Wednesday, December 24, 2014

High Dose Potato Starch Can Make You Fatter, Insulin Resistant By Lowering GLP-1 AND ESPECIALLY If You Are Missing Bifidobacteria longum and Akkermansia mucinophila, aka SAD Microbial Fingerprint (Part V) NSFW

Part I: Bifidobacteria longum, Roseburia, F. prausnitzii (and Akkermansia) Made Us Human (NONE OF THESE EAT RAW POTATO STARCH) NSFW
Part II: HADZA GUTS HAVE THE ANCESTRAL CORE MICROBIOTA IN ABUNDANCE; High Dose RAW Starch Can Suppress Bifidobacteria, Roseburia, F. prausnitzii That Make Us Human
Part III: PALEO MAG HOT TONY FEDERICO HAS THE ANCESTRAL CORE MICROBIOTA IN ABUNDANCE; Citizen Science; Cautions with RPS-RUMPS; High Dose RAW Starch Appears to Suppress Christensenella, Akkermansia, and B longum That Make Us LEAN
Part IV: High Dose Potato Starch Can Make You Fatter, Insulin Resistant, Feed Vipers in Your UPPER GUT If You Are MISSING Bifidobacteria longum and Akkermansia mucinophila, aka SAD Microbial Fingerprint  NSFW
Part V: High Dose Potato Starch Can Make You Fatter, Insulin Resistant By Lowering GLP-1 AND ESPECIALLY If You Are Missing  Bifidobacteria longum and Akkermansia mucinophila, aka SAD Microbial Fingerprint NSFW

Intrepid gut explorer. Gut Tests Show Depletions of Akkermansia After Long Use of RUMPS, Which Appears to Correlate With Recent Bout 10 Lb Fat Gain/High Blood Sugars/Gout/Fatty Liver:    I love Tim S. and his intrepid gut testing. Several weeks ago, all the contents for this series and the past series (Parts 1-5) were run by and approved by Tim to discuss publicly. I brought up my observations and concerns very early on. He gave his approval to discuss all my concerns, precautions and problems for adverse effects generated by high dosage RS2 including concern for his liver, his high liver tests, SIBO/upper gut dysfunction, recent bout of 10 lb weight gain, gout, and fatty liver/NASH in June 2014, depletions of gut guardians including Akkermansia, and possible connections to the gut obesity fingerprint that is created with high dosage raw potato starch/RS2, the studies, the other N=1s, etc. He's the only person I know how has taken potato starch for over 1.5 years and his gut profiles are known with major depletions of vital 'Peacekeepers' (Faecalibacterium prausnitzii) and other immunoprotective species. Human and animal studies depletions of these gut species predispose to the conditions he developed: carbohydrate sensitivity, fat gain, fatty liver/NASH. Gut researchers have concluded that RS2 (type 2, raw; not cooked RS3) are not prebiotics and do not translate to humans. Metabolic function worsens in human randomized controlled trials.

He is a bold citizen of science and declined the three times that I asked him if he wanted me to omit his data and carbohydrate/fruit related fatty liver/NASH.  His liver tests are better. One month ago, his liver test was still 35 and recently he reported it's now 15. 

He said "Grace has been privy to all of my gut tests, labs, and health concerns as a friend, not a doctor. I gave her express permission to discuss them how she sees fit. I think that this information needs to be shared freely. If I had a problem with any of this, Grace would be the first to know. I don't have a problem with her discussing me or my experiments. They are out there for everyone to see and interpret as they wish."

How does the gut microbiota and what we feed it affect our health?
Why does diet and dietary additions like supplements change in the composition and function of the gut?
How does loss of diversity with a high dosage of a single source of 'fiber' adversely affect health?


Bodinham et al 2014. Let's review. High dosage 40 g/day RS2 (high amylose maize) for 12 weeks increased resistance (HOMA) and lowered the fat-burning gut hormone known as GLP1. Post prandially, HAM-RS2 made a tiny spike in GLP1 however longterm it decreased by 33% compared with the control arm (p=0.0049). The drop in the gut hormone GLP1 was quite significant and was one of the few parameters that met statistically significance in this study.  

Optimal gut health is supposed to yield better fat burning, leanness and metabolic improvements, no? Not high dosage RS2 it appears. Why?

I have low gut diversity like most people and for me each time high dose RPS caused problems; it halted fat loss besides giving me reflux and GERD when I took it for over 4weeks. 

Results Tab 1:
--increased fasting TG (p=0.039)
--increased LDL cholesterol
--increased HOMA% (aka insulin resistance) wtf??!
--~35.2% increased pancreas fat  wtf? (13.7 v. 10.5, NS)
(Body fat depots determined by MRS scanning (n=14).)
--increased fat mass (32.2 kg v 31.8 kg)
--increased BMI
--increased weight
--reduced GLP1 (11.4 v. 17.0, p=0.049)
--increased IL6 (but lower TNFa)
--lower butyrate (p less than 0.001) 
--lower propionate (p = 0.021)
--no improvements in glucose, insulin, Hgba1c

GLP-1 (the Gut-Fatness Hamster Connection)

In the Bodinham et al 2014 study, GLP1 was found to significantly decrease by 33% (p=0.049). The well controlled subjects with T2 diabetes also gained on average about a pound of fat in 12 wks compared with the controls. Apparently the researchers examined the fat depots and body fat and found that pancreas fat increased 35.2% on average. Fatty pancreas. Is this synonymous to fatty liver and NASH/NAFLD? 

The authors don't clarify or discuss but it is.  

The results were unpredicted but if we understand how the gut hormones GLP1 and microbial fingerprint became 'worse' on a high dosage non-ancestral 'fiber' and diversity was compromised, then it makes sense. Though the stool butyrate decreased, it is obvious there was butyrate in the colon because glucose handling improved a tiny bit. Insulin resistance however tanked as shown by various indicators: increased TG (p=0.039), increased LDL-chol, increased BMI and body fat, and lastly increased HOMA at both the pancreatic beta cells and traditional measurements. Hgba1c and blood sugars didn't change or improve at all, as the researchers were hoping for. They talk nothing at all about the gut microbiota. Their other study showed the same metabolic disruptions with high dosage RS2.

