Monday, April 27, 2015

Resistant Starch Studies

It's been a while since I've written anything about RS. Today, I found the full-texts of a couple of new research articles on RS and thought I'd share. The first paper is about RS3, from tapioca starch as compared to a seaweed-derived fiber . The second is about the benefits of green banana flour. Let's dig in.

Resistant starch diet induces change in the swine microbiome and a predominance of beneficial bacterial populations

In this study, researchers compared the prebiotic effect of alginates and RS3. Alginates are a class of fiber derived from certain seaweed that are shown to be beneficial. The RS3 was from tapioca, as found in a product called ActiStar, used by food manufacturers to increase fiber contents in food. It's made my repeatedly heating and cooling tapioca starch in a controlled fashion until the starch has retrograded (crystallized) turning into RS3...I doubt you could make this at home, and it does not seem to be readily available for consumer purchase.

What the study found was that the gut bacteria of the pigs fed RS3 were of a much favorable profile over pigs fed alginate or a control diet, although alginate did have some good effect.

In conclusion, RS exhibited the strongest structural variation compared to ALG, which is likely resultant from the contrasting physicochemical properties of these dietary fibers. The increase in relative abundance of Lachnospiraceae-, Prevotella -and Ruminococcus - affiliated phylotypes in RS pigs can be considered as desirable traits given the reputation of these groups in fiber degradation and production of short chain fatty acids. Moreover, resistant starch and to a lesser extent alginate, influenced the imputed functionality of predicted metagenomes and correlation between bacterial phylotypes and PCWCs.

PCWCs are Plant Cell Wall Components, and what the researchers saw was that the pigs fed RS were better able to utilize all of the parts of the plant, ie. diverse fibers like cellulose, pectin, and xylan. The takeaway from this paper is that once again, RS3 is shown to be a great prebiotic.  While we may not have access to ActiStar, we can get ample RS3 just by pre-cooking, then cooling, our beans, rice, and potatoes.  Eat them with corn tortillas for bonus points!

Green banana flour

Resistant starch: a functional food that prevents DNA damage and chemical carcinogenesis.

This paper is from a university in Brazil examining the effects of RS on cancer causing foods. Brazil seems to have plenty of both (RS and cancer) and hope they can use one to fight the other.

Here we see researchers giving rats a chemical that is nearly guaranteed to cause cancer. The rats are injected with 1,2-dimethylhydrazine, a chemical with the sole purpose of causing cancer in lab animals.

Some of the rats injected with this powerful carcinogen were fed green banana flour and others regular rat food. As you can guess, the rats getting the green banana flour fared much better. The researchers were actually very surprised at how much better, though.

A reminder of what RS is all about, (from the paper):

Studies suggest that diets containing prebiotics such as resistant starch plays a significant role in preventing colorectal cancer due to the high potential antigenotoxic, antimutagenic, and anticarcinogenic activities of these compounds.  According to Champ and Faisant (1996), resistant starch is the starch fraction that provides  no glucose to the body. However, resistant starch is fermented in the large intestine mainly to  produce gases and short-chain fatty acids. The activities of resistant starch, as well as the effects observed in this study, are attributable to these characteristics.

Remember now?

This is maybe the first paper I've seen where they looked for the ability of RS to lessen a carcinogen's effect. Chemical carcinogens, such as pesticides and industrial contaminates that may find there way into our food supply, have shown to damage DNA (genotoxicity), mutate cells (mutagenicity), and cause cancer (carcinogenicity). The chemical they gave these rats is known to interact with DNA to cause cancer.

...we concluded that green banana flour may be an important food compound with cancer-preventing activity. Thus, including green banana flour in the daily diet of  the general population could prevent genome damage associated with cancer development or  even prevent cancer development. Even if cancer is already present in the body, the continual  intake of this food supplement could be beneficial.

The researchers gave several reasons why green banana flour works so well, and mainly attribute the effects to the RS content, such as improved pH, more butyrate, and more rapid cell turnover in a healthy gut. They concluded their study with:

In carcinogenesis, resistant starch is believed to reduce the incidence of cancer biomarkers and improve disease  prognosis by minimizing the number of biomarkers that develop into tumors. Thus, resistant  starch has therapeutic properties that could be exploited in human dietary applications.

Unlike the first study that used RS3 from tapioca (ActiStarc), this research used a much more achievable RS source. The simply took green bananas, dipped them in hypochlorite and citric acid, then sliced 1cm thick and dried in an oven at 122 deg F (50C) for 72 hours. After drying, they ground the dried bananas into a flour.

This is easily do-able at home. The hypochlorite and citric acid steps are unneeded, these steps are used to disinfect and prevent was probably just done to provide a pure sample to the lab rats. I have been making a similar thing for several years now. I take very green plantain bananas and slice them thinly and air dry in the sun or in a very low heat oven. If you heat them above about 135 degrees, you will destroy the RS, so keep the heat low.  A fan directed at them works great, too.

I just eat the dried plantains like crackers.  They are crunchy and sort of tasteless, but good for mindless eating. 

Here's some pictures of my green plaintains:

See?  Too easy!  Now you know how to do it and that they are good for you, so what's your excuse? And also remember to cool those starches after you cook them for maximum RS3.

Any questions?


  1. Do you eat the peel? I think the article implied that the peel was included. From the picture it looks like you separate the fruit from the peel. Thanks for this post!

    1. No, I throw the peel away. In the paper, they say "Green banana skin and pulp drying method..." in the heading to the section that describes how they made the flour. I have no idea why they used the word 'skin' there. Here is a paragraph from the reference where the method came from (Juarez-Garcia, 2006):

      "Commercial hard green (unripe) preclimacteric banana ( Musa paradisiaca L.) fruits were purchased from the local market of Cuautla, Morelos, Mexico. They were peeled and cut into 1cm slices, immediately rinsed in citric acid solution (0.3% w/v). The slices were dried at 50 ◦ C, ground using a commercial grinder (Mapisa Internacional S.A. de C.V., M ́ exico, D.F.) to pass a US 50 sieve and stored at 25 ◦ C in sealed plastic containers for further analyses."

      I have tried using green bananas, like the kind we call 'dessert bananas' that turn very yellow, and they always turn brown when I dry them. I think the sugar content in supermarket-type US bananas is simply too high. I prefer to use plantains. They are much higher in RS and stay very white when you dry them.

    2. We have green cooking bananas here. Beautiful speciments. But they don't get sweet. Peeps put them in soup. Must say, blech. The powdered stuff is good for smoothies though. Whatever floats the boat, so to say.

  2. Isn't the WEDO banana flour the same thing for us that just want to add it to yogurt or smoothies?

    1. lol. Yes, it is! Sorry, I should have mentioned that.

      I actually forwarded the article to the Wedo Gluten free guys before I wrote this.

  3. I make smoothies using green bananas. I know you can't eat raw plantains but do you think they could be used in a morning smoothie?

    Thanks, Kelly

  4. Just some "sharing with the group" from the ASD perspective: My younger ASD daughter has a seizure disorder (about 1 in 3 ASD persons do). She has great difficulty burning long chain fatty acids. A couple things that burn LCFAs are phosphatidylcholine and butyrate. I have been giving my daughter egg yolk lecithin pills(yes they sell those in pills, thankfully!) because they seem to have more impact for her than dietary eggs. She has been seizure free and med free for a handful of years now thanks to the egg yolk lecithin.

    Increasing SCFA production via RS fermentation seems it like would be in her circumstance to provide butyrate, but has RS has unfavorable digestive consequences for her. One of which I believe is SIBO. I think the SIBO is only a symptom of pancreatic insufficiency since a pancreas that can't produce enough enzymes allows for the opportunistic SIBO overgrowth.

    Also of note, some of the earlier ASD trials involved secretin (which failed). Her uncle was also dx'd with Type 1 diabetes when he was 5 years old which was triggred by the flu so there is a history of autoimmune susceptibility in the fam.

    I'd love to be able to restore her gut microbiota, but RS wreaks havoc on her (and my) gut. My oldest ASD daughter also gets IBS symptoms from RS. If their SIBO/IBS symptoms are due to EPI, then I doubt there is anything I'll ever be able to do since it's not a regenerative ability apparently. I'm trialing OTC digestive enzymes to see what happens. If that goes well, I may begin to add RS. Even if she has to go on lifelong pancreatic enzymes, if the least she can do is tolerate RS, then that's better than nothing.

    My hope (maybe a misguided one) is by providing enzymes, she can begin to ferment like an average healthy person. I'm also going to try this for myself since I'm a bit more self-aware than she is.

    What I've learned by the supplements I've given her that have actually help her behavior and health (vitamin E, egg yolk lecithin (soy lecithin was nearly as good), d-ribose, inositol, et al. is she was eating tons of food and not obtaining nutrients from food, her body was still starving. It reminded me of a childhood friend who had cystic fibrosis and had to take tons of vitamins everyday. It would be a dream if I could get her to microbiota efficiency and at least reduce some of supplements.

    I know my post is probably way OT to your blog today, but I was reading the quotes you highlighted in blue and wanted to confirm, albeit in a roundabout way, how important those SCFAs are from a front-line view. Mitochondria has a harder time burning LCFAs and needs help from various sources otherwise it's seizures, migraines, diabetes (and maybe even cancer susceptibility from reading your research finds!)

    Another side note. My dog has SIBO and had high folate levels (an indicator of SIBO). He was on his way to irritable bowel disease. He's on a low fat high fiber/carb diet now and antibiotics helped kill the SIBO. He was on his way to IBD and prednisone. The diet is expensive, but changed the game for him with the help of antibiotics. I'm not selling anything so I won't mention the name of the company but it's a company that sells dehydrated real food (not kibble). After seeing him get better, I'm thinking of experimenting low fat/ high fiber on myself as well as I've read fat is the most stimulating of pancreatic enzymes and perhaps most taxing. I still have to research that statement further, however. Still in the reading phase.

    I'll be sure to share with the group if I have any luck with my OTC digestive enzymes and then later attempt to add in RS, etc. Any helpful thoughts, pointers or critiques are welcome! Thanks!

    1. Hi Janie - Thanks for the note! I love hearing people's stories and what they are trying. I have a few dots to connect here, so bear with me.

      In Autism Spectrum Disorder, certain gut bacteria may be over represented. Not sure if anyone knows why, but they see it regularly, as described in this paper: Fecal microbiota and metabolome of children with autism and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified. Throughout the paper it mentions Enterobacter being found in the stools of ASD kids.

