diet. I also saw an article by Dr. Hyman that those suffering from Hashimoto’s thyroiditis as well as other autoimmune conditions should also stay away from beans and legumes.

    What gives?

  12. Richard Nikoley on December 12, 2014 at 08:40

    It’s worth noting, also. Tim in a comment on that very first post:

    Yep. My Comment from that very first post:

    “I have heard that banana flour and plantain flour is the same thing.

    “Raw Potato Starch contains virtually no micronutrients. The banana/plantain flours contain more as they are not isolated starch, but the whole ground fruit.

    “Inulin powder is not RS, but it is a plant fiber that resists digestion. It is usually avoided by people with FODMAP intolerance, while potato starch is not a FODMAP. That being said, Inulin powder would probably be a good choice to put a bit of in a smoothy with potato starch as Inulin is considered to be a prebiotic, just like potato starch.

    “Taro powder also probably has very little RS as it seems to be made of amylopectin starch, which is not resistant. If you read up on ‘Poi’, which is fermented taro, it sounds like a really good source of nutrition.

    “I’m thinking a really good idea would be to make a mix of known RS starches and prebiotics, like potato starch, taro powder, banana flour, inulin, etc… and make a smoothy or mix with milk or yogurt every day. Go heavy on the potato starch or banana flour and a bit of the others.”

    Seems like a million years ago, doesn’t it?

    And also, from that very first post:

    “Edibility-wise, potato starch is not bad. It mixes well with any liquid and has no real taste and is not gritty, mealy, or pastey. I’ve eaten up to 4TBS (48g), which is 30-35g of RS, on an empty stomach with no digestive problems. I think it is a very good addition to your arsenal of RS foods.

    “So, after months of research, it’s come down to this: I eat potatoes almost every day, cooked in a variety of ways, a few raw slices, and lots of cold potatoes. I eat sushi when I can, beans on rare occasion, and I keep a baggy full of dried plantains on the counter to snack on. When I buy bananas, I get the greenest ones I can find. Sushi is eaten guilt free, especialy with raw fish and seaweed. I will eat legumes from time to time if thoughtfully prepared to remove toxins. I also keep a container of potato starch on the counter and am finding all kinds of ways to use it–in smoothies, milk, kefir, mixed with water and eaten with berries and mashed bananas, or just mixed with water and drank.”

    Like I said, in my view it was primarily pressure from low-carbers (and diabetics) to get benefits from gut feeding, without the starch load. I forgive the diabetics.

  13. Richard Nikoley on December 13, 2014 at 15:54

    Update: Well, the truce to deal with the science and only the science didn’t last long. I have permanently severed all ties with Ms. Liu:

    Fear of Raw Potato Starch Ingestion is Probably Irrational

  14. Jeff Johnson on December 15, 2014 at 02:36

    Scientists at Washington State University have concluded that nondigestible compounds in apples — specifically, Granny Smith apples — may help prevent disorders associated with obesity. The study, thought to be the first to assess these compounds in apple cultivars grown in the Pacific Northwest, appears in October’s print edition of the journal Food Chemistry.

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    “We know that, in general, apples are a good source of these nondigestible compounds but there are differences in varieties,” said food scientist Giuliana Noratto, the study’s lead researcher. “Results from this study will help consumers to discriminate between apple varieties that can aid in the fight against obesity.”

    The tart green Granny Smith apples benefit the growth of friendly bacteria in the colon due to their high content of non-digestible compounds, including dietary fiber and polyphenols, and low content of available carbohydrates. Despite being subjected to chewing, stomach acid and digestive enzymes, these compounds remain intact when they reach the colon. Once there, they are fermented by bacteria in the colon, which benefits the growth of friendly bacteria in the gut.

    The study showed that Granny Smith apples surpass Braeburn, Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious, McIntosh and Red Delicious in the amount of nondigestible compounds they contain.

    “The nondigestible compounds in the Granny Smith apples actually changed the proportions of fecal bacteria from obese mice to be similar to that of lean mice,” Noratto said.

    The discovery could help prevent some of the disorders associated with obesity such as low-grade, chronic inflammation that can lead to diabetes. The balance of bacterial communities in the colon of obese people is disturbed. This results in microbial byproducts that lead to inflammation and influence metabolic disorders associated with obesity, Noratto said.