The same thing and worse trends were seen in overweight subjects with high dosage 40 grams daily of HAM-RS2: Bodinham et al 2012

Table 1:
--increased TG
--increased body fat (Tanita bioimpedance scales, 28.1% v. 27.8%, NS)
--increased systolic BP (wtf)
--increased diastolic BP (wtf)
--boatload of insulin increased with 40 g HAM-RS2 acute dosing
--increased fasting insulin (88.6 v. 85.4 pmol/L, NS) wtf

Fasting glucose this time decreased but that is because all the spikes in post-prandial insulin is shoving all the glucose into adipose cells now and making them fatty which is clear by the increased TG and higher insulin-related consequences: higher systolic and diastolic blood pressures. wtf. I bet it lowered GLP1 where it is already low and lame in overweight and T2 diabetes subjects.

What is GLP1? 

I love GLP-1. 

It helps us to burn and remodel fat. "Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), a gut-derived peptide, has been reported to have profound effects on metabolism and to reduce insulin resistance (Yang et al 2013)."  High protein diets raise GLP-1 and satiating PYY gut hormones to cause nice fat burning. It appears that high dosage raw starches causes a downward trend of this fat-burning molecule. Ruh-OH. This time it does not depend on either the pre-existing gut or what human gut symbions are missing. It happens in healthy human subjects in several trials so far. 

Both GLP-1 and GLP-2 are vital for the gut. They seal and heal the gut barrier and much much much more. A healthier barrier leads to healthier leanness and body fat composition because inflammation is reduced.

So test your gut, fix your flora and consider the fibers that are (a) ancestral and (b) burn fat by improving metabolic gut pathways and hormones, not potentially worsen them.


The biggest problems I've had with RS2 #HAMSTERFOOD is the lack of translation from hamster studies to human. Like statins, RS2 looks beautiful on paper until you dig deeper... look at the downstream consequences... see what it disturbs or benefits.  RS2 definitely helps colon butyrate, but what does it do for the upper gut where there is no butyrate? Can it disturb the upper gut flora? How does lowering B longum and Akkermansia affect the host? Does it increase intestinal permeability and inflammation if they are not present? 

Raw starch RS2 (and artificially produced RS4) in several human studies is associated significant reductions in GLP-1 or lack of improvements (here, here, here). 

But... not in many rodents............ Boy rodents low raw starches and so do their guts. What about humans? Ruh-OH? Lost in gut translation from hamster to humans? Vastly different gut flora? 

Bodinham et al 2014 may appear confused but I don't think so; the authors wrote: 
"Animal studies have consistently shown that RS improves glucose and insulin metabolism through increased postprandial GLP1 secretion due to stimulation of the colonic enteroendocrine cells (8, 9). This can result in improved insulin secretion. Most recently our own data has shown restored first-phase insulin secretion in metabolic syndrome (10); however, the lack of translational work has recently been highlighted (11)."
Yesssiree. We are humans, not hamsters. So are our special human gut flora that made us big brained and brilliant fat-burning machines .  Our human gut flora eat cooked starches and the whole spectrum fiber. These researchers can see the contradictions, no? As a fiber, high dose RS2 fails to induce fat loss (it appears to raise it) and fails to improve glycemic control and Hgba1c (it in fact worsens fasting insulin and HOMA). On paper, in rodents, high dose RS2 looks decent. 

(not unlike rabbits + low cholesterol diets + human omnivorous/carnivorous heart disease =  animal pharm fallacy)

How and why did this poor metabolic outcome occur? 
Why did raw potato starch and a 'good gut biome' not prevent it?  
Does high dosage potato starch incur a gut profile that is inherently more vulnerable to GERD, reflux, chronic inflammation, and fatty liver/NASH?  
When high dosage potato starch lowers diversity and Akermansia, Bifidobacteria longum and Christensenella, what are the effects for the host?


Cooked whole beans and beta-glucan/arabinoxylan/RS3-inulin-containing cooked barley (herehere) raise GLP-1 in human trials. Don't worry, legumes and small seed grains are certainly paleo for many.

Non-starchy roots/plants like agave, Jerusalem artichokes/sunchokes, yucca, yacon, endive, and dandelion roots are rich in a special immunoprotective fiber similar to breastmilk (inulin-like oligosaccharides). Inulin-type prebiotics significantly improve GLP-2 in human studies (here).  Green vegetables also have small but additive amounts of inulin-oligosaccharides. Inulin is the 2nd most dominant fiber on earth, next to starches.

What's GLP2? GLP-2 is GLP-1's gut hormone cousin and shown to seal the gut, fix intestinal permeability and lower inflammation.

Why are GLP-1 and GLP-2 important? Because the right fiber and combo of fiber modulates and maximizes these gut hormones which basically control our health, body fat storage mechanisms and fat burning metabolism. 

GLP-1: Studs and Science
Hamster or Fat Burning Studly Ham?

VIPER IN SICK GUTS: RPS-RUMPS FFEDS Escherichia coli, an Alcohol Producing Gut Flora

Another problem with high dosage RS2 is what are you feeding and what is one potentially losing? Is RS2 an 'anti-prebiotic' meaning does it substantially lower beneficial gut flora that protect and maintain our health and leanness? Does potato-starch-induced reduction or extinction of beneficial flora such as Christensenella, Akkermansia and human-specific Bifidobacteria longum have certain health consequences?  I believe so, all the above.

E coli is part of the Proteobacteria clade which are overgrowing in several disease microbial fingerprints. We have good non-pathogenic E coli and 'bad toxic' adhesive E coli. After antibiotics, more of the 'bad toxic' and adhesive, pathogenic E coli are selected. An example of good E coli is the European Nissle 1917 E coli strain.  

Several gut flora produce alcohol -- yeasts, E coli, Clostridium asparagiforme (XIVa), Dorea longicatena (XIVa), to name a few (Duncan, Louis, Flint 2007). The XIVa are part of Lachnospiraceae. These are versatile fermenters and eat both raw and cooked starches. 