      I also recently read another paper that discusses Enterobacter.

      An opportunistic pathogen isolated from the gut of an obese human causes obesity in germfree mice

      In this paper, they correlated Enterobacter with obesity, but also gave a case study were a person who's gut was dominated by Enterobacter cleared this bacteria nearly completely away following a diet of whole grains, prebiotics, and traditional Chinese medicine herbs eaten daily in a porridge. From this paper:

      "The endotoxin-producing Enterobacter decreased in relative abundance from 35% of the volunteer’s gut bacteria to non-detectable, during which time the volunteer lost 51.4 kg of 174.8 kg initial weight and recovered from hyperglycemia and hypertension after 23 weeks on a diet of whole grains, traditional Chinese medicinal foods and prebiotics."

      The diet was this:

      "Dietary intervention and sampling. This volunteer was given a diet composed of whole grains, traditional Chinese medicine and prebiotics (WTP diet) for intervention. He was given 4 cans of gruel per day as staple food contract prepared in the form of cooked porridge (370 g wet weight per can) then canned by a food manufacturer (Shanghai Meilin Meida Food Co., Ltd.) for 23 weeks. Each can contained 100 g dry ingredients (59 g of carbohydrate, 15 g of protein, 5 g of fat, and 6 g of fiber) providing 336 kcal energy (70 % of carbohydrate, 17 % of protein, 13 % of fat)."

      I know this description doesn't give much to go on, but it might be worth a try to eat a diet very heavy in whole grains and healing type herbs such as onions, garlic, fennel, mint, nettles, and so on, for a couple of weeks and see if it restores some gut function.

    2. Janie -

      I have no special expertise or anything, so what I say might not be helpful.

      IMHO, RS is a small part of a big puzzle. It is needed to complete the puzzle, but so are a lot of other pieces. As I understand things, RS is very quickly fermented in the large intestine - it is like pure sugar to a child. Although my understanding might be incomplete, having fast fermentation occur very near the connection between the small and large intestines might not be a good idea for some. Maybe this is a cause or exacerbation of the SIBO or IBS that some experience with RS.

      There are lots of fibrous foods that are similar. Dandelion and yacon root come to mind, but probably several everyday vegetables too.

      I wonder if switching to longer chain, slower fermenting fibers would help? Get things working, and then maybe reintroduce PS. Things like long-chain inulin ("Syontix" in the US)' psyllium, partially hydrolyzed guar gum, etc. Even cellulose, which seems to be partially fermentable. I'm loathe to say it, but maybe Metamucil, designed to be gentle.

      I agree with Tim on the herbs. Since starting my high fiber diet, I have had intense cravings for raw garlic and onions. They are as important to me as anything else.

      Good luck!

    3. Ah! Good point, Wilbur. I received this email today from someone else who is trying different fibers:

      "Hi Tim,

      You probably already knew this, but not all inulin is the same. The stuff that worked wonders for me was Now Foods Organic Inulin. I ran out and found what I thought was a better deal. I noticed the powder looked and dissolved differently from the Now Foods stuff. My symptoms returned within two days of using the new inulin.

      I investigated further--the new inulin was derived from chicory root. The Now Foods is derived from agave. "

    4. And for Janie - Another email I got from someone brainstorming ASD:

      "My thoughts on this ... mostly about the bacteria. There are so many
      links with ASD and dysbiosys.
      Feeding will not be nearly enough. The microbiome of ASD people and IBS are very similar. I think any tie-in with vaccines and ASD could be
      because the vaccines disrupt the microbiome. The camel milk people
      sometimes have decent results (kefir). Even FMT could make a
      difference, but that family sounds a little messed up everywhere.
      Sometimes antibiotics even. I've seen mouse studies where they can
      induce ASD like symptoms just by shifting the bacteria. Unfortunately,
      you may never see 100% reversal, but you can get significant

    5. Thanks for reprinting my comment about the inulin, Tim. Live Journal has denied I have an ID, but this is Kathy Princesskpsd.

      I'm flattered that you found it interesting enough to publish! I've also found that less is more with this stuff. Last night I tried some of the potato starch-banana-flour-inulin mixture (1 teaspoon) and no horrific symptoms today. It would be pretty amazing if that worked so fast. If it did, I wouldn't be surprised if the inulin is from agave cactus. I had hesitated to take it because potato starch historically has created a traffic jam. But given how synergistic these things can be, you never know until you try!

    6. I've also been playing around with different fibers. I strongly suspect that RPS is feeding something in me that's contributing to weight gain. Of course, I can't say for certain, but the more I eliminate RPS and cooked/cooled potatoes, the more I'm able to lose recently-gained weight (which had mostly landed in my midsection). I'm fine with cooked and cooled rice and legumes, but the potatoes are nailing me . . . it seems. I miss the extreme mellowness I experienced with the 3-4 T daily of RPS, though in retrospect I also think it was negatively affecting my mental sharpness. I'm not sleeping quite as well while being off RPS, but I'm sleeping well enough. I've been taking NOW inulin and psyllium husk powder, and have recently tried the Syontix inulin. When I take the Syontix, I feel mentally and emotionally calmer, but not in the same way as being on the RPS. It's more of a feeling of being mentally focused and . . . resolute . . . less scattered and more able to be goal oriented.

      I've also been trying something I read on FTA – taking a (relatively) heavy load of probiotics in the morning, on an empty stomach, and then eating when I'm hungry, which ends up being 1-2 hours later. Previously, I had always been taking probiotics with fibers, either from a bottle or in food. Thus far, I have better energy when I take probiotics and prebiotics separately.


    7. @ Tim

      Regarding the enterobacter study you quoted, I came across this in one of the herb forums I frequent (in reference to the same study):
      I found that at least some herbs used in the study for 26-year-old very morbidly obese man were Bitter Melon aka Momordica charantia along with fermented "Chinese yams."


    8. Cheryl (and anyone else) -

      It's a long story, but I have recently come to the conclusion that there might be more to my weight loss (40 lbs) that happened with no effort on my part. I was very, very, very stable for about a year, and then I slowly crept up 4 lbs. (OMG! I hear people saying. It was very stable before.) I was racking my brain trying to figure out what I was doing differently. I did notice that I had lost my intense cravings for garlic and onions. As such, I was eating a lot less of them. So I made a point of eating more, and the intense cravings returned. I eat raw garlic and onion with every meal. Guess what? I slowly lost 3 of the 4 lbs, and I have no doubt the last one will come soon.

      I have no doubt about the gain and loss. The waist of my summer shorts do not lie.

      There is resaearch showing that the gut bugs can create cravings (albeit in the context of sugar). I'm wondering if the antimicrobial effects of garlic and onion help to ensure that the right guys feed on the fibers.

      I've long wondered why others do not seem to enjoy the weight loss I did. Maybe the garlic and onion is something I do different. I eat close to a head of garlic per day, and about half of a large onion, usually red. Or lots of scallions.

    9. @ Wilbur

      It's all very interesting, isn't it? I also crave onions, especially scallions. I'm adding raw scallions to just about everything. There are so many factors to all of this. It's hard to keep track of it all. I'll keep your garlic and onion experience in mind, to see if it makes a difference for me.


    10. Tim: I read the studies you listed so thank you for the links and for your time. There is a lot of information for me to "digest" in all these wonderful replies.

      To summarize what I think I'm reading here is that I'm basically experiencing common issues as others here trying these various fibers. I'm a thin person who drops weight easily but after switching to a high fiber(cooked/cooled sushi rice, beans, whole wheat, etc) diet, I became more blocked. I also gained weight, not just bloat, and it was in the mid-section and I became doughy there. Very unusual for me and I was consuming less calories than before, about 1200 calories/day for my 5'7" frame so I felt I must have been going in a bad direction. I went all vegan for this too, no meat/dairy and consuming a "plant-strong" diet. So my takeaway from others' experiences here is to keep going and try different fiber/prebiotic sources and the above symptoms may even out over time? I hope I'm not totally slaughtering the gist of all the efforts you've all taken time to share with me.

      For the ASD Brainstormer's thoughts: Yes! Messed up family indeed! My daughter experienced her first of many seizures at age 15 months, 2 days after her MMR vaccine. While I don't think vaccines are inherently evil, I do believe it hit my daughter in an unwittingly compromised state. I agree the reversal ship has sailed, but I'd be happy with significant improvement so thank you for the encouragement.

      Wilber: Thank you for your explanation and breaking that down for me. I've used psyllium & Metamucil in the past and those do cause bloating (but not the doughy mid-section and immovable weight gain) and doesn't like to exit my system with any regularity. Maybe I'll revisit that and see if it evens out over time and the regularity will kick in if I just power through it.
      Clearly, more fibers are the answer so it seems I need to power through it and see which symptoms subside over time and which don't. The hardest decision in life is knowing when to try harder or when to let go.

      An interesting study that was just released. Of course, probably not neon headlines to you gut pioneers!

      [URL=] Scientists have found dramatic effects on risk factors for colon cancer when American and African volunteers swapped diets for just two weeks.[/URL]
      I hope that hyperlink works, I've never done one before. Thanks again, all!

    11. Okay, the hyperlink didn't work and I forgot to identify my post anyway.

    12. Janie - I think you are seeing things perfectly. Take what you learned from your Vegan days, add some quality meat, not too much, and get all the fiber you can handle. Switch things up and find what works for you. Somewhere down in the Who-ville of your gut is a crowd of little guys screaming at you to feed them something! Your job is to figure out what exactly they are saying. Too bad we don't have Horton-sized ears, so you'll just have to go by instinct, lol.

      Great article, btw. Good advice for all, but if I were a black person living in America, you can bet your life I would not be eating greasy crap from Denny's or McDonald's. Fat-back and BBQ ribs might be good down-home cookin', but it's killing people.

      I caught hell on a forum once because I dug into what slave owners fed their slaves back in the 16-1700's, figuring this must be an optimal human diet. They wanted work animals, so fed them accordingly. Slave owners did not want slaves that were fat, weak, and poor breeders. If I remember right, well-nourished slaves got a sack of corn meal and a couple pounds of smoked pork on the first of the month. They ate the meat in nearly one sitting and made the corn meal their staple for the rest of the month. Then they could hunt and fish when they were not working (ha!), and grow all they could in small veggie gardens. As much as the slave owners must have enjoyed their lemonade and apple pies, eating closer to how human work-animals were fed is probably more consistent with how all humans should eat than apple pie and lemonade with each steak dinner.

