Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
4 Aug

Dear Mark: Does Resistant Starch Cause Colon Cancer?

greenbananasFor today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m handling just one question. I originally planned to answer more reader questions, but it turned into a complex answer that really made me dig deeper into something – butyric acid – I’d assumed was completely benign. I still do, mind you, for the most part. The position has just become more nuanced. Anyway, the question is from a reader who’s just seen a study that seems to implicate butyric acid, the primary short chain fatty acid that resistant starch-eating gut bacteria produce, in colon cancer. Was my ringing endorsement of resistant starch a mistake after all?

Let’s go:

Hey Mark,

Did you see this new article? It seems to implicate resistant starch as being a cause of colon cancer by increasing butyric acid which increases tumor growth. Are we making a big mistake with all this potato starch, green banana stuff? It definitely seems like it’s improved my digestion and sleep, but I’m pretty worried about this cancer connection (a couple of relatives have died from it).

Thanks,

Jack

Looks scary at first glance, I agree. A metabolite of colonic bacteria usually assumed to be wholly good for us – butyric acid – increased colon cancer in genetically susceptible mice. That’s the same metabolite that resistant starch increases, and it’s often touted as one of the main reasons to even eat the stuff. What gives?

Here’s the study. Or the abstract, at least. The rodents used in the experimental group were mutants with a gene deletion, not “wild type” mice. The deleted gene coded for the MSH2 protein, a regulator of DNA mismatch repair. To understand why this matters, let me briefly (and superficially) explain DNA mismatch. During synthesis of new DNA, adenine (A) is supposed to pair with thymine (T) and guanine (G) is supposed to pair with cytosine (C) to form nucleotide base pairs along the double helix. If errors occur and A matches with C or G matches with A or T matches with C, the DNA won’t function properly. That’s where MSH2 comes in; it’s part of the protein complex that identifies the mismatch errors so that another set of proteins can come in and fix them.

What does this mean for you?

While MSH2 can be epigenetically silenced, we don’t know of any environmental triggers like diet, exercise, sleep, or stress (although a safe bet is to do healthy stuff regardless), and the vast majority of MSH2 defects stem from germline mutations which occur upon or shortly after conception, are highly heritable and immutable. Even among patients with confirmed epigenetic inactivation, 70% still have the germline mutation.

How common are MSH2 mutations overall? Well, a hereditary condition known as Lynch Syndrome is responsible for 3-5% of all colon cancer cases, and MSH2 mutations account for 40% of Lynch Syndrome cases. This condition is actually fairly rare in humans, and colon cancers associated with MSH2 irregularities account for “just” 2-4% of total colon cancer cases (I hate to use  “just” when discussing cancer case statistics, because those percentage points represent afflicted people and families and friends, not abstract numbers – but it’s the best word we have). So as far as MSH2 goes, it’s not a huge contributor to colon cancer in the grand scheme of things.

This is an interesting study, but I don’t think it’s particularly relevant to the majority of people. The control mice, who should be roughly analogous to most people reading, didn’t experience an increase in cancer with increased butyrate.

The bulk of the available research points to butyrate production – and the resistant starch consumption that promotes it – as protective against colon cancer. Plus, eating resistant starch can protect against some of the risk factors linked to colon cancer:

If those risk factors have a causative relationship to colon cancer (and even if they don’t, it’s nice to not have IBD or a lot of visceral belly fat) eating resistant starch should improve resistance.

However, there is some contradictory evidence. There may be different rules for people with cancer. The same thing that could prevent cancer – butyrate/RS – might exacerbate existing tumors.

