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The Resistant Starch Challenge: Is It The Key We've Been Looking For?

Sushi

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@Vegas
I'm curious, did you also enjoy any other symptomatic improvement/ benefits from the xifaxin, or is this hard to say given the other stuff you were taking? Does KDM still use this as a mainstay of treatment?
Thanks for all the information about xifaxin--very interesting!

I find that I get across-the-board symptomatic improvement from xifaxin (moderate dose for 8 days). But, I need to take a course every 4 or 5 months. It was prescribed after analysis of my metagenomics stool analysis done at Redlabs, Belgium.

http://www.redlabs.be/red-labs/our-tests/intestinal-dysfunction-assays.php

I think this test is important in my doc's decision about what, if any, gut medications to prescribe.

Sushi
 

Vegas

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Thanks,

Has there been consistent elevation of any particular organism? Any obvious trends?

Last question, with respect to the antibodies, are these the organisms they are testing at Redlabs, or have they expanded the list: Kiebsiella pneumoniae, Proteus mirabilis, Citrobacter koseri,Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Pseudomonas putida, Morganella morganii, and Hafnia alvei?
 

adreno

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In someone with ME/CFS, looking purely at commensal bacteria, I think you will see an over-representation of aerotolerant species, like acidophilus and fewer numbers and species of bacteria that have exclusively anaerobic metabolisms, which would include group III LAB and others. I think the other thing that is likely is an under-representation of high-O2-sensitive bifidus strains and a scarcity of commensal Clostridial species that are crossfed by these Bifidus strains.

You probably do have low numbers of LAB, and those that you do have are probably more aerotolerant, but your bacterial synthesis of SCFA is probably abysmal.
Thanks again, you have a wealth of knowledge on the subject. You are right indeed that my SCFAs are low.

So the big question is what we can do in this scenario? It seems to me that it is impractical to test for -- and micro-manage -- subspecies/strains of gut bacteria. So are you saying we stick to homemade fermented foods plus RS, and things will hopefully even out in the end? What do think about SBOs?
 

Vegas

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Wow! Do you have a special room for it? The smell can be very strong!
Hermetically sealed with an air lock does the trick. This keeps it from developing unwanted byproducts of fermentation and keeping the anaerobes viable. I keep it in the fridge with the air lock in place. It smells and looks exactly the same after 6 months and beyond.

What I make is nothing like the stuff that you buy in a jar; you can smell that stuff from any room in the house. There is a product sold here in the Commonwealth that has small air lock. It comes in a plastic bag, and is not ideal, but it doesn't have the same odors, likely demonstrates a better microbial profile, and I think the amine content is reduced judging from my response. It's sold by "Farmhouse Culture." I can't give it a ringing endorsement, because of their methodology, but I used to crave it. I learned about a number of autistic kids that would similarly crave these foods. Too much, though, and I would get a headache.

By the way, do you have any jewelry allergies, e.g.- a nickel allergy?
 

Ripley

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So are you saying we stick to homemade fermented foods plus RS, and things will hopefully even out in the end? What do think about SBOs?
Homemade fermented foods sound great. As for SBO's, I'll defer to @Vegas, but my uninformed layman's instinct would be AOR Probiotic 3 which contains:

AOR Probiotic 3
Streptococcus faecalis T-11015,000,000 Organisms
Clostridium butyricum TO-A500,000 Organisms
Bacillus mesentericus TO-A500,000 Organisms
Non-medicinal ingredients: lactose, potato starch, polyvinyl alcohol, polyvinylpyrrolidone. Capsule: hypromellose
Supposedly Clostridium butyricum is good for upping SCFAs (hence the name) and the other two work synergistically with it. Richard Nikoley uses it in a protocol, to be published soon.

Would love to hear @Vegas 's opinion on that. Obviously we need more diversity than that, but it sounds like an important trio of keystone bacteria.
 

Gestalt

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I think I may have discovered something very critical in terms of timing when taking RS.

When first starting RS I was taking 2 tbsp twice a day. One around noon, and another dose right before bed. As I stated before, on the whole my Chronic fatigue symptoms got worse in terms of overall energy, despite having better temperature and blood glucose regulation & digestion.

I switched to one large bolus dose of 4tbsp right before bed after @Ripley had the idea that taking more at once may be better in terms of having it make it to the colon. The fatigue symptoms got worse, and I had a brutal time pulling myself out of bed in the morning and was exhausted all day long. Again despite improvements in virtually every other metric that RS is known to improve.

This was extremely frustrating, taking something that made me feel simultaneously better and worse at the same time but in different ways. The thing I desired most.... being energy, was worse. The other metric such as improved digestion and regulation were nice but not what I was after.