Clostridium and E coli are rapid fermenters of both raw and cooked starches, therefore if they are overgrowing in the upper gut or with triggers (holiday binge-eating, sweets, lack of sleep, etc lol) AND there is a depletion of the gut guardians -- what can happen? They will overgrow in the upper gut and produce more alcohol than the body can handle. The alcohol can harden your arteries, pancreas, liver and the brain, and make them appear 'fatty'.
"Ethanol and acetaldehyde:  Microorganisms in the small intestine have the capacity to endogenously produce ethanol which enters the bloodstream and is metabolized in theliver (reviewed in [73]). Indeed, microbial synthesis of ethanol is elevated in obese mice and may play arole in the pathogenesis of fatty liver disease [74].In turn, consumption of ethanol can promote bacterial intestinal overgrowth and has the potentialto alter the composition of the microbiota with an attendant increase in Proteobacteria [73]. Ethanol is proposed to disrupt the barrier integrity of the small intestine, and healthy human volunteers exhibit a transient increase in duodenal permeability following the consumption of alcohol [73,75] with a likely influence upon epithelial tight junctions[73].Microorganisms of the intestine can metabolize ethanol to acetaldehyde through alcohol dehydrogenase(ADH) activity [73]. Acetaldehyde has been shown to significantly disrupt cellular junctions, E-cadherin and to induce profound rearrangement sof actin [76,77]. Certainly, current data suggest arole for the microbiota both in the production and metabolism of ethanol in the small intestinewith a potential impact upon gastrointestinal permeability." (Joyce, Gahan 2014)

What raises or lowers pathogenic E coli?
  • RPS (raw potato starch) may raise E coli, including the toxic ETEC strain (travelers' diarrhea), adhesive-invasive E coli (found in gut infections and IBD), and pathogenic E coli often found in urinary tract infections.  In the pigs receiving a diet of 14% raw potato starch (RPS), substantial log growth increases of toxic ETEC E coli in every portion of the pig gut (small intestines/ileum; colon and feces) were observed compared with control and probiotic-fed pigs. Probiotic-fed pigs had dramatically less ETEC E coli in all parts of the GI tract. See below Krause et al 2010. The K88 probiotic had activity against pathogenic E coli and specially selected growths of non-pathogenic 'good', protective E coli (see green box, below).
  • Probiotics and the beneficial flora/guardians in our upper gut work to dramatically lower toxic E coli in every part of the gut (see below green box), particularly the upper gut, aka small intestines (ILEUM) which is the heart of the control center for the immune system -- see  step #3 on soil and bifido probiotics.  (Pubmed)  Probiotics like LABs (bifido, lacto) and Akkermansia produce lactic and acetic acids, respectively, which are strongly antimicrobial and antifungal. Soil probiotics (including E coli), LABs, Bifidobacteria longum and Akkermansia line our gut mucosa from where the stomach begins to the end of the rectum and protect the entire gut and modify immunity.
  • Prebiotics alone work too to lower toxic E coli.  Every prebiotic appears to work, EXCEPT RAW POTATO STARCH (Pubmed).  
  • Avoid RPS if there is too much pathogenic E coli. Raw potato starch is a prebiotic for pathogenic E coli. This Russian researcher states RPS are 'prebiotics for E coli (Ivchenko et al 2006).' (the good and the bad strains).

Krause et al 2010
Higher Toxic ETEC E coli in Raw Potato Starch Alone Arm
v. Controls and v. Probiotics

Intrepid gut explorer. Gut Tests Show Depletions of Akkermansia After Long Use of RUMPS, Which Appears to Correlate With Recent Bout 10 Lb Fat Gain/High Blood Sugars/Gout/Fatty Liver:    I love Tim S. and his intrepid gut testing. Several weeks ago, all the contents for this series and the past series (Parts 1-5) were run by and approved by Tim to discuss publicly. I brought up my observations and concerns very early on. He gave his approval to discuss all my concerns, precautions and problems for adverse effects generated by high dosage RS2 including concern for his liver, his high liver tests, SIBO/upper gut dysfunction, recent bout of fatty liver/NASH in June 2014, depletions of gut guardians including Akkermansia, and possible connections to the gut obesity fingerprint that is created with high dosage raw potato starch/RS2, the studies, the other N=1s, etc.

He is a bold citizen of science and declined the three times that I asked him if he wanted me to omit his data and fatty liver/NASH.  His liver tests are better. One month ago, his liver test was still 35 and recently he reported it's now 15. He said "Grace has been privy to all of my gut tests, labs, and health concerns as a friend, not a doctor. I gave her express permission to discuss them how she sees fit. I think that this information needs to be shared freely. If I had a problem with any of this, Grace would be the first to know. I don't have a problem with her discussing me or my experiments. They are out there for everyone to see and interpret as they wish."

My potato-starch induced GERD With RUMPS: Recently I had GERD/reflux after several weeks of 20-40 grams RPS, raw potato starch. Several other people have reported this too. I was previously using Version B (inulin + acacia) and psyllium and had fantastic gut results such as the best flattest tummy in 7 to 8 years and improved digestion and gut health. I gave the RPS one last try and initially no problems that I had had earlier (immunosuppression). 

Tim S. had also had GERD last winter on sedentary days and didn't think much of it until I had reflux myself. In the past, I've never had reflux except a couple times after drinking pots of coffee or when I was pregnant in the 3rd trimester. Reflux was super annoying but fortunately went away with resuming probiotics (bifido/lacto and soil) and taking some gut support (ACV, enzymes, etc) temporarily. Besides RPS, I think no B longum was a factor; I had stopped the B longum supplements several months earlier and never resumed. Stress from moving from Shanghai back to USA likely lowered the bifido and lacto more than I had thought.  Potato starch lowers the populations of non-starch eating bifido which make up huge portions of our fecal and mucosa-associated bifido microbiota (see prior post).

In healthy controls, Bifidobacteria longum is a gut specialist and found in the majority:
B longum 43.5%
B pseudocatenulatum 8%
B bifidum 6%
B dentium 1.5%

Recently what made me rethink the downstream effects of high dosage potato starch was how Tim S. had a bout of fatty liver again this past summer, after over one year and a half on high dosage potato starch -- high liver functions tests, tender and painful liver on touching, gained body fat and took several months for the ALT, AST to reduce to normal again. 

Fatty Liver/NASH = COMBINATION Alcohol-Producing Gut Flora + Akkermansia Depletion

Several studies now show a unique microbial fingerprint for GERD,  NASH/fatty liver and several other chronic conditions.

