Friday, January 23, 2015

Lose Weight, Body Fat, Improve Blood Glucoses and Insulin Sensitivity; Repair the Gut Flora That Potato Starch (Raw RS2) Damages (Part VI)

Part I: Bifidobacteria longum, Roseburia, F. prausnitzii (and Akkermansia) Made Us Human (NONE OF THESE EAT RAW POTATO STARCH) NSFW
Part II: HADZA GUTS HAVE THE ANCESTRAL CORE MICROBIOTA IN ABUNDANCE; High Dose RAW Starch Can Suppress Bifidobacteria, Roseburia, F. prausnitzii That Make Us Human
Part III: PALEO MAG HOT TONY FEDERICO HAS THE ANCESTRAL CORE MICROBIOTA IN ABUNDANCE; Citizen Science; Cautions with RPS-RUMPS; High Dose RAW Starch Appears to Suppress Christensenella, Akkermansia, and B longum That Make Us LEAN
Part IV: High Dose Potato Starch Can Make You Fatter, Insulin Resistant, Feed Vipers in Your UPPER GUT If You Are MISSING Bifidobacteria longum and Akkermansia mucinophila, aka SAD Microbial Fingerprint  NSFW
Part V: High Dose Potato Starch Can Make You Fatter, Insulin Resistant By Lowering GLP-1 AND ESPECIALLY If You Are Missing  Bifidobacteria longum and Akkermansia mucinophila, aka SAD Microbial Fingerprint NSFW

Diabetes Warrior: Gut Experiment with Amped-Up Bionic Fiber

Our fearless low-carber Diabetes Warrior, Steve Cooksey, and I are doing a little n=1 experiment with an amped-up version of Bionic Fiber and the 7 Steps.  Bionic Fiber  replenishes the ancestral phylogenetic core microbiota which are damaged by SAD diets, antibiotics and high-dosage potato starch (raw resistant starch, type 2). These are the gut flora that also happen to regulate insulin and body fat storage.

Steve uses a VLC (very low carb) diet to control blood sugars and successfully reversed obesity and complications related to diabetes. As 1/8 Cherokee Native American Indian, the VLC diet suits him well though he eats starches occasionally. Steve works out frequently and his diet includes a lot of greens including dandelion salads which are rich in inulin-FOS.
Steve's results so far show reduction in weight prior to the holidays and no gains during the festivities. He was very pleased to see the blood glucoses (BG) improve from 70 - low 90s to 59 - 80s. Stools improved within 1-2 wks going from 3 times per week to daily.


In the Folz Family RUMP/raw potato starch experiment, the family members all observed higher blood glucoses with 1 TBS potato starch except for Child 1 who was taking 1 TBS PSYLLIUM which has been shown to reduce body weight and blood glucoses. The n=1 are small but the point of the experiment was to measure BG as a metric of gut health. Adult 2 was trying to lose weight but no body fat losses or weight loss were reported during or after the 6 week experiment.

HERE Allan Folz:

First, our blood glucose measurements marginally went up, especially for my wife and me who were taking the largest doses. 

Before beginning the experiment I measured our BG first thing after waking up across three consecutive days. These were taken on January 15, 16, and 17.

For myself: 96, 89, 88
For my wife: 89, 93, 101
For child 1: 96, 91, 109
For child 2: 84, 90, n/a

After six weeks of RS I repeated taking some morning measurements. These were taken on March 26, April 1, 2, and 4.

For myself: 97, 114, 94, 98
For my wife: 116, 95, 92, n/a
For child 1: n/a, 92, 85, 89  [+ 1 TBS PSYLLIUM=IMPROVED BLOOD GLUCOSES]
For child 2: 87, 90, 79, 100


Tigernut man was the last hominid that studies show consumed a high RS2 diet -- and he and his pre-human lineage expired 1.2 million years ago. The hunter-gatherers who learned to cook and use routine fire dominated the plains, steeps, and gallery forests during the hundreds of thousands of years that followed. Our diet and gut flora have likely adapted and reflects vast changes in the fiber and diversity of resource allocation since then. The flora that feed and crossfeed from raw starches (Bacteroides, Clostridium) are not the dominant immunoprotective nor body fat controlling ones (Bifidobacteria longum, Akkermansia, Christensenella, Roseburia, Faecalibacterium, etc) which consume a variety of fiber but not raw starches well or at all. The raw starch eating bacteria help make us human compared to chimps but they are not the powerful anti-inflammatory gut flora that help our bodies to efficiently utilize fats and complex carbohydrates and by cycling body fat back into ready energy brain energy (glucose or ketones).  In that respective it explains why in human and pig studies (prior post), raw starches (RS Type 2) such as high-amylose maize and raw potato starch fail to appear to perform well metabolically and may even raise fasting insulin and insulin resistance. Body fat doesn't improve or even gets worse. Gut researchers cannot reconcile the differences between the good hamster/rodent studies and the lack of translation in human studies and human subjects.

Rats lose body fat on their native diet -- raw starch -- but humans do not appear to (or even get fattier organs, higher BP and higher insulin, Bodinham et al 2012 and 2014), and perhaps this is related the fact that no current human society consumes large dosages of raw starches in their regular daily diet or at least not without being accompanied by an upwards of 150 grams of dietary fiber (Hadza).  So is raw starch part of the natural food for our gut flora? What adverse shifts in the gut flora happen when unnatural 'fiber' becomes a large component of dietary fiber for humans and fuel for our 100 trillion gut inhabitants? The research seems pretty clear that our gut flora are maladapted, and, worse, the gut shifts affect metabolism and insulin sensitivity by lowering keystone anti-inflammatory gut species that are associated with leanness and insulin sensitivity.

Gut scientists Geurts et al recently stated:
"Resistant starches (RS) are also fermentable non-digestible
carbohydrates (Bird et al., 2010; Robertson, 2012). Although
they are not regarded widely as a prebiotics, most forms
of RS induce changes in gut microbiota composition
(Flint, 2012). In rodents, data suggest that chronic RS
feeding upregulates proglucagon expression (i.e. GLP-1
precursor) in the colon with concomitant increases in
neuropeptide expression in the hypothalamus (Shen et
al., 2009; Zhou et al., 2008). These effects result in weightloss and improvements in glycaemic control. However, todate there is no evidence for this in humans (for review see Robertson, 2012)." 

Cooksey tried potato starch but it didn't lead to permanent changes in body composition -- sometimes he gained weight, sometimes he lost weight. Blood sugars and stools initially improved then plateaued, so after a few months he gave up and noticed no change afterwards in glycemic control.

Like all the gut profiles I've reviewed, I would strongly suspect the lack of permanent improvements were related to adverse shifts in Cooksey's guts a result of high dosage potato starch induces on the gut. 
--suppression of Bifidobacteria longum, the keystone immunity and gut guard (depletion is associated with nearly all human diseases studied so far) 
--reductions in Akkermansia(higher the better, the lower the blood sugars and disease in human trials)
--reductions in Christensenella(higher the better, the lower the body fat and disease in human trials)
--reductions in Roseburia and F. prausnitzii particularly for those on lower carb diets (these are the large butyrate producers of Clostridia XIVa and IV and are immunoprotective)

How To Boost
Bifidobacteria longum, Roseburia,
Akkermansia muciniphila,
and Faecalibacterium prausnitzii
For Fat Loss, Satiety,
Reversal of NASH/fatty liver,
Improved Glycemic Control and Insulin Sensitivity

Geurts et al 2013

To fill in the gaps that are missing in the microbial fingerprints of most modern and damaged guts, Geurts et al advise several fibers and prebiotics to increase Akkermansia, Bifidobacteria longum, Roseburia and F. prausnitzii including chitin-beta glucan, arabinoxylan (psyllium, grains), oligosaccharides and inulin-FOS. Amped-up bionic fiber contains a variety of these to promote diversity in the gut -- low doses of several fibers that all increase acetate, propionate, butyrate and long term raise GLP-1, an anti-inflammatory gut hormone that promotes fat burning and leanness.  Geurts et al discusses GLP-1 in detail. These fibers that raise GLP-1 are found in a variety of foods including the below. Steve Cooksey loves to forage for dandelion roots and greens, wonderful sources of inulin-FOS which are nuclear powerhouses that enrich Akkermansia and B. longum and which are both shown in human trials to lower blood sugars,  improve fat loss and potently fix glycemic control.

Preferentially Feeding Bifidobacteria longum, Akk, Roseburia, and FP (Avoid Raw Starch)

Many plant foods contain these below special fibers and prebiotics that selectively feed B longum, Akk, Roseburia, F prausnitzii:

  • mushrooms -- chitin-glucan (hat tip Dr Lagakos)
  • beans -- GOS (hat tip Dr Lagakos)
  • raw dairy -- GOS and other oligos
  • whole GF grains, gums and psyllium -- oligos, FOS, AXOS, inulin, acacia, pectin, lignins, etc
  • low carb, non-starchy tubers (dandelion root, chicory, sunchokes, beets, rutabagas, konjac, etc) -- FOS, inulin, XOS, pectin, hemicellulose, etc

Leanness Related Gut Flora
Depletions Associated with Human Clinical Disease
Leanness Gut Flora, Prebiotics, and Human Studies
Damaging Gut Effects of High Dose Raw RS2 Resistant Starch 
(Potato Starch)
Gut Diversity
Diseases are Associated with Low Gut Diversity
Increases Diversity If Diverse Fibers
Reduced by 10-36%
--Folz family 10-20% loss of genera or phyla with RS2
Bifidobacteria longum

B.longum and bifido depleted in chronic liver disease, fatty liver/NASH, obesity, T2D

suppression of Bifidobacteria longum
--often undetectable
--depletions of 100-fold to 2000-fold for relative bifido typically for potato starch
--B.animalis or B. adolescentis majority colonizer
Depleted in metabolic disorders and gut conditions: diabetes, obesity, fatty liver/NASH, IBD, IBS

“A. muciniphila is important for a healthy host as its decreased abundance is associated with compromised health including acute appendicitis, ulcerative colitis, autism and atopic diseases. Finally, the abundance of A. muciniphila is inversely correlated with obesity ...plays a pivotal role in obesity as its duodenal delivery regulates fat-mass gain, metabolic endotoxemia, adipose tissue inflammation, and insulin resistance” Source
reductions in Akkermansia
-- 2-fold to 17-fold depletions from normal


Christensenellaceae bacteria might be a “keystone” species, “one that wields a disproportionate influence upon the world around it.”'
-- 2-fold enrichment of Christensenella with high fiber, non-starchy tubers and vegetables
-- 5-fold enrichment compared with controls of family Christensenellaceae
reductions in Christensenella
--2.5 to 10+ times depleted below controls
--Stopping raw potato starch increases Christensenella from undetectable to detectable levels
-- 4-fold decreases in family Christensenelleae


Several bifido probiotics exist on the market but none work as effectively to improve immunity, improve gut disorders and reverse diseases as the ones native to humans: B. longum, B bifidum and B breve. In healthy guts and breastmilk of healthy, disease-free mothers, B. longum is the dominant species (see above table).

"In this context recent clinical studies as well as murine-based trials involving supplementation of probiotic bifidobacteria belonging to the B. animalis subsp. lactis taxon coupled with metagenomics investigations, highlighted the lack of any effect in terms of modulation/modification of the gut microbiota composition upon intake of such probiotic bacteria,41,42 thus reinforcing the notion that the use of bifidobacterial strains that do not have a human origin, such as members of the B. animalis subsp. lactis species, may be limited in their ability to interact with other members of the gut microbiota or with the host." (Ventura, Turroni et al 2014)

Bifidobacteria in healthy subjects' human guts (Turroni et al AEM 2007)

Fecal bifidobacteria:
B longum 43.5%  (non-starch eater, prefers oligos, arabinoxylanOS & mucin)
B lactis 23%
B adolescentis 12% (starch eater)
B pseudocatenulatum 8%
B bifidum 6% (non-starch eater)
B breve 4% (starch eater)
B pseudolongum 2%
B dentium 1.5%

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

PART II: Gut Guardians Podcast Episode 11 – Reinforcing Tribal Connections w Tony Federico

Gut Guardians Podcast: Episode 11 – Reinforcing Tribal Connections w Tony Federico

Part 2 of Dr. Grace’s and Matt’s talk with Tony Federico.

While most point to diet and exercise as key markers of achieving good health, Tony brings up another great aspect of living well: being apart of one’s community. A discussion on how tapping back into our roots can play an integral part of ones health. by helping and developing a sense of community with the ones surrounding gives us the same tribal setting as our ancestors.

Gather some tubers, and huddle a group of your closest friends around the fire for this podcast!

Show Notes

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Gut Guardians Podcast: Episode 10 – Tackling Resistant Starch and the Paleo Diet w Tony Federico

Tony Federico, host of the Paleo Magazine Radio show, joins Dr. Grace and Matt to talk about his uBiome results. A possible beneficial strain Christensenella was abundant in Tony’s gut, which Dr. Grace goes into further detail. Tony talks beyond just Paleo, bringing insight to his day to day life, and how he maintains his healthy living. Tony asks Dr. Grace’s opinion on the potential effects of resistant starch and avoiding too many starches on a paleo diet.

Enjoy Part 1!

Photo Credit

Show Notes

  • Human Genetics Shape the Gut Microbiome (Ley et al, Cell 2014)
    • Christensenellaceae associates with a lean BMI
    • Christsenella reduce weight gains in germ-free transplant experiments
  • Tony Federico's
    • Christensenellaceae 4.35% (5-fold higher; ubiome avg=0.844%)
    • Christsenella 0.0224% (2-fold higher; ubiome avg=0.0120%)