One night I woke up after 3-4 hours, still a bit tired but strangely energized. Not the brutal exhaustion I experienced before. It made me think maybe I should sleep less, perhaps I was oversleeping by sleeping 7-8 hrs and something whack was happening with my hormones like melatonin.

RS appears to be a prime food for bifido bacteria such as B.Infantis which has a critical role in producing serotonin. Serotonin is the precursor to Melatonin and I thought maybe I was producing WAY too much leading to me feeling drugged an exhausted right when I should be waking up.

Also I know personally my gut motility is hugely impaired while lying down. When sitting or standing upright gravity seems to help a lot in terms of moving things along my GI tract, so perhaps the RS was getting fully fermented before even reaching the colon when taking it right before bedtime.

But then I also thought about transit times:
The time taken for food or other ingested objects to transit through the gastrointestinal tract varies depending on many factors, but roughly, it takes less than an hour after a meal for 50% of stomach contents to empty into the intestines and total emptying of the stomach takes around 2 hours. Subsequently, 50% emptying of the small intestine takes 1 to 2 hours. Finally, transit through the colon takes 12 to 50 hours with wide variation between individuals. ~ Wikipedia
With a transit time from mouth to colon being about 3-5 hours I decided to take 3-4tbsp of RS 5 hours before bedtime instead of right before bed. This made a HUGE difference in terms of my energy and well-being the following day. We are talking about going from a 3-4 on the energy scale and then subsequently after making the change in timing, going all the way to a 8-9.

I am at the point now where I feel nearly cured of CFS! I am now getting all the benefits touted from RS, and wow what an improvement! :angel:

I think there is a powerful neurotransmitter/hormonal connection here with RS and the bacteria which has a much bigger impact than I even thought was possible. Prior to the timing change I think RS may have been producing abundant Seratonin and subsequently melatonin right at the time I should be waking up thus making me feel exhausted. Now however I am getting the beneficial effects at the time when they benefit me the most, leading to restful rejuvenating sleep. In fact I need less sleep now than before, AND I have twice as much energy during the day.

It's also possible there are some critical detox mechanisms going to work right at sleep time and perhaps having abundant SCFA's at those times may be very important. I'd be curious for other people to experiment with timing to see if they get a similar result.
 
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xjhuez

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I think I may have discovered something very critical in terms of timing when taking RS.
Interesting. Glad to hear it's working so well for you now. Fortunately, RS has not exacerbated my fatigue at all.

When I first began potato starch my plan was to try varying amounts at different times, with/without food. However, since the first thing I tried worked so well (3-4 tbs with breakfast) I just stayed with it.
 

adreno

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@Gestalt , very interesting about the timing. Maybe I should try stopping the melatonin I usually take at night.

I have noticed a complete loss of libido after starting the RS, so I believe it is doing something hormonal, or serotonin wise (I'm on an SSRI, but didn't have libido problems before). It could be due to hyperthyroid, as I posted earlier. Or could there be changes in testosterone/estradiol balance? It's definitely powerful stuff.

Are you taking any probiotics with that RS?
 
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@Gestalt that's really good news! Might there be an evolutionary explanation behind this 'magical' time of day that RS is ingested? For example, 3-5 hours before sleep traditionally means dinner time. Maybe that's been the time for 100.000s of years that RS was primarily ingested by hominoids.

IMHO, that sounds like a real shoddy explanation btw ;-)

I also felt better and better by taking 40gr PS (thus ±32gr RS) + 8gr psyllium husk first thing in the morning, but ever since I introduced Bimuno (GOS, 5gr evening) I am much, much worse off. I've lowered the RS dose, and will continue with Bimuno because it definitively has an effect. Maybe something good is happening ATM, and maybe the side-effects I'm experiencing (bad sleep, constipation) are mostly detox effects.
 

Vegas

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Homemade fermented foods sound great. As for SBO's, I'll defer to @Vegas, but my uninformed layman's instinct would be AOR Probiotic 3 which contains:



Supposedly Clostridium butyricum is good for upping SCFAs (hence the name) and the other two work synergistically with it. Richard Nikoley uses it in a protocol, to be published soon.

Would love to hear @Vegas 's opinion on that. Obviously we need more diversity than that, but it sounds like an important trio of keystone bacteria.
I wouldn't personally be concerned about their pathogenicity, provided you used strains with some history, but I would not have expectations that these are going to be what you build upon to restore health. I consider these complementary immunomodulators. I tend to believe that restoring the intestinal integrity and repopulating with organisms that will predominate, is more important. SBO's are generally well-tolerated, and I don't see much of a down-side to those I have looked at, but their benefits are like all these organisms, species and strain specific. I sought these out for their ability to positively influence nitrogen metabolism. Sorry, it's hard for me to say more without looking at these organisms more closely.
 