GERD/reflux (me):
  •  high colon bugs in the stomach and uppergut
  •  low human bifido/lacto (I was taking prebiotics, but had stopped B longum probiotics)

NASH/Fatty liver
  • high E coli (produce alcohol)
  • high starch eating Enterobacter (produce alcohol and endotoxins)
  • high Roseburia/XIVa (Lachnospiraceae) (some are alcohol producing)
  • high yeasts, Candida (produce alcohol)
  • low human bifido
  • low B longum (high dose RPS may lower B longum, favoring starch-eating-bifido)
  • low Akkermansia (high dose RPS may lower Akk)

Obesity/diabetes/autoimmunity (most of American and industrialized nations): 
  • high starch-eaters including E coli, yeasts/Candida, etc
  • low human bifido
  • low B longum (high dose RPS may lower B longum, favoring starch-eating-bifido)
  • low Roseburia/XIVa (high dose RPS lower, fail to sustain Roseburia in low carb diets)
  • low F. prausnitzii/IV (high dose RPS may lower)
  • low Akkermansia (high dose RPS may lower Akk)


After several citizen science N=1 experiments, we can observe now how high dosage potato starch may re-inforce these 'chronic illness' gut profiles by its anti-prebiotic effects where it lowers beneficial flora in the gut that are integral and vital for protecting the upper gut from pathogens like E coli and other alcohol producers, increases leanness, GLP1, revving up fat burning and carbohydrate metabolism:
--Bifidobacteria longum 
--Akkermansia (see prior post: high dosage raw potato starch tanks Akkermansia)

In human studies, several studies show that prebiotics (GOS, FOS, inulin) reverse NASH/fatty liver and lower liver function tests by raising Akk and B longum (and GLP-1 and GLP-2).  Probiotics that contain bifido work also.

What is curious to me is that scientists can restore and alleviate fatty livers and intestinal permeability by giving live probiotics of Akkermania to rodent models (Everard et al 2013). By giving prebiotics (FOS) to fatty liver/diabetes/obesity rodent models, reversal of all the hallmark biomarkers of these conditions rapidly occurs. Restoration and reversal of intestinal permeability happens, LPS decreases, metabolic endotoxemia reverses, inflammatory markers reduce, and insulin/blood sugars normalize. 
"For instance, a decrease in Akkermansia muciniphila causes a thinner intestinal mucus layer and promotes gut permeability, which allows the leakage of bacterial components. Interventions to increase Akkermansia muciniphila improve the metabolic parameters in obesity and NAFLD. In children, the levels of Escherichia were significantly increased in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) compared with those in obese control. Escherichia can produce ethanol, which promotes gut permeability. Thus, normalization of gut microbiota using probiotics or prebiotics is a promising treatment option for NAFLD." (Miura et al 2014)


Bodinham and other studies fail to account for the gut microbiota effects of the 'fiber' that they are studying and the metabolic consequences. That's too bad. We are what we eat and our health is determined by our gut microbiome. We can shift and shape this, and we and the researchers are doing it all the time now.  

In several human studies, body fat ('fat mass') and upper gut permeability significantly improve with FOS and inulin-type fructans. The obese subjects in the below trial were never diagnosed with fatty liver, but with intervention with inulin-FOS, weight, BMI, insulin resistance, butyrate, SCFA and  LPS/endotoxemia (proxy for permeability) and other metabolic parameters all improved. Per personal communication with one of the researchers, as can be predicted, Akkermansia significantly increased in the below trial.

"The species Bifidobacterium longum, Bifidobacterium pseudocatenulatum and Bifidobacterium adolescentis were significantly increased at the end of the treatment in the prebiotic group (p less than 0.01) with being B. longum negatively correlated with serum lipopolysaccharide (LPS) endotoxin (p  less than 0.01). Total SCFA, acetate and propionate, that positively correlated with BMI, fasting insulinemia and homeostasis model assessment (HOMA) (p less than 0.05), were significantly lower in prebiotic than in placebo group after the treatment period."


Yacon is an ancestral non-starchy root. It can be boiled down and produce a nice syrup which has little energy for humans but fiber and prebiotics for our gut flora including Akkermansia and Bifidobacteria longum. Oligosaccharides in whole foods (see below) and yacon help boost the species lost by high-dosage-raw-potato-starch. The game-changers: Akkermansia and B longum specifically.

The Folz family experiment -- I briefly reviewed earlier here. Gut diversity dropped in each person on high dose potato starch -- particularly for the leanness building gut species.

Child 2 had the least Akkermansia, then high dose potato starch mowed it down to 24-times below normal.  Not hard to rebuild: stop RPS, take Akk-building fiber/foods. 
Gut Microbe



uBiome Normal

LC paleo
beans daily


Child1 pre

Starches grains, yogurt
Child1 post

1 TB RUMPS in water + 1 TSP Psyllium husk
Child2 pre
Child2  post

1 TB RUMPS in water
(psyllium, inulin-FOS, GOS, yacon, onions, leeks)


5-fold below normal
Little change
11-fold below normal
24-fold below normal

Tim S.'s Akkermansia and B longum on high dosage RPS. Mowed down? Never replenished? Risk factor for reflux or NASH/fatty liver? 
Gut Microbe

Genus Level
uBiome Healthy Subject
N=1 TS

High Dose
20-40g RS2 potato starch

10-20g RS3

N=1 TS

20-40g RS3
10-20g inulin

(no RPS but high doseage for 1.5 years earlier)
below healthy avg
below healthy avg
B longum


Recently my buddy Justin told me he stopped potato starch (no changes) after a few weeks, then took yacon syrup for 2months.

He was surprised to see his high liver tests (fatty liver) ALT improved from 50 to 26 and AST to as low as 23 (healthy optimal levels less than 15 (male); less than 12 (female). Thanks Justin!
ALT 50-->26, ALP 101-->66, AST-->23. Getting there.