A 2007 review paper looked at this apparent “butyrate paradox,” (PDF) finding that “time at which the colorectal lesions (early vs. late stage) are exposed to fiber/butyrate are all factors that may influence the protective role of fiber against CRC.” A few of their other findings:

  • In early adenomas/polyps/benign colonic tumors, butyrate is highly protective, inhibiting growth and development into carcinomas.
  • Chronic, low levels of butyrate exposure might be inadequate for protection and actually select for cancer cells that are resistant to the inhibitory effects of butyrate. Thus, if early adenomas are exposed to low butyrate levels, they can become butyrate-resistant (malignant) carcinomas if allowed to progress. “Go big or go home.”
  • Most human colon cancer lines are greatly inhibited by butyrate infusion, but some are far more resistant to its effects.
  • Butyrate/resistant starch is probably best at inhibiting the early stages of tumor development and less effective in later stages.

From my reading of the research, resistant starch (and the resultant butyrate) has an overall beneficial, preventive effect on colon cancer risk. That relationship may change or become more complicated in advanced colon cancer, and the story may be entirely different for people carrying the MSH2 mutation from today’s highlighted study, but that remains to be seen. For now, I’m still incorporating RS into my diet.

If you’re worried, ask your doctor about getting an MSH2 status test. And review your family history of cancer. Was it colon? Was it a DNA repair mismatch-related case? Even if you do have the MSH2 mutation and a family history of Lynch Syndrome, don’t fear fermentable fibers, resistant starches, and butyrate. Your colonic cells run on butyrate. It’s their primary energy source. And all the other myriad benefits of prebiotics remain relevant. Besides, this is one study. It’s not proof or confirmation of anything. Not yet.

Thanks for reading, everyone! Let’s hear what you think about all this in the comment section.

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Saw the post’s title and was like “OH COME ON! I JUST STARTED ADDING RS INTO MY DIET!” :)

    Jacob wrote on August 4th, 2014
  2. Your colonic cells run on butyrate.

    Just like your brain runs on cholesterol, yet they’re always trying to get us to lower it! So where’s the statin for my ass? :)

    Wenchypoo wrote on August 4th, 2014
    • Unfortunately, there’s no special statin for your ass. Just take a regular statin as a suppository and it should work like a charm! :D

      Jon wrote on August 4th, 2014
  3. Nice write up and I agree that it’s very early days yet with regards to strongly linking butyric acid to colon cancer in humans.

    Adi Kumar wrote on August 4th, 2014
  4. I reserve the starch for my collars.

    Groktimus Primal wrote on August 4th, 2014
    • Grokimus, your point is well made. I don’t believe in using isolates of any kind as a treatment modality, particularly in large amounts. Isolates mess with the body’s natural balance and could create eventual problems. Might it not be a better idea, if one is wanting to increase RS, to simply eat chilled potato salad a couple of times a week rather than ingest large amounts of commercially extracted potato starch? As for green bananas… Wow. To each his own, but I can’t think of anything more likely to upset my stomach.

      Shary wrote on August 4th, 2014
      • why would green bananas upset your stomach? I don’t have any problems with them at all. Seriously curious here, not trying to be argumentative.

        Dan wrote on August 4th, 2014
        • A lot of people have gas etc when first introducing RS; maybe there’s more in a green banana than chilled potato salad?

          Tom B-D wrote on August 4th, 2014
        • I ate 1/2 of a green banana. It was a horrible experience. I had to literally choke it down. Looking at the other 1/2 of that poor banana nearly made me revisit the first 1/2 I’d just finished. Two days later, though, the second 1/2 had a tiny bit of yellow, and it was just fine!

          Tom S wrote on August 5th, 2014
        • Dan, why would you think everyone can eat green bananas just because you have no problem with them? In answer to your question, under-ripe fruit of any kind doesn’t set well with me. Sometimes even ripe bananas upset my stomach.

          Shary wrote on August 6th, 2014
      • i use a small amount of non-gluten starch in thickening while cooking
        but i agree it’s silly to ingest large amount of raw RS long term.

        i prefer to get RS from real food (potato salad, sushi & fried rice also has it since it’s typically made with cold rice)

        cheers

        pam wrote on August 4th, 2014
      • I’m with Shary; I’m not a big fan of isolated food extracts, at least on a regular basis. When Richard Nikoley got the bandwagon rolling I jumped aboard because I was having some gut problems and his advocacy made sense, and still does. (The potato starch each morning and each evening solved a few problems in a couple of weeks and the later addition of gut bugs has done some good things.)

        After several months of the potato starch “protocol” I decided there was no added benefit of the twice-daily dosages and for the past few months I’ve reduced my potato starch intake to one tablespoon every “few” days. (I have also added the occasional tablespoon of hi-maize corn starch to my menu.) All other foods are whole foods that are primarily composed of fermentable fibers, that is, fresh vegetables. I continue my (almost) daily supplementation of gut bugs.

        An interesting side note: I recently had to take some large doses of aspirin to knock out an attack of gout. I had read that NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), will wreak havoc with one’s intestinal flora and fauna so I ingested a lot of potato starch and hi-maize corn starch for a week. On the second day I had voluminous…um…intestinal gas, telling me my gut biome had indeed been wrecked and the good bugs were at war with the bad bugs and were eating the starches as fast as they could to build their armies back to fighting strength. (The gas went away after a couple of days.)

        I think the “processed” concentrated forms of resistant starch definitely have their place on my (our) menu but I do question the constant use.

        James H. wrote on August 4th, 2014
        • Is there anything you do or consume that’s making your gout symptoms appear? I seem to have problems with a big toe when I push off of it during exercise and am wondering if it’s gout. I’d rather not take anti inflammatory medicine but would appreciate any input.

          victor wrote on August 6th, 2014
        • Victor,

          No, my gout these days is just bad luck and a lifelong bad habit of eating the wrong foods, the consequence being a trashed filtration system.

          I doubt you have gout in that toe though your symptoms may be a precursor. A gouty joint is excruciatingly painful; one does NOT stress a joint under attack from gout. If a joint is gouty, you hobble, you whine, you use crutches, and you whimper; you do not, repeat NOT, engage in activities requiring the use of said joint.

          My occasional attack is due to fat-loss. Toxins are stored in the fat tissues and if the fat loss is too rapid, the toxins flood one’s broken-down system, causing several problems. If I keep the fat-loss slow, gout attacks sre few and far between. Until I get rid of all this fat, I will continue to suffer the consequences of my wicked youth.

          James H. wrote on August 6th, 2014
        • Victor,

          If Gout is caused by toxins, consider detoxifying your body. I buy various detoxifying powders, which have various detoxifying herbs, that help to cleanse the body of toxins.

          Detoxifying the body is equally as important as eating. One should detoxify regularly. I currently use “Perfect Food” by Garden of Life which is loaded with herbs-bitter-but for me bitter sweet when you know the value of detoxifying. There are many types of good detoxifying brands out there.

          I’ve been detoxifying for years-since my early twenties-now 67. I was an avid faster for over 40 years. I fasted anywhere from 1 day to 15 days drinking only distilled water. I fasted monthly for three days at a time. Fasting is a great way to eliminate toxins, but many people cannot fast because of varying medical conditions they have. That’s why they should consult a doctor before embarking on a fasting plan.

          However, detoxifying with herbs many can do, and should make a part of their life. Coupled with Primal eating makes a great combination.

          Thanks for your time.

          Daneil wrote on August 7th, 2014
      • That’s what I do too… although I’ve found green bananas are okay in a smoothy. I tell ya, though, potato starch in a smoothy? Ewww. The texture is awful. I have yet to find any palatable way to take powdered potato starch.

        Wildrose wrote on August 4th, 2014
        • I mix my raw potato starch in with yogurt and now prefer it to straight yogurt, it needs a little extra water to make it less thick.

          Korree wrote on August 4th, 2014
  5. Other primates eat far more RS than humans (some, like the gorilla, are vegans), yet they seem to be doing fine.

    Primal_alex wrote on August 4th, 2014
    • I dunno haven’t seen too many gorillas in the neighborhood lately

      Joe Bob wrote on August 4th, 2014
      • “Pretty women out walking with gorillas down my street…”

        PBnewby wrote on August 7th, 2014
    • (Laughing…) Alex, why don’t you try living in a tree for a few months, eating what the “other” primates eat. Let us know how that works out for you.

      Shary wrote on August 4th, 2014
      • Exactly. It’s all fine and good what gorillas want to eat, but I’m not a gorilla. I think I’ll stick with human food.

        Keiran wrote on August 4th, 2014
        • Sound reasoning…..

          Dan wrote on August 4th, 2014
      • People got me wrong but I do not care, I know that internet is like this: you say something and people start attacking. Especially when you touch their bacon.

        What I wanted to say is not that we have to live of bananas, hanging from trees, I said that we are more similar to primates than rats, and if RS is good for them to the point that they make a staple of their diet, we can benefit from some RS, too.

        Primal_alex wrote on August 5th, 2014
        • Peace, Alex. My comment wasn’t intended as an attack. What you said just struck me as being kind of funny.

          Shary wrote on August 5th, 2014
        • i agree RS in proper amount is good.

          but primates don’t eat RS in the form of green banana powder or raw potato starch powder smoothie.

          cheers,

          pam wrote on August 9th, 2014
      • Chimpanzees are omnivores.

        BillC wrote on August 6th, 2014
    • That’s the argument raw vegans use…

      Wildrose wrote on August 4th, 2014
    • Other primates have a small intestine half the size of ours and a large intestine twice as big. We humans have evolved the inability to process fiber (resistant starch and others) very well. Thank you fire and delicious ruminants. If you think it helps you, by all means keeping eating it, but for me I’ll stick to having my food eat resistant starch and cellulose and then I’ll eat the food. Ok, I still get a bit from coconut meat and leafy greens, but green bananas or cold potatoes? Good luck.

      Lomax Zoltor wrote on August 4th, 2014
    • Gorillas and Chimpanzees are NOT vegan. Not even vegetarian. One of their favorite meals it capturing a smaller monkey and ripping its body apart and consuming it. They literally go ape shit over killing and eating smaller monkeys. They love eggs too. And milk. Devour honey if they can get it. Don’t confuse access with preference. Primates don’t eat that much meat because it’s really hard to catch other animals. But when they do, they love it.

      Clay wrote on August 5th, 2014
      • I never mentioned chimpanzees (our closest living relatives) which, I agree with you, are omnivorous ;)
        And just to stop this topic, our closest relative (not anymore living unfortunately) was carnivorous, and it was not an ape, but the Neanderthals.

        Primal_alex wrote on August 6th, 2014
      • I was always under the assumption they were vegan but because of their intestinal abilities to make wonderful things out of vegetables (we humans absolutely can not) the little monkeys are relatively safe.

        victor wrote on August 6th, 2014
        • Gorillas can’t be vegan because veganism is a morally driven diet. It’s a social construct. It has no real scientific basis to it what so ever, nor is it attached to any animal’s (well maybe Koalas) biological directive.

          So it’s fundamentally a diet based upon achieving ethical or spiritual purity. Primates don’t make those kind of choices with food. Only we do. Or we do in a first world country with such an abundance of food choices, and surplus wealth to purchase them, that we can afford to shape our diet any way we feel is correct for us. It’s an awesome luxury and we all take advantage of it.

          I’ve had fancy goldfish for years. You’ll be told that they are vegetarian, but it’s not true. Goldfish are just really bad hunters and plants can’t fight back. But give them chopped up beef heart, or brine shrimp, or blood worms and they go nuts. They grow really fast and super strong on a diet that includes ample animal sources of protein. In nature they will eat just about anything they can get their hands on and force down their throats.

          There are very few animals that literally cannot eat or will not eat animal derived food sources.

          Most of the literature about biology being dietary destiny is, I believe, driven by vegans who are looking for biological reasons for what is essentially an ethic decision.

          And I say this as a vegetarian who has plenty of dietary quirks. I just recognize them as such.

          Clay wrote on August 6th, 2014
    • Gorillas are not vegans. They do eat insects. They can be called mostly vegetarian. They eat very little animal foods. They do eat lots of RS, because they have a huge large intestines. The large intestine decides how much fiber we can digest. We are not gorillas. Our colon is less than half of the other large primates, so we should be able to consume less than half fiber than them. ie less than half of the energy could come from raw plant foods. or if your diet is 2000kcal, less than 1000kcal ie less than 200gms. 100-150gms would be ideal, if your gut has been primed slowly to achieve that.

      Anand Srivastava wrote on October 26th, 2014
  6. I had tried potato starch before and saw some benefits in my digestion. After rereading a couple of the older posts Mark did about RS, I am going to try it again and keep track of the results. Improving my sleep is one benefit I would love to occur. I just had a teaspoon of potato starch in club soda, as suggested in one of the older posts. That is a good way to get it down the hatch!

    Janet wrote on August 4th, 2014
  7. Thank you Mark! Even though we should think for ourselves… you do make it easy at times :-)

    And speaking about thinking for yourself…

    I notice many ( and yes many PB’s also) are STILL looking for that “magic solution” that one “secret” that ties it all together and makes it work for YOU.

    Countless people have downed some RS recently through the form of PS or GreenBananaS, but many haven’t the faintest clue why….

    I think RS is a crucial part of your diet….how you get it…. well that should be a well thought out personal choice :-)

    The more research comes to light in regards to nutrition and exercise…. the more you can take your hat of for Mr. Mark Sisson………
    Common sense…..personal responsibility and sticking to what you enjoy to do is probably the soundest advice and guidance out there.

    Marc

    Marc wrote on August 4th, 2014
  8. Does anybody experience flatulence from potato starch? I certainly do. Does anybody know how to mitigate this side effect?

    Steve wrote on August 4th, 2014
    • Steve,

      You just have to keep at it. The flatulence will eventually subside once the good gut buds have stabilized. It may though take some time depending upon your diet…menu…and the level of damage your gut is having to overcome.

      James H. wrote on August 4th, 2014
    • Anaerobic digestion of RS/fiber/cellulose/etc. in the large intestine will always produce short chain fatty acids and gaseous volatiles like methane. Depending on what types of indigestible starches you consume, you’ll change the bacterial balance and thus how much gas you’re gut’s producing. Ultimately, you’ll always produce gas though and depending on your gas production might need to worry about living a lonelier life.

      Lomax Zoltor wrote on August 4th, 2014
      • I do live a lonely life at the moment, so I am free to experiment. I started RS to aid my constipation and it does help. I do a cocktail of RS, metamusil and probiotics 1-2 hours before eating. Maybe cutting out the metamusil will allow me to be more social.

        Steve wrote on August 5th, 2014
        • Keep eating on a regular basis the RS, other fibers, ferments, and probiotics and your gut will get new bugs that will consume the methane and other byproducts. Result? Non-stinky, infrequent farts. You want to create a diverse gut biome in which everything useful is consumed including the “waste” any one group of bugs produces.

          Energy! wrote on August 5th, 2014
    • Although I haven’t had too many issues with flatulence one of the commenters above(James H.) mentions when you start taking RS the good stuff is at war with the bad stuff and should settle down in a couple days.

      victor wrote on August 6th, 2014
    • Adding some good probiotics helps. Also, taking it with water on an empty stomach also helps. If you ingest it around the time you ingest other foods, flatulence can increase.

      Charles wrote on October 20th, 2014
  9. FWIW, I tried the green banana flour and the Bob’s RM Unmodified potato starch for a few weeks each, and both raised my blood glucose, both postprandially and fasting (the next morning).

    (I noticed that Fred Hahn, whom I respect, experienced the same thing. Many people have, in fact, but their honest reports often attract bullying comments.)

    I eat a ton of raw onion and garlic (especially fermented black garlic) and dandelion and other greens—with the stems/stalks—pureed in the Vitamix. That has to be closer to traditional fibrous ingestion.

