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  1. #271
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    Quote Originally Posted by otzi View Post
    I posted this in the potato thread, but figured since so many of you are tired of taters, I'd post here, too.

    My latest rabbit-hole is resistant starches. Apparently these are very, very important but rarely talked about because they are so easy to get on the SAD. They are mostly found in grains, seeds, and legumes, but also in potatoes and rice.

    So, please let your takeaway from this be: Think about adding a source of resistant starch to you diet...cooked and cooled potatoes and rice are specifically mentioned anywhere you see the term 'resistant starch'.
    To paraphrase the saying, some people use research papers the way a drunk uses a light pole: not for illumination, but for support. Or to put it in other words, there is quite a difference in the way a salesman and a scientist read research. The salesman looks for anything that would confirm his position ( Ancel Keys ), whereas a scientist looks for information that does not fit and therefore would refute the hypothesis.

    Otzi and I have locked horns on the RS topic before, mostly due to the somewhat breathless promotion of things that aren't fully understood and contradictory, actually. As a very simple example of this, notice the part I've highlighted above. As soon as one reads that sentence it ought to beg the question: is it the abundance of RS ingested by people eating the SAD that explains all of the attendant benefits of that diet? We believe that diet to be unhealthy, which means that that conclusion is a non-sequitur, it simply does not follow from what we know.

    This does not stop Otzi from advocating that everyone include RS in their diet. This is quite remarkable in and of itself, because I know of very few things that I would feel comfortable recommending universally. Otzi's confidence seems to be made of sterner stuff than mine.

    Assuming that you buy the pitch, you probably have some questions, the first of which might be, how much is enough? Is it possible to get too much of a good thing??

    The very first thing Otzi tells us:

    Quote Originally Posted by otzi View Post
    This study shows resistant starches with meals increase fat oxidation that is biologically relevant and could be important for preventing fat accumulation in the long term by effecting total fat balance:
    Resistant starch consumption promotes lipid oxidation
    The problem, of course, is that the study doesn't actually say that. If you read the study, it turns out that if you were to eat 5g of fat with your breakfast, you might observe a lower respiratory quotient (RQ) indicative of increased fat oxidation ( this is oxidation of fat from your meal, not adipose tissue, by the way ). However, what do you think happens if you eat 10g? More of a good thing ought to be even gooder, no? Well, no, it's actually worse than if you ate no RS at all:



    We can give Otzi the benefit of the doubt and say that maybe he is unfamiliar with what RQ measures and how to interpret that. We could, but the problem is that the authors discuss this in the paper, and they also include this particularly simple graph:



    I'm not sure how one would misinterpret that.

    So when I see things like this, I have a fundamental problem: I cannot possibly take any conclusion from any study that Otzi produces at face value. And Otzi definitely throws out a lot of studies. Maybe Otzi gets really excited and reads or skims articles too quickly. My problem comes from the fact that I have to read all of the studies in detail and attempt to understand them to validate the conclusions that Otzi draws. This is a losing proposition for me because skimming and looking for things to confirm your beliefs takes a lot less energy than reading for comprehension and identifying inconsistencies!

    -PK
    My blog : cogitoergoedo.com

    Interested in Intermittent Fasting? This might help: part 1, part 2, part 3.

  2. #272
    otzi's Avatar
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    PKlopp - A lot of water under the bridge since I wrote the original post. I am even MORE convinced now that everyone needs RS in their diet--whether they take me up on it is of no consequence to me, but I like to keep pointing out current research and letting people make up their own minds. If I ever saw anything that said RS was not recommended, like this from Eades this week, I will post it. But I have yet to see anything that says RS is a bad idea for people, except in the case of GERD sufferers. In the comments from the 'anti-RS' article I just linked, Dr. Eades says:

    Also, I don’t know enough about resistant starch to make an intelligent comment. And I have no experience with it, personal or otherwise, in the sense your talking about. It seems that I may have written a post on resistant starch years ago, but I don’t believe I was thinking about it then in the way it’s thought of today.
    This is because Dr. Eades was looking at RS in the context of people with gut dysbiosis--not looking at healthy people who want better guts. However, also this week, Dr BG wrote this great piece on RS and gut microbes. where she says:

    Diet absolutely shifts bacterial communities in the gut ecology -- simple sugars lowers the good, raises the bad. More fiber and RS both raise the good (in Bacteroidetes -- Prevotella, etc), lowers the bad (in Firmicutes -- virulent strains of clostridas, E. coli's, enterococci, streps). This is borne out in pig, children and human studies. Flint et al do a great review here which includes a raffinose study (fiber from legumes) that enriched and ↑ F. prausnitzii, Bifidobacterium spp. Like many of the good gut flora, Bifidobacter tightens up the intestinal tight junctions as super tight as a nun's **ss, which is enteroproctive and immunoprotective again gastroenteritis, intestinal permeability and necrotizing enterocolitis in trials. Guess what? Magnesium deficiency compromises Bifidobacter and intestinal permeability (or which came first?). Bifido appears to enjoy magnesium. In rodent studies fed a mag-deficient diet, intestinal permeability and quantitative changes to cecal bifidobacteria were associated.
    And, I know you love to pick apart studies, but the one you picked apart above concluded this:

    This study is the first to identify that addition of 5.4% RS to a single meal can cause a significant increase in total and meal fat oxidation in healthy individuals relative to a 0% RS diet over the postprandial/postabsorptive period (24 h). This discovery was verified using two different methods, indirect calorimetry and the oxidation of [14C]-triolein to 14CO2, to measure in vivo fat oxidation. This increase in fat oxidation was accompanied by a concomitant decrease in carbohydrate oxidation and fat storage, although these parameters did not reach statistical significance. Further, the magnitude of the increase in fat oxidation indicates that this effect is biologically relevant and could be important for preventing fat accumulation in the long term by effecting total fat balance under chronic feeding conditions. Finally, this study revealed that there may be a maximal effect of RS addition to the diet and that the addition of RS over this threshold confers no metabolic benefit or change from a 0% RS meal.
    The study kind of defined a bell curve for the dose. Their 5% dose of RS equates to about 10g/day and the 10% dose is 20g/day. Paul Jaminet commented on this study and uses the 10g/day figure repeatedly in his book. Do you have any idea how hard it is to get 10g/day of RS? 1 green banana, 1 cup of cooked/cooled/reheated rice, 1 cup of legumes, not that hard--but you have to actively seek it out. The normal LC Paleo diet with a Big Ass Salad does not provide anywhere near 10g/day unless one really likes eating green bananas every day.

    I went to Google Scholar the other day. Searched for Resistant Starch and filtered the results to 2013...care to guess how many new entries from this year? I didn't count, but there were about 20 pages worth. The newest line of study in RS centers on propianate.

    In a study titled "Propionate as a health-promoting microbial metabolite in the human gut"

    They say of RS:

    Resistant starch consists of a large number of glucose units linked together by a-(1,4) or a-(1,6) glycosidic
    bonds and is resistant to amylase degradation.Depending on the origin of the starch, it is fermented to butyrate48 or
    propionate.49 In particular, resistant starch from rice is associated with increased propionate production. Fermentation
    of this compound in different proportions was investigated in rats by Cheng and Lai.49 Hepatic triglyceride and total cholesterol concentrations in rats fed rice starch (630 g/kg feed) were found to be significantly lower (1.5 fold) than in the control group without starch. This was in parallel with a significant increase in serum propionate concentration.
    Another area of new study is centered around 'Regulatory T cells' (Tregs) that are critical for regulating intestinal inflammation.

