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)


Tigress35 said...

Can you explain why roasted, cooled potatoes have more RS3 than boiled, cooled potatoes?

I have an n=1 example where my boyfriend cannot eat boiled potatoes without GI distress, but roasted potatoes are fine... my impression/theory was that the boiled potatoes preserved more of the prebiotic fibers.

Dr. B G said...


High heat roasting appears to create tighter bonds, just like taking cold leftover rice and frying up into bacon (YUM) fried rice. The RS3 is higher. That is odd how your BF doesn't tolerate boiled spuds. I can't think of why roasted would be better. Is this with skins or without? GI distress might related to FODMAPS and starch intolerance. There are more digestible carbs, less prebiotic fibers with boiled/hot potatoes.... IBS?

Steve said...

Looks like eat 20 to 40 grams of R3 you need to eat one whole cooled roasted potato per day.

Dr. B G said...

Heirloom purple potato, not the same for Russet or many american white ones. The lower the glycemic index, the more RS3. Yes not that hard, think Hadza and their roasted, unique cultivars and yams, yucca, taro, etc

Dr. B G said...

More waxy or 'gooey' (like Okinawan), more RS. The more flour-y, less RS and more digestible (spiking BGs).

Unknown said...

Can you be more specific re: Yams?

I understood them to have little or no RS. I thought Tim had previously written something to this effect.

I love Garnet sweet potatoes. It would be great if they provided some RS3. I have so few sources, being sensitive to many of the things on your chart.

Thanks, great stuff, here!

Anonymous said...

John - I asked this, too. When they are saying 'Yams' they are talking about real yams, not our sweet potatoes.

Yams are a trip! There's one called a Chinese Mountain Yam that is one of the highest RS2 sources, and traditionally eaten raw. There is Elephant RS, but full of Glucomannan. The yams the Hadza eat are starchy, fibrous and grow to 50 pounds.

I found out about sweet potatoes, though. Sweet potato starch is high RS, but sweet potatoes themselves have low starch content, probably due to breeding for sweetness.

Oriental markets in my city are full of yams, some they don't even know the American name for, lol. I buy all of them, cook and cool or eat raw if they advise.

The Chinese Mountain Yams, sometimes called Udon, are awesome raw! Slimy, but really good, and apparently eaten raw normally. Who am I to buck tradition? I don't eat them every day, but I'll bet you could!


Tigress35 said...

Thanks for the info about the roasted potatoes. He definitely has some kind of GI disorder (gas, bloating and frequent burping, but no heartburn) as well as symptoms of mast cell/histamine issues. When we boil the potatoes we remove the skin first, when we roast potatoes, we typically leave the skin on. Do boiled potatoes have more RS2 intact, whereas roasted have much less?

Also, how hot of an oven could you re-heat cooled, roasted potatoes without losing too much RS3?

Steve said...

What about plantains dry at 160. Do they have good levels of R3?

Or how do I find listing of the R3 foods?

Dr. B G said...


Hank clarified -- you are probably thinking sw potatoes which have little RS (though more when boiled v roasted/baked). the glycemic index of sw potatoes is 40s-50s which is very low whereas baked/roasted is 70s-80s, promoting more of a blood glucose response. Sw potatoes might be more sugary which are carmelized and broken down at high heat.

I so agree. Both raw and cooked mountain yams are great -- nutritious and medicinal. Chinese have been eating cooked tubers, legumes and grains for some time, 20 thousand years ago or longer!

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Apr 2;110(14):5380-5. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1217864110. Epub 2013 Mar 18.
Paleolithic human exploitation of plant foods during the last glacial maximum in North China.
Liu L1, Bestel S, Shi J, Song Y, Chen X.

Three grinding stones from Shizitan Locality 14 (ca. 23,000-19,500 calendar years before present) in the middle Yellow River region were subjected to usewear and residue analyses to investigate human adaptation during the last glacial maximum (LGM) period, when resources were generally scarce and plant foods may have become increasingly important in the human diet. The results show that these tools were used to process various plants, including Triticeae and Paniceae grasses, Vigna beans, Dioscorea opposita yam, and Trichosanthes kirilowii snakegourd roots. Tubers were important food resources for Paleolithic hunter-gatherers, and Paniceae grasses were exploited about 12,000 y before their domestication. The long tradition of intensive exploitation of certain types of flora helped Paleolithic people understand the properties of these plants, including their medicinal uses, and eventually led to the plants' domestication. This study sheds light on the deep history of the broad spectrum subsistence strategy characteristic of late Pleistocene north China before the origins of agriculture in this region.