      From your link:

      "The study found that a major reason for the changes in cancer risk was the way in which the bacteria in the gut -- known as the microbiome -- altered their metabolism to adapt to the new diet. In the American group, the researchers found that the African diet led to an increase in the production of butyrate, a byproduct of fibre metabolism that has important anti-cancer effects."

      Great advice! thanks

    13. Thanks for that insight into history, Tim. Very interesting! Your comment reminded me of something I heard on the History channel one day as I was working around the house. The show was discussing gladiators and detailed their diet. They said we probably imagined gladiators being ripped like we see in films, but they were often fat and strong. They lived on a diet high in carbs, vegetables and barley soup. The thicker layer of fat was protective of wounds, a shield of fat. I remember being stunned by that revelation as I've always had the Hollywood version of gladiators in my head and pictured them tearing into a whole leg of lamb for breakfast. ha! Apparently, fibery carbs were the meals of champions. You'd think I would have looked more into that for myself after hearing that. I guess maybe they lost me at the word "fat".

    14. It had been years since I thought about that show and I decided to look up fat gladiators and came across another article challenging that initial claim of fat vegetarian gladiators.
      I guess I can go back to visions of 6 pack abs?
      By the way, I just want to comment that this forum has some of the most respectful and nice comments I've ever seen. What a great and interesting site to read.

    15. *Wilbur*
      I've been using Syontix and love it! I didn't expect the changes to be so great! As for those of you who consume lots of garlic and onion, I tend to be able to smell it coming from the skin in a very short time. My husband actually eats a lot of those and it's his skin I'm referring to. :) How do you deal with the social offputting aspect?
      Thanks again for the Inulin advice. I've added in LypoGold and SBOs. Thank you all so much for helping me along with this. I'm already feeling better than I have in years. I'm hoping to build up to RS someday!

    16. Syontix does not seem to be available any longer. Even the company's web site is down. Does anyone know, 1. Did they change names, or 2. Is there any equivalent?
      You can still read the ingredients on Amazon, but they list the main ingredient as Orafti (trademarked) HP.
      The Orafti product is made by Beneo - and appears to be chicory. Maybe this replaced Syontix?

      A few comments in this thread folks are thinking that it may be agave that is helping them more than chicory. ?

      From the site: "Finally, BENEO functional fibres support a low glycaemic diet. The European Food Safety Authority has positively evaluated claims that our Orafti® Inulin and Orafti® Oligofructose varieties can be used in foods for reducing the post-prandial glycaemic response."

      Jarrow has a product that contains Orafti.

      Thanks - really enjoying learning about RS.

    17. Linda - I saw your question on FTA but forgot to reply. Syontix was a supplier of Orafti HP but went out of business. I do not know of anyone who supplies pure Orafti HP. As I understand, Jarrow and a few others use Orafti Synergy1, which is half very short chain inulin and half Orafti HP. Some people have gas issues with short chain stuff because it ferments quickly.

      I achieved a lot of my benefits before I learned of HP, so I don't think it's necessary.

      I think when you are dealing with pure fibers that the difference between chicory or agave is big. Now if I could chew on a big agave plant...

    18. Sorry, I meant that the difference is not big.

    19. Linda - I am reading Scott Adams' (Dilbert) most recent book. He says something that resonates with me and might with you based on your FTA posts. He argues that successful people do not have goals, they have systems. When he mentioned diet, I thought of all of us on Tim's blog.

      With a goal, according to Adams, you are a failure every day until you reach it. When you do reach it, you are done. What do you do after? Pretty demoralizing.

      With a system, you are successful every time you implement it, which in dieting is probably at least twice per day. And it never ends.

      Reading that, I remembered that when I started my project, I had no goals. I gave up. Nothing was working. I just wanted to see what would happen if I got a lot of different fibers every day. The results were a complete surprise.

      And as I think of all the people who seem to have happy and healthy lives, such as Tim, Gemma, Gabriella, and many others, not one has mentioned a goal that I can recall. But we all talk about our systems. And the funny thing is that none of them are the same.

      I think Scott Adams is brilliant.

    20. Thanks for the recommend: I just ordered Scott Adam's book. I really like his premise; sort of a 'you gotta fail to succeed'. Sounds like the life of a healthy Lymie! Lots of trial and error. Lots of things that don't work and some that help a little, some a lot. (Need to finish Tim's book - which I downloaded over the weekend.)

      I've always thought that healing the gut was the missing component, just didn't have the info on how to do it right. The last few years I got a bit weary of health research and failures. But I know that it was being part of a larger group of great researchers that saved my life from Lyme. I'm glad that I have stumbled upon this site and FTA and am looking forward to learning more about RS.

      So even though you liked Syontix so much, you haven't tried the Jarrow product? And I'll probably do a face palm, but what is HP?

    21. I hope you like it!

      I think HP stands for High Performance. Something about its ability to withstand heat. For me, the importance is that the average chain length is longer, requiring more time to break down in the gut.

      Tim gave me/us a heads up that Syontix was going out of business. I bought a sizable portion of the remaining inventory. I will likely try the Jarrow product when I run out.

    22. Wilbur,
      I've been pondering your high intake of garlic and onions and the health and weight benefits you've received. Of course, garlic has the anti-fungal, viral, bacterial etc properties, but that didn't explain it all to me.

      Then I was reading an article the other day on sulfur/MSM - an old favorite supplement of mine. As I'm sure most realize on this site that our food supply (even organic) is very low in nutrients as compared to 60 years ago - and sulfur is one of those nutrients. But garlic is especially high.

      Several years ago when I first learned about MSM I did the human guinea pig trial (that I like to do). At the time, very sick with Lyme, and on Armour Thyroid. Some of the benefits of sulfur are that it makes your cell walls more permeable so that nutrients and toxins can flow in and out. It also opens up cell receptors and strengthens veins and arteries. All my life, every phlebotomist said, "You're my most difficult draw." and yes, I hydrated and heat packed my one good vein.

      Back to my MSM experiment. Day 1 one teaspoon MSM, Day 2 teaspoons MSM, Day 3 three teaspoons MSM, day 4 four teaspoons MSM and now feeling symptoms of hypERthyroid. Day 5 five teaspoons and 1/2 my thyroid dose and feeling even more hyPER symptoms. Day 6 - 6 teaspoons and no thyroid meds. I can't remember exactly, but I either stayed at 2 or 3 tablespoons and no thyroid meds. After a week or so off thyroid meds my hyPOthyroid symptoms began to return and I went back to my usual dosage.

      My theory is that my blood had plenty of thyroid hormone floating around, but my receptors just couldn't pick it up and use it effectively. The MSM/sulfur did exactly what studies show - made the cells more permeable.

      One year later, my veins were great. No need to hydrate for two days and heat pack for a blood draw. No digging around, no veins collapsing.

      I just wonder if the great benefits you are receiving from garlic and onions are from the sulfur content?

    23. I expect that you are correct about the sulfur being a factor. Unfortunately, I haven't the knowledge to explain why. I do know that sulfurous vegetables are an important part of the Wahls' protocol diet for MS.

      But I'm not 100% sure. I like -and have the occasional craving for - other sulfurous vegetables like broccoli, kale, collards, etc. but it's not constant like garlic and onion. Sorry I'm not much help.

      I find it odd that whatever benefit I get from them must exceed the pain of eating them. I sometimes say - only partly in jest - that all my meals hurt. Chilies, garlic, onions, etc. But I wouldn't want to change anything.

      Oh, about veins. When I was a teenager, a girl I liked said she'd never date me because all my veins were gross. Hmm. My veins were prominent. At the peak of my ill-health, phlebotomists commented to me about the difficulty of finding a vein. Now my veins are again like they were as a teenager. Veins everywhere. I won't go into details, but that girl turned into a woman making equally shallow choices.

    24. Wilbur - We need to get some Durian Fruit. Ever heard of it?

    25. Linda

      very interesting re MSM and plants high in sulfur. I thought the same.

    26. Tim -

      I've never tried it. I've seen it in some international markets here. It's usually in its own separate closed cooler some distance from other stuff. I'd like to try some, but the ones I've seen are big. Dunno if I want leftovers hanging out in the fridge.

    27. re: sulfur. I was just looking to see where potatoes are in the sulfur spectrum (low), and came across this page that shows foods high and low in sulfur. The list was devised so that people could avoid sulfur. Apparently there is a whole segment of people who must avoid it. But the list is good, if anyone is interested. It seems strange that high sulfur foods seem to be very important regarding gut health, while causing many others problems. Hmmmm.

    28. I (like many Lymies) am familiar with Cutler's protocol. Many Lymies have their amalgams removed and follow Cutler's protocol to chelate out the heavy metals especially the mercury.

      He is a bit misleading in this article regarding sulfur, but at one point does clarify, "Sulfur food intolerance in mercury toxic people has more to do with the mobilization of mercury caused by raised cysteine levels and excess thiols, rather than a direct allergy/intolerance to sulfur foods per se."

      In essence, the sulfur is doing what it is supposed to; it allows toxins, nutrients, etc to easily flow in and out of the cells. Cell walls are more permeable. If one had a lot of mercury and then ingested a lot of sulfur or MSM - you would mobilize that mercury leading to some very unpleasant and possibly dangerous symptoms.

      I think it is an amazing nutrient and garlic - in the quantities Wilbur is taking is like a super nutrient :-)

    29. Wilbur, I've read many of your posts regarding your "mix" here and at FTA and am fascinated by your story. I have RA and strongly believe that gut health is critical to overall health. In the Paleo autoimmune community there is an acknowledgement that an unhealthy gut is likely a core issue in AI disease but I've not limited success with the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol diet; I'm not convinced that the elimination of so many high-fiber foods is the right thing to do despite the research behind it (and forget supplementing with RS!). So I am looking at other options. RPS is out for me as I have nightshade sensitivity so I'm starting with plantain flour. May I ask how you learned about all the different fibers in your mix? How did you decide what to try? Did you hear about a new type of fiber and google for studies on benefits, etc.? I want to dive in and would be so grateful for some advice from the master :) - Susan

    30. Susan -

      Yes, that's right. I did a lot of reading. Sometimes I'd learn about a particular fiber and look for studies that used it. Or I'd do a search on a condition I had and then pair it with fiber in a search term on PubMed (cardiovascular disease fiber).