  • Test your gut species, don't guess  (Genova, uBIOME, etc). Stop potato starch until verification of decent levels of Akkermansia, Bifidobacteria longum and other vital gut guardians.
  • Akkermansia and Bifidobacteria longum are gut game-changers and guardians
  • Consider amplifying the gut guardian species associated with leanness and longevity for optimal health: B longum and Akkermansia by seeding (probiotics), weeding (probiotics, botanicals) and feeding.
  • Feed well (inulin, acacia, FOS, yacon, onions, leeks, sunchokes, GOS, psyllium, hemicellulose, cellulose, chitin-glucan (mushrooms), lignins, gums, beta glucan (oats), pectin, arabinoxylan, arabinogalactan, xylans, etc). See chart below.
  • Consider adding in foods and prebiotics that weed out pathogenic E coli and select good, beneficial E coli.
  • Everyone appears to have low B longum and Akkermansia which are risk factors for chronic inflammation according to new human gut microbiota. Studies show their replenishment yields many health benefits and control of inflammation and disease. If you don't have FODMAP intolerances, consider both Version A and B of bionic fiber in the 7 Steps to rebuild these.  

Whole Real Food

100g = ~ ½ cup

Inulin-Oligosaccharide Content

RS3 Content
Chicory root
Jerusalem artichoke
Dandelion greens
Onion (raw)
Yacon syrup, 2 TBS
Garlic (raw)
Cowpea, White Lupin
Lentils, Chickpeas, Hummus
Pinto Beans (cooked/cooled)
Purple Potato (roasted/cooled)
Yams (boiled/cooled)
Potato (boiled/cooled)
Rice (cooked/cooled)
Long grain Rice (cooked/cool)
Sushi Rice (cooked/cool)

Leanness Related Gut Flora
Depletions Associated with Human Clinical Disease
Leanness Gut Flora, Prebiotics, and Human Studies
Damaging Gut Effects of High Dose Raw RS2 Resistant Starch 
(Potato Starch)
Gut Diversity
Diseases are Associated with Low Gut Diversity
Increases Diversity If Diverse Fibers
Reduced by 10-36%
--Folz family 10-20% loss of genera or phyla with RS2
Bifidobacteria longum

B.longum and bifido depleted in chronic liver disease, fatty liver/NASH, obesity, T2D

suppression of Bifidobacteria longum
--often undetectable
--depletions of 100-fold to 2000-fold for relative bifido typically for potato starch
--B.animalis or B. adolescentis majority colonizer
Depleted in metabolic disorders and gut conditions: diabetes, obesity, fatty liver/NASH, IBD, IBS

“A. muciniphila is important for a healthy host as its decreased abundance is associated with compromised health including acute appendicitis, ulcerative colitis, autism and atopic diseases. Finally, the abundance of A. muciniphila is inversely correlated with obesity ...plays a pivotal role in obesity as its duodenal delivery regulates fat-mass gain, metabolic endotoxemia, adipose tissue inflammation, and insulin resistance” Source
reductions in Akkermansia
-- 2-fold to 17-fold depletions from normal


Christensenellaceae bacteria might be a “keystone” species, “one that wields a disproportionate influence upon the world around it.”'
-- 2-fold enrichment of Christensenella with high fiber, non-starchy tubers and vegetables
-- 5-fold enrichment compared with controls of family Christensenellaceae
reductions in Christensenella
--2.5 to 10+ times depleted below controls
--Stopping raw potato starch increases Christensenella from undetectable to detectable levels
-- 4-fold decreases in family Christensenelleae


MsMac said...

Do you know of any doctors such as yourself in the Philadelphia area?

Dr. B G said...

Hi MsMac

PHilly? My sister was born there - wish I knew. Look up the IFM, institute of functional med (or click on my name if you want to get on my list).

Anonymous said...

You could lay this stuff out non stop and some people would keep playing ostrich. Keep doing such good aggregation work! - love H. Duff

Dr. B G said...

Merry Christmas Mr Duff~!!!

Palmer Harsanyi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Keith Bell said...

Merriest to All; thanks for the inspiration to research and understand, Dr. B G. So, basically, dietary fibers such as oligofructose raise bifidobacteria and Akkermansia which is associated with increased GLP-1 secreting cells, called L-cells here:

Without these guardians, we risk overgrowth of pathogenic proteobacteria (especially E.coli), fungi and even some strains of clostridia. The blog quote from this paper about ethanol along with the list disease states/microbes is quite poignant related to mental health:,d.eXY

It's known ethanol amplifies insulin secretion, driving down blood sugar rapidly called Reactive Hypoglycemia where hypoglycemia is associated with mental imbalances including depression, epilepsy, etc. So, beware the spiked egg nog or risk hypoglycemic hangover. You may have added ethanol-producing E. coli or other proteus associated with dementia and rheumatoid arthritis in urinary tract infection. I tend to believe adhesive E. coli as cause of PCOS and endometriosis where bee propolis appears useful in ameliorating adherence. And to all a good night.

Tim Steele said...

Merry Christmas!

Great post, as usual. Would just like to clarify one point, if I may. My "GERD".

Last winter, and for quite some time prior, I would get an occasional gripping pain in my 'tummy.' It was hard to describe. When I mentioned this to Grace and Norm Robillard, they both said, "Ha! GERD! SIBO! it's the RUMPs!"

Well, as I was reeling in stomach pain one cold day, someone mentioned that I probably have an ulcer. I started researching gastric ulcers and came across the little known fact that stomach ulcers have only two causes: H.pylori and overuse of NSAIDS.

Here was my AHA moment. The day before,, I had taken 3-4 Ibuprofen for a headache, as was common for me to do several times a year. When I thought back, I realized that the times I had these stomach pains coincided with Ibuprofen use.

For the past 12 months (nearly to the day) I have used absolutely no pain/headache/or any OTC meds for anything....and I've been 12 months "GERD" free.

I think these NSAIDS tear up the stomach lining and cause GERD-like symptoms, especially when taken on an empty stomach or in high doses.

Just a lesson to pass on.

Happy holidays.

Anonymous said...

When RUMPS is cooked, does it lose its rs2 permanently, regardless if it's cooled again or not? Thank you!

elliebelly said...


do you still get headaches? That is something I rarely get, but all this pro and prebiotic experimenting has given me a few headaches.. But each time i got one I just used it as a clue in tweaking my regimen.


Tim Steele said...