    In a paper called "The Microbial Metabolites, Short-Chain Fatty Acids, Regulate Colonic Treg Cell Homeostasis" the authors say:

    Gut microbiota–host immune misadaptation has been implicated in the rising incidence of inflammatory bowel disease, other inflammatory diseases, and obesity (22). The Western dietary pattern, specifically reduced ingestion of plantbased fibers and resistant starch, may be a critical factor that links the gut microbiome to disease (23). Although the gut microbiota composition is divergent across individuals, functional gene profiles are quite similar (24, 25), and alterations to common gut microbial metabolic pathways may affect the production of symbiotic factors, such as SCFAs, which regulate intestinal adaptive immune responses and promote health.
    Another paper, titled "Feed Your Tregs More Fiber" says:
    How can intestinal bacterial communities be exploited to infl uence immune responses
    that benefit the host? One approach is to feed specific “substrates” to the host that would
    preferentially expand beneficial bacteria—so-called prebiotics.
    So, the zombie apocalypse continues...you got a lot of slaying to do if you want to convince me that RS is an unimportant piece of the puzzle.

  3. #273
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    Quote Originally Posted by otzi View Post
    PKlopp - A lot of water under the bridge since I wrote the original post. I am even MORE convinced now that everyone needs RS in their diet--whether they take me up on it is of no consequence to me, but I like to keep pointing out current research and letting people make up their own minds. If I ever saw anything that said RS was not recommended, like this from Eades this week, I will post it. But I have yet to see anything that says RS is a bad idea for people, except in the case of GERD sufferers. In the comments from the 'anti-RS' article I just linked, Dr. Eades says:

    <SNIP>

    This is because Dr. Eades was looking at RS in the context of people with gut dysbiosis--not looking at healthy people who want better guts.
    What's wrong with this logic: insulin injections are beneficial for a sub-segment of the population, therefore, everyone should administer subcutaneous insulin. If you think that is a loopy position to adopt, then you have to take the same stance when it comes to RS studies that take an unhealthy pathological population and then ameliorate their condition via an RS intervention. While impressive, that in no way suggests otherwise healthy people need to go out of their way to consume RS as you would have it.

    When you post quotes from some blog / paper / whatever that touts that diet affects the gut microbiome, you can stop doing that on my behalf, as I gladly concede the point. We can move on.

    Regarding the first study that you ever posted here, very nice of you to go out and cut and paste their conclusion again. My point was precisely that you cherry picked the results, ignoring the fact that at higher doses, things turn around 180 degrees. And correct me if I'm wrong, maybe I'm misattributing here, but aren't you the one advocating potato starch supplementation? If so, one tablespoon of potato starch is 15g and assuming that the RS content of potato starch is anything north of 66% then you've hit the 10g mark already, and are nicely in the negative effect territory of that study. If I'm not mistaken, potato starch is about 80% RS.

    Rodent studies leave me thoroughly and completely unimpressed. Nothing to see here, move along. But since we're here and you did kindly provide a quote from a study entitled "Propionate as a health-promoting microbial metabolite in the human gut". Does it not strike you as slightly disingenuous and contradictory that the title refers to humans and the quote you provided references feeding RATS? Not only are they feeding rats, they are feeding them a diet comprised of 63% rice starch ... that's what 630g/kg of feed means. You can't go around calling me out for suggesting that people might eat 10g of RS when you are citing studies that depend on cramming RS down rat throats for their results.

    The last paper you cite is typical of research with scientists trying to be cautious about what they claim and can prove, sprinkling their papers liberally with conditional phrases and words like "may affect", "may be a critical factor", might, could, etc. Unfortunately, you seem to map all of those via your perceptual filters to much more definitive terms like "do affect".

    Lastly, a lot of research in this field comes from the food science camp trying to come up with the latest and greatest version of "diet" food, where basically that means enabling you to eat like crap by engineering the food so that it doesn't quite kill you at the rate that the previous versions did. Not surprising that the authors of the first study hold an RS patent.

    You say you want to eat donuts and still be healthy? Maybe RS engineered foods can help you in that regard, but my advice would be to give up on one or the other of those imperatives ( health vs. hedonism ) and make peace with yourself.

    -PK
    My blog : cogitoergoedo.com

    Interested in Intermittent Fasting? This might help: part 1, part 2, part 3.