      My philosophy at the time was to take a little of a lot of different types of fiber (it still is) so I'd add whatever seemed of value. Eventually, it would become a permanent addition or be eliminated. Just gut feeling. Literally.

      Good luck with everything. Remember to stay positive! And keep experimenting until you find what is best for you.

    31. Since we're talking generalities a bit here - I'm wondering a few things. I did 5 days last week of the Potato Hack (with some supplements). Day 1 and 2 I cheated - one meal. Day 3-5 I had an extremely horrible headache - so when I weighed on day 6 I couldn't remember my previous weight. dang.
      I too have a nightshade sensitivity which causes IC - very painful. That didn't happen last week, just a headache, so I'm not sure if that was caused from nightshades or low blood sugar/ low calories? The week prior I was having PS and no IC symptoms.

      I'm wondering if beans could work for a 5 day hack for those with nightshade sensitivities?

      I'm also wondering, as I look at the labels on my 7-8 different starches how much actually RS they contain vs starch that sends BS up because they are super high in carbs?

      I wanted to try the potato hack again this week, but first I want to get a glucometer and second I have to get too much done this week to be out with a headache.

    32. Linda, I am interested in trying the thiol elimination diet as a trial. First question is about foods that are not on either list, such as nuts. Second, other tha the book is there afacebook group or website you recommend for more info?

    33. Linda - Sorry, I missed this comment! Let's see:

      "I'm wondering if beans could work for a 5 day hack for those with nightshade sensitivities?"

      I think a similar hack could be successfully accomplished using popcorn, beans, and rice in combination, as long as care was taken to keep calories low. These foods are easier to overeat, but would be similar to potatoes.

      "I'm also wondering, as I look at the labels on my 7-8 different starches how much actually RS they contain vs starch that sends BS up because they are super high in carbs?"

      What types of starch? The only reliable sources of RS are from potato starch and Hi-Maize corn starch. All the others, tapioca, arrowroot, corn, etc. have some RS, but mostly just regular starch that send BG up.

    34. Elliebelly, I am not really familiar with the thiol elimination diet. I am familiar with Andrew Cutler because of his mercury elimination protocol. Many Lymies have used it, but I have not. Sorry I'm not more help here. Since his post states that he doesn't really think people are sensitive to thiols, but rather the sulfur which then releases heavy metals I would wonder why you are interested? It jogged something in my brain when I read Tim's link to his article. I have a friend who finally narrowed down her food sensitivities to IIRC salicilates. If one is sensitive to aspirin or Ibuprofen .... this can be an issue. This has changed her life. Can't help but wonder how much more healing her gut would help, although she eats very clean already.

    35. Linda, I am interested to try it as a diagnostic tool as Cutler explains in that link. To see if indeed I do still have mercury in my system and if that is the explanation for my erratic energy. I "probably" had Lyme last year, which made my energy much worse, but it has always been erratic and still is even after other treatments resolved the Lyme symptoms. I had a lot of mercury fillings from a young age, and even though they were removed about 15 years ago there still might be mercury in my system or even under some the crowns which were not removed.If indeed I have better energy on a no thiol diet and it then gets worse when I start eating those foods, I will try whatever his treatment is...probably chelation. Guess I should get his book. Or is there a Lyme group you frequent where it is discussed?

    36. Tim, I really have to apologize for being such a newbie. I feel so out of the nutrition loop for the last few years. Now that I found your page and FTA I am wanting to dive in and read it all. Problem is we have our first litter of pups due in 2 weeks and still have a lot to do to prepare. After the pups it is full steam ahead OCD on nutrition.

      So I may not be using the terms correctly. I'm looking at the list that Wilbur is taking - which has given him health and weight loss; something I want for our family. At first glance it appeared high in starch. I haven't had time to analyze each ingredient on his list, but I just grabbed some things from my pantry and noticed that the 'gums' have equal amounts of carbs to fiber, so the net is zero. But the banana four, plantain flour are super high in carbs (not sure how much RS). The Baobab isn't bad with 9 carbs and 6g fiber. Any insights helpful.

      BTW received and read the first few chapters of Scott Adam's book. What a great writing style. I look forward to reading more, as life settles a bit.

    37. Linda -

      I'm glad you like Scott Adams' book. He does indeed have a great writing style.

      I love his diet chapter. And his fitness chapter. They both describe so well what I did. Completely different diets and systems and I don't agree with some of what he says about nutrition, but the same idea. Reprogram the mind. It's got me wondering whether it's my belief that fiber works that indeed makes it work, more so than the fiber itself making it work. I've created a reality in which it does work. Maybe find what you truly believe works, and reprogram your mind accordingly. Unfortunately, the diet chapter is late in the book because it depends on stuff before. But it's great.

      Seriously, you could pile chips, fries, Twinkies, etc., and I'd not be the least tempted. I know, because other family members do order these things. I'd prefer well-made broccoli any day.

      As he says, and as I said long before reading his book, "It's not willpower." He added correctly "If you don't enjoy what you eat, you are doing it wrong."

    38. Elliebelly: this is the book I read on mercury and highly recommend it

      Some chapters are just repeating the same message and these can be skipped, but it does focus on the cutler protocol. I had my amalgams removed about 2 years ago and began chelation. It is awkward (have to take it every 3 hours incl night) - was doing OK but only did 10 rounds before I began methylation support (based on 23andme). I tried a number of rounds after starting methylation but my top lip was always really swollen 1st thing on morning so had to stop.

      I've just listened to a Tim ferris podcast with Tony Robbins - tony was having real problems inc energy, cognition etc. He traced it down to mercury even though he had amalgams removed above 20 years ago (puts it down to sword fish and tuna). He raves on about Dr shades products for mercury. I researched online and found some mothers of autistic children were highly praising one of Dr shades products - imd. I've ordered some (not cheap) to see how it goes.

    39. Elliebelly,
      (I just smile every time I read your screen name.)
      After being ill for over 30 years, and spending so much $ it makes me heartsick, my theory to wellness has become K.I.S.S. I've purchased so many books, spent fortunes on treatments and protocols, this and that, drugs and supplements, I've narrowed it down to a few things that work.
      One thing that great improved my health was iodine. I'm talking copious amounts of iodine (like 100-800 mg not mcg). Iodine not only displaces some heavy metals, but also fluoride. This is much easier than Cutler's protocol and I believe necessary and nourishing to every cell in the body.

      I couldn't utilize/digest protein for most of my adult life. After being on iodine for over a year, I began utilizing protein. It also improved my adrenals and pretty much healed my thyroid (yes, even AI Hashimotos). There is a very good FB page for iodine at

      I'd imagine there are good groups for the other as well, but I'm out of loop on it- moved away from the complicated stuff. If you decide to go the chelation route, a product called CardioRenew is a good bang for your buck. My husband has used it. But alas, any chelator also removes the good minerals and does nothing to nourish. (I'm not saying there isn't a place for chelation.)

      I've referred many friends to high dosing iodine and almost all of them have said, "It's like my body craves it. This is wonderful."

    40. Wilbur,
      Ok, I'm going to reprogram my mind that pancakes, pasta and Tiramisu will make me healthy - LOL.

      >But seriously, I should probably finish the book to comment,< but from a person who was on her death bed the 'mind' stuff rubs me wrong from this POV; I do believe that our minds are powerful and influential, but my baggage from being so sick and going from doc to doc and them running a basic CBC and a thyroid panel and stating "You're fine, it's all in your head." has made me overly sensitive to the 'head' stuff. I knew it wasn't in my head. I was sick with something. I've had decades of trying different things.

      Every protocol I've tried I have wanted it to work. Most of the time it did not. Sometimes it has a little or sometimes a lot. When I gave up gluten and dairy for 6 months - nothing. When I finally found a doc to treat my thyroid and adrenals, even though my labs were "in range" I had great improvement, it was wonderful.....for a year. Then I went backwards. That's when I knew I had "something" - something sinister and stealthy ;-)

      For me, killing the bugs; Lyme, Babesia, Bartonella has been a huge piece of the puzzle. Iodine was the next big piece.

      I'm hoping healing the gut, which in turn allows the body to heal itself, is the final piece. Waahooo - super jazzed about this.

      Everyone - I'm wondering if you take Diatomaceous Earth? W/o looking through all the posts I believe Tim said he is not tempted by sugar and junk food and Wilbur is not either. I've read that people who take DE have no sugar cravings. DE is known to kill parasites. I'd think it would improve gut health.

    41. Linda,

      I've taken the DE and didn't notice a difference... But I also use iodine and don't notice a difference - maybe I need the high dosing???


    42. Rob, thanks fot the info. That looks like a good book, Just downloaded it. And will find that podcast too.

      Linda, yes....KISS! Things can get soo complicated and exhausting when you are trying to figure out why you are so exhausted! I have been taking iodine as as part of a thyroid herbal supplement and it has helped somewhat. Years back some higher doses of just iodine bt itself did not help

    43. Linda -

      I don't mean that the problem is in your head. Instead, I think your mind has to be part of the solution.

      Remember, the gut is the second brain, and a big part of your subconscious mind. Fixing your gut will fix part of your mind. One job of the subconscious mind is to protect you from perceived threats. Not necessarily true threats. The subconscious serves up interpretations of reality (or really reality itself), and this matters.

      I realized I had a good example the other day. About 3 hours after I eat a bulb of garlic, I get a certain intense burn in my stomach and throat. Sometimes I have a bit of a choking feeling and excess salivation. It is very pleasant. Huh? I can't explain. My subconscious says this is friend, not foe. I actually miss the feeling when I don't have access to garlic.

      Now imagine someone whose subconscious is tuned the way most are, I suppose. Burning, choking, excess salivation? Definite threat. That person's rational mind would then find a coherent reason for why they can't eat garlic. It's human nature.

      The power of the subconscious scares me, and that includes the gut.

    44. I would agree with you Wilbur and I am humbled when I consider what physical struggles I have that have more to do with my thought process than with autoimmune disease. Have you read any of Dr. Caroline Leaf's books? I need to be reprogrammed. I have a L O N G way to go to get to where you are Wilbur - not just in diet but also in the mind aspect as well!


    45. I soooo agree with your statement Wilbur, "Instead, I think your mind has to be part of the solution."

      The main protocol I take for Lyme and co-infections makes me sick, but I know it works. I've gone from taking large doses (that would make most vomit) twice a day, to taking very small doses every 90 minutes. I get a twinges of nausea and I have to measure wellness in months rather than days, but it's working. Two years ago I felt I was 8 weeks away from being 'cured' and I stupidly changed my protocol. Set me back big time. And I have really had to play around with it.

