Friday, September 5, 2014

RS2 vs RS3 Put to the (Gut) Test! Part 1

I have a bit of exciting news for those of you who are 'gut bug nerds' like me.  I just got back my uBiome results for a sample taken after 6 weeks of 'real food only.'  No potato starch or inulin, no probiotics, no supplements of any kind...just food.

But first, some background I thought you might like.

I was wracking my brain trying to remember when I got the idea that potato starch would make a good RS supplement.  I found it!  The exact moment was January 31st, 2013.  This was my comment in a very good discussion at Mark's Daily Apple in a thread called "Resistant Starch: A Solution in Search of a Problem?"  252 comments in that thread, but you can see my entire knowledge base of RS developing if you read it.  Even a cameo appearance by a Hi-Maize marketing director, RS Queen, in an attempt to sell us on Hi-Maize.

Anyway, here's what sparked a mini-revolution:

01-31-2013, 05:10 PM

otzi's Avatar


I have searched the interwebz extensively, at least for 2 hours, which makes me a genius in this topic...

Someone talk me out of buying a bag of potato starch and adding 50g/day it to a cold food or beverage.

I see studies like this (abstract only, but that's OK, I wouldn't read it all anyway):

Resistant starch: the effect on postprandial glycemia, hormonal response, and satiety.

The effect of resistant starch (RS) on postprandial plasma concentrations of glucose, lipids, and hormones, and on subjective satiety and palatability ratings was investigated in 10 healthy, normal-weight, young males. The test meals consisted of 50 g pregelatinized starch (0% RS) (S) or 50 g raw potato starch (54% RS) (R) together with 500 g artificially sweetened syrup. After the R meal postprandial plasma concentrations of glucose, lactate, insulin, gastric inhibitory polypeptide (GIP), glucagon-like peptide-1, and epinephrine were significantly lower compared with after the S meal. Moreover, subjective scores for satiety and fullness were significantly lower after the R meal than after the S meal. Differences in GIP, texture, and palatability may have been involved in these findings. In conclusion, the replacement of digestible starch with RS resulted in significant reductions in postprandial glycemia and insulinemia, and in the subjective sensations of satiety.
I have not seen anywhere that raw potato starch, such as this: Bob's Red Mill Potato Starch, Unmodified, All Natural - 4 x 24 ozs. would be bad for your health, or unhealthy in any way.

Many people have said NOT to eat raw potatoes, but I think that is just an old wives' tale. I will agree that eating raw potato skins, or potatoes with green in them is bad, but clean, peeled potatoes should be fine to eat in any amount.

Can anyone provide any info that eating potato starch (or even raw potato) is harmful?

Despite PKlopp's best attempts, I am still convinced RS has a place in our diet. I would love to try 30-50g/day and see what happens. I don't want to use Hi-Maize. I don't really want to eat that much raw potato. Unless someone can provide evidence that uncooked potato starch is not healthy, I may seriously try this soon.

Sorry about the sloppy quotes there, but you get the idea...

I think was only a day or two later when I found Bob's Red Mill at the local grocery store and started out by taking 4 TBS a day.

Prior to this I had your typical 'modern, dyspeptic gut.'  Frequent heartburn, diaarrhea, nausea, constipation, foul-smelling gas, upset stomach, etc..

A day of two after starting potato starch, I started getting a huge flatulence increase, at first a bit on the odoriferous side, but quickly turning to loud, long, and not lethal.  I think the whole transformation took about 3 weeks, and after 6 weeks I seemed to have a super-healthy gut.

My diet at that time was more in line with Perfect Health Diet, but very little fiber.  Nothing was cooked and cooled, I knew nothing about fermentable fiber or MACs. So, really, the only real fiber in my diet was the 4TBS of potato starch.

I wondered if I was crazy, everyone I mentioned my experiment to thought so.  Finally, I made a few comments on Free The Animal and got Richard Nikoley hooked on the idea, too.  That was in May 2013, I believe.  Soon, he was trying it and had loads of his blog readers trying it.  Over the next year, the world got turned on to potato starch.