Elliebelly - I don't get headaches often. What is guaranteed to give me a headache is running my (very loud) snowblower or chainsaw for a couple hours. Even with ear plugs, I get a may get a headache. I think a combo of the loud noise and physical labor required to handle equipment. That was one thing that clued me into the stomach attackes were almost always on a Sunday, I always cut wood or plow snow on Saturdays, take a handful of Ibuprofen on Saturday night, get a stomach attack on Sunday after breakfast.

I have found that just drinking some good herbal tea and making sure my earplugs are in helps prevent a headache.

I met another guy who had the same stomach pains, and he was popping Aspirin like candy. I 'cured' him!

I'm telling you, I think NSAIDs are maybe one of the hidden causes of stomach problems, and hard to figure it out because the problems they cause come a day later.

Anon - Actually, you might be surprised. Grace and Norm are both pretty smart. Even Norm, who was completely opposed to RUMPS at first, started a forum with a RUMPs section and has seen several people improve on RUMPS. I think exactly like Grace says, for some people, there is no place for RUMPs. I don't think RUMPs 'cures' SIBO any more than I think it causes it. When gut is compromised, it's going to take a lot of sleuthing to get it back in order. If RUMPs makes it worse, you'd be silly to continue it.

Dr. B G said...

Ellie. What gut testing have you done? Do you know what you are targeting?

Dr. B G said...

What about people tryin to lower insulin and improve metabolism? Mmmhhh

Dr. B G said...

That's a great 'lesson' Tim. I think you're getting your episodes of gerd and reflux mixed up. In the winter you resumed exercise, 30 min on the treadmill and decreasing the size of dinner. The gerd and reflux resolved after immediately.

Fat loss is blocked with potato starch -- the gut researchers report that as well for human trials.

It has effects on metabolism and perhaps this is why many have problems besides the negative gut effects on Akkermansia, Christensenella and Bifidobacteria LONGUM.

Dr. B G said...

Nice synopsis. Adhesive E coli is implicated also in PCOS, infertility, frailty in elderly, colorectal cancer, IBD-Crohns and many other conditions like breast cancer.

Have you heard of persorption? Gut Leakiness allows starch granules to enter the blood stream. Unless the gut and body gets seeded by beneficial flora and probiotics, then e coli that is pathogenic and adhesive will thrive with the wrong foods and potato starch. I think this is partly what occurred in the overweight and T2D Bodinham trials.

There is a timeline for optimal health recovery -- worsening the microbial fingerprint actually will exacerbate SIBO conditions as seen in the Russian pig study where 14% RPS was given and then the ETEC E coli overgrew in the small intestine/ileum, colon and feces.

Not good for optimal health or LEANNESS lol

Dr. B G said...

Yes. Once it becomes RS3 it is more accessible for a great majority of the gut flora to degrade and eat. Many more can get energy and fuel from RS3 compared with RS2 which is in hard granules that only more primordial bottom feeders can access.

RS3 feeds lactobacillus which is a beneficial symbiont in the upper gut that RS2 fails to feed

Anonymous said...

Dr. BG, is there a perfect mix of these prebiotics that would help slowly crowd out over time the harmful bacteria? maybe a company like Bob's Red Mill would be interested in your expertise on the subject and would put out a line of inexpensive fiber mixes that the avg person can afford. seems like several different fibers would be much more beneficial to gut health than just potato starch.

Anonymous said...

Dr. BG,

can i put that question another way? Some of us dont have the $400 for testing etc. What are the prebiotics that should be beneficial to almost everyone and also, in your opinion, worth the cost?

Yacon - 33-50 cents/day
Inulin - ~4 cents/gram (short-chain vs long chain concern)
arabinogalactan - ~5 cents/gram

etc etc

i wish we users could add to a chart and you would make recommendations

Dr. B G said...

Fantastic idea! I'm into cost effective -- NOW, Frontier and Bob's all have organic fibers that you may blend up yourself.

Dr. B G said...

The best customized blend depends on your goals and what you're shifting in the gut. Awesome idea. I like it

MsMac said...

Jim and Dominic,

Maybe if you would constructively question, you comments would not be deleted. From my perspective, you are just bashing.

Anonymous said...

"Maybe if you would constructively question"

Since you're addressing that to me in part.

There is no way to objectively question. As an engineer, it's just a mess as far as I can tell.

You are doing nothing but assigning associations to your favorite causes. It doesn't even rise to to level o a decent question, its that awful.

As i read the post and click links you provide, I just don't see it, and I really have no desire to help.

It's a mes, so go ahead and delete this comment to.

- Dominic

MsMac said...

So domino, if you have no desire to help, then just leave us lowly laymen be in our ignorance. You are annoying me.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Charts/Tables could you write an article that lays out the different supplemental pre-biotics and the contraindications and indications for using them. I.e. that visually clarifies when you should and shouldn't use them, how you could test and trial each one's suitability for yourself. E.g. I have had some blood in my poo for a couple of days and I:
1) Took a round of antibiotics for a middle ear infection a month ago. I have followed up with lost of probiotics 2) Stopped RPS about three weeks ago and added in inulin and psyllium 3)Have a family history of piles 4)Ate a lot of floury products for birthday and Xmas and I usually abstain. I plan to be very disciplined for a while regarding no sugar and flour/grain, and today I have dropped the psyllium for now. I have ordered some acacia powder. Any suggestions?

Dr. B G said...

Piles are tuff! Maybe you need to consider piling in more white hamster starch. I heard from Tim S it cures a lot

Anonymous said...

"Piles are tuff! Maybe you need to consider piling in more white hamster starch. I heard from Tim S it cures a lot"

Man you are nasty.
Tell us all which white powder are you taking to be like that.

MsMac said...

Dear RPS fanatics,

The rest of us see through your heckling. If you have not had any problems with RPS, then I'm happy for you. But I'm here because I have had serious issues with RPS as have many others. Don't you have something better to do?


MsMac said...

BTW, I read Richard's and Tim's posts regularly. It just happens, that for my situation, I get more useful info here. If the info here is not helping you, then go on over to the other sites. Lots of good info.

Anonymous said...