      A person needs to be tuned into their body.

    46. re: iodine

      When I started taking it 6 years ago, I began day one with one drop and increased by one drop daily. When I got to 6 drops my salivary glands swelled up and hurt, I was salivating like crazy and had a metalic taste. I was miserable and thought, "My body doesn't need more iodine." But I couldn't let it go. I started again, 1 drop, increasing every 3-4 days. Eventually I got to about 20 drops 100mg (of Lugol's 5%) and stayed there for a year.

      Then I read that iodine was used, many years ago, in treating syphilis - which is also a spirochete like Lyme. That's when I decided to mega dose. IIRC they treated syphilis with thousands of milligrams. I dosed up to 800 mg for a few months, and settled at 100mg. I went completely off my thyroid meds and for months my labs were fine. When I don't take iodine, my hypoT symptoms return and I either take iodine or meds. Very much depending on what I feel I need. Another interesting thing was that when I first started iodine I had to take it with food. BTT I was taking 800 mg I could take it all, a handful of capsules, on an empty stomach with a glass of water. No stomach upset. I believe it is very healing to all tissues, but not the whole puzzle.

      Most people who supplement with iodine are taking micrograms rather than milligrams. It takes 1,000 mcg to make 1 mg. I've never seen quantities like this in a supplement - only straight iodine. This is very controversial......oh well. I did my homework :-)

    47. They used to treat syphilis with malaria since high fevers kill the spirochete. I have no idea if the lyme disease bacteria is sensitive to high fevers. If it is, then all these antibiotics wouldn't be necessary especially since borellia, like syphilis, enters the brain and then there's the blood-brain barrier which reduces exposure to antibiotics. Fever is fever. The brain gets hot too.

      just thoughts...

    48. That is interesting, Gabriella. I enjoy reading what we used to 'treat' before pharma.

      One of the co-infections that travels with Lyme is Babesia Microti which is in the malaria family. My labs came back very positive for it. I've never treated with abx or pharma anti-malaria's. I believe the evidence supports the abx just send most Lyme into cyst form - untouchable to abx.
      I do know people who have invested in saunas, but haven't heard of complete success. Although it has brought some relief.

      The sad thing is I think we are dealing with a mutation of original borellia since the outbreak in Lyme CT.

    49. Linda -

      Interesting article in NYTMagazine about plants as antimicrobials. I don't know if it has any relation to your situation, but it discusses how chewing sweet worm wood leaves helps with resistant malaria. Sorry I don't have a link; I read the print version.

    50. Linda, are you getting fevers from this?

    51. Thanks Wilbur. I think I'm getting the Babesia under control.

      Gabriella, fevers from which? The disease or treatment?

    52. OMG - when I was at my sickest, you name it - I had it and probably a lot of things most people don't think of like hyper-pigmentation around my vermillion (edge of lips) and other strange things. Fever was not so much of a problem as being cold because of thyroid not working. My temps dropped to 96-97 degrees. I'd have to get in the bath to get warm.

      One day, when I thought I might die, my temperature spiked to 104-105 and I could barely move. Thank God my neighbor, who was a nurse came over. She cooled me down with wet cloths. I was fine for an hour and up it went up again. This went on for 24 hours. It was like my temp regulator just wasn't working. It was very scary.

      The majority of my symptoms I believe are from Lyme because they are neurological in nature. They dx me with MS at one point. I go through phases of partial paralysis and sleep paralysis, too.

    53. I mainly monitor my thyroid by body temperature.

    54. Adrenals working okay? Sounds like maybe they are not quite up to scratch either.

    55. It seems it's always those dern adrenals. I do what I can. Haven't read if there is a latest/greatest breakthrough on healing them. Whole salt, vitamin B,C (although I probably don't get enough B's) etc.

    56. Linda - How's the experiment progressing with you and the family?

    57. Not so great. I was hesitant to begin the potato hack because of my sensitivities to nightshades. But since my symptoms with nightshades seemed to be limited to IC problems (painful bladder), and since the potato hack didn't include tomatoes or peppers, I thought I'd give it try. If my bladder hurt, I'd stop.
      By day three of the diet I had an really bad headache. By day 5 it was excruciating. I didn't really relate it to the nightshades, but then I thought I'd detox a bit anyway on day 6 & 7. Well, the headache continued for the last two weeks (not eating nightshades). The only relief was taking 800mg Ibuprofen, daytime cold medicine (wondering if it was sinus), and all kinds of essential oils. That still wasn't enough relief and I had to get some work done. So for two days I added Coke. Relief. But hard to sleep and not the ideal solution. LOL

      I've spent the last two weeks eliminating all kinds of supplements and foods. Just basics - still headache. My fear was/is adrenal crash. So after being off LOW dose steroids for quite some time, I began them again two days ago and the headache is pretty much gone. Now I'm trying to narrow out if it is adrenal or muscular. I will know in a few more days.
      We've got puppies due Wed-Fri. So the "family" experiment is on hold.

      But I am wondering if I can't do potato starch, what would be the next best thing?

      Thanks for asking!

    58. Linda, if you're looking for adrenal support, look into stinging nettle seeds.

    59. This comment has been removed by the author.

    60. @wildcucumber... is there a difference between stinging nettle seeds and the dried leaves called stinging nettle which seems to be the entire upper part of the plant? I've never seen something labeled seeds. And do you recommend an infusion (I typically pour just boiled water over them, put a lid on and leave for 12 hours or more) or some other way to ingest to get best benefits? Thanks! Lauren

    61. Lauren - yes, the seeds seem to act more specifically as a restorative for the kidneys and adrenals; the leaves in an infusion as you are using them are an all around excellent nutrient rich tonic for the whole body. I think Kiva does a pretty good job of explaining it in the link above and if you google you'll find more info than I can give you here.

      They have always worked well for me, when I retired/burned out they were a god-send. I just chewed on some first thing in the morning, not even a teaspoon worth as I'm pretty sensitive. I had better energy all day and slept much better at night.

      I don't know how easily you would find them for sale but a tincture should be available. I grow my own so can't recommend a commercial source for you, sorry.

    62. How/when do you collect the seeds? I found some articles describing the process, but wanted to get your opinion.



    63. Wildcucumber - I missed your post on the 25th. Thankfully, saw the others coming through :-)

      I would be very interested in trying the stinging nettle seeds - if they can be found. And learning more on the subject.

    64. Barney -

      When: Right about now is seed ripening time for nettles here in Quebec, not sure about other areas. They can be collected any time they're on the plant; they dry naturally on the stems. I've nibbled them from plants sticking up out of the snow.

      How: I pick them off the plants in their clusters and let them sit outside for an hour or so to let the bugs escape. Once I bring them in, I just put them on a paper towel or similar for a few days to dry, then I store them in a paper bag in a dry place. I don't bother to clean them any more thoroughly until I want to eat them, then just take the amount I want from the bag and rub off anything that isn't seed.

      They can be tinctured either fresh or dried (see link in my previous comment for the difference). You could also put them up in honey, or take them by sprinkling them onto a spoonful of same.

    65. Linda - there isn't a whole lot 'out there' on stinging nettle seeds, but most of the info I've seen is reliable (so far). If you know of a good health food store they might be able to link you with a local wildcrafter, or if you know a farmer or gardener, ask them if they have any stinging nettles and you can pick your own. They're very, very common.

      Even drinking infusions of the leaves as Lauren mentions above is a good policy for anyone who needs a nutritive boost, esp. if you're missing nutrients from a restricted diet.

    66. When I was a kid, we had to run through a 50 foot swath of nettles to get to our favorite fishing hole, often wearing shorts. Man, they sting! I never even realized that nettles had seeds that could be collected. But, yes, I would guess that now is the time to get them as it turns to Fall in the northern hemisphere.

    67. WC - Thanks! I think I saw some new flowers just last week.


    68. Thanks @wildcucumber, much appreciate your wisdom and help!

    69. wildcucumber!

      Stinging nettle seeds and adrenals, haha.... shouldn't you warn the people a bit abd tell the whole truth?

      I'm looking up some old info on nettles and nettle seeds. One of the recipes I found (nettle seeds mixed with honey, or nettle seeds boiled in wine) is called Amor's Arrow :-)

    70. Gemma - "warn" the people? I assumed folks would be doing further research before diving into their local nettle patch! But if you think it necessary here is my *personal* experience with Sister Nettle ..

      Once they're setting seed they don't sting much anyway. If you do choose to gather your own, grasp the plant firmly. That crushes the little sharp hairs (which are on the stems and undersides of the leaves) and the stings won't be so bad. It's when you brush up against nettles accidentally that they'll really get you, like Tim and his childhood buddies running through the patch. And it's not *that* bad. In fact it's rather exhilarating. I believe one or two readers here could back me up on that ;-)

      Or I suppose you could wear gloves, if you must, but the sting is part of nettles' medicine.

      Better, Gemma?

    71. wildcucumber

      Well, not better :-)

      By Amor's Arrow I didn't mean that you should warn people that stinging nettle stings. I meant this, as for instance Jim McDonals also states:

      "...include Nettles... not because it ’s an “aphrodisiac”, but because it’s a nourishing tonic. The more nourished you are, the more energy you have. The more energy you have the more you can... well... you know..."

    72. Gemma - haha - that's not something that needs a warning, that's a plus! As the saying goes, no matter the issue "when in doubt, try nettles"

      Great link, by the way. jim mcdonald really knows his stuff. For those interested in more of his wisdoms, here is his site:

    73. Correct, Jim McDonald is his name. Sorry for the typo. What a day...

    74. No worries - but as we're promoting the guy I should mention he uses lower case to differentiate himself from another herbalist by the same name.

    75. I will back up wildcucumber's words about nettles. I am growing my own patch so I can use the sting. The initial sting more or less takes you by surprise. Your blood vessels, in the area of being stung,have a flowing sensation. I have had the feeling last about 8-10 hours.

    76. Wow, I am finally getting back to this post (pups 8 days old). I'm very interested in finding out more about nettle seed. I have found that you can purchase non-GMO seeds on amazon. And I found this interesting article:

      It seems they are an adaptogen, and not only work quickly but continue improvement long term. I think I'll try them first thing in the morning to not interfere with sleep.