Dr. B G said...


Histamine is related to a dysfunctional, broken stomach and gut. Let me know how probiotics and fixing digestion works. Have you seen our comment thread on that here:

Roasted has more RS3 because through the dry heat, the water molecules are 'squeezed' out of the crystalline lattices, making them tighter. This annealing process is called retrogradation. Boiling produces 'looser' lattices (upon cooling) that our digestive enzymes may break down a bit more easily, hence they are more digestible.

Therefore roasting gives us more RS3, more food for gut flora, less food for us (less 'calories/carbs')! I believe it's more paleo too -- roasting by the clan campfire, laughing and sharing stories.


I think that temp is alright, similar to sun drying. You mean RS2, raw. Also I suspect you're getting oodles of RS1 -- from the insoluble dried hard surfaces.

Anonymous said...

Hank, the Udon potatoes, is this like the Udon noodles? I thought that Udon noodles were like buckwheat noodles.

Dr. B G said...


I've reread about reheating but don't recall if the temp was stated. Something like 25-50% of RS is lost but that's not that much. For our digestion, we do need to have some body temp. The cold foods compromise digestion because our enzymes work at their max efficiency at 37C and this is important for protein and fat breakdown, otherwise these will putrify in the gut. Eating a balanced mix of food increases 'resistance' of starches too. 1/2 raw vegs, 1/4 meat/fat and 1/4 starches is a good mix for most.

Depending on how the RS is formed (like high heat roasting), some of the RS won't breakdown so much during the reheating. The higher the heat of your oven, the more likely it will become digestible again.

Dr. B G said...


Also (making this the asian domination thread lol) RS3 from sago was big before rice. This is one of Tim Steele's favorite articles:

PLoS One. 2013 May 8;8(5):e63148.
Sago-type palms were an important plant food prior to rice in southern subtropical China.
Yang X1, Barton HJ, Wan Z, Li Q, Ma Z, Li M, Zhang D, Wei J.

Poor preservation of plant macroremains in the acid soils of southern subtropical China has hampered understanding of prehistoric diets in the region and of the spread of domesticated rice southwards from the Yangtze River region. According to records in ancient books and archaeological discoveries from historical sites, it is presumed that roots and tubers were the staple plant foods in this region before rice agriculture was widely practiced. But no direct evidences provided to test the hypothesis. Here we present evidence from starch and phytolith analyses of samples obtained during systematic excavations at the site of Xincun on the southern coast of China, demonstrating that during 3,350-2,470 aBC humans exploited sago palms, bananas, freshwater roots and tubers, fern roots, acorns, Job's-tears as well as wild rice. A dominance of starches and phytoliths from palms suggest that the sago-type palms were an important plant food prior to the rice in south subtropical China. We also believe that because of their reliance on a wide range of starch-rich plant foods, the transition towards labour intensive rice agriculture was a slow process.

Unknown said...

Hi Dr. Bg!

I am really enjoying this series! Witnessing the evolution of your knowledge on this matter is nifty neato!

I am surprised to read you write that sweet potato is low in resistant starch. According to this paper on resistant starch in the Chinese diet, raw, white flesh sweet potato has 30 +- grams/100 grams of resistant starch. In my books that is not a low amount, in fact that is more than taro and yams which were both listed as 27 grams per 100 grams. Cook,cool, repeat of sweet potato should then create a lot of nice rs 3, no?


Can you cite your paper indicating sweet potato is low RS. I am sure the content varies on the variety, so perhaps you are reading a chart based on a different variety of sweet potato.

Anecdotally, my mother-in-law grew up on a farm in the South of Taiwan. They would ALWAYS mix a little white rice with taro and or sweet potato and then leave it out at room temp for a day or two as they ate it.

Unknown said...