  4. #274
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    Dr. Eades' comment at the linked article is a commendably appropriate one for anyone who hasn't tried RS themselves (whether in whole-food or processed form) or at least thoroughly read up on it with an open mind:

    "I don’t know enough about resistant starch to make an intelligent comment. And I have no experience with it, personal or otherwise, in the sense your talking about. It seems that I may have written a post on resistant starch years ago, but I don’t believe I was thinking about it then in the way it’s thought of today." GERD: Treat it with a low- or high-carb diet The Blog of Michael R. Eades, M.D.

    I do think it's likely that one can eat too much RS-rich foods, as with pretty much any food, even water, and I suggested back on Sept. 9th at FTA (http://freetheanimal.com/2013/09/res...comment-536065) that the benefit of RS might be hormetic, which I don't think I got a direct response on. With hormesis, there tends to be some point at which a factor starts becoming counterproductive and in some cases it can start at relatively low or infrequent intakes. Thus it might not be a good idea to ingest large amounts of RS as an every-day thing for the rest of one's life. I think even Richard suggested not eating much RS every 2nd or 3rd day, although I think he only cited fartage as the reason.

    Luckily, nature does provide the fartage signal, which is a strong incentive to not overdo it. It's still a good question as to what is the sweet spot of the intake curve for RS and other prebiotics, such as inulin (should a salad really be daily and "big ass"?), which of course probably varies by individual and might vary over time even for the same individual.

    The same question also seems relevant for ketosis, which is sometimes another factor in my diet and which RS can actually contribute to. Ketosis has also been posited as hormetic and possibly generally not good to do as an every day thing for the rest of one's life, but instead more intermittently. Although that doesn't necessarily mean that there couldn't be therapeutic benefits to limited periods of frequent and/or high-dose intakes with ketosis, RS, inulin and other factors. I'd be interested to see more data on these sorts of questions, including not just study findings (which it's true can be skewed by various biases), but also observations of and self-reports from peoples who have been eating RS-rich foods or employing other of these factors for many centuries or millenia. Presumably they'd know more about it then folks who are relatively new to these things, like myself.

    This is one reason why I try not to prescribe to anyone else and not assume I've figured out what's best for humanity as a whole--the answers to questions like these are not totally clear.

    The possibility of overdoing it beyond hormetic benefits is one reason why I don't consume a lot of RS every day despite the BG benefits it has provided me. It's also one reason why I limit my intake of raw fermented honey, even though it reduces my dandruff and I therefore live with more dandruff than I have to. And it's also one consideration in my not seeking to be in ketosis every day. I'm highly skeptical of eating a lot of one thing every day, even those foods or types of foods that prove most beneficial for me.

    Regarding potato starch, I'm seeing widely varying RS content being asserted, from 7.5 grams per tbsp to now 15 grams. What is the best data on this?

    Thanks, Pklopp for adding your voice to the sweet spot question. I like to examine input from both pro and con sides of questions and am hoping for more of such intelligent questions from the con/skeptical side and more thorough responses from the pro side. I think Otzi shared info before on traditional societies and coprolite remains that suggested avg intakes well above 5g per day, so maybe he can shed some light on this discrepancy with the study.
    Last edited by Paleophil; 09-26-2013 at 07:55 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by tatertot View Post
    Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong.
    Notes I may point to:
    1) WARNING: beware of chronic very low carb diets, especially ones low in resistant starch and other Paleo/Primal prebiotics
    2) I try to do what works best for me, and often fail. YMMV. Don't imitate me--find what works for you. The only fact I know for certain is that of my ignorance. Im not prescribing.
    3) It may aid discussion if neither of us tries to speak for the other

  5. #275
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    Had cold potatoes last night, they had been refrigerated. Went down nice, and i was producing fair bit of gas last night but could be due to also having alot of green beans (not snake shaped ones). Had bit of kefir and kombucha too.

    Will definitley test it again in the near future, combining cold potatoes with some sauerkraut+pickles or something.

  6. #276
    otzi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pklopp View Post
    What's wrong with this logic: insulin injections are beneficial for a sub-segment of the population, therefore, everyone should administer subcutaneous insulin. ... that in no way suggests otherwise healthy people need to go out of their way to consume RS as you would have it.-PK
    Now that is just silly. Show me one person on the planet that would not benefit from improved gut flora. So, if you are 'otherwise healthy' then to hell with gut flora. That is all RS is about--gut flora.

    Quote Originally Posted by pklopp View Post
    When you post quotes from some blog / paper / whatever that touts that diet affects the gut microbiome, you can stop doing that on my behalf, as I gladly concede the point. We can move on.-PK
    Then I guess we are done.

    Quote Originally Posted by pklopp View Post
    Regarding the first study that you ever posted here, very nice of you to go out and cut and paste their conclusion again. My point was precisely that you cherry picked the results, ignoring the fact that at higher doses, things turn around 180 degrees. And correct me if I'm wrong, maybe I'm misattributing here, but aren't you the one advocating potato starch supplementation? If so, one tablespoon of potato starch is 15g and assuming that the RS content of potato starch is anything north of 66% then you've hit the 10g mark already, and are nicely in the negative effect territory of that study. If I'm not mistaken, potato starch is about 80% RS.-PK
    Many studies use 30-40g per day of RS in their tests. Most have found an upper effective limit of 50g/day once the person has had ample time to change their microbiome. The studies that show an UEL of 5g per day are all short term studies--not really that applicable to a long-term dietary strategy. There are numerous short-term and long-term effects of RS. Some studies look at short, some long.

    I think an optimal long-term dose is 20-30g per day,most from real food, but supplementing with potato starch or another high RS starch when you aren't getting it from food. Kind of like Vit D and the sun or fish oil and fish.

  7. #277
    otzi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zizou View Post
    Had cold potatoes last night, they had been refrigerated. Went down nice, and i was producing fair bit of gas last night but could be due to also having alot of green beans (not snake shaped ones). Had bit of kefir and kombucha too.

    Will definitley test it again in the near future, combining cold potatoes with some sauerkraut+pickles or something.
    Something funny we are finding on RS content in cold potatoes, rice and beans...it actually increases when you reheat them. But they need to be reheated in a 'dry' way like frying in a bit of oil or a hot pan--not boiled, steamed, or put into stews, soups, etc... Think fried rice, refried beans, fried potatoes. Subsequent cooling and heating will also increase the RS a bit, but the biggest increase is in the first round.

    For instance, a cup of rice, freshly cooked, would have about 5g of RS. Chilled overnight (or frozen for a while) and eaten cold would have about 10g of RS. Fry the chilled rice in 2TBS of really hot oil and the RS increases to about 15g. Repeat the process and you could get it up to 17g on the second round, 18g on the 3rd and maybe 19g on the 4th round but eventually it will stop increasing.

    That was a long way to say--you can reheat cold potatoes if you fry them....

  8. #278
    otzi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paleophil View Post

    Regarding potato starch, I'm seeing widely varying RS content being asserted, from 7.5 grams per tbsp to now 15 grams. What is the best data on this?
    You know better than anyone we are making this up as we go. It's going to take a lot of people trying it out to come up with a sweet spot. My guess is 20-30g, but it could be 10g. The SAD and most of the world gets 3-5g, and that clearly ain't working.

    Regarding potato starch. The studies put it at 60-80% RS by weight. A TBS weighs 12g. So a TBS should have somewhere between 7.2g and 9.6g. The studies done using ileostomy patients where they actually feed someone potato starch then look for it after it has been through the digestive system all come out with about 75%. The studies done in test tubes where they mix PS with digestive fluids get a smaller result. For my calculations I like to use 8g/TBS. I think that is about as close as you can get, at least within 1g of the true figure.

  9. #279
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    Thanks for the explanation, Otzi, so around 5g of RS to start with (around the current American avg intake), estimating a long term sweet spot of maybe 20-30g per day on avg (with possibly fractally intermittent variations from zero to 40-50g per day), yes? A good answer for a good question. This indicates that intakes should also vary over time to allow adaptation.

    I wonder also if different stages of life might require different amounts of RS?

    Daily RS intakes by nations hint that Americans may not be getting enough:

    United States 4.9 g (range of 2.8-7.9 g)
    Resistant starch intakes in the United States. [J Am Diet Assoc. 2008] - PubMed - NCBI

    Europe, the United States, New Zealand, and Australia 3-9 g
    Precision Nutrition All About Resistant Starch

    China 14.9 g
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubme...155991/related

    Developing countries
    30-40 grams
    Precision Nutrition All About Resistant Starch

    RS-rich foods were even consumed in Paleolithic Europe (as well as in Paleolithic Africa, Asia and the Americas):

    Paleolithic diet included starchy, carb-y cattail flour
    Xeni Jardin at 9:49 am Tue, Oct 19, 2010
    Paleolithic diet included starchy, carb-y cattail flour - Boing Boing

    "Anthropologists investigating the diets of our paleolithic ancestors at sites in Europe []Starchy Wild Plants Added Carbs To Ancient Man's Meaty Diet : Shots - Health News : NPR now believe cattail flour was a regular component. I've actually tasted the stuff before! I was studying Native American food preparation in California, and cattails grow here, too. Anyway, the point is: folks who eat nothing but raw meat and berries in an attempt to mimic a typical paleolithic diet may be missing an important element, for authenticity's sake and for nutrition. Proto-carbs!"


    Aranguren B, Becattini R, Mariotti Lippi M, and Revedin A. 2007. Grinding flour in Upper Palaeolithic Europe (25 000 years bp). Antiquity 81:845-855.

    Hardy BL. 2010. Climatic variability and plant food distribution in Pleistocene Europe: Implications for Neanderthal diet and subsistence. Quaternary Science Reviews 29(5-6):662-679.

    Revedin A, Aranguren B, Becattini R, Longo L, Marconi E, Mariotti Lippi M, Skakun N, Sinitsyn A, Spiridonova E, and Svoboda J. 2010. Thirty thousand-year-old evidence of plant food processing. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.
    Mark Sisson even gave the green light to some RS-foods like plantains and bananas and a cautious OK to potatoes (yes, with caveats) in his Primal Blueprint (such as here http://www.marksdailyapple.com/fiber...#axzz2es9yX7yd and here http://www.marksdailyapple.com/prebi...#axzz2eOQEx1vt and here http://www.marksdailyapple.com/paleo...#axzz2gCQB0CmF). So the question isn't "Why add RS-rich foods to the primal template?", it's "Why remove them?" So far I haven't seen a persuasive answer to that question, but I'm keeping an eye out for one.

    A lot of primal- and LC- oriented folks, including me, did remove most RS foods from our diets and now it's looking like that wasn't such a good idea, except possibly as a temporary therapy to starve off bad bacteria, followed by replenishment of the gut with good bacteria (and even the case for that doesn't seem clear).
    Last edited by Paleophil; 09-28-2013 at 08:32 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by tatertot View Post
    Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong.
    Notes I may point to:
    1) WARNING: beware of chronic very low carb diets, especially ones low in resistant starch and other Paleo/Primal prebiotics
    2) I try to do what works best for me, and often fail. YMMV. Don't imitate me--find what works for you. The only fact I know for certain is that of my ignorance. Im not prescribing.
    3) It may aid discussion if neither of us tries to speak for the other

  10. #280
    otzi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paleophil View Post
    A lot of primal- and LC- oriented folks, including me, did remove most RS foods from our diets and now it's looking like that wasn't such a good idea, except possibly as a temporary therapy to starve off bad bacteria, followed by replenishment of the gut with good bacteria (and even the case for that doesn't seem clear).
    That sums up my feelings!

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