    77. Linda - yes, first thing in the morning and start small is the way to go with nettle seed (or any herb). I've never found they interfere with sleep. I ate some late in the afternoon yesterday and slept like a rock, nevertheless, your mileage may vary.

      No need to worry about GMO or not; I can assure you that no seed company has bothered to muck about with stinging nettle. If you contact me I can send you some of mine no charge, I'd hate to see anyone paying for weed seeds. Click on my name here, follow through to one of my blogs, contact info there if interested.

  5. Tim, what if I just add the plantain into a smoothie as is, raw, with no prior processing/drying? Is it OK or is it just asking for trouble? THNX!!!!!

    1. Raw is fine. I just found it more convenient to dry them as they last longer and you can make a big batch at once. Peeling green bananas/plantains is not much fun, so doing a big batch makes it easier.

      I'm not much into smoothies, but if I was I'd add green bananas, no problem.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Thnx, Tim! And one more Q - what about steaming lightly, and then cooling them? would that still be beneficial?

  6. Kelly and Kira, I take half a very green plantain, slice it thinly, add it to the blender with half a can of thick coconut milk. It makes a VERY thick smoothie, I have to practically spoon it out, it is so thick, and which does me and my gut bacteria the world of good (deduced from the number of farts I produce). I have a lot of food intolerances. I have been put on low histamine foods, and the plantain smoothie really fills me up.. I don't do it every day, as I should rotate my food every 4 days.

    Jo tB

    1. Thnx Jo! I haven't used a raw plantain yet, but I regularly steam it and use it as a smoothie ingredient...

  7. Hi Tim,

    I loved reading this, as I add PS and BF to my dinner every day. Believe it or not it hasn't changed my constipation - we're still on an every other day schedule. I guess I shouldn't complain. I think I mentioned I eat fermented vegetables and drink the juice every day too. And my cholesterol since doing all of the above has gone from around 320 to around 270. Now, that sounds horrible, right? But the lab reported I'm in the "low risk" category, I guess because of my gorgeous HDL to total ratio. Anyway, I was intrigued by this Enterobacter, since I was fat as a child and obese as an adult for a long time, and while have never been diagnosed on the autism spectrum have always wondered if I belonged somewhere on there. Great post, as always! Thanks, Tim.


  8. Nice post, Tim. I've been thinking for a while about prebiotics and cancer. I might suffer from confirmation bias, but it seems like a lot of recent studies are connecting things that are prebiotic with cancer protection. A recent one was a connection between alcoholism and liver cancer, except that coffee drinking inexplicably reduced the risk. But coffee grounds (minutely present in coffee) are prebiotic. I remember something similar with chocolate. There are lots of angles here, but who knows? Fascinating stuff.

  9. Good post. Thank you. Thanks to you and your commenters, I'm experimenting with RS plus "prebiotics." Just ran out--some noted great effects are now gone. Waiting on the "refills" to arrive from Amazon to reintroduce to see if it really was the RS plus "prebiotic" combo. Will be fun to see. ~~Terri F

  10. Terri,
    Have you considered the Elixa probiotic

    That Richard wrote about

    It sounds like you won't need to take them forever

  11. I have seen many references over the years to the idea that chlorella has a significant prebiotic quality to it yet in searching this blog the term "chlorella" doesn't even come up. I would think this is something many of us would want to make a part of our prebiotic regimen. Has anyone on here had any experience with it's use as a prebiotic and if so would you share your experiences and thoughts?

    1. What I see quickly is that chlorella would be more like a probiotic than a prebiotic, and more as 'food' than fiber. But, lots of good prebiotics are developed from seaweed and algae. It's probably similar to spirulina in that regard.

  12. RE the above Q by Anonymous on CHLORELLA: I use it regularly, as a green supplement, never knew its is also a prebiotic... All I can say is that it would make sense, was it has plenty of fiber....and that chlorella, unlike wheat grass, really agrees with my stomach;-)

  13. O boy, even more doubts and complications...

    I have made inulin my main prebiotic and its from chicory root which is mentioned here as short chain and less beneficial so back to the drawing board...

    I am wondering if natural sources of inulin like dandelion, sunchoke, onion, leek are mostly short or long chain? Any verified long chain inulin sources?

    Also, my head is spinning from all the info and constant additions in prebiotic/probiotic theory and practice so I was wondering if it is possible to make a basic beginner guide?

    Right now I am shooting for 20+ grams daily of prebiotic fibers and it is mostly from food like beans, sunchokes, dandelion , chickpeas and oat bran so sometimes its mostly RS3 and sometimes inulin. (Btw does GOS count, sunchokes and onions have a lot of it but it gets little mention?)

    I also eat home made fermented food and vinegar and dirt from sunchokes and carrots as my source of probiotics.

    Does that seem acceptable?

    When I read increndible amount and variety of fibers Wilbur is taking I feel my approach is horribly inadequate but I simply cannot find or afford all those various fibers.

    Also I find it interesting that Elixa probiotic gets so much rave since it mostly contains Lactobacillus strains; don't we get way bigger numbers of these bacteria from home made ferments?

    Thank you for all the help!

    1. Don't let the complexity ruin it for you, trust me, I haven't even scratched the surface on how complex fibers really are! Volumes can be written on simple fibers.

      As to is a great prebiotic according to studies, but it is not found in onions or any plant. You are thinking of galactose or galactins, but lots of people (who should know better) also make this mistake.

      GOS is galacto-oligosaccharide, and made from an enzymatic conversion of cows milk in an attempt to make it look more like the sugars found in human milk. GOS is added to most baby formula nowadays.

      Read more if interested...



      The problem with these terms, GOS should have been called LOS, as it has to do with lactose and not galactose. Someone should have gotten fired for that!

      But as to everything else, just play with it. Eat good, fiber-y foods and try some of the supplements we talk about uutil you find what works for you. There is definitely no one-size-fits-all to this as everyone's gut microbiome is vastly different. We can show classes of food that are considered prebiotic and helpful, but ultimately it will be your own distinction.

    2. Haha, just read this...I guess we can't very well fire Louis Pasteur now, can we?

      "In 1855, E. O. Erdmann noted that hydrolysis of lactose produced a substance besides glucose.[18] Galactose was first isolated and studied by Louis Pasteur in 1856.[19] He called it "lactose".[20] In 1860, Berthelot renamed it "galactose" or "glucose lactique".[21][22] In 1894, Emil Fischer and Robert Morrell determined the configuration of galactose."

    3. Hi Tim,
      GOS, although it starts as lactose, is enzymatically converted and does become multiple galactose units...
      from - -
      " GOS generally comprise a chain of galactose units....."

      Also, the study on the rats was commercial RS3, but the dried plantains are RS2 - in your opinion, would that make a difference?

    4. Yeah, people spend their whole life studying that kind of stuff... The main point being, though, that GOS does not really exist in nature, I don't believe. It's a man-made conversion of cow's milk. There are a few commercial sources, Bimuno, being one. But the building blocks of GOS are found throughout nature...milk, sugar beets, and as a component of plant gums.

      As to RS2/3, no idea. I think they both hold a special place in the spectrum of prebiotics as "great prebiotics!"

      I like that I can easily source RS2 from green bananas, raw potatoes, or potato starch. I like that I can easily source RS3 from cooked and cooled starches. I like to get both everyday.

      If you'll notice, in the studies, no one ever makes a huge distinction about what type of RS, just that it is RS. When I develop a full product line of one of them, I will certainly start telling you that that one is the best. Until then, I'll keep an open mind.

    5. I Don't think there's anything bad about chicory Inulin. I use it. I also have agave. I haven't seen anything comparing the chain length, but if anyone else has I'd appreciate a reference.

      I used to be sensitive to dandelions, sunchokes, and yacon root. When I looked into why, I cobbled together some stuff suggesting that these were short chain inulin sources. People can apparently be sensitive to short chain stuff because it ferments fast. I have never had gas issues with garlic or onion, and I can eat a fair amount. Maybe the inulin in those is longer chain? Also Jeff Leach was once quoted as saying that the green parts of leeks contained long chain inulin, but the article was later changed to say cellulose. Maybe the first was an error.

      Syontix in the U.S. is long chain inulin. I love it.

  14. Re: Elliebelly
    i jusr ordered Elixa im dealing with psoriais and some joint pain
    will let you know results
    @ Wilbur can you tell how you deal with after smell after eating so much raw garlic and onion?

    1. What smell?

      I smell nothing. I've asked family members repeatedly to let me know if they smell anything. I've gotten no adverse reactions in the general public. Then again, I'm at an age and temperament that I'd choose my health over what people think of me.

      I do try not to burp in people's faces. That's polite.

      A weird conjecture that I haven't thought through: increasing prebiotics makes you more gassy, but if all is working ok that gassy is not stinky. If it is stinky, my understanding is that sometimes sulfur compounds are a culprit - the sulfur compounds are not adequately fed upon by the gut bacteria. Garlic and onion breath are associated with sulfur compounds. Maybe frequent and large consumption of garlic and onions increases sulfur eating bacteria in the lungs, skin, and mouth, reducing the breath problems.

    2. Wilbur, you have olfactory fatigue.

      Hoping here that you have excellent salivary flow and not a dry mouth.

    3. No dry mouth. Maybe olfactory fatigue, at least for garlic and onion. But why do those I trust to tell me that I smell do not tell me? If I burp, yes I'm sure that I smell. But I do not burp often.

      Overall, my sense of smell is incredible.

    4. They love you, Wilbur.

      Nah, actually the thing is that people who have dry mouth, the onion and garlic stinky chemicals seem to glom onto the back of the tongue. There they rot away and that's what stinks. If a person had good salivary flow, then the onion and garlic don't persist in a bad way. It just smells like fresh garlic and onion.

    5. @ Gab - You're a fountain of knowledge! And, as we discovered, rinsing the mouth with rosemary tea is great for saliva flow, so for anyone working up to Wilbur's intake that might be something to keep in mind.

    6. Hmmm...i get a dry mouth at night sometimes. It may be that I sleep with my mouth open. Not sure. But will try some rosemary tea befor bed and to keep handy if I wake up with a dry mouth.

    7. Well elliebelly, just a quick rinse after brushing my teeth made a big difference to me for the whole night.

    8. Cuke, does it matter it the tea is made from fresh or dried rosemary?

    9. Ellie - I doubt that it matters. I made mine with dried. I made it extra strong, too, as per instructions from Gabriella. She'd mentioned she recommends a strong rinse of chamomile and sage (right Gabi?) for any mouth issues.