In June 2013, the American Gut Project opened up to everyone.  I sent a sample of my poo to them for analysis.  The results took six months!  You can read about my results here.      

Bottom-line, my gut microbes looked amazing!  High in 'good' bacteria and low in 'bad.'

This year I did some experimenting with different diets and different gut testing companies.

Tomorrow I will share some of the results, I'm still putting them together.  Besides, I think I took up enough space today.



  1. "I have a bit of exciting news..."


  2. "Tomorrow I will share some of the results..."


  3. Today! Wanted today! How much Oxalobacter formigenes do you have?

  4. I look forward to reading all about your sh*t tommorrow! :-)

    I supplement with PS but try to get most of my RS from food. I've just bought a high-powered blender and wondered if anyone has tried adding raw potatoes to a smoothie? I'm too afraid to try it as I can't afford to waste good ingredients if it turns out to be inedible. Would all of the RS survive being pulverised like that? The same goes for green bananas, which I'm getting really fed up of at the moment. I still enjoy them in a smoothie though.

    1. Bananas and potatoes will be fine blended, in fact the Wheat Belly guy, Dr. Davis, is recommending it for all his people:

      " can incorporate foods available in modern grocery stores that mimic such practices. Among the foods that yield such fibers:

      Green unripe bananas or plantains–with around 27 grams prebiotic fibers per medium sized banana

      Raw peeled potato–with around 20 grams per 3 1/2-inch medium

      Inulin powder–with 5 grams per teaspoon

      Bob’s Red Mill raw unmodified potato starch–8 grams per tablespoon

      Legumes, lentils, chickpeas, hummus–Around 3 grams per 1/4-cup. But we have to be careful here, as any more than this quantity and blood sugars start to climb to unhealthy levels.

      I pick one of the above foods and include them in a smoothie every morning along with, for instance, a cup of unsweetened coconut milk, some blueberries or other berries, a few drops of stevia, etc. If you choose the banana, peel it like an apple or chop off the ends and slit the skin, as it is very tough to skin when green. Chop both banana and potato coarsely before putting in the blender; a blender with a strong motor is advised."

    2. Thanks for the link Tim. I shall add some raw potato to my smoothie when I'm feeling brave. I also like the idea of adding legumes and lentils as I always have some in my freezer nowadays.

  5. Yeah, yeah...sorry! I didn't want to dump a blog that took 20 minutes to read on you guys.

    Gemma - very, very little! But average. Much bigger surprises in store...check back tomorrow!

    All will soon be revealed!

  6. Hi Tim, I'm trying to figure out how best to take RS. Currently I'm taking Prescript Assist and another general probiotic morning and evening with meals, along with 2 T potato starch in water. (The goal is to "seed" the probiotics so that, in a month, I'll only have to take them twice weekly.) After this, "things move" once in the morning, but this is not enough and I have to take a laxative. And my goal with the probiotics and RS is to stop needing laxatives! Do you think the RS is feeding a bacterial overgrowth of some kind?

    1. It's just impossible to say.

      Do you drink coffee in the morning? Try a hot cup and then wait a bit to 'move things.' I've also heard you can get hooked on laxatives and getting off them is tough. Sorry, no better advice!

    2. Dandelion root tincture, 5 to 10 drops before each meal. That gets my husband moving.

  7. excellent thread already.

    i was just wondering if people with auto-immune are somewhat able to tolerate the potato starch?

    i have some kind of leaky gut/SIBO/IBS whatever and have been using 5 gm glutamine 2x day, protein powder 3x day, gelatin 2x day, kelp powder, zinc carnosine and staying with a Paleo diet but its not resolved yet. Getting ready to buy AOR, Prescript Assist + GOL Primal Defense but they're expensive.

    Any suggestions?


    1. No idea! But I have chronic fatigue which is an auto-immune disorder. I started off with the potato starch, but started with tiny amounts. There is no way I could do 4 tablespoons. Start with half a teaspoon. If no effect then quickly increase. If your gut is a mess you'll soon know.

