Monday, October 20, 2014

Redefining Human MOVIE: Science Communication Done Differently


Soon we'll have a special podcast interview with Jamie Binns from Root House, the producers of a new series of mini movies and a larger movie called 'REDEFINING HUMAN' and the role of our gut microbiota has on our lives, planet and health. Matt and I were really excited to talk to Jamie and find out what they are doing in the next year. Their goal is to allow normal citizens like you and I to direct and influence science by many direct interactions, contact and conversations with gut researchers. Their esteemed co-collaborators are: AmGut, U of CO Boulder and U of Chicago. Many AMA sessions (ask-me-anything) with the lead scientists will be created in the future. I suspect the public will love learning in this interactive medium.

With targeted, informed research and understanding the microbiota, both medicine and healthcare with vastly change. Root causes will be better elucidated. I'm so grateful there are visionaries like Jamie and his crew at Redefining Human (because only 10% if human cells)!

One of Jamie's favorite projects is personalized microbiotas -- to provide what is missing (like the ancestral core) after genetic analysis of the microbiota via AmGut or the other means available out there.

The Kickstarter link is:

Many levels of participation are available. I'm going for the case of kombucha UpStart for $150! yay!!

Thanks Jamie for being an advocate for the humble gut microbiota, our tiny friends!!!

To post direct topics, inquiries, microbiota thoughts, please leave a message or note for Jamie at his reddit:

Redefining Human: Science Communication Done Differently
Boulder, CO- Design firm Root House Studio and the CU: Boulder-based American Gut Project launched a Kickstarter campaign on October 15th  to crowdfund a documentary series about American Gut’s revolutionary research on the human microbiomethe trillions of microbes that live in our bodies and challenge what we define as human. The aim of the series is to share information on this little known, yet incredibly important science with the general public, and to inspire the next generation of scientists to study the microbiome.

The documentary series, titled Redefining Human, will use a variety of techniques to make this complex and theoretical science easier to understand. In addition to standard documentary interviews, Root House will utilize their in-house animation team to bring to life scenes which would be nearly impossible to film, such as interactions between bacterial species and the human body. Just as the series Cosmos featuring Neil deGrasse Tyson seeks to use film and animation to explain complex scientific theories on the world beyond, Redefining Human seeks to showcase the complex world within.

Root House wants Redefining Human to be the first crowdfunded and crowdsourced science documentary series. Each episode is funded and guided by the public; using the Redefining Human Twitter and Reddit pages, fans can communicate directly with the documentary team to suggest new content to cover in episodes, critique previous chapters, network with other fans, and offer ways to improve the discussion and discourse of microbiome research.

The long term goal of Root House and Redefining Human is to encourage crowdfunding as a revenue model for science communication. Since very little grant money goes towards disseminating the findings of newly-explored science, groundbreaking research on topics such as the microbiome is often doomed to remain within PhD circles. Contributions to science from billionaires such as Bill Gates, Eric Schmidt, and Lawrence Ellison have helped to push research forward (see NYT article here), but crowdfunding is poised to become the next wave that revolutionizes how science is financed.

According to Ian Scott, cofounder of Root House Studio and director of Redefining Human,

By taking matters into their own hands, everyday citizens can fund the research that is important to them and that has a direct impact upon their lives. We want to create a community based around the crowdfunding of science, and the relevance of the microbiome makes Redefining Human a great place to start.”

Root House’s Redefining Human Kickstarter campaign began October 15th, 2014 12 pm EST. If the goal is not met within 30 days, it will not be funded. Those interested in supporting the campaign should use the link below.