    Raw potato starch is not food. Neither is unripe, uncooked plantain. No human population has ever eaten those things.

    waterfall wrote on August 4th, 2014
    • raw potato starch also requires detox, too much trouble for me

      regards,

      pam wrote on August 4th, 2014
    • waterfall- I agree with you on the BRM raw potato starch. I had reactions to it other than the standard ones usually reported. It took me over a week to figure out it was the potato starch and to eliminate it. Green bananas and cooked/cooled rice and potatoes do not trigger this kind of reaction.

      David wrote on August 4th, 2014
    • I am also quite reticent to jump into the whole resistant starch bangwagon. It just doesn’t make intuitive sense to me like the rest of the diet does. When and how would humans have ever been exposed to such quantities of resistant starch that our intestinal health would have become dependent on it for good health? My guess is never.

      Of course, I might be wrong, and it might turn out to be beneficial, but I prefer to be safe and I doubt that my health will suffer for not including it in my diet.

      If there’s something I have learned from the ancestral movement it’s to trust my gut and common sense before blindly trusting others. With that said, I won’t try to convince anyone of my opinion since I have nothing but my intuition on my side and I hope it works out well for everyone who tries it.

      PrimeTime wrote on August 5th, 2014
      • “When and how would humans have ever been exposed to such quantities of resistant starch that our intestinal health would have become dependent on it for good health”

        Raw Chinese Yams/Korean Yams/Japanese Mountain Yams (Dioscorea opposita), are safe to consume raw after a quick vinegar-water soak and contain TWICE as much RS as a toxic white potato.

        https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jnsv/57/5/57_5_340/_pdf

        You would only need to eat a small portion of that yam to obtain the RS2 you get from a few spoonfuls of BRM.

        Tiger Nut tubers were a rich source of RS for our Paleolithic ancestors. They are easy to find weeds in Africa and were believed to be one of the first crops to ever be cultivated by humans. The nutrient density of tiger nuts is incredible — they are more nutrient dense than muscle meat and appear to fill in the nutritional holes that organ meats are unable to fill.

        JS wrote on August 5th, 2014
        • Thank you for your answer, this kind of information is what I would have liked to read in Mark’s series about resistant starch, since all of the sources mentioned made no sense to me.

          I especially appreciate you mentioning tiger nuts since here in Spain they are quite easy to find, and to me they are more appealing than sweet and white potatoes as a carb source.

          Prime Time wrote on August 6th, 2014
    • “FWIW, I tried the green banana flour and the Bob’s RM Unmodified potato starch for a few weeks each, and both raised my blood glucose, both postprandially and fasting (the next morning).

      (I noticed that Fred Hahn, whom I respect, experienced the same thing. Many people have, in fact, but their honest reports often attract bullying comments)”

      BRM should raise glucose by roughly 10 points. That’s normal. Higher spikes would be typical of someone who barely consumes any carbs whatsoever. No offense to Fred Hahn, but last time I checked he barely consumed enough fiber to form a stool. Strict carb avoidance typically results in a false diabetes, as evidenced by Tolstoi’s experiments on Stefannson and Anderson after the Bellevue experiment. It wouldn’t be surprising for a carb-starved person to have some glucose spikes from BRM. Anyone with decent glucose tolerance should be able to tolerate it.

      “Raw potato starch is not food. Neither is unripe, uncooked plantain. No human population has ever eaten those things.”

      False. Andean indians ate raw potatoes typically with mud or dirt to absorb the excess glycoalkaloid toxins. Tiger nut tubers were widely consumed in Africa throughout the Paleolithic and Neolithic periods. “Dioscorea opposita” yams, which are one of the richest sources of RS on the planet, were widely consumed throughout Asia and are safe to consume raw.

      JS wrote on August 5th, 2014
      • When I do raw potato starch in water, my blood glucose doesn’t go up a bit. And it shouldn’t. There are no digestible carbs in raw potato starch that would raise your blood sugar. If it does, it’s not potato starch, or not raw. Fred Hahn eventually realized he was using potato FLOUR, not potato starch.