    2. thanks. tried some small scoops (maybe 1/2 tsp) of PS, inulin, and apple fiber. 20 mins later got back pain in the middle of my back. interesting thing is before i went Paleo about 6 months ago i had recurring neck pain, mid back pain and low back pain and lately most of it went away. i had it for many years and never thought it might be related to my diet.

    3. I don't know about the mid back pain. For me when I've taken too much RS I get lower back paint which I assumed was my kidneys being stressed. My lymph nodules also swell. I took it all as a sign that my body's elimination organs aren't coping. RS plus some of the recommended probiotics sets off huge detox reactions in me. I usually just scale down until I can cope. And slowly slowly increase.
      You could start with 1/4 teaspoon. The only way forward with this seems to be tiny amounts to begin with if you have health issues.
      Good luck!

    4. "interesting thing is before i went Paleo about 6 months ago i had recurring neck pain, mid back pain and low back pain and lately most of it went away."

      So you had gut dysbiosis and leaky gut before paleo which contributed to you chronic pain, on paleo (let me guess, a low carb version) the bugs were reduced a bit.
      Now you are waking them up again, they start multiplying, and either start the battle for nutrients among themselves or translocating into your tissues. Or both. You maybe feeding "caged vipers" or starting to witness the beginning of improvement which includes some suffering.

      It is always the same story. Do not forget to weed and seed.

    5. Gemma when you write 'translocating into your tissues', what does that mean? Is it just something temporary until everything settles down?

    6. Maybe, too, start thinking about natural anti-bacterial, anti-fungal type foods like garlic, onions, cinammon, turmeric, ginger, etc... and lots of herbal tea. Just keep beating on the pathogens and feeding the whole biome, hopefully the conditions will get right for the good guys to take over.

      You should also get some kind of test to see what you are up against, even if it is just a uBiome.

    7. "Is it just something temporary until everything settles down?"

      You specify nothing more and I am no doctor so I can say what I want and it is up to you to chose. You are on your own n=1 here, OK?

      Yes, the bacteria can travel in your body as they much as they like and if the gut is leaky, it is much easier for them to enter the blood or lymph circulation, and make party anywhere. Or any other stuff can pass the barrier, not only bacteria.

      So having your endothelium working properly is a key, and there can be so many factors.

      If the problem persists, have some testing done so that you know what you are fighting.

      I have mentioned weeding and seeding, I hope you know what I mean (if not, ask).

      I hope it is also clear to everybody by now that supplementing raw potato starch is not enough.

      And do not forget to move and exercise - daily.

    8. "Yes, the bacteria can travel in your body as they much as they like and if the gut is leaky, it is much easier for them to enter the blood or lymph circulation, and make party anywhere."

      Ahh! I see now. Thanks so much, somehow I never quite got that bit. I knew about the gut/brain connection but had never thought about the 'translocating' part.
      Thanks again. I'm much better. Slowly increasing PS, adding in probiotics and a range of other RS has helped enormously. And right now have some beet kvass brewing!

  8. were your new results done only utilizing RS3 and no RS2, then? Based on what was recently on AnimalPharm about RS2 vs RS3, I am super interested to see what kind of difference replacing rs2 with rs3 makes.
    best wishes,

    1. All will be revealed tomorrow.....wooooooooooo.

      Spoiler - not much difference!

  9. How important is it to peel the potatoes or not eat the skin? I have never had a problem with nightshades but don't want to either if the skins are really bad for you.

    1. I always peel store bought potatoes, they are treated with lots of chemicals to keep them from rotting, sprouting, and getting eaten by bugs.

      I rarely peel homegrown potatoes.

      The skins aren't bad for you, just the stuff that could be on them.

    2. Organic store bought would be an exception? Or is that another loophole in calling something organic?

    3. I'd think that well-scrubbed organic would be fine. I'm not sure of the criteria for calling potatoes 'organic,' but if they use sprout inhibitors I'd want to peel them. Sprout inhibitors are kinda nasty. It keeps the potato from growing while in long term storage.

      There are organic ways to prevent sprouting, as this paper suggests:

      It may be worth calling the people that produce the organic potatoes you buy to find out if they use chemical sprout inhibitors, etc... maybe they have a website?