For background on this project, please see the additional information provided below.
Kickstarter Link:


What is the Microbiome?
The microbiome is a 100 trillion strong army of bacteria that inhabits our bodies and redefines what we consider “human”. Almost like a microbial organ, the microbiome helps us digest food, regulates our metabolism, and fights off infection. A poorly functioning microbiome has been linked to allergies, obesity, diabetes, and immunodeficiency.
NPR series on the human microbiome:
About the American Gut Project
An offshoot of the Human Microbiome Project, the American Gut Project is a collaboration between the University of Colorado-Boulder and the University of Chicago. The American Gut project is mapping the human microbiome and providing open-access data analysis so scientists all over the world can begin to study how the microbiome affects our health. Already the American Gut Project has sampled over 9000 individuals and raised over $572,000 through crowdfunding/crowdswabbing efforts.
Michael Pollan article:
About Root House Studio
Root House is a creative studio whose mission is designing for the greater good. Based in Boulder, Colorado, Root House helps public agencies, organizations, and entrepreneurs produce the media, the aesthetic, and the delivery of their message to ensure it reaches and resonates with their target audience. Root House's designers are story tellers. They use graphics, animation, digital media, built environments and exhibits to craft compelling stories that inspire new outlooks and propel positive change.

For more information, please visit

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Gut Guardians Podcast: Episode 02 – GETTING DOWN WITH INULIN

Second Episode of The Gut Guardians Podcast: GETTING DOWN WITH INULIN

In this episode, Grace and Matt talk about Inulin. With all the buzz around Resistant Starch, not much love is being thrown around about Inulin. By the end of this episode you’ll learn about inulin, why we can become intolerant to it, and why it’s key for feeding the right strains in our gut. Inulin proves to be key for maintaining and keeping a good flora!

Matt says that the static is still lingering in this episode, but the issue has been resolved for future episodes. Please comment or post up reviews on iTunes, we’d really appreciate it!

Enjoy the episode!


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Don't Take Raw Potato Starch (RPS) Temporarily If You Have an Autoimmune Disorder (Part 5)

This is the 5th of 5 series:

Part 1: Don't Take Resistant Starch Alone and Other Precautions; RS2 Needs to Be Taken With Other Fiber To Spread Fermentation Completely Across the Entire Colon
Part 2: Real Food Resistant Starch (RS3) Trumps High-Dose Potato Starch Diet To Expand the Lean and Immunoprotective Core Microbiota (Roseburia, Eubacteria, F. prausnitzii, Bifidobacteria)
Part 3: Don't Take Resistant Starch If You Have Moderate to Severe Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Temporarily
Part 4: Don't Eat Raw Resistant Starch (RS2) If Pre-Cancerous or Cancerous for Colorectal Cancer, Temporarily
Part 5: Don't Take Raw Potato Starch (RPS) Temporarily If You Have an Autoimmune Disorder

Autoimmune disorders: if RS eaters are in the small intestines or severe intestinal permeability continues to allow normal gut microbes to leach into the blood, don't take any resistant starch and digestible starches temporarily. 

How do you know? Cooked starches or raw RS make you very sick, flu-like, muscle achy, headachey, constipated, diarrhea, or bloated. 

Fix your gut by seeding, weeding, then feeding the missing populations of gut guardians like soil probiotics, Bifidobacteria, Roseburia and Akkermansia.

Various autoimmune disorders implicate microbes that selectively prefer digestible starch and resistant starch.  Through of a process known as molecular mimicry the body mistakenly attacks its own tissues (joints, brain, bowels) in an ancient programmed attempt to contain the invading enteric microbe leaching into the blood and lymph circulation (Ebringer et al, 2011 and 2013):
--Porphyromonas gingivalis
--spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi
--Morganella morganii (I had this one, REALLY FUN, had to SEED/WEED)

I had to seed-weed out a few things before I fixed my gut (my n=1). Just recently I retested and I've maintained a parasite free gut after weeding and by using bionic fiber version B (7-Steps) and soil probiotics.

Which inflammatory and autoimmune disorders are characterized by the above microbial fingerprints? 

Rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's, ulcerative colitis), celiac disease, Grave's and Hashimoto's thyroiditis, allergy and asthma, etc.


Seeding with great probiotics helps crowd out weeds without toxicity or carpet bombing: Step #3 Probiotics -- soil based, bifidobacteria, lactobacilli. This includes all of our beneficial symbionts that antibiotics and high sugar diets kill off.