Oh yeah, and two follow up questions;

1) Could I heat up my potato starch in water and the cool it to up the rs3 content. How much would then be digestible starch vs rs3, roughly.

2) any data on cooking and cooling green bananas? I have been eating them raw and unripe with milk kefir, but with this latest series I am considering cooking and cooling them in the hopes of making them more an rs3 source...and a little more palatable. Thoughts?

Anonymous said...

Hi Grace

Already following lots of your advice but wondered if you have any dietary or other ideas for constant post-nasal drip/mucus/throat clearing?

Since you drew my attention to mercury toxicity nearly a year ago many of my symptoms have cleared up a lot (eg asthma/stinging sweaty bum/arm rash all gone) but the mucus is as bad as ever.

3 sources of mucus that I'm aware of are sinus/lungs/reflux. I've always reckoned it's reflux because my lungs/sinus feel ok. It would have to be silent reflux because no heartburn. In fact have never had GI symptoms therefore think my issues may have been around adrenals and thyroid more than gut. And I've read in a few places that thyroid can directly cause mucus (is that true?) - so it might not be reflux and might explain why previous efforts like raising stomach acid, eliminating dairy and other foods have had no effect on mucus.

Am on iodine and l-tyrosine among other things at the moment they are helping other symptoms like mood and tiredness but not the mucus.

Came off my asthma inhaler 2.5 months ago and maybe just need longer to adjust to that and heal gradually. The symptoms that have cleared up so far were the inflammatory ones so I am fairly optimistic that my body is sorting itself out. I know I should do tests/functional medicine rather than guessing, but keep hoping recovery is just round the corner.

Any thoughts much appreciated!

James in London

Anonymous said...

is there any way to find garbanzo beans/chickpeas in dry form? are they a waste of time at any rate compared to other types of rs3 foods?

also my father past away from colon cancer and my mother had crohn's disease. I have none of these things. should I eat no rs2 just to be on the safe side?timosil sch

Dr. B G said...

timosil sch

As you are aware family history of CRC is a risk factor. IBD like Crohn's has a 4 to 20-fold increased risk. What did you mean 'I have none of these things'?

I hope you eval:
--gut microbiota
--urine cancer and yeast/dysbiotic markers

Garbanzo/chickpeas are awesome. They are like superfoods: RS3 + NSP ;) Yes I believe many places sell organic dried forms -- dry an Indian or hippie market or online.

RS2 may not be considered beneficial if one has CRC risk factors. Obviously the best is to test, no shooting in the fucking dark, completely blindly.

Don't forget to ck these out:

Biohacking the gut with Asprey:

Potato starch/GBF should not be taken alone -- needs psyllium, insoluble fiber-rich foods (eg 7 steps) or inulin:

Foods rich in RS3

Mt Uncle's Raw Ladyfinger-Banana Flour (cooked ~17 g/100 g)
Jobs tears/Adlay/croix
Brown rice
Purple rice
Red rice
Black rice
Basmati white rice
Basmati red rice
Mung beans
Green beans
Red beans
Kidney, black, fava, navy, etc beans
Steel cut oats (only 1-2g/serv)
Chana dal
Okinawan purple potatoes
Andean purple potatoes
Nagaimo (Chinese white mountain yams)
Roasted Potatoes
Roasted Plantains

Dr. B G said...


That is such a great story!

I love yams/sw potatoes + rice. My parents grew up with that (so read, they HATE IT lol). As you're aware only the 'poor' had to subsidize RICE with yams or sweet potatoes, even though these are the 'national' symbols of Taiwan (shape of the island resembling these).

When you read that article, Table 2. The last column, far right, shows the amount of RS3 per 100g cooked food. Sadly, sweet potatoes have only 2-4 g per 100g serving. Still they've got other fantastic nutrients -- including carotenoids and carbs!

Unknown said...

Dear Dr.BG,

Thanks for the clarification!

You are a super star for answering every single question people post on the comments. You really care!

I have been looking a lot at microbiota-gut-brain axis lately. I'm sure you have been into this for a while now. There is a really good team of researchers at the University College Cork headed up by a psychiatrist TG Dinan and a neurogastroenterologist JF Cryan that are prolific researchers. They are leading the front on psychobiotics for prevention and treatment of CNS disorders. This is a cool 2012 review paper that I think is still relevant entitled "mind altering microbes".

Here is another one that came out this year about how gut microbes can potentially manipulate host eating behavior. Are we just meat puppets for out gut masters?

How many Jobs live in the belly of this great beast?!

Also a cool study that looks at the microbial content of clays commonly ingested in geophagy. Seems they are high in microbes but low in parasitic worms. However this article was bent towards the potential danger of ingesting pathogenic microbes.

The prevailing theories for geophagy in animal models are detoxification of glykoalkaloids and mineral supplementation (like high mmountain gorillas who consume iron rich soil so they can live at low oxygen altitudes!). From this recent study it looks like the main reason for human consumption may be detoxification

SBOs may be a third reason for geophagy. Sadly, the DSM IV lists geophagy as a largely idiopathic mental disorder.Interestingly, pica is associated with schizophrenia, autism and OCD which have all been linked to gut problems. I think most modern forms of pica represent an evolutionary mismatch. The DSM really needs to catch up on the research and look into organic causes that likely begin in the gut. I think there is strong evidence in the geophagic practices of animals, pre-hominids, prehistoric humans and various modern cultures to support the notion that the mental disorder classified as geophagy is (in many cases) likely an innate response to some gut abnormalities. Instead of behavioral therapy how about some careful diagnostic gut tests and a few rounds of clays, charcoals, fermented foods and SBOs? What a novel treatment option! Interestingly, some of the other major forms of pica are amylophagy (RS anyone?) mucophagy (how is your gut lining?) and coprophagy (AKA the Dirty FMT).

Enjoy a lovely weekend! Are you and or your parents celebrating Double 10 day?

Esha said...

Hi, Dr BG!
What do you think of raw potatoes? My reaction to whole potatoes is much better than to raw potato starch. In fact RPS makes things worse, but just one raw potato per day (+flaxseeds) greatly relieved my ibs. SIBO nearly disappeared, i can sleep, i can tolerate more foods (try to include more RS3 sources), raw carrots etc, no longer afraid of probiotics. But my liver is not quite healthy (deformed gallbladder) and it hurts a bit after raw potato... (Last year i tried low-carbing with lots of butter and coconut oil and the pain was excruciating.) This winter I was nearly suicidal, raw potato is my savior and i’m reluctant to let it go. But... am i killing my liver? Can raw potato feed giardia?

Sorry for awkward English:) And awfully sorry if you already covered this question... I loved your comments on FTA and trust your opinion very much :)

Dr. B G said...


There are many wonderful juicing recipes for gallbladder and liver. Yes raw potato, like other raw roots and vegetables, can help heal gut inflammation and ulcerations I believe. However have you noticed that we need feed pigs or livestock raw potatoes? They are toxic if consumed long term, causing pancreatic cancer, adenomas, cysts and hypertrophy. Certain root plants contain trypsin and chemotrypsin inhibitors which are degraded by cooking. These inhibitors inhibit protein digestion in the gut.

How were you aware that the raw potato starch caused pain in the liver?

In certain animals raw potato starch blew out the caecum, supposedly this did not occur in humans. The portal vein from the liver directly feeds from the gut, because the liver 'sees' everything we eat and obtain from the environment. I think it is possible that RPS could cause increased growth of adverse organisms which translocate rapidly to the liver and induce inflammation

Thanks for your kind words!

Esha said...

Grace, thank you so much for your answer!

You see it’s not raw potato starch that causes pain in the liver, it’s raw potato. It looks like i’m one of those who can’t tolerate RPS - candida goes out of control, i get bloated, constipated, bad heartburn. I wasn’t able to try it longterm:( Raw potato (+ yogurt with bifidus) feels soothing, immensely helps peristalsis, no heartburn whatsoever, no flatulence, but my liver aches after eating raw potato. First months it didn’t, the pain started after i switched from yogurts+potato to sauerkraut+potato. (Plus at that time i nearly couldn’t eat protein, it was tremendously constipating, i included meat, fish, eggs only when my gut began functioning. It’s terrible for the liver, i know.) I’m desperately trying to replace raw potato with beans, rice, glass noodles, raw carrots, buckwheat... This winter i couldn’t digest all those foods and probiotics only made things worse, now i can, but with raw potato my gut works just perfect, lots of sensitivities gone, i thought i’d keep on with one potato per day till absolutely cured... but then the nagging pain in the liver reappeared. And i panicked. Started digging the question and got absolutely confused – in some articles they write about how potato juice heals the liver, others say it’s toxic. Go figure... I’m going to try half raw potato salad (it’s Korean i guess) and see the reaction, maybe it’s safer that way... Thank you again for your answer, i was lost in all that info and badly needed advice:)

Dr. B G said...