Ripley

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Heisenbug has a new post worth reading:

Anthropology & Science: Is L. Plantarum a Keystone Bacteria for Human Health?

Mr Heisenbug said:
Recently, I discovered that L. plantarum — the dominant bacterial strain in fermented plant foods like kimchi and sauerkraut — cures my hand eczema. I initially discovered this by noticing that I hadn’t experienced any eczema in the past two years, during which I consumed these foods on a near daily basis. And I then noticed that once I stopped consuming them last fall, my eczema returned. I hypothesize that not only was it these foods that kept the eczema away, but that it was specifically the probiotic bacteria that was creating the effect, because probiotic bacteria are known to primarily act through immune system modulation. And eczema is an allergy-related disease that is a product of an abnormal immune system response. So to test this hypothesis, I obtained a probiotic supplement containing a pure, isolated form of L. plantarum. Within three days of taking the supplement, my eczema had completely cleared.

Since then, multiple reports from readers of this blog (and elsewhere) have tried the experiment and replicated the results. And they have worked for other immune/allergy-related conditions as well, which was something I also hypothesized in my original report.

  • Anything that can have this kind of effect on the human body must hold some major significance for general human health.
  • Fermented foods have been a part of the human diet for a very long time, and are found throughout almost every culture. Humans are very likely adapted to eating them, which means the bacteria in fermented foods are important for human health.
  • Fermented foods, for the most part, fall into two categories: vegetables and dairy. Because L. plantarum is the dominant bacterial strain in fermented plant foods, this means that L. plantarum would account for a very significant proportion of the health benefit derived from fermented foods.
Read more...
 

Ripley

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Sorry, it's hard for me to say more without looking at these organisms more closely.
Got it. Heisenbug says that Firmicutes, specifically of the Class Clostridia, are the big "super producers" of butyrate. He refers to this link:

http://www.gutpathogens.com/content/5/1/23

And I suppose AOR Probiotic 3 is trying to harness.

Here's why Heisenbug believes RS is working so well for those with the right gut bugs:

Gut vs. Gut: This is how & why Resistant Starch is working
 

Vegas

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I

RS appears to be a prime food for bifido bacteria such as B.Infantis which has a critical role in producing serotonin. Serotonin is the precursor to Melatonin and I thought maybe I was producing WAY too much leading to me feeling drugged an exhausted right when I should be waking up.
Actually, B. Infantis cannot utilize potato starch as a substrate. Neither does B. Bifidus, but both are very efficient in producing acetate, which will complement the potato starch's effect on the primary butyrate-producing clostridia species. It's such a ridiculously complicated dynamic, isn't it.

[/quote]
It's also possible there are some critical detox mechanisms going to work right at sleep time and perhaps having abundant SCFA's at those times may be very important. I'd be curious for other people to experiment with timing to see if they get a similar result.[/quote]

Peak liver detox takes place at around 4 a.m., in most, IIRC. Corresponds with GSH availability, in part.

Glad to hear you are doing so well. I hope that there is not a delayed effect and you don't end up eventually feeling some of the adverse effects of the immune stimulation. I'm taking about 3/4 of a teaspoon/day, and that is probably pushing it. I don't like taking this a night, because it revs me up too much. I'm opting for taking prior to my afternoon cortisol lull. With regard to transit time, I can feel the effects, plainly, in 1.5 hours or so. It is undobutedly energizing, I simply have to resist the urge to take too much, because I will feel it later.
 

Gestalt

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@Gestalt , very interesting about the timing. Maybe I should try stopping the melatonin I usually take at night.

I have noticed a complete loss of libido after starting the RS, so I believe it is doing something hormonal, or serotonin wise (I'm on an SSRI, but didn't have libido problems before). It could be due to hyperthyroid, as I posted earlier. Or could there be changes in testosterone/estradiol balance? It's definitely powerful stuff.

Are you taking any probiotics with that RS?
I like to experiment with Psychedelic Research Chemicals every couple of months. I tried a moderate dose of a tryptamine based substance a few days ago and it had zero effect on me, much to my dismay. RS maybe has a negative effects on certain types of psychedelics which is curious because of the vivid dreams often reported with RS. I had read on a forum that excess serotonin can cause psychedelic drugs to not work. Perhaps excess serotonin causes MAO-A up-regulation which then expedites deactivation of tryptamine type compounds.

I am unsure as to how SSRI's may play into all this, but perhaps that in conjunction with RS could cause unintended effects.