Ashwin Patel finds neem (Himalaya HHTheraNeem) to be great for many gut applications: antifungal, weeding, antiparasitic/microbial, help the flow of bile, liver and skin. Tim Steele loves botanical/medicinal mushroom teas; these are potent weeders and anti-inflammatory. He's used it for many years. To blunt die-off, don't forgot charcoal, bentonite and edible earth.

After antibiotics the above adverse microbes can flourish if already present or newly introduced. Antibiotics have multiple ways of silently damaging our bodies. Antibiotics are so potent. By wiping out 'bad' flora, the collateral damage is annihilation and genocide of the 'good' microbes that are the sentinels of the gut. I like botanical ways of 'weeding' instead because these are often gentler (not always) and can preserve the gut guards like Bifidobacteria, Roseburia and Akkermansia better. The damage left by antibiotics allows the below to proliferate:
--Candida, Aspergillus, etc yeasts
--parasites (eg, E nana, I also hadB hominii, way more common than you'd think)
--protozoa (giardia, malaria, etc)
--viruses (herpes, EBV, CMV, etc)

On the contrary, cell counts (CFU/ml) of presumptive Bacteroides, Staphylococcus, Salmonella, Shighella and Klebsiella were significantly higher (P = 0.014) in T-CD [TREATED CELIAC DISEASE] compared to HC children [NON-CELIAC HEALTHY CONTROLS].  --DiCagno et al 2011

Candida proteins resemble gluten -- once an immune reaction against candida occurs, then ginormous gluten intolerances develop. Celiac can be one if the right HLA DQ2/8 immune cells are around.  The body attacks food-based wheat, barley, rye and oats with a vengeance because these contain (or are cross contaminated) with gluten. Stopping gluten allows the immune system/gut to calm down. This is Step #6 of the 7 Steps and one of the most critical.

Klebsiella pneumonia proteins resemble the collagen in joints, skin and connective tissues all over the body. If the gut is leaky and K. pneumonia breaches into the blood circulation and triggers immunity, then several inflammatory or autoimmune conditions may form. AS is an autoimmune reaction where the body attacks joints in the spine and all over the body. Klebsiella is implicated in nearly autoimmune disease including celiac disease because it is such a strong gut disruptor and opportunistic viper. The heritability and genetics of RA, celiac and other autoimmune disorders has not changed. What has changed are the mass extinctions occurring in our inner gardens. Celiacs are not born, they are created by antibiotics and the deficiency of the guardians of the gut.

The prevalence of HLA-B27 varies markedly in the general population. For example, about 8% of Caucasians, 4% of North Africans, 2-9% of Chinese, and 0.1-0.5% of persons of Japanese descent possess this gene.[1] In northern Scandinavia (Lapland), 24% of people are HLA-B27 positive, while 1.8% have associated ankylosing spondylitis. --Wikipedia

HLA B27, New Autoimmune Disease Affecting Millions (Ebringer et al, 2007)

Ebringer was one of the first to promote the connection between dietary starches feeding enteric Klebsiella and several autoimmune diseases including akylosing spondylitis (AS).  Klebsiella is omnivorous -- it eats both digestible and raw starches equally well. Many have failed gut issues after trying raw potato starch, HAM or even green banana flour if they have large overgrowths of Kleb, before doing some seeding and weeding. Normally the soil probiotics, Roseburia, and Bifidobacteria protect the intestinal lining to prevent this breaching of Kleb into blood circulation. High stress, sugar-refined-carb-based diets and antibiotics lower these guardians, leading to broken barriers, thus allowing Kleb, candida, Prevotella and other implicated microorganisms to breach and translocate to other organs.

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2007 Sep;1110:112-20.
B27 disease is a new autoimmune disease that affects millions of people.
"B27 disease" is a new autoimmune disease that afflicts millions of people throughout the world. "B27 disease" occurs in individuals who have ankylosing spondylitis (AS) or preankylosing spondylitis and/or uveitis and are also positive for HLA-B27. Molecular mimicry between the bowel microbe Klebsiella and the HLA-B27 molecule, as well as the spinal collagens types I, III, and IV, indicates a pathological mechanism involving autoimmunity. Antibodies to Klebsiella microbes have been reported in AS patients from 18 different countries. Sera from patients with AS show complement-dependent cytopathic activity against sheep red cells coated with HLA-B27 peptide antigens. Diagnosis of B27 disease can lead to early treatment, involving low-starch diet, sulfasalazine, and immunosuppressive and biological agents so as to prevent the irreversible bony changes of established classical AS. The concept of B27 disease provides a new approach to the study and treatment of these disorders and needs to be evaluated in prospective studies by the world rheumatological community.
PMID: 17911426


Some autoimmunity will not respond well to raw potato starch or raw green banana flour. It depends if SIBO/SIFO is present -- microorganisms growing inappropriately in the small intestines -- and which organisms are growing there. If any of the listed bugs from above consume RS2, then there might be problems and worsening of autoimmunity.

IMHO Most individuals just are not that 'in tune' with their bods to identify if something is truly jiving in the gut or not. Please test, don't guess. B-I-O-H-A-C-K.

Figure out if you are low in one or many of your ancestral symbionts. Inventory an accurate list of what is in your black box, particularly if you have had or have currently an autoimmune disorder. Don't shift your gut into a shittier situation.

My favorite test is the Genova Diagnostics 2200 Stool which was recently upgraded to include some of my 7 ancestral core species. This progressive stool test will change modern medicine! Microbiome-based diagnostics and therapeutics will wipe out conventional healthcare because it offers routes to identify what's actually and truly 'wrong'.
  • Klebsiella appears to both consume raw RS2 and digestible starches - this is the big problem for Alkylosing Spondylitis (AS) and HLA B27. 
  • Prevotella and other Bacteroidetes can consume RS2 and 'bloom' with raw RS2 and starches. Prevotella overgrowths are highly implicated in many autoimmune  and inflammatory conditions: Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), new onset RAreactive arthritis, obesity (6-fold higher), T2 diabetes, smokers, UC/IBD, multiple sclerosis, and psoriasis
  • Metabolic gut cross feeders -- I have no idea who these are but in an unhealthy, unbalanced gut, often these are present. If adverse effects occur with raw potato starch or green banana flour, then these are likely to be present. They break down RS2 to make products of starch hydrolysis, that feed one or several of the above listed pathogenic microbes.


To crowd out the above opportunistic vipers, try to achieve as perfect as possible digestion, probiotics and inulin to help move them out of the small intestines. A low starch diet initially helps improve Kleb, Candida or Prevotella overgrowths. The 7 steps, removing yeasts and parasites, gastric acidity and the flow of bile are all vital. Inulin (bionic fiber version B) lowers Prevotella  where on the other hand raw potato starch may strongly flare it.  Raising the beneficial symbionts will further eradicate any remaining vipers -- the ancestral soil probiotics, Bifidobacteria/B. longum, Roseburia and Akkermansia. These populations grow and thrive when we make a point to eat a diverse and varied rainbow of cooked-cooled RS3 and avoid high-dose raw maize or potato starch which unfortunately LOWERS ALL OF THEM. Depending on the balance and composition of organisms in the gut, high dose potato starch may worsen these gut profiles if Prevotella or Klebsiella is a dominating gut growth. Just as in high risk or pre-cancerous colorectal cancer, high dose potato starch is likely to contribute to exacerbation of a detrimental and carcinogenic gut microbiota 'fingerprint' by promoting low Roseburia and Clostridia clusters XIVa, the main butyrate factories of our guts.


After identifying the pathogens and what beneficial gut flora are missing, it is much easier to fix autoimmunity and gut health. Here are some cases of completely resolved autoimmunity and disappearance of auto-antibodies within 4-6 weeks after starting the 7 Steps. Weeding was done to some extent in one case, but in the case only probiotics/prebiotics.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Gut Guardians Inaugural Podcast: Episode 01 – Intro to Grace and Matt

Introducing: The Gut Guardians Podcast

Partnering with Mr. Matt Pepin, of fame, we are launching a podcast fully focused on gut health and the microbes that make the gut its home. In the first episode we talk about why we love the gut and its importance not only in our lives, but for the future of medicine. There was even talk of the power of float tanks and zen states.