Hi Grace, I hope you didn't think I was having a go last night when I raised the issue of my tummy troubles. It was more of a rambling on about how did I get here. My stomach is feeling tender and reactive to eating. The trouble for me is that I have made too many changes all at once, including eating stuff I haven't for quite a while like cakes and biscuits, and bread crumbed risooto (made with wheat flour) for a friend's birthday and for Xmas (pudding etc., plus hitting the ham pretty hard. Maybe I have created a problem from previous use of RPS. Maybe I am more sensitive to the wheat/grain stuff than I used to be. I mean I did go off the RPS and onto the inulin and pysllium thrre weels ago, but I also had anitbiotics a month ago, added in Bee Pollen, stopped drinking coffee, upped the salads, and had the grain based breakout. You have said yourself some people don't do so well on psyllium. I have created my own situation of too many variables, so I have to go back to basics and start again. Cheers, Adrian. PS It wasn't me who said you were nasty but I was a bit taken aback by your response.

MsMac said...

Awe, yes, such clever bastards!! You must be mighty proud of your heckling expertise.

Anonymous said...

Hi Grace, I am not sure if MsMac is referring to me but if she is she is wrong. Anyway, I just realised I have been using a anti-inflammatory pain relief gel for my recovering knee injuries which I started a few days ago. I didn't think of it because it is a topical gel and not a tablet form. I just looked it up and side-effects include:
bloody or tarry stools
upper stomach pain
mild nausea, stomach pain, upset stomach. Maybe this is the actual problem. Cheers, Adrian

elliebelly said...


I haven't done any testing,

These days I am taking bionic version B. Feel fine and have not had any headaches until this morning and as soon as i evacuated my bowels the headache was gone.

When. I initially started taking several Tbs of RPS I had some bad headaches and overactive bowels. Taking Prescript Assist fixed that.

I find this morning's episode very interesting because it was the main signal that I had to go to the bathroom and went away as soon as I did. So maybe this time it was a Herxheimer response?

Aaron Kaskowitz said...

DR. BG - do you have suggestions for raising F. Prausnitzii?? I would LOVE to take a probiotic of it. From what I've read online it's too hard to capture and keep alive in probiotic form. Any suggestions? Seems like a very useful one.

John Brisson said...

Aaron, through my own research it appears that F. Prausnitzii cannot be stabilized in supplemental form because it is highly anaerobic. Dr. B G has written that you can use GOS to increase it in the gut I would go with galactoimmune.

Dr. B G said...


Glad to hear the soil probiotic fixed some things. What do you think your levels of Bifidobacteria longum, Akkermansia and Christensenella are? From what I observe these are the vulnerability points of dysbiotic guts and sadly RPS (even 1 TBS daily) tremendously lowers these vital populations for gut health. For me, this was related to significant daily reflux and GERD until I replenished the gut symbionts. For Tim S. I believe it led his gut to be susceptible to fatty liver and NASH which required half a year for the liver tests to normalize.

Not sure what to make of the return of headaches, no overactive bowels? Any other improvements noticed with version B yet? Without testing, it may feed vipers in your uppergut.

I believe gut testing and evaluating the permeability of the uppergut will yield much info for you -- consider a urinary organic acid test. Many companies offer
--Great Plains

Dr. B G said...

John Brisson~

Thanks so much for your detailed reply! I concur. Dr Lagakos also loves GOS by Bimuno in the UK. The scientific evidence is awesome.

Aaron Kaskowitz and John Brisson~
F prausnitzii is very easy to feed -- it eats nearly everything, pectin, psyllium, arabinogalactan, RS3, non-starchy tubers, yacon/syrup, and oligosaccharides/FOS/GOS. Whole foods that contain these seem synergistically powerful in raising F praus and Roseburia which together produce nearly 90-100% of the butyrate. Below a great pig study -- arabinoxylan diet trumps the heck outta RS2 diet; gram for gram more butyrate and high gut flora magnification incl F prausnitzii.

Report A had only been on RPS for about 1-2 mos, so little apparent change to F praus, however reports C and D several months or longer. F praus appears only half of the ubiome 'healthy' norm. Little replenishment on low fiber and high RS2-diets.
WSD= western style diet
AXD=rye flakes, wheat bran (arabinoxylan (like psyllium), lignins, oligosaccharides, inulin, soluble/viscous/insol fiber-NSP)

"AXD feeding resulted in a higher number of Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, Roseburia intestinalis, Blautia coccoides-Eubacterium rectale, Bifidobacterium spp. and Lactobacillus spp. in the faeces sampled at week 3 of the experimental period (P< 0·05). In the caecum, proximal and mid colon, AXD feeding resulted in a 3- to 5-fold higher pool size of butyrate compared with WSD feeding, with the RSD being intermediate (P <0·001)."

RSD was not much higher than the Western style diet actually.

AG was associated with a statistically significant increase in the concentration of total bacteria, Bacteroidetes, Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, a delayed bifidogenic effect and a decrease of the pathogenic Clostridium perfringens. FOS led to a strong lactobacillogenic effect.

Anonymous said...

Another brilliant Post Grace. Kicking A!S and Taking Canes.

James N. said...

Dr BG,

This has been a very helpful post. The numbers are what they are and it appears that raw unmodified potato starch hammers the gut guardians (or gut repair?) bugs that are required for a healthy gut. I did find it interesting that beans appear to boost Akkermansia; a gut guardian, if present. This suggests to me that properly prepared non-toxic legumes (beans) may in fact be Paleo. It would be interesting to know if there are any other foods that boost the gut guardians, as well.

Paristique said...


I am French. I'm currently suffering from candidiasis. I would like to know what you recommend me as a good diet to restore intestinal flora. The signs of candidiasis are my white tongue, fungal feet.

have you a program to fight candida with the good food?

I would like list of food. I eat onions, garlic, leeks, bananas, eggs, artichoke, green vegetables (spinach, lettuce, ...

Aaron Kaskowitz said...

Dr. BG - Thanks for posting the info about arabinogalactans. I ordered some. I think they're be great for my gut. BUT I have Multiple Sclerosis, and apparently there's an immune modulating component to the AG that may actually be dangerous for people with MS. This might be an advantage or a disadvantage. I saw on WebMD that you should take AG if you have MS, but there's a study suggesting it has positive impact on people with MS. It seems like nobody knows for sure what interaction it's going to have.
Any insight on that you might have would be welcome. Probably ought to talk to a doctor when I find one.

Keith Bell said...

