Unfortunately, a certain blogger still seems more interested in promoting that irrational fear. I’ll leave it to readers to discern motivations.
So, first a little housecleaning. I waffle back and forth between regretting taking down a post laying out my beefs with Ms. Grace Liu, and being relieved because of the involvement or proximity of other parties. The latter outweighs the former, so it will forever remain as is. I was also relieved because it presented an opportunity to move forward and debate the science: Moving Forward: My Approach to Evaluating the Science and Knowledge of the Gut Biome and Resistant Starch.
I’m moving forward alright, but with absolutely zero contact or collaboration with Ms. Liu. She is simply not behaving in accordance with, or in the spirit of our agreement when she asked me to take down the post and I agreed, with conditions.
Hours after I made 100% good on my end, I get an email asking to make sure I acknowledge her “contributions” in the book, going so far as to say, explicitly, that everything Tim Steele has said or written since October of 2013, he got from her. Without agreeing with her delusion, I grit my teeth and agree that I will acknowledge her, even offering to email a pre-publication copy to make sure it was to her satisfaction.
Then, this comment shows up in her blog: “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.” I feel embarrassed to even have to refute such illogical muddled balderdash. My untreated TSH improved between 2008 and today. It was normal during 2010 – 2012 because I was on medication, which I ceased over two years ago and have not had a test of any kind until last week. Moreover, I told Ms. Liu this in an email and the answer back was ‘no, potato starch compromised your gut and that’s why you didn’t heal.’ It’s like saying: Yea, your hypothyroidism got better during the last 2 ears of not being on medication, but it’s because of the RPS it’s not improved more! Pretty illogical; as unfalsifiable as it is unprovable. Incidentally, I just had two comments on my blog this morning from guys whose TSH has gone down since supplementing PS.
Then, the kicker in her comments this morning. I suspect she’s answering her own sock puppet.
RN is a little skank and i support you. so will other people.
Dr. B G said…
Thank you Anon. I appreciate your warm support. I won’t be silenced, by lies or skankiness. ;)
The final thing is Tim’s post that I will address below: Raw Potato Starch; A Great Prebiotic!
Accordingly, the following outlines my course of action moving forward.
- This will be the very last time I will speak or write of Grace Liu in any way; will accept no contact from her, regardless of context or terms.
- I have taken steps to have all 700+ links to her blog going back to 2008 (352 of them from her) expunged from mine.
- I will not acknowledge any asserted “contributions” by her in any manner.
Now, on the matter of Tim’s post, one of the falsehoods bandied about is that we encouraged people to load up on raw potato starch with no concern for food or other fiber supplements. I already addressed that, but let me reiterate. Here’s a comment by Tatertot himself in the very first post we did on resistant starch.
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.
And here’s what he wrote in the post itself:
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.
In short, PS was merely an entry point for some, particularly LCers and diabetics who were unsure of adding any digestible carbohydrate to their diet. One thing it did do for most people is convince them in no uncertain terms that the gut biome is very important. That there are clear effects is hard to miss.
And yet, in Ms. Liu’s (neither will I refer to her as “Dr.”) comments, she has some so irrationally fearful that I’ve seen stuff of the form, ‘oh thank you thank you thank you; I’m so upset that Tim and Richard put the health of myself and my family at risk.’ Her responses to these kinds of comments generally signal, to me, what her underlying motivations are in this.
Tim’s post is about a single variable science experiment with 4 individuals, covering a six week intervention with a single intervention theme (1 subject had it in kefir, another with a bit of psyllium). You guessed it: raw potato starch. Some of you actually helped make this happen by funding the project.
I’ll not take away Tim’s thunder and besides, he does a very careful job of laying out the testing hypothesis, something I find quite refreshing vis-a-vis the manner in which Ms. Liu presents her assertions.
- Well, clear stated hypothesis
- Logical set of questions for research to answer
- Establishes a clear standard of success by means of reference to the very latest published research (November, 2014)
- Presents clear results that meet the standard of success
Here’s the punchline. These four species are specifically mentioned as important targets of attention in the research Tim cites.
To recap the dietary interventions:
Adult 1 – Added 4TBS of potato starch daily
Adult 2 – Added 2TBS of potato starch daily, mixed with kefir
Child 1 – Added 1TBS of potato starch daily, plus 1tsp of psyllium husk
Child 2 – Added 1TBS of potato starch daily
The dietary intervention lasted for 6 weeks, and the final fecal samples were taken on the last day.
An examination of the data shows that each subject had considerable increases in bifidobacterium, and mainly increases in the other bacteria suggested as targets for prebiotics by Rastall and Gibson. The slight decreases were most pronounced in the subject (Child 2) who ate the least amount of total fiber supplements, but ironically, this subject also had the largest increase in bifidobacteria.
The species of bifidobacteria detected in the samples were ~95% Bifidobacterium breve, with smaller amounts of animalis, dentium, longum, and pseudolongum.
So, even being skeptical of sequencing results, it seems pretty difficult and downright unreasonable to make a claim that raw potato starch harmed any of these subjects over six weeks, a claim Ms. Liu has been asserting for months in a bunch of posts.