There were some technical difficulties due to Matt's old 2008 laptop. The static issue will only be present in the first two episodes.

Please tell us what you like-dislike, love-hate, about the show!

We had a ton of fun, and want to make it mutually good for you too...

CLICK, GO STRAIGHT TO iTUNES [explicit, NSWF sometimes]

Matt has a super funny and calm outlook on life. Like me he is a fan of his gut flora. He is also a great writer. His 12 Signs Your Flora is F*kced is my favorite post (and his first ever blog post). Ck it out!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Don't Eat Raw Resistant Starch (RS2) If Pre-Cancerous or Cancerous for Colorectal Cancer, Temporarily (Part 4)

This is 4 of 5 series:

Colorectal Cancer On The Rise

Colorectal cancer (CRC) like all cancers is on the rise. In Australia, the prevalence is quite high and has not waned despite CSIRO launching one of the largest RS (resistant starch) campaigns to get everyone to supplement scones, cereal, muffins, rice mixes, wraps and cookies with frankenfood resistant starches like genetically hybridized BarleyMAX.  Our guts are the same for the last tens of thousands of years, but the incoming food and environment are not. Parkin in Nature recently wrote about how cancer affects different parts of the world (source).  CRC is in high prevalence for: orange (USA, EU, UK) 36-48%; red (AUS) 48-60% per 100,000 in males. Men and women have similar rates.
Colorectal Cancer in Males Around the World:
Highest in Industrialized Countries: USA, UK, EU, AUS

How Does Resistant Starch RS2 v. RS3 Affect These Gut Populations?

Prior post: Cooked/Crystallized RS3 Trumps Raw RS2: They are Vastly Different in Our Guts

Native South Africans have the lowest CRC rates (see first digram).  Their diet is rich in fermented, 'stale', whole grain-maize porridge which they sit out for a few days after making. This starchy staple is abundant in RS3 and it is estimated native Africans consume 40 to 60 grams daily RS3, and otherwise eat a relatively low 'fiber' diet of 15-25 g fiber daily.

RS3 is a network of crystallized and aggregated amyloses formed in double helical chains after 'melting' during cooking and cooling to room temp (25C) or refrigeration (4C) . The gut microbes can access RS3, but our pancreatic and salivary amylases (starch cutters) cannot. They are not 'calories' or 'carbs' in the traditional sense. They don't feed US, they feed our gut flora. Foods like maize porridge, legumes, lentils and whole grains are typically considered low glycemic index (GI). These are also the foods associated with the lowest risks of CRC in epidemiological studies across the world with estimated risk reductions of 30-81%. They are high in conventional 'fiber' and resistant starch (RS3).

Root Sources of Colorectal Cancer

More and more studies point to a microbial 'fingerprint' that characterizes CRC just as these microbial fingerprints fit nearly all other diseases of industrialized nations. According to recent examinations, guts of individuals with CRC might be described as being marked by low mucus barriers, deficiencies of big butyrate producers and overgrowths of Bacteroides. In the worst case scenarios, the mucus barriers are terribly eroded and overgrowths of even the 'good' butyrate producers have invaded. Antibiotics are the causes of many of our missing gut microbes. They wipe out the 'good' which allow opportunistic pathogens to grow in their empty niches without regulation or control. Bacteroides are overgrowing somewhere in CRC or pre-clinical stages the newest literature suggests. Bacteroides are ultra fast fermenters of RS2, raw green bananas/plantains and raw potato starch. Being omnivorous and voracious, they are involved with protein fermentation as well.
  • Excess Bacteroides
  • Pathogens, Opportunistic Flora Overgrowths, Yeasts: Fusobacteria, Klebsiella, etc.
  • Low Bifidobacteria
  • Low Clostridia clusters IV, F. prausnitzii
  • Low Clostridia clusters XIVa, Roseburia and Eubacteria

CRC: High Bacteroides; Low Butyrate Factories

Let's look at 2 seminal gut 'fingerprinting' studies for CRC that came out 2 years ago.
ISME J. 2012 Feb;6(2):320-9.
Structural segregation of gut microbiota between colorectal cancer patients and healthy volunteers.