My libido has not changed since taking RS. I strongly suspect though that for you perhaps there is a bacterial connection of some kind...Research testosterone metabolism and bacteria and see what you can find. I found the following:

When three-week old baby mice consumed the gut bacteria from an adult NOD male, their incidence of diabetes at thirty-five weeks of age dropped dramatically, from 80% in the untreated mice to 20%. These mice had higher testosterone levels until later in life, metabolized fat better, and had much lower levels of insulin-destroying antibodies. In addition, when the biologists blocked testosterone in these mice, all the effects of the male bacteria were decidedly diminished.(reference)
Testosterone is the precursor to estrogen.

Certain gram negative bacteria such as E.Coli in over-abundance can cause estrogen dominance leading to a cascade of problems. I have done quite a bit of research into this and my gf was suffering from metabolic cholestatic pruritus and eczema.

See all my research and thoughts on my website here: http://www.gestaltreality.com/2013/09/21/metabolic-cholestatic-pruritus/

Hat tip to @Ripley for the links to Mr.Heisenbug who cured his eczema using large dose L.Plantarum. My gf has been taking this specific species and strain and is almost cured of eczema. As Vegas said before L.Plantarum seems to be extremely effective at displacing gram negative bacteria which seems to be at the root of her solving her skin issues.

I also felt better and better by taking 40gr PS (thus ±32gr RS) + 8gr psyllium husk first thing in the morning, but ever since I introduced Bimuno (GOS, 5gr evening) I am much, much worse off. I've lowered the RS dose, and will continue with Bimuno because it definitively has an effect. Maybe something good is happening ATM, and maybe the side-effects I'm experiencing (bad sleep, constipation) are mostly detox effects.
I just got my bimuno in yesterday, and have yet to try it. I am very curious to see what will happen.
 

Vegas

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@Gestalt that's really good news! Might there be an evolutionary explanation behind this 'magical' time of day that RS is ingested? For example, 3-5 hours before sleep traditionally means dinner time. Maybe that's been the time for 100.000s of years that RS was primarily ingested by hominoids.

IMHO, that sounds like a real shoddy explanation btw ;-)

I also felt better and better by taking 40gr PS (thus ±32gr RS) + 8gr psyllium husk first thing in the morning, but ever since I introduced Bimuno (GOS, 5gr evening) I am much, much worse off. I've lowered the RS dose, and will continue with Bimuno because it definitively has an effect. Maybe something good is happening ATM, and maybe the side-effects I'm experiencing (bad sleep, constipation) are mostly detox effects.
GOS is going to stimulate huge expansion of bifidobacterial strains, as only a handful of competing bacteria are known to be able to depolymerize this, and none as efficiently as this genus. I don't think it is the GOS per se, but the powerful effects, which can be achieved by those bifidobacterial strains multiplying via GOS supplementation. Those that possess exopolysaccharides can really do some damage to the gram-negative pathogens. You may also realize an expansion of Clostridia due to the acetate production. PS will only stimulate one strain of Bifidobacteria, at least only one that I know of, and it is not a strain, that I recognize as being an aggressive pathogen "displacer," which is not necessarily a bad property, it just has other primary qualities. Of course the effect of increasing SCFA's and altering the pH is going to have it's own independent bacteriocidic effect. I suppose the net effect could be that you will be displacing more bacteria with GOS than before. You probably are getting a significant die off. It sucks. Don't get carried away with the GOS, and watch your mood.

This is a bit of an ugly and rudimentary science experiment, and I still think the sicker the person is, the less likely these large doses are going to be tolerated.
 
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Violeta

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Hermetically sealed with an air lock does the trick. This keeps it from developing unwanted byproducts of fermentation and keeping the anaerobes viable. I keep it in the fridge with the air lock in place. It smells and looks exactly the same after 6 months and beyond.

What I make is nothing like the stuff that you buy in a jar; you can smell that stuff from any room in the house. There is a product sold here in the Commonwealth that has small air lock. It comes in a plastic bag, and is not ideal, but it doesn't have the same odors, likely demonstrates a better microbial profile, and I think the amine content is reduced judging from my response. It's sold by "Farmhouse Culture." I can't give it a ringing endorsement, because of their methodology, but I used to crave it. I learned about a number of autistic kids that would similarly crave these foods. Too much, though, and I would get a headache.

By the way, do you have any jewelry allergies, e.g.- a nickel allergy?
I didn't know you could make sauerkraut in a sealed container. That takes care of my other concern of developing unwanted byproducts.

I'll see if I can find the stuff by Farmhouse Culture until I can get a batch of my own.

I did have an allergy to nickel in jewelry, but it has cleared up. My earrings still turn red, though. I don't know what that means. Why do you ask?
 
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