    “What determines the balance of bacteria in our colon is the food we consume,” she said.

    Re-establishing a healthy balance of bacteria in the colon stabilizes metabolic processes that influence inflammation and the sensation of feeling satisfied, or satiety, she said.

  15. Sky on December 17, 2014 at 04:42

    […with input from Chris Kresser]

    Chris Kresser, the acupuncturist? I’ll let this article over on Jimmy’s blog speak for me regarding Chris Kresser and his philosophy on eating starchy carbs:

    I guess there will always be people who want their cake (carbs) and eat it too, because they just simply love their carbs!

    • FrenchFry on December 17, 2014 at 05:42

      Health-wise, anything from Jimmy Moore can be discarded. I hope I will never be looking like this guy and most of all, thinking about food like he does. The rest of the low-carb bunch can be read if you are curious, but delivering a message as they do as if every single person was pre or full type 2 diabetic is absurd. For that to be effective, they would have to prove they understand what causes diabetes. It does not look like they do from reading their prose.

    • Richard Nikoley on December 17, 2014 at 08:10

      What a stupid disgusting mess of an article. Fuck Jimmy and every one of his pip squeak and clown authorities.

      Jimmy going after Kresser on health? Laf.

  16. Cat on January 2, 2015 at 11:41

    Hey Richard & all RS aficionados!

    Whelp, my family & I have been doing the potato starch (as the family member with reeealy screwed up guts, I’m pulling a Wilbur – alllll the fibers! and currently Probiotic 3) – and we’re seeing impressive results thus far. Much yay! There’s a lot I could go on and on about (like all of us here, I’m calling this a game changer for me & mine – could write about improvements all day :P), but I’m writing with a specific question that I hope someone here can answer.

    An extended family member with known gut dysbiosis of some degree would really like to try RS – but she has fructose malabsorption, and is hesitant lest she kick off the IBS associated with any substantial fructose intake. The research I’ve been able to find is scarce (and, from a gut biome perspective often seriously out of date or misguided), but reading between the lines, I’m seeing there could be a substantial issue for her in trying RS.

    Does anyone here using RS have FM? Richard, do you remember coming across this in any comments (I’ve read literally thousands of comments here searching for this – but you undoubtedly read *every* comment :D).

    Could anyone comment on literature searches you’ve come across or your own knowledge of how FM might interact with RS intake in combination with (and a month of pre-loading of) one of the Big Three probiotics?

    Considering all we’ve learned about gut flora, it seems intuitive to me that some bug/suite of bugs in the guts are probably *designed* to manage fructose issues and that my family member may be missing them entirely (her diet has been truly frightening – there is every chance that she’s missing more than a few absolutely necessary critters down there). That said, making her symptoms radically worse shouldn’t be necessary in order to make her better….there must be a way to help her flora without that.

    Help me Obi-wan :)

    Thanks so much for any info you guys!

  17. Gemma on January 2, 2015 at 12:54


    Why do you think that it is caused by genetic inability if “her diet has been truly frightening”?

    • Cat on January 2, 2015 at 12:58

      Simple numbers – so many people have fructose issues :) And there’s nothing saying it can’t be both, especially for this kid!

      The reason the question is important at this juncture however, is throwing RS at SIBO can exacerbate things (judging by reports here), whereas throwing RS at her system in absence of SIBO but in the presence of large intestine dysbiosis (with the safety net of good probiotics) could really help her. Helping is better! I am pro helping :)

    • Gemma on January 2, 2015 at 13:10


      Fructose should be absorbed in SI, but due to FM it is not, therefore large intestine dysbiosis.
      I am not sure RS will cure it all alone, if there is SIBO, of yeast overgrowth in SI.

    • Cat on January 2, 2015 at 13:49

      Agreed yes, that’s my reasoning at this point as well :) Still scouring the internet and begging answers & data points to inform that reasoning further!

  18. giskard on March 28, 2015 at 16:05

    I’m wondering if you’ve seen PGX:

    “PolyGlycopleX® (α-D-glucurono-α-D-manno-β-D-manno- β-D-gluco, α-L-gulurono-β-D mannurono, β-D-gluco-β- D-mannan), commonly known as PGX, is a natural polysaccharide complex. ”

    I sesarched “PGX flora” on pubmed and found this:

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