"One OTU closely related to Bacteroides fragilis was enriched in the gut microbiota of CRC patients, whereas three OTUs related to Bacteroides vulgatus and Bacteroides uniformis [ANCESTRAL CORE] were enriched in that of healthy volunteers. A total of 11 OTUs belonging to the genera Enterococcus, Escherichia/Shigella, Klebsiella, Streptococcus and Peptostreptococcus were significantly more abundant in the gut microbiota of CRC patients, and 5 OTUs belonging to the genus Roseburia and other butyrate-producing bacteria of the family Lachnospiraceae were less abundant. Reduction of butyrate producers and increase of opportunistic pathogens may constitute a major structural imbalance of gut microbiota in CRC patients."

Microb Ecol. 2013 Aug;66(2):462-70.
Dysbiosis signature of fecal microbiota in colorectal cancer patients.

"Partial least-squares discriminant analysis showed that 17 phylotypes closely related to Bacteroides were enriched in the gut microbiota of CRC patients, whereas nine operational taxonomic units, represented by the butyrate-producing genera Faecalibacterium and Roseburia, were significantly less abundant. A positive correlation was observed between the abundance of Bacteroides species and CRC disease status (R = 0.462, P = 0.046). In addition, 16 genera were significantly more abundant in CRC samples than in controls, including potentially pathogenic Fusobacterium and Campylobacter species at genus level. The dysbiosis of fecal microbiota, characterized by the enrichment of potential pathogens and the decrease in butyrate-producing members, may therefore represent a specific microbial signature of CRC."

Test Don't Guess Your Black Box: New GDX GI Fx Gut Microbiota PCR Testing

Here's an example of the brand, spanking new Genova Diagnostics gut microbiota testing with 16S rRNA PCR technology. I love the new interface and it offers all the strains that I discuss. Below 'RELATIVE ABUNDANCE' is an example of low beneficial Akkermansia and high Fusobacteria, opportunistic overgrowth.
GDX GI function stool testing
Genova Diagnostics

Raw RS2 HAM Increases Bacteroides + Decreases Butyrate Producers: Roseburia, Eubacteria and F. prausnitzii (clusters XIVa and IV)

In a high dose RS2 feeding zero (control) v. 18% v. 36% high amylose maize, the big butyrate factories became reduced in abundance FIG S2 (Tachon et al 2013).  Yes Bacteroides went NUTSO in growth. Recall these are overgrowing in pre-cancerous and CRC subjects. Akkermansia too, but Akkermansia is also high in CRC (due to broken mucus linings and damage from missing symbionts).

"Tachon et al state: "This reduction was most obvious for members of the families Lachnospiraceae and Ruminococceae. Lachnospiraceae represented 51 ± 14% of total bacteria in Control mice and 36 ± 14% in mice fed HAM-RS2. Similarly, Ruminococceae were reduced from 7.7 ± 4.3% of total bacteria among the Controls to 4.5 ± 2.6% in mice fed HAM-RS2. Proportions of specific Firmicutes genera were also reduced by the presence of dietary RS including Roseburia  and  Butyrivibrio   (Fig. 3). These results were consistent with quantitative real-time PCR that showed that mice fed 36% HAM-RS2 carried lower levels of Clostridium from the clusters IV and XIV (Fig. S2).""

Fix Root Causes, Avoid Adverse Gut Shifts in Eating High-Dose Raw Resistant Starch

What does work for Lynch perhaps and other colorectal cancer prevention?  How to fix root causes?

The modern, disabled gut drastically needs 'resetting' back to ancestral norms. Find a farm. Play in healthy dirt. Vigorously look at the 7 Steps and appropriate seeding/weeding, not overfeeding Bacteroides and starving out the clusters XIVa/IV (Roseburia, etc). Prior posts on Roseburia: Massive Butyrate Powerhouse.