      Meanwhile, I'd seen a "street herbalist" teaching homeless people to use rosemary, as it's easy for them to find growing in his city. I was curious, is all, and had some dried rosemary so I tried it. The extra saliva was a surprise to me, I wasn't expecting it. Dry mouth is lethal to teeth; mouth issues are rampant among the homeless and lead to all sorts of other issues for them. That street herbalist is one smart guy. (So's Gabi.)

    10. Thanks. Will do extra strong.

    11. ellie, when you use an infusion of herbs, they've got to be therapeutic strength. Not like tea. You need an 8 ounce infusion that is so strong, if you'd drink it, you'd throw up.

      Make whichever herbal mix you choose. Thow the hebs in the boiled water (i.e. take it off the stove and add herbs, close the lid, let it cool to room temp. Strain, add sea salt). If you have any major mouth issues, then pour out a 6 to 8 ounce portion. Swish and gargle each sip for at least 30 seconds. Use up the whole amount per 'session'.

      Sage on it's own with sea salt with firm up gums. Camomille with sage and salt will help to get rid of infections (not draining absecesses of course). Rosemary, according to cukey will improve salivary flow.

      Thyme made into a tea (so don't over do the amount added to a cup of boiling water) will stop coughing for several hours. Just don't do it more than 3 times per day. Add honey.

      kitchen medicine works.

    12. Thanks for filling in the details, Gab. I love kitchen medicine.

  15. Great info here! I am still waiting for my agave inulin to arrive. I read here that it has its effect on the distal end of the colon, and that's definitely where my problem originates. I have two questions if anyone is interested in tackling them:

    1. Can anyone tell me what fibers are longer fermenting and/or work on this region? I wonder if that would be helpful. Currently, the right kind of inulin has stopped my hemorrhaging. But I am in the bathroom 5-6 times/day. However, potato starch has the opposite effect.

    2. When uBiome analyzed my poo, Tim was kind enough to interpret the results, and lactobacillus and bifidobacteria were largely absent. I have hypothesized that trying to add them or foods that encourage their growth cause my body to purge them, hence the multiple trips to the bathroom. With the inulin, they no longer cause bleeding, but these things are clearly unwelcome. Can anyone suggest foods/fibers that would balance this out?

    Today I am cutting down on fiber of all kinds to try to get a grip on this. However, I can't replace much of it with protein because meat will cause bleeding under all circumstances. I can do a little fermented dairy now, but again, I think this is contributing to the problem. Eggs seem OK, but I can't be sure. That leaves me with olive oil. Lots of it. I think I'm going to wind up being hungry too much of the time.

    Kathy Kpsd. :)

    1. Kathy, this is just a WAG, but, do you think experimenting with HCL and perhaps enzymes, would help with the meat digestion? There may be some problems in other parts of your digestive system that need to be addressed as well as the biome

  16. Hi Tim, don't know if anyone told you yet, but your new post "Got Milk? Part 1 " gets this page -"Sorry, the page you were looking for in this blog does not exist." Thought you might want to know......

    1. Tim, this is getting wierd! in my feedly notification came another title from your site "" but again, page doesn't exist. Maybe you should look into this, ?maybe a problem with the site??

    2. Trust me, Newbie - It will keep getting weirder and weirder!

      I'm working on a series called Got Milk, and my collaborators and I kee hitting 'publish' instead of 'preview'. Oooops. We're almost done! hang in there.

  17. @ Wilbur

    I've been wanting to ask you for the longest time for a clarification on your original comment over at FTA. I hope this is not seen as a dumb question. When you wrote "Every day, I take 3+ Tbsp of..." and then go on to list your fibers, starches, etc., did you mean 3+ Tbsp EACH item or TOTAL of 3+ Tbsp all combined?

  18. @ Wilbur

    P.S. -- when you consume flax seeds, do you consume them whole or ground up into powder?

    1. Dont' think they are edible whole, even soaked. A cheap ~$10 coffee grinder work well for grinding them.

    2. I eat whole flaxseed all the time. I sprinkle a spoonful in yogurt or whatever. Gut bacteria can break into them, no problem!

    3. I replied but it got deleted. Weird.

      I keep my foaxseed whole in the freezer, and then grind.

      Anon, you cut off the sentence too early. I suspect the next bit says potato starch. I take a out 3 Tbsps of potato starch each day. The rest should be followed with other fibers and the amounts I take. For instance, I take maybe a tsp of GOS and maybe 1Tbsp of Syontix. The overall a,punt is way more than 3 Tbsp total.

    4. @ Wilbur

      Sorry for the confusion from my original post. Here is your paragraph from FTA in it's entirety:

      Every day, I take 3+ Tbsp of potato starch, but also flaxseed, inulin, FOS, baobab, larch arabinogalactan, beta glucan, chitosan, amla, yacon root powder, glucomannan, psyllium (I poo poo’ed this in the past, but reconsidered my stance), guar gum, and a bunch I’d have to write down. Plus some I take occasionally, like wheat grass and hemp seed powder. Every fiber I take has a story, and I favor the ones that seem most beneficial to me. But the goal is always to improve my gut."

      What I see here is a long list of what you consume but without quantities. So, no, the amounts are not there. Perhaps they are elsewhere and if so I am sorry to have missed them. I am very interested in the those amounts if you might be so kind as to fill us all in here. Thank you :-)

    5. It's fun to see what Wilbur does, in fact i was bragging to a friend the other day that I was "pulling a Wilbur" with a new mix I had made, when I divulged the ingredient list, he said, "Sorry, that's not even close to a Wilbur!" Or something like that, lol.

      So, I guess I'm doing a half-Wilbur with my 50-60g/day.

      There is no danger of overdosing on fibers. So feel free to experiment all you like. My present regime is a banana flour-PS-inulin mixture with yogurt at lunch (2-3TBS) and the 2-3TBS of a mixture of PS, inulin, PHGG, XOS, pectin, and wheat dextrin for dinner.

      Truthfully, my guts are just as happy on straight potato starch, but I'm just having fun trying all the fibers to see if something is radically different.

      I like taking it twice a day with meals rather than all at once in the evening. And I also eat lots of beans and rice that have been pre-cooked and frozen, then reheated prior to eating.

      So, Wilbur - What is your current blend?

    6. Here's an old post fom December 19 describing my mix then:

      Amounts approximate because I don't measure and it varies. Split into multiple drinks, as best I can remember: 4 T PS, 2 T inulin, 2 t larch, 2 T cellulose, 2 T ph guar gum, 2 t GOS, 1 t maltodextrin, 1 t dextrin, 3 T baobab, 1 T amla, 2 t mesquite powder, 1 T banana flour, 2 t original amazing green grass, 1 T glucomannan, 1 T ground flaxseed, 1 T of whole fusion fiber (incl marshmallow root and slippery elm).

      Some are not pure prebiotics, I guess, but are high fiber enough that I include them.

      As always, I consider the drinks supplements to real food. I'm now eating a whole bulb of raw garlic per day, including the skins. I eat about 1/2 raw onion, including the skin. I eat several raw green onions per day, including the roots. Leeks, when I can find small, dark green ones. Lots of vegetables. Lots of berries. Currants. Figs. Kumquats just came out, and I eat half a pint (?) per day. I thought I had an aversion to mushrooms, but I was wrong. I am making up for lost time.

    7. Anon, back in December Wilbur was doing this:
      "Amounts approximate because I don't measure and it varies. Split into multiple drinks, as best I can remember: 4 T PS, 2 T inulin, 2 t larch, 2 T cellulose, 2 T ph guar gum, 2 t GOS, 1 t maltodextrin, 1 t dextrin, 3 T baobab, 1 T amla, 2 t mesquite powder, 1 T banana flour, 2 t original amazing green grass, 1 T glucomannan, 1 T ground flaxseed, 1 T of whole fusion fiber (incl marshmallow root and slippery elm)."

      Though I'm sure it has morphed since then!

    8. Today the list is similar. A little less of some, a bit more of others. Notable additions are Syontix (1 Tbsp), Hawthorne berry (2 tsp), and powdered dandelion root (2 Tbsp). I dropped mesquite. Not sure why.

    9. Oops, Wilbur has already answered your question! :-)

    10. Yes I got mesquite, I think because you mentioned it. The bag just sits there. Never feel the urge to have any. Though it tastes quite nice.

      Re the onion/garlic and smell thing, I go through periods of significantly increasing these, and I could swear that I don't smell either. I've asked others too. Might have something to do with a healthier microbiome.

    11. In the past, I have been guilty of focusing on the fiber powder as a quick fix. I was trying to find that perfect ingredient that would turn the tide and create the coveted healthy microbiome. To me, the important thing to note in your description Wilbur, is that you treat the powders as supplemental to a truly varied diet full of multiple sources of fiber and other nutrients (and some anti-nutrients LOL). I took your lead on garlic skins and really enjoy them. Thanks! And same here on the mushrooms.


    12. Barney -

      Yes! I eat lots and lots of vegetables. I eat fatty meats too, and butter, cheese, and eggs. But when I go to the store (or, later, the farmers markets) I always pick the best produce I can find. Then I try to find meats that match the produce. Last night, for instance, was lamb loin chops with roasted beets and a salad made from their raw greens, with red onion and fig vinegar. I put raw garlic on the lamb, about 5 large cloves as I recall. The day before was similar, but with bluefish (and its skin) and roasted radishes with a salad of their greens. Today was leftover day, but I've had runner beans, onion, garlic, green beans, okra, dried apricots, oranges, and probably more.

    13. This is the original Anon who asked about Wilbur's daily regimen and amounts.

      BIG THANKS to you Wilbur for replying. I see you also take powdered dandelion root. I have this in cut and sifted form and put it into a coffee grinder and make tea. I will now try consuming it as a powder. Awesome. And as I have burdock root, I will the try the same with it.

      Tim Steele -- thank you so much for checking in with your current daily blend, your "half-Wilbur..." LOVE IT! HA!

      This is all so fascinating. I have been experimenting with these fibers myself for awhile now after reading Wilbur's post I quoted above. My own experience has been extremely positive. For years I was on Dr. Richard Schulze Bowel Formula One -- a laxative. I dared not go off it. Well, reading Wilbur's Fiber regimen I went off it. That was a month ago. Things are so much better now. Better regularity, fewer loose stools; in fact NO loose stools. Better sleep, etc.