Hey Tyler,

My mom, bro and his new wife are actually out in the Middle Kingdom as we speak!

I love Cyran and Dinan -- it's awesome you are exploring the divine microbiota-gut-brain axis.

Honestly I don't believe are many agressive, psychopathic business types in the gut -- the humble gut is rather into communal harmony and peace. In our current age perhaps it is dystopic and misses the ancient, more peaceful days hahahah lol. Perhaps at a crossroads between hunter-gatherers who started gardening and early agriculture was the perfect intersection. Kinda like Taiwan! Worldly but treasuring local favorites and Japanese cuisine (from the occupation -- you notice their influence on food and culture?)

Thx for the links! Geophagy is rather ingrained, no? Our mental minds override but it is there, otherwise known as 'cravings' or pica. IN the conditions you listed -- schizophrenia, autism and OCD -- these are all candida and dysbiosis conditions. The candida creates the carb/sugar/food cravings. Knock out the candida, fix the gut!

Yes I totally concur -- SBOs are a great ancestral combinations of geophagy with both tubers/roots and the organisms that ride on them as healthy hitchhikers!

I adore your thoughts: 'Instead of behavioral therapy how about some careful diagnostic gut tests and a few rounds of clays, charcoals, fermented foods and SBOs? What a novel treatment option! Interestingly, some of the other major forms of pica are amylophagy (RS anyone?) mucophagy (how is your gut lining?) and coprophagy (AKA the Dirty FMT).' AWESOME DEEPT THOUGHTS

Anonymous said...

Hi Grace, Are you basically saying that RS2 is a waste of time? Stick to RS3 and inulin and everything should be hunky dory?
Cheers, Adrian

Dr. B G said...


Hope you find the info helpful. It would be great to see clinical functional medicine testing. Are you in Europe? Find a doc who can order this

Dr. B G said...


O F C O U R S E not. But most people don't know the status of their guts. I see a lot of testing. 100% is jacked. That's why people turn to Bulletproof or Paleo or Whole9.

Then these diets actually worsen things. Add in 1 single course of antibiotics (or 2 or 3, thx Dentist or Urgent Care doc), then our small and large intestinal mucosa are STRIPPED of ALL OF THEIR GUT GUARDIANS, though on the outside everything appears PERFECTLY hunky dory ;)

I don't like hybridized wheat but the saving grace of whole wheat is INULIN, bran/oligos, and non-starch polysaccharides.

Going gluten free actually WORSENS a celiac's gut microbiota, though it can heal and tighten the loose junctions, immunity defects and permeability issues. "Analysis of fecal microbiota and dietary intake indicated that numbers of healthy gut bacteria decreased, while numbers of unhealthy bacteria increased parallel to reductions in the intake of polysaccharides after following the GFD. "

This is like Paleo...

And boatloads of pretty white potato starch won't fix it because RPS doesn't feed the protectors of the gut: XIVa, Roseburia, B. longum, etc...... In fact, RPS starves them and makes the well fed ones outcompete the ancestral guards.

Gut Microbes. 2010 May-Jun;1(3):135-7. doi: 10.4161/gmic.1.3.11868.

Effects of a gluten-free diet on gut microbiota and immune function in healthy adult humans.
Sanz Y.