What raises Roseburia in abundance the MOST are starches, RS3 and inulin (Van den Abeele et al 2011, others). They don't seem to like RS2. Their preference after millions of years of evolution might be related to the broad diversification of resource allocation, eg NOVEL FOOD (roasted tubers, cooked legumes). Very few strains in the gut actually have a preference to live solely on raw tuber or banana/plantain starches. All of them however eat inulin and starches.  Cooked food offers much to man and their microbes. The bugs like them. Our brain and muscle metabolism likes them. Whole food also offer fiber which becomes easier to chew and assimilate after cooking and food processing.

RS3 Self Experimenter: 20 - 40 grams/day Resistant Starch in Real Whole Food

Here is a spectacularly diverse gut and N=1, whole, real food resistant starches 20-40 g/day (RS3) enriched Roseburia apparently by 26-fold (compared to healthy uBIOME controls, 4.3-fold higher): Whole Real RS Foods Expand the Lean, Ancestral and Immunoprotective Core Microbiota (Tim Steele's N=1) .

It appears folate and B vitamin supplementation might help. Our soil probiotics, bifidobacteria, and lactobacilli in our gut produce B vitamins and folates for us.

Both RS3 and inulin are very special for colorectal cancer prevention. Not only do they feed the butyrate powerhouses but they come as 'high fiber' packages from evolution.

Whole Real Food

Amount Eaten
Inulin-Oligosaccharide Content

RS3 Content
Chicory root
Jerusalem artichoke
Dandelion greens
Onion (raw)
Garlic (raw)
Cowpea, White Lupin
Lentils, Chickpeas, Hummus
Pinto Beans (cooked/cooled)
Purple Potato (roasted/cooled)
Potato (boiled/cooled)
Rice (cooked/cooled)
Long grain Rice (cooked/cool)

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Don't Take Resistant Starch If You Have Moderate to Severe Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Temporarily (Part 3)

This is 3 of 5 series:

Moderate to Severe IBS: Don't Take RS, Temporarily

IBS is a common syndrome marked by alternating diarrhea and constipation or mainly constipation (IBS-C) or mainly loose stools (IBS-D). The 7 Steps are very effective for IBS whether IBS-C or IBS-D because the 7 Steps embody functional medicine which finds the root problem and fixes it. HERE are successful cases for 7 Steps and functional medicine.
"Many of the faecal microbiota taxa that have been shown to be associated with IBS, such as Ruminococcaceae and Clostridium cluster XIVa, are known to be enriched for species that produce SCFAs [87]." Jeffrey et al, 2013. Source.
Caged vipers live in the zoos of individuals with IBS and these are RS2/starch eaters. Vipers are a relative term. Rumino and Clostridium cluster XIVa are notorious RS2, RS3, starch and inulin eating monsters. They love RS2. They love inulin. They love RS3 and starches (see Tim's 26-fold expansion of XIVa/Roseburia eating whole, real resistant starch, low GI starches). If these creatures are overgrowing in your small intestines, don't take resistant starch until the situation is improved.

Members of the Ancestral Core are OVERGROWING in the Foregut

We need lots of Ruminococcus and Clostridia cluster XIVa which are prominent members of the ancestral core I talked at length about in the AHS14. Cluster XIVa is one of the vital groups of gut microbiota that protect and recovered an rodent model of peanut allergy recently.

However in IBS, there are excessive amounts of these 'good' ancestral bacteria in the small intestines (SI) where the surface is relatively sterile with only rare microbes compared with the hot, fermenting compost in the colon. They are invading because the gatekeepers are gone (soil organisms, bifidobacteria, etc). Too many bugs inhabiting the SI cause small intestinal permeability (SIBO). If yeasts and fungi are involved as a result of overgrowth after antibiotics wipe out the symbiont bacteria, this is known as SIFO, small intestinal FUNGAL overgrowth. This is a hidden and prevalent condition and leads to intestinal permeability, then, subsequent auto-immune disorders, inflammation, cancer, strokes and heart attacks.