Aaron, depending on current gut balance, it seems possible AG might feed overgrowth where microbes stimulate autoimmunity. That's why stool testing seems so important or we risk shooting in the dark. You may find this recent MS paper including its references helpful:
"an increased understanding of the regulation of tight junctions at the blood-brain barrier and in the intestinal wall may be crucial for design of future innovative therapies . . . Taken together, we report the novel finding of a “leaky gut” syndrome including zonulin upregulation in the EAE animal model for human MS. Recent reports showing that IBD patients are at higher risk for MS, while the course of the IBD disease is not influenced by the MS [8], [9], is further supporting a key role of the gut in the modulation of CNS autoimmunity."

Along the same line, I've wondered if psyllium can feed prevotella overgrowth associated with type 2 diabetes.

Dr. B G said...


Thanks for your email, will respond soon. Getting a gut profile done will yield much for you. What do you think of Terry Wahl's approach and detoxification programs?


Psyllium usually works for obese and diabetics because the viscosity and binding benefits outweigh potential risks to Prevotella overgrowths.

Psyllium (AX and AXOS) selectively feed B longum, the superstar of the gut mucosa for the entire GI tract.

Obes Rev. 2012 Nov;13(11):1034-47. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-789X.2012.01020.x. Epub 2012 Aug 5.
Effects of psyllium on metabolic syndrome risk factors.
Pal S1, Radavelli-Bagatini S.
Author information
High-fibre intake has been shown to reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome (MS), cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Psyllium is one of the most widely used fibre supplements because it is reasonably cheap and is better tolerated than other fibre supplements. The review of the literature supports the notion that the consumption of psyllium provides benefits to many components of the MS. Psyllium supplementation does improve glucose levels and insulin response, blood pressure, as well as lipid profile in both animals and humans, thereby reducing metabolic risk factors. Appetite has also been reported to decrease after the consumption of psyllium in most studies. Collectively, psyllium supplementation could be promoted to patients who present MS risk factors, such as hypercholesterolaemia, hypertriglyceridaemia and hyperglycaemia. It may also play a role in controlling body weight, body composition, appetite and hypertension, but further investigation is still required.

Anonymous said...

Hi dr bg, what are your thoughts on this type of fiber?

Doggerms said...

Dr. BG

Great post on fibers to feed Akkermansia and Bifidobacteria longum. Do you have any thoughts on dietary fats and their role in feeding or harming the good bugs? Are the populations levels of good bugs the primary way to test for intestinal inflammation or are there other biomarkers to test. I have read some mouse studies but would like to translate those observations to human needs.

James N. said...

It looks like asparagus is another food that is high in inulin and feeds the bifidobacteria. The below listed article says that asparagus is 5% lower in inulin than chicory root.

Dr. B G said...


Guar gum is not bad. I feel acacia has better studies however

Great question!~ I think macronutrients are more important but fats do count if high enough dosages on the gut flora. Lauric acid is wonderful to shift out protozoa and some pathogens; it doesn't reach all of them. Olive oil and its polyphenols appears to have wonderful effects also on the gut.

Dr. B G said...

It's awesome -- many green vegetables also have inulin but not as high as artichokes or asparagus or dandelion (stems-roots). Root vegetables have amazing prebiotics that bulk stools and increase the microbial masses in our guts -- for all of our flora like Akk, B longum and (I suspect) Christensenella. Don't forget to incorporate non-starchy tubers such as rutabagas, parsnips, daikon, onions, fennel, etc

Anonymous said...

We're trying to heal leaky gut and candida via a standard paleo approach but after reading your post and related studies, wondering about the validity of adding things like beans and oats back into the diet. No one in our family experiences any digestive distress eating beans, or other FODMAPS for that matter. But just about every "protocol" for gut healing,takes out these foods. Interesting...

J H said...

I came to your blog via a Google hit on vitamin d roid rage, then checked this, your (same person?) latest post. Nice blog, but why are you writing about raw potato starch (RPS)? Who eats that? If I eat a well cooked purple sweet potato, are you suggesting I'm consuming RPS?

Dr. B G said...

Cooked purple sweet potato is RS3 (type 3) and very special as it behaves like insoluble fiber in the gut and feeds the immunoprotective gut flora.

Epidemiology studies show that cooked starches rich in RS3 decrease diabetes, obesity and colorectal cancer. Thx for your comment

Noel said...

Great posts Dr. BG. I am getting hang of this now.

I wonder, if there is any possibility that a table can be made where column 1 mentions the kind of bugs, column 2 mentions stuff that they feed on, be it fiber or resistant starch and column 3 lists the stuff that reduces their numbers.

If you can add a rough product suggestions, that would be great. For e.g. after noticing your table about inulin and RS3, I quickly checked Chicory root powder and all I find is, roasted variety. The 5 posts that I read didn't mention if it should be roasted or not roasted. Will remove ambiguity.

Last question,
This is of important to me as my son has autism and I am trying to modulate his gut flora. With preliminary interventions I did, I am noticing success so I would like to increase or decrease some bugs with precise accuracy (to check how/if they change symptoms). DS has Prevotella that you mentioned in ASD gut. Any idea how they can be reduced?

Thanks a lot in advance
and thanks again for these great posts. I am going to take some time to imbibe 7 years of your work.

Dr. B G said...


I think roasted is fine -- might have more oligos

Please feel free to contact me by clicking on my name ;)

Raw potato starch selectively feeds bacteroides, prevotella, E coli, enterobacter, and clostridium -- which are all often high in ASD and other conditions -- every western civ disease! So I would avoid.

COoked RS3-rich sources on the other hand are rich in inulin, oligo, arabinoxylan, pectins and other prebiotics which feed the gut guardians which eliminate the toxic strains of all the above I listed.

Acacia and glucomannan lower Prevotella -- they work synergistically with the good gut flora and fortunately B longum is available commercial in excellent probiotic sources. Let me know how this works:

My sister used Threelac (contains soil based probiotics) and the paleo diet to help recover my niece from autism.

Lisa and Savannah said...

What if you are FODMAP sensitive? Can you take the bionic fiber with inulin? I saw results with the old recipe that had PS + Psyllium + ORAC + SBO. Should I switch to the new inulin recipe? Trying to get rid of my skin issues.