Diet is a major environmental factor influencing gut microbiota diversity and functionality, which might be relevant to subjects following dietary therapies. Celiac disease (CD) is an enteropathy caused by an aberrant immune response to cereal gluten proteins and the only therapy is the adherence to a gluten-free diet (GFD). In this context, a preliminary study was conducted to establish whether the GFD in itself could modify the composition and immune properties of the gut microbiota. The trial included 10 healthy subjects (30.3 years-old), which were submitted to a GFD over one month. Analysis of fecal microbiota and dietary intake indicated that numbers of healthy gut bacteria decreased, while numbers of unhealthy bacteria increased parallel to reductions in the intake of polysaccharides after following the GFD. Fecal samples of subjects under a GFD, which represent an altered microbiota, also exerted lower immune stimulatory effects on peripheral blood mononuclear cells than those of subjects on a regular gluten-containing diet. This addendum presents further discussion on the rationale behind these findings, limitations of the study and possible consequences of dietary counselling in the care process of celiac disease patients.

Esha said...

Grace, thanks for the guide:) I’m not in Europe, but maybe there are some similar tests here, i’ll check.

Interesting what you write about wheat. I love my skin and hair when I include whole wheat pasta, durum semolina makes skin sooo tender. But i am sensitive to gluten (sinusitis)... there’s no reaction with Bacillus Subtilis probiotic, but you can’t take probiotics all your life and they don’t sell natto in my city... I breathe and sleep better without gluten and look worse, quite a dilemma for a woman:(

Dr. B G said...

Hey Esha,

If you still have skin issues, you might consider the gastric acidity, bile or digestive enzymes are insufficient. SuperEnzymes by NOW and dilute apple cider vinegar does wonders for skin ;)

"but you can’t take probiotics all your life and they don’t sell natto in my city" ISN'T THAT TRUE!!!?

That is my dilemma as well. Where do suburbanites go to achieve ancestral thresholds of bugs and bacteria??! Actually I've found some gardens and farms to volunteer! Get thee to a FARMACY...

Dr. B G said...

Esha -- also the prime fiber from whole wheat or durum is probably inulin which is rich in asparagus, onions, leeks, garlic, sunchokes, artichokes, and chicory drinks!

Esha said...


I’m being a good girl and try all fibrous/starchy/inulin-y foods available! Luv garlic!

Yep, I am yet to restore liver function, for sure. I’m already taking choleretic herbs, sunflower lecithin, phospholipids, vitamin e and will consider enzymes, why not:) Such a pity milk thistle causes candida. I adore vinegar, ketchups, pickles, everything salty, spicy and bitter, eat garlic and heaps of turmeric. I was sooo happy to realize I no longer react to these foods!

"Actually I've found some gardens and farms to volunteer!"

Me too))) But the season is over, alas...

Goldfish said...

Any thoughts on the RS3 content of microwaved and then cooled potatoes? Also, do baked potatoes have the same sort of RS3 content as roast potatoes since both methods use dry heat?

Unknown said...

Milk thistle causes candida? Is there research on this?

Esha said...

Hi, Benjamin! Concerning milk thistle... it’s only my experience, i tried to take it several times and each time got a flare-up of candida:((( Maybe because of the estrogen, i really don’t know... Now i switched to other liver herbs and feel fine.

Debbie said...

Hi Grace,

I haven't been on your site in awhile, and I've been dumping plenty of PS into my evening mash of greens, kombucha squash & sweet potato thinking all is well. Now, I hear this is not good? I eat onions and fermented garlic - and banana flour - but - is what I'm doing a problem? I really like simplicity; I'm not a cook. My constipation has been better, but not cured.

Thanks for any thoughts -


Dr. B G said...


I've found several problems and mainly because raw starches don't yield benefits on human gut microbiota studies and cases I work on (including me). I've stepped back given the evidence.

The gut profile that comes from even 1 Tbs of potato starch looks just like a diabetic or obese person's would from human trials. For some it causes quite a lot of problems, for others it may take a 'trigger' to manifest something.

Cooked starches, whole foods, with RS3 however yields great gut profiles. These are ancestral as well.

Have you tried the bionic fiber, upgraded -- individually each improves constipation per human studies?

Amped Up Bionic Fiber (NOW Foods brand) + Bifidobacteria longum (LEF Bifido GI Balance)
2 cups water and hydration during the day
1 tsp Acacia
1 tsp Inulin-FOS
1 tsp Psyllium
1/4 to 1/2 tsp Glucomannan (avoid if trouble swallowing, dysphagia because this viscous fiber swells by 20-times in volume; max dose 1/2 tsp daily)