Ruminococcus may favor RS2 in rhizomes and tubers over any other food because of a preference etched in their DNA from 1 to 2 million years ago or even longer. Raw tubers, wild carrots, roots of cattails and water chestnuts contain granules of RS2 that Ruminocccus bromii will physically attach to with ancient machinery and ferment the f*kc out of.

How Do You Know If Ruminococcus and Clostridia XIVa Are In the Small Intestines?

Intolerance for inulin, starches or resistant starch are often loud TMIs and uncomfortable cramps or bloating. These are the 'hallmarks' for IBS and are triggered by diet, stress or other factors.
"High levels of acetic acid and propionic acid were associated with poor QOL and negative emotion in this study." Tana et al, 2009. Source.
In IBS, butyric acid and other SCFAs (acetic acid and propionic acid) are ironically high. We don't want to really make these higher. The more SCFAs, the worse mental function research has found. The gut-brain axis is broken. This is a modern triad: IBS, depression/anxiety and migraines/headaches. Body aches or fibromylagia are not uncommon as well.

FODMAPS, sugar, fructose and digestible starches are consumed by Lactobacillus which is a common species found to be elevated as well. More lacto probiotics and fermented foods which are rich in lactobacillus will make IBS symptoms and mental function worse. Again until improved digestion and the 7 steps helps to improve the health and function of the small intestines, following a full-on or semi GAPS, SCD or a lower fermentable fiber diet is prudent until the weeds are thinned out. Long term these special diets compromise gut function by depriving the guts of fuel and energy for the microbiota.

Unfortunately if you have these benign but HUNGRY RS- and inulin-chomping critters living where they are not supposed -- the small intestines, a mostly sterile place -- more IBS signs and symptoms will be present (bloating, gas, pain, bloating and even brain fog and fatigue).  Think of the small intestines as a freeway. It doesn't want to be congested or a city-wide buffet for millions of critters. It wants its contents to flow and be absorbed and move along.

Concomitant GERD and IBS

GERD and IBS often go hand in hand. The very pharmaceuticals that 'treat' GERD make small intestinal congestion worse. Without acid, digestion halts and gases back up, producing symptoms of heart burn, epigastric pain, fullness and GERD. The gases make the sphincter loose. Drugs like NSAIDs, ibuprofen, acid blockers, PPIs, 'the purple pill Prilosec/omeprazole' all increase pathogenic growths and lower Bifidobacteria. Without the trigger of massive normal acidity in the stomach, not only do pathogens thrive, but protein digesting enzymes will be defunct. Our ancestral core probiotics in our gut play vital roles in making sure digestion rolls forward without a hitch. Antibiotics, stress and high sugar/refined diets compromise their environment in our guts. It is not wonder so many people have to reach for TUMS or Mylanta for transient relief. Try to identify root causes as these solutions actually make the problem far worse.


Fixing the Root Problem(s)

Our small intestines are carnivorous; to breakdown fats and meat/seafood/vegetarian protein, 3 things are mandatory -- (1) high acid, (2) bile acids, and (3) clever cutters, known as pancreatic enzymes, to degrade everything to smaller parcels.

Without adequate acid, fat and protein malabsorb and putrify. This can stink up stools (but not always, test...don't guess). Farts too, no longer making flatus pleasant and compost-y. It is not obvious for some unless functional medicine labs are done to detect fat and triglycerides in stools that travel unbroken and fully intact instead of being absorbed and providing energy to the host.

If acid is impaired consideration for the below helps optimal digestion:
--walking 10-20 minutes after meals
--kombucha, kraut, kefir, diluted raw apple cider vinegar with most meals
--betaine HCl (Robb Wolf has a fantastic protocol he has used for years)
--digestive enzyme supplementation
--bile acid supplementation (Hat tip: Lola)

For optimal gut health in the improvement of IBS, consider not taking any resistant starch or inulin temporarily if IBS symptoms are triggered.  Yes that includes version A (potato starch) and version B (GBF which contains ~5 grams RS2 + inulin) of bionic fiber. Consider rehabilitating the gut by seeding with symbionts (like soil probiotics and bifidobacteria), feeding what is appropriate and to select what you need (not Ruminococcus or Clostridia XIVa) and what is MISSING.