        Charles wrote on October 20th, 2014
  10. Totally off-topic, but I cannot for the life of me register for the forums or get admin to respond to my multiple help requests. If anyone is on the forum and could ask a mod or admin to please help, I would really appreciate it.

    Curtis wrote on August 4th, 2014
    • Will no one here my cries for help?!

      Curtis wrote on August 7th, 2014
  11. Thank you for this post! I am one of those few percent with Lynch Syndrome (mine is mismatch on the MLH1 repair gene). I have been following MDA for 2-3 months, and was just set to go buy some potato starch–now, will keep the focus on soluble fibers from veggies and fruit. This site is so informative–another big thank you to Mark and his research staff.

    KrisS wrote on August 4th, 2014
    • KrisS, so when your MPH1 repair gene isn’t working properly what does that mean for you? If our DNA pairing are not matched properly and nothing to repair it my very uneducated guess is the cell dies. Is that right? Something tells me you are one tough individual.

      victor wrote on August 6th, 2014
  12. Interesting and informative article. IBS and Crohns are tough to deal with. I really agree with natural approaches. I also believe what we eat matters a lot. I have a son in law who has just been diagnosed with Crohns – two things I have always noticed about his diet. He never drinks much and he is a picky eater – so misses out on a lot of balanced meals because he may only like one or two items on the menu.

    Anne wrote on August 4th, 2014
  13. Thank you very much indeed Mark for covering this, as it is something I have also been wondering about since reading the article, as I have a family history of colon cancer. I have also had my genes analysed by 23andme & have just checked the gene (MSH2) you mention. However, I’m a bit confused about it all. I can see that I am heterozygous (+/-) for quite a few of the results in that gene, so I’m not sure if that means I should have resistant starch or not?

    Christine wrote on August 5th, 2014
  14. It’s so hard for me to stay on top of all the cancer research, and I think it is true that while some things may lead to a decrease in one type of cancer, overdoing it could lead to all sorts of other health complications.

    To the asker, I would agree with Mark: if you are concerned about what it may mean for you given your family history, by all means be cautious about consuming RS, or perhaps until you’ve seen more studies confirming findings one way or another.

    Camille wrote on August 5th, 2014
  15. Does the potato starch have to be raw or is it still a form of RS if I cook with it?

    Nick wrote on August 5th, 2014
    • Cooking turns the resistant starch into plain old starch…simple carbohydrates. So no, it isn’t a source of RS at that point.

      Charles wrote on October 20th, 2014
  16. All I know is that RS gives me major gas. I tried it for several weeks, even easing into it, but had to quit due to the bloating, pain and gas.

    JT wrote on August 5th, 2014
    • Did you take a variety of probiotics also? If you have taken antibioitics, been eating low carb/no fermented foods with live cultures and/or low fiber, there may not have been enough gut bugs to create the diverse biome necessary.

      Energy! wrote on August 5th, 2014
      • *antibiotics*

        Energy! wrote on August 5th, 2014
  17. I wonder if our Paleo ancestors also ordered Bob’s Red Mill Potato Starch from Amazon like we do today? If they did, then I’m ordering some soon!

    If they didn’t, then they must have cooked their taters, then froze them in their freezers, then cooked them again cuz that’s been proven to be one of the better ways to get RS!

    Sky King wrote on August 11th, 2014
    • Raw potato starch is a source of RS2 resistant starch. Cooked and cooled potatoes are a source of RS3 retrograde resistant starch. Both are good, probably RS3 is better. But for some, using the raw potato starch (which is a minimally processed food, and has been eaten for a long time, produced in your kitchen), is a good way to start an experiment. A lot of people have had really good results with raw potato starch. But in the long run, adding more and varied food sources is probably the best.

      Charles wrote on October 20th, 2014
  18. Belly fat is so annoying. I have found that since i have started using Chromium that my belly fat is decreasing. I go eat too many carbs.

    Anne wrote on October 28th, 2014

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