    14. Andrea - sorry about the mesquite. It does have great taste. I don't understand why I don't want it.

      Charles - I suffered for years from IBS. I did not know it until very recently. I knew I had something "like" IBS, but I read a recent article and realized that my symptoms were exactly the same. The relief today of being able to go through my day without being constantly aware of my bowels and the location of restrooms is one of the many great things that has happened. I can eat anything and everything now and simply not worry. I am happy for you.

      Most people think I must poop a lot or have crazy stools. No, it's usually a largish morning one and a smaller evening one. They have to happen sometime in those periods, but there isn't extreme urgency. The stools are perfect, every time.

    15. Tim -

      I like the "half-Wilbur." Around my area, we have "half-smokes", which are some kind of hot dog. I can't figure what they are. So I like the name.

      I just want add to your point that water intake with high fiber is, I believe, critical. I drink a lot of water. I don't force it, but just drink when I am thirsty. But that's a lot. I once ignored my thirst, and my stools became hard, pebbly, and uncomfortable. I've read that sometime high fiber can cause bowel blockages without adequate water.

      Also, for a few weeks I got up to about 200 or more grams per day of fiber. I started feeling sluggish - that feeling you get when you've eaten a huge meal and just want to sit on the couch. It was too much for me. My current 120-150 g/day is just perfect for me.

    16. Wilbur - Funny you mentioned it, but I have always been a "once a day" guy, like clockwork, usually right after my morning coffee. Since I've started switching out meat for plant in a substantial way, a la, "Plant Paleo," I'm now a "twice a day" guy. A normal one in the morning and a smaller one in the evening.

      Charles - Have you heard any more or done any more with heat-killed L. plantarum? I'm still fascinated by that stuff!

    17. Tim -

      That is interesting. My morning one is right after my coffee too. The evening one seems much more random.

      I can't remember if I posted about the "Plant Paleo." You know I'm big on just eating what I feel like eating. I find that I vascillate between something close to Plant Paleo and then something like Fat Paleo. I find fats to be crucial. I visited some wonderful friends who knew that I "ate healthy." So it was chicken breasts, low fat this and that. After a few days, I was desperate for fat! Thank God we went to a restaurant with an awesome fried chicken skin appetizer. I also had pork belly for an entrée.

    18. Tim --

      Heat-killed L. plantarum is a new term to me; at least I have no recollection of it. Perhaps there is another Charles who comments on here? I did email you a while back with a link to a study suggesting that Glutamine supplementation can improve bacterial balance in the gut. And while I have commented a few times here and there on your blog, today is the first time I have used my name in any way.

      Tim and Wilbur -- it is most intriguing to read here of your going twice daily, bigger in the morning with coffee and smaller at some point in the evening.This is exactly what I have been experiencing the past week or so. And I forgot to mention above that in addition to better regularity and sleep, I am also experiencing an improved attitude toward life; more can-do, want-to-do, aggressive. And I'm just plain happier all the way around.

    19. Charles-

      But more relaxed? More can-do, more aggressive, but more "oh well" if things don't work out? More of a separation of physical and emotional response? Being angry does not cause your heart to race, your breathing to quicken, etc. It is more fact. I am angry. That is all.

    20. Wilbur --

      Precisely. I haven't felt like this since I was in college. Those were very good years.

    21. Sorry! Wrong Charles.

      Glad you are enjoying the experience. Funny you mention college. Did you smoke weed? There are possibly similarities of having a naturally healthy, fiber-filled gut with being under the influence of cannabinoids. The body has a tremendous amount of hardware for its endo-cannabinoid system used for making us feel good when we eat right. Fortunately for the stoners, they can get this feeling without eating right...but they do tend to want to eat, don;t they? lol

      Google around on "endocannabinoid and resistant starch" I'll bet you get some nice "hits". Wow, I'm just full of pot-head jokes tonight. Nit high, I swear, just had my half-Wilbur for the night.

      Let's try! Here's one:

      The endocannabinoid (eCB) system is a lipid signalling system, composed of cannabis-like substances that are endogenous bioactive lipids (e.g. anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol) that bind and activate specific G-protein-coupled receptors (the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2) in the brain, affecting many different functions. Outside the brain, this system influences the autonomic nervous system, the immune system, GI functions and the microcirculation. An increased eCB system tone is observed in obesity, so this could be a target for investigation. In animal studies, blocking the CB1 receptor abolishes the low-grade inflammation associated with obesity( 61 ). In prebiotic experiments, the gut microbiota was shown to modulate the eCB system tone, which thus regulated gut permeability, plasma endotoxin levels as well as adipogenesis( 61 ).

      I think I'm gonna put on some Bob Marley now!

    22. There is something happening here. Others have noted this. Richard at FTA, for instance, mentioned being bemused by his own anger. I feel that way quite often.

    23. I only smoked weed one time on the beach when I was 17. I immediately threw up and wouldn't touch it again. But if I remember correctly it was some sort of special concentrated weed. Anyway, I never experienced that good feeling my friends all seemed to enjoy.

      But I am fascinated by what you have written above on eCB signalling and will read over the research you linked. My wife and I both use CBD oil and love the stuff. Very calming. She teaches high school and it does her a world of good.

      Wilbur I have to tell you that what you just said about anger has been on my mind a lot lately but in a different way. My wife and I keep mentioning to each ohter that the world seems to be going nuts. ISIS in the middle east, myriad problems and hostilities here in the US, etc. And I keep asking myself what effect modern eating practices are having on our anger and how we get along (or fail to) and on our lack of patience and rationality. How has the modern processed chemical laden preserved white flower sugar fake food diet altered our gut microbiome such that our personalities are changing for the worse?

      This article from NPR has some interesting points on the gut and how it alters our psychological state:

      As you say Wiibur., there is indeed something happening here. And for us experimenting with fibers, it is something good.

    24. That's really interesting re feeling angry / aggressive. I realise now that I've been feeling the same, though for me because my gut has been such a mess I've been getting a lot of die-off as the bad bugs are displaced, and so experiencing a lot of irritation and grumpiness purely from that. But underneath it I've noticed a strong desire to simply act. Just do something. Not think too much. And when the desire to act passes there is a 'c'est la vie' thing happening, where I also just don't really care.

      It is all less personal or something. But not necessarily disinterested or disengaged.

  19. Hey, Tim - Great series on Milk. I think I will keep drinking, but I can see why people with a bad gut would stop.

    I want to pick your brainz. There is a paper going around ( that talks about giving inulin-type fructans to obese women. They get more bifidobacteria, a good thing, and lose weight and stuff, but their SCFA goes down.This makes no sense.

    Everybody is just looking at a short abstract, can you get the whole paper through college? I am curious why butyrate is going down when they eat more inulin.


    1. Hey, Jerry - There is probably a simple a gut lining gets healthier, it absorbs more butyrate and other SCFAs, so it appears SCFA decreases, but in reality, what decreases is the SCFA found in poop, actually more is produced in the colon, but it is used as it should be.

      This is why fecal SCFA is a bad bio-marker. Fecal pH is better. I will see if I can get the full text through school library, looks interesting! I'm curious what they used for "inulin-type fructans".


  20. @Wilbur
    Hello! Was just wondering... seeing as you've been taking 20+ tablespoons of fibre for a while now, what happens when you just have half of that for a bit??
    Do you just not feel as well? Less happy? etc etc?

    I know you've played around with even more, and didn't see the need. Just wondering if everything starts going backwards again once you start taking less than 20.

    1. Hi!

      I haven't really tried taking less. Everything is perfect as it is, so I figure why change? I do skip the occasional drink or day, and notice nothing. I did skip potato starch for about a week and had zero - literally zero - gas, even though I kept up the other fibers. I'm just keeping on keeping on..l

    2. Ok! Just was curious. I'm aiming to get up to that number, was just suddenly curious as to what scaling back for someone like you, who has been doing lots of it for a while, might do.

      I'm still at less than half of what you take because the inflammation and die-off has been so uncomfortable, but something has shifted even more, and I think I can scale up quite quickly now. At last! Yay!

      Oh and I have just introduced some Orafti. I LOVE it. Maybe that is what provided the final key. Just a teaspoon or two a day so far, but I immediately felt happy. The gut bugs (and me) are over the moon.

      Thanks so much for bringing it to everyone's attention!
      A whole new paradigm this fermentable fibre stuff.

    3. 20+ TBS? Seriously? I must have missed that. I'm at 3-4TBS of a mixture or banana flour, PS, inulin, pectin, PHGG, and PenfibeRS.

      Really 20 TBS? How are you doing it?

    4. Well, I think so... Wilbur is doing 4T of PS alone. Then there's 3T baobab; 2T each of inulin, cellulose, guar gum; 1T each of amla, banana flour, glucomannan, flaxseed, orafti... and so on.

    5. Andrea has done the math. I never really count, and the amounts sound right. Plus all the fiber I get from foods.

      I've been doing this for almost 1.5 years now. I feel great day after day. I sometimes think back to the issues I had before (IBS, maybe Crohn's, metabolic disorder, high BP, etc.) and am very thankful I found this.

    6. Tim, I really don't think you realise how major your discovery of PS and fermentable fibre really is. Maybe you didn't exactly discover it, but you and Richard put a lot of people on to it. Or maybe you do realise! :-)

      There are loads of people out there right now trying all sorts of prebiotics and probiotics. People with major health issues who, even better, are slowly improving!
      Everything flies out the window once you have a well fed microbiome, from allergies, to auto-immune issues, to general mood.

      And for me, Wilbur's (and maybe Stuart's as well ??) discovery of fibres that feed the distal part of the colon has been major. There are lots of people who can't tolerate PS because of SIBO, and taking some of the distal fibres might just be the key to managing all the inflammation, and really turning it around.

      So exciting.

  21. @Wilbur
    I didn't realize you use Amla. I use it in a henna preparation for my hair and as a face mask. Interesting!

  22. Tim. I have a suggestion for an extra ingredient for the prebiotic mix
    Inactivated Brewers Yeast Powder as a source of Yeast Cell for Bacteroides Thetaiotomicron

  23. Kao Haole tree seeds for producing bodily produced antibiotic that kills off some overgrowths?

  24. Not spamming but this link may be of use to UK readers (and maybe EU?)

    They offer the usual subjects (inc. Green banana flour, which I am really pleased about!) plus a source of RS I am not familiar with (FiberFin).