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Look, Feel and Perform Better Challenge > Resistant Starch

Is anyone experimenting with resistant starch?

It seems to be all the rage in the paleosphere. I've been taking a tspn of potato starch a day for about a week and plan to ramp it up slowly over time, if all goes well.

January 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBen W

My 2 cents:

Not too up on what the buzz around RS is, but my instinct is as the LFPB Challenge guidelines...The first mission is to eat real food, in the right quantities. After that is well practiced for sometime (not 6 weeks, but 6 months to years) maybe play with fine tuning with stuff like RS.

Buzz foods and supplements are usually fads that don't add up to their promises. Real food in the right quantities will always be effective.

Sorry, BW! This was a blast on your topic I guess, but I know that you have had a handle on your nutrition for quite a while and are well versed in the paleo blogosphere...What have been your experiences with RS so far?

January 6, 2014 | Registered CommenterChristian Fox

No worries Fox, I'm not scared.

First off, I don't think it's a supplement. I went with the potato starch because it's easier, but you can get it from real food. Cooking white potatoes and rice, then letting them cool for 24 hours creates it. Plantains, green bananas, beans, oats, grains, and some other things also have it. I know these things are mostly non paleo insulin spikers, but supposedly RS actually lowers glucose levels and helps regulate blood sugar.

I think in a nutshell, it's the third type of fiber. It feeds the good bacteria in your gut and really promotes gut health. It seems like every day you see a study linking gut health chronic health problems like autism, acne, depression, etc. So when I read about these supposed benefits from RS, I was interested. Mark Sisson said he underestimated it, Chris Kresser is on board and Robb Wolf is experimenting. Here's what Sisson said:

"It promotes greater butyrate production than other prebiotics. Butyrate is the short chain fatty acid produced by gut flora that has some helpful effects on colon health (it’s actually the primary energy source for our colonic cells). Greater production of butyrate may explain the superior colonic health (and resistance to colon cancer) of non-industrialized cultures, for example. When we eat prebiotics, we’re often interested in the butyrate production.
It improves insulin sensitivity, even in people with metabolic syndrome.
It lowers postprandial insulin and blood glucose levels."

You are supposed to ease into it, it seems. The general recommendation is about 4 tbsps per day. I've only been doing 1 a day for less than a week with plans to ramp it up slowly. I haven't really noticed anything yet. A lot of people report extremely vivid dreams and heavy gas. So try not to partner with me on WODs in the coming weeks, unless you like hearing about weird dreams with bad smells lingering.

According to Free the Animal:
The benefits most commonly touted are: lowered fasting BG, BG blunting, better sleep, increased energy, well being and calm, mental clarity, vivid dreams, curing of chronic constipation and infrequency, soft stools, satiation with gentle hunger, and increased body temperature.

January 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBen W