Low Carb Friends

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-   -   Resistant starch and blood sugar (http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/diabetes/824994-resistant-starch-blood-sugar.html)

JayLynn 03-07-2014 07:03 PM

Resistant starch and blood sugar
I have been doing a lot of research about potato starch and how it helps lower blood sugar in some who are insulin resistant.

There's tons of information out there and as usual, many different interpretations of how this works and whether or not it helps lower blood sugar.

What is your understanding of how adding resistant starch such as unmodified potato starch helps glucose.

Have you tried it? Notice a difference?

gotsomeold 03-08-2014 01:47 AM

I bought a bag of potato starch but have not started that experiment yet...waiting until after vaycay to begin something that might result in excessive internal gas.

I have read most of the discussions on Free The Animal. And I do plan to RS. I believe the gut biome plays an enormous part in health and internal regulation.

JayLynn 03-08-2014 11:20 AM

Hi Nancy, :hiya:

I have been taking about 1 TB 3x per day and it has, at times anyway, lowered my BG. I wish I could understand better how it works so I could help keep it consistently down.

I have read a lot on Richard's blog, but either I'm missing it or its not explained it a way I can understand how this stuff works. I know its about feeding the gut but in my mind that doesn't connect with what is happening to help the liver and the pancreas normalize glucose.

And yes it can cause gas, but I've taken it about 12 days now and it is about gone.

Redeemed 03-13-2014 12:47 PM

Would you get the same effect from eating retrograded potatoes? There are a couple of threads on this site if you do a search, with people testing their blood sugar after eating retrograded potatoes. Most did not see a rise in their blood sugar after eating the retrograded potatoes, but most could not eat a large serving of them.

JayLynn 03-13-2014 10:34 PM


Originally Posted by Redeemed (Post 16836036)
Would you get the same effect from eating retrograded potatoes? There are a couple of threads on this site if you do a search, with people testing their blood sugar after eating retrograded potatoes. Most did not see a rise in their blood sugar after eating the retrograded potatoes, but most could not eat a large serving of them.

Hi Redeemed, Yes I have read all about the retro potatoes, the potato hack, but haven't tried it because just taking the potato starch in water or yogurt is so easy for me and I'm not real crazy about potatoes unless I can have warm mashed potatoes with lots of butter! A plain cold potato just doesn't sound very good to me.

DABG 03-16-2014 10:08 AM

POTATO STARCH is the real deal FOR ME! (YMMV!)

Both Free The Animal (Richard Nikolay) and many many posts at Mark's Daily Apple explain in detail (quoting from numerous studies conducted through genuine scientific research) how and why Resistant Starch works, at least to my satisfaction--and partly, AS I UNDERSTAND IT, because RS is tied in with Butyric Acid (produced in the lower bowel) and BA affects glucose metabolism in a positive way. I am not going to try to explain the scientifically detailed reasons for how and why this works because I would probably screw it up, but the information provided was enough to make me feel confident in giving RS a try.

I'm a T2 diabetic, diagnosed 3 years ago, on 1,500 mg of Metformin per day (and on a faithful low carb diet similar to the Atkins plan.) And my BG, both fasting and PP, was "okay" but not impressive given my careful WOE. Fasting was usually in the mid to high 90's and sometimes the PP readings went somewhat higher than the 140 reading Jenny Ruhl recommends at Blood Sugar 101. (That is my Bible, along with Dr Richard Bernstein's book on diabetes.) While I do believe that my high fasting readings sometimes come from Dawn Phenomenon, that explanation does not make me feel any better about fasting readings nearly as high as they were pre-diagnosis.)

BTW, I tried the Potato Hack for a short while (LOVE potatoes!) It was a blood sugar disaster and I gained weight. Then I tried Retrograded Potatoes and they really didn't work for me--beware, several cooked and cooled "starchy foods" including lentils and potatoes DO contain RS, but not nearly enough for this diabetic to make a difference in my T2 readings as PS does.

I first read of RS 3 years ago or so and thought the peeps who recommended it for diabetics it were just plain NUTZ! But the detailed discussions at those forums (which I highly respect) mentioned above finally convinced me to try Bob's Red Mill Potato Starch. Because of "digestive issues," I began very slowly, as advised by experienced users of this stuff. Took a teaspoon twice a day at first, and based on reactions, or lack of reactions, slowly worked my way up to the recommended maximum recommended dose of 2 T. twice a day (morning and evening for me) in a small glass of water. I just chug the stuff plain and it is a bit chalky but does not taste bad.

For ME, the results are amazing; Fasting Sugars are now usually in the mid to low 80's and I have gotten into the seventies several times. And I have NO stomach issues or other problems attributable to the PS.

While PS does not cause actual weight loss itself, it also does not cause me to gain weight, and it does seem to affect my appetite in a positive way.

A bag of BRM is not expensive (I order 4 at a time now from an online source) and it sure is cheaper (and a lot more fun!) than a Seeing Eye dog or a pair of "wooden legs." For me, it was well worth the experiment.

I am about to spend a week visiting friends in Florida and my RS WILL GO WITH ME!! It doesn't weigh much and is quick and easy to take. As long as it continues to work, it will be a part of my daily life even if I have to give up something else to keep on taking it.

cprcheetah 03-16-2014 10:14 AM

SO you just mix a little of the Potato Starch in with water? Can you mix it in with other drinks? My hubby is diabetic on Metformin and Glipizide and still has elevated glucose levels. We are working on lowering his carbs, but I would be very interested to see if this would help him. We are willing to try just about anything.

DABG 03-16-2014 11:35 AM

Heather, if he starts out very slowly on the PS, it may well help him and by adding a little bit at a time, he can probably avoid a hypo attack or else an idiosyncratic reaction to the addition of something else intended to lower his BG and new to him. And even though RS is supposed to be well-tolerated I would keep a very close eye on his BG readings while introducing something new--no matter how harmless or beneficial it is supposed to be when used by others.

Our insurance company is so "stingy" that I am allowed only 2 teststrips per day. But sometimes I poke my fingers 10 or 12 times per day when I am trying something new--"eating to my meter" as Jenny says--and in order to have the ability to do that, I order extra Contour strips from an online source (that huge one that carries books and nearly everything else under the sun) where I can get 2 packages of 50 for a much more reasonable price than Wal-Mart or a pharmacy charges.) The packages I have received are well within the recommended date of usage, and they work fine--have the very same label as the ones I get from our pharmacy.

I hope some of this information is a help. A blood sugar that does not respond well to meds is a real worry and in my case, something so simple as PS added to my regimen has been a huge blessing. In fact, it has been almost magic for me with my BG, although I admit, I do not cheat from my LC WOE except very rarely. Hoping you and your DH have the same good results the RS has brought to me if you try it!

And please let us know how it works for you-all--every bit of useful information we can provide each other in the battle against this hideous disease helps us to find weapons against it and the health damage it can do in such a sneaky way.

JayLynn 03-16-2014 10:11 PM

DABG thanks for all the great information! I am in the beginning stages of my own N=1 and the results so far have been all over the place. The PS seems beneficial at time but not others. I know this partly is a result of what I eat. But it doesn't always seem to. I'm going to try eating primarily the same things each day, low carb moderate fat, and see what happens. I have a huge mental aversion to taking RX and really want to keep this in control via diet and exercise.

I've read Richard Nikkoly's blog until my brain hurts. So much really interesting stuff there. Tons of info how gut health pretty much dictates what goes on in your body. He's got quite the blogging style!!! Thanks for posting your experience with RS. I love stories such as yours.

DABG 03-17-2014 04:17 PM

Jan, I read his (Richard's) comments over and over, too, and they gave me the courage to try RS. And of course, the posters at MDA are also very informative, including Tater Tot (who is always enthusiastic and enlightening and fun to read, no matter which of his many screen names he is using at at any given moment.:))

Although I have Googled RS and looked at websites which came up, the two blogs mentioned above have been the most useful to me in providing both scientific and practical information--and the courage to try RS.

I am not exaggerating when I say that including Potato Starch in my WOE has transformed my life. I hope it continues to help me, and will help you and everyone else who tries it.

JayLynn 03-17-2014 10:06 PM

Yes I'm getting some very interesting information from both Richard and Mark.
Today I read some posts of Mark's about toning while losing weight to avoid as much loose skin as possible. He always makes so much sense to me.

After scouring the RS info, I think maybe I need to add a probiotic. I ordered one that Richard recommends. I'll add that to my diet as soon as it arrives and hope that the RS works more consistently for me. RK praised the addition of the probiotic even after he experienced benefits from the rs alone.

You take 2 TB morning and evening. Do you take it before or after meals? Right now I'm trying both to see if it makes a difference.

dawnyama 03-18-2014 05:41 AM


Originally Posted by cprcheetah (Post 16838838)
SO you just mix a little of the Potato Starch in with water? Can you mix it in with other drinks? My hubby is diabetic on Metformin and Glipizide and still has elevated glucose levels. We are working on lowering his carbs, but I would be very interested to see if this would help him. We are willing to try just about anything.

I have been following all the threads here at LCFs about Rs. I found this and maybe it will answer a question or 2 you have:

"Here are a few bits from Free the Animal. For live links, google Free the Animal, Primer for Newbies:

1.All the posts thus far on RS (about 46 posts, so far).

2.Lots of research here & here.

3.Isolated RS—Like Bob's Red Mill Potato Starch (NOT to be confused with FLOUR)—has zero carbs if taken raw, because you don't digest it, your gut bugs do and if they don't, it passes right through. On average, humans can process about 60g per day. If cooked, it's about 10g carbs per TBS (per the label) of rapid digesting starch. Don't cook it unless you intend to, like for thickening a sauce (see here).

4.Another supplemental source is Plantain Flour. It's sometimes called Plantain Fufu.

5.Here's a long list of foods that contain RS. Some of the highest sources in food is cooked and cooled rice (parboiled is the highest, also lowest GI by far), cooked and cooled beans (prepare by traditional 24hr+ soaking), and cooked and cooled white potatoes. Sweet potatoes have almost no RS. Cooking and cooling forms RS3, a retrograde RS that remains intact when the food is reheated. Fried rice from out of the fridge is ideal for an RS food source.

6.Per number 2, your BG won't rise no matter how much isolated RS you consume (such as the potato starch). Moreover, it will significantly blunt spikes from other foods, a "second meal effect" that persists for hours, even into the next day. Regular consumption lowers both fasting BG and blunts spikes from other foods eaten anytime, so dose timing is unimportant if taken regularly. This blunting is most profound on a normal carb intake. In ketosis, there is little blunting (see here).

7.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 (I think I got them all...let me know if I missed any).

8.The problems most commonly reported are: flatulence and headache. Most have reported having flatulence, but for most it diminishes over time. It seems most prominent when taken with food and least when taken in water on an empty stomach. Taken with beans can be a hilarious experience if you're up for it. For some, going periods of 2-3 days now & then without supplementing seems to help get beyond it. Headaches have only been reported by a handful of people. One or two reported intestinal distress, but I chalk that up to oversensitivity to flatulence.

9.Most of the studies use 30g of potato starch, which is 4 tablespoons. Above 60g will probably pass on through. Many have begun with 1TBS per day, and increased up to 4 each week. However, dose, frequency, how it's administered (with food, kefir, yogurt—cool or warm—or just water by itself) is something each person has to experiment and figure out for themselves.

10.In general, even targeting RS foods will probably at best yield 10g of RS daily. Thus, supplementation is a good idea to get into the 20-30g range which, as stated, is what so many studies have used to document many of the benefits we've been touting. Paleoman had a far wider variety of high RS foods that just isn't in our diets commonly (cattail and tree pollen, anyone?)"
KeyTones posted that on her thread here:

http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/nu...l#post16788344 I just searched the words "resistant starch" in the search box in the thread and this came up.

I just put my RS in water, and it tastes like flour water. Not sure if you can put it in any other drink--I never have because I don't want my coffee to taste like flour :laugh:


DABG 03-18-2014 07:03 AM

Jan, I think you've picked up on something interesting indicated in the PS comments, although perhaps not emphasized a lot. Having a good number of important gut bacteria already in your system is supposed to help with gas formation when you begin to use straight PS.

I have been eating plain high-fat yogurt for years (Fage Greek...hard to find where I live) and must already have had enough probiotic in my digestive system when I began to use PS because it took me no time at all to realize it was not going to cause gas and diarrhea for me, and I was able to go up to 4T per day pretty quickly. So it looks like you have identified something really important to be aware of about the best, easiest way to add RS and not be guilty of what my kids (and the bloggers, especially Tater Tot) call "silent but deadly" (or sometimes not so silent :o ) )

I take 2T in water when I first get up, right after checking my FB readings, and then another 2T just before my evening meal.

My FB this morning was 77; something I NEVER got before adding PS to my life, although I agree this will surely vary from person to person since we are all so different (despite being "the same" in so many ways.:hiya: )

Thanks for bringing so much important information to the thread for everyone to see, Dawn. I've read you can add PS to almost any drink but I have't found it necessary; have been OK so far with just adding it to water--like you, the thought of it in my coffee is not appealing to me.

JayLynn 03-18-2014 10:01 AM

Hi Dawn, lots of great info. I love the FTA site. and Richard is a hoot!

You wouldn't want to put PS in anything warm or hot. Always cold. Heat changes it to a starch, not RESIStent starch. I'm so bad at explaining the why's of things, but that's one thing that I've read over and over.

I just put a heaping teaspoon into water and slug it down. then I add more water to the glass and drink that down too.

I love hearing about everyone's experience with resistant starch. I really want this to work!

DABG 03-18-2014 10:15 AM

great point Jan! RS loses its effectiveness when heated--at least in all the examples I know of, but even aside from that, I still can't imagine it in coffee.:sick:

JayLynn 03-18-2014 10:22 AM

Hi dabg, I think I have plenty of milk based bacteria because I do full fat yogurt too and have taken probiotics off and on.

The ones in Richard's blog, the one I ordered is called AOR and it is an SBO...soil based organism.

Here is an excerpt from his blog: Since publishing this a few months back it has become increasingly clear that the reason some people have had less than expected results with resistant starch foods an/or supplementation, or even adverse results, is that they may lack some of the gut bacteria needed and those are really not to be found in dairy based probiotics. Fermented foods may help somewhat, but what we've found is the the biggest help comes from soil based probiotics.

Here's a post about it: Probiotics: The Genetic Component of Obesity.

Here's the probiotics recommended.
2.AOR Probiotic-3
3.Primal Defense Ultra

Of course this has nothing to do with you because your BG is awesome! I haven't seen a 77 in who knows when. I have horrible dawn phenomenon and the numbers are all over the place first thing in the morning. sometimes as high as 140-150. My only solace is that they were around 200 when I became aware the numbers were so high.

Low carb helps but I obviously have to get these numbers DOWN. I think I'm going to lay off the PS for a couple days and eat very very little until I get the sbo probiotic. Then I'll take that for a day and slowly add the PS back in.

I hope I'm making a little sense here. I'm just barely starting to understand all this myself!

Thanks for all your great information, ladies. It really helps!

JayLynn 03-18-2014 10:32 AM


Originally Posted by DABG (Post 16841232)
great point Jan! RS loses its effectiveness when heated--at least in all the examples I know of, but even aside from that, I still can't imagine it in coffee.:sick:

LOL true!

I've seen people complain that they couldn't take it "straight" and put it in juice or yogurt. But its not that bad IMHO so I just slug it down with water.

Like I said though I'm going to lay off until I get some sbo probiotic in my system then see what happens with the PS.

dawnyama 03-18-2014 10:40 AM


Originally Posted by JayLynn (Post 16841266)
LOL true!

I've seen people complain that they couldn't take it "straight" and put it in juice or yogurt. But its not that bad IMHO so I just slug it down with water.

:up: That is me! Just chug it down, it is quick and painless. I don't drink juice, and don't eat yogurt every day so water is how I get it. Just makes it simple for me. I am only starting so I only am up to 1/2 tablespoon for now. And the coffee comment was only because that is the only other drink I have daily besides my water :)

DABG 03-19-2014 08:18 AM

well, I think WE are all in agreement about the dangers of "juice."

I can't believe the numbers of diabetics who are still poisoning themselves with this stuff. My old college room mate visited me recently. She is diabetic T2 (and I gave her the book "Blood Sugar 101" two years ago.) So what did she tell me she wanted to drink at breakfast time? ORANGE JUICE! :cry: I was horrified, especially since this woman has a PhD in Physical Chemistry! :annoyed:

And what's worse, she told me her doctor said it was OK. I am glad he is not my doc!

Dawn, I hope you'll share your experience as you get further into using PS. And yes, it must be terribly frustrating for you sometimes when people fail to realize how restrictive and difficult T1 is, especially for someone with childhood onset. Because T2 gets so much publicity these days, a lot of people do not know anything about T1 or the vast difference between them. Or the T2 type which is insulin dependent. I really admire your dedication to your daughter's health and your own...you set a wonderful example for her. What you are doing is hard work and requires great, continual dedication to deal with these challenges and my heart goes out to both of you.

JayLynn 03-19-2014 10:31 AM

The whole medical community drives me nuts with their diet recommendations for people with BS issues.

"Eat your grains, limit your fats, blah blah blah....

My doctor tried to send me to those classes and I flat out told her I don't believe in what they are teaching.

CarolynF 03-19-2014 12:48 PM

I have mine in the cupboard..I will try it this weekend..and see what happens.

Starting small..for sure.

dawnyama 03-19-2014 01:34 PM


Originally Posted by CarolynF (Post 16842925)
I have mine in the cupboard..I will try it this weekend..and see what happens.

Starting small..for sure.


CuriousCat 03-19-2014 09:18 PM

I tried it for about 2 wks, I saw no difference at all and it tasted kinda nasty so I gave it up.

Heidinem 03-20-2014 02:51 AM

I grabbed a bag at the grocery store yesterday & went straight to the 4 T dose. No problems with digestion but I live on yogurt & I was pretty sure I could handle it. No gas to speak of. It was counterintuitive to put something labeled starch in my body!

I noticed pre diabetic BS 4 years ago & went low carb. Worked well & I lost weight. Recently I have not been good about portion control so I am doing a restart. Fasting BS has been running close to 100 or slightly above. It would be wonderful if I could lower that. My question is, does it take a while for the effect of the PS to kick in or does it happen right off the bat after starting the regimen? I will not be able to test until my hubby gets home so I won't know the results of this trial for another 2 weeks. I will report at that time.

I did a quick google search & noticed Dr Eades negative remarks on the PS. However, the Cooling Inflamnation blog is supportive.

DABG 03-20-2014 11:24 AM


Originally Posted by CuriousCat (Post 16843373)
I tried it for about 2 wks, I saw no difference at all and it tasted kinda nasty so I gave it up.

I'm sorry you didn't have success with the Potato Starch. And in some diabetics they do warn that it can take "several weeks" of taking 4T per day of PS before getting results. I agree it doesn't taste great but I am one of those weirdos who will tolerate most anything if it helps me. And like Dawn and some of the others, I just hold my nose (figuratively) and chug-a-lug it in a little glass of water.

Also they claim that Potato Starch does not affect blood sugar in "normal people." Not that I think any of US are not Normal!:hyst:


DABG 03-20-2014 11:35 AM

Heidinem, like you, I eat yogurt faithfully and after a day or two of a teaspoon at a time, with no problems, I went right to 4T of potato starch very quickly with no unwanted results. Lowered blood sugar readings showed up in less than a week for me but it varies from person to person with some people not getting optimum readings for several weeks apparently.

And also like you, I know that Dr Eades thinks RS really does not affect BG positively, and I will be interested in seeing if my own good results continue, and also if Dr E might change his mind as time goes on. A lot of very knowledgeable people seem to feel the theory of RS has validity so I thought it was worth a try after reading numerous blogs and health sites across the internet which support the idea, crazy as it first seemed to me.

DABG 03-20-2014 11:39 AM

CuriousCat, I meant to say earlier that your weight loss is really impressive! Congratulations! :shake: Also, maybe you are not "very diabetic" anymore and don't really need PS ? That would be wonderful!

JayLynn 03-20-2014 11:51 AM

Its true, many of the "pro's" in the low carb and nutrition world don't see any benefit of RS. But I think some of them are slowly coming around. Mark Sisson did, and so did Dr Weil.

I think it all depends on your own experience and results. If you have high blood sugar its most definitely is worth a try.

How long it takes to work varies greatly, just like so many other things. I have read extensively about resistant starch and probiotics and it makes a lot of sense to me. And I most often am not easily convinced.

My numbers seem to be slowly coming down consistently. For awhile it seemed the potato starch was working and sometimes it didn't. I'll get an A1c in a few weeks, I just had one in January so that will tell me a lot.

Another thing since taking the rs is that I just FEEL better. Less brain fog, mentally alert, better sleep. So there are benefits even though you don't immediately see results.

JayLynn 03-20-2014 04:34 PM

oh and today I've really noticed a reduction in appetite. Its 4:30 p.m. here and so far I've had 1 HB egg and 1bacon this morning, about a third cup cut up and reheated baked potato, one egg fried in butter and a little co, 2 squares of dark chocolate. Most days I'd be thinking about dinner about now and starting to the kitchen for something to eat. But, I'm not hungry. Amazing for me. I'm hoping maybe this woe causes some unplanned effortless intermittent fasting too. Richard talks about it in the FTA blogs.

Heidinem 03-21-2014 02:53 AM

I have a physical coming up in May and I would really like a good fasting blood sugar. The taste is not bad. After all, I chug liquid magnesium which is like drinking pond scum. I took the recommended 4T of RS yesterday and did not feel the usual bloat that I have been having lately. I feel bloated this morning though.

I did some more reading and found blogs from people that influenced me to start low carb. Dr Ayers has several articles on RS and I think he knows his stuff.

Most of the ideas I get here at this board are excellent. The liquid and powdered forms of magnesium have been a new lease on life for me.

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