Unless one does urine and stool testing, the gut is dark, dark, dark black box, especially if you don't have contact with healthy soil and/or challenged by a health disorder or disease like any of the below which are all associated with missing microbes combined with toxic overgrowths:
--chronic fatigue syndrome (I had this)
--hypothyroidism or other autoimmune disorder (Grave's, Sjogrens, MS, RA, reactive arthritis, alkylosing spondylitis, celiac, etc)
--hypertension, heart disease
--struggling with body fat, obesity
--poor gut health (constipation, diarrhea, loose stools, cramping, etc), IBS, IBD, CD, UC, C difficile
--mood or mental health, paranoid/schizo, bipolar, anxiety, depression, etc
Many factors affect what goes on in our small intestines and colon. The gut environment is regulated by pH, transit time, organic acids and various gases emitted by our little zoo. With over 1000 species in there, each has to be fed and each cross-feeds each other as well as us, the host. Populations shift quickly like based on the dynamics in there. Our colonocytes devour much of the butyrate produced and our liver and mitochondria, the rest (acetate, propionate). Hydrogen (H2), carbon dioxide (CO2), sulfur (H2S-- often smelly), and methane (CH3 -- scentless) determines the population shifting because they are actually 'food' for somebody in the zoo.
|Flint et al JAM, 2007|
GUT: Black Box of Metabolic Crossfeeding
Nature Abhors a Vacuum; So Does Your Gut
Don't take raw resistant starch alone -- Consider taking the entire spectrum of fiber and cooked + raw resistant starch to feed the entire village in our gut, not just the RS2 eating ones. It takes an entire village to make a healthy host.
I love the biohacking on the gut that Tim Steele has done! His gut is really optimal in many respects I'll review. To me it is an excellent example of the power of food and food therapy. Please see his gut testing blogpost on how the uBiome test showed that with real food, cooked-cooled RS3 appeared to help more ANCESTRAL CORE MICROBIOTA TO BLOOM. The ancestral core is a great reference point because these are the core strains found in non-diseased, low inflammation, healthy European adults. His results require confirmation (the simultaneous AmGut is pending).
Nice QS n=1 Experimentation
Switching from high dose RS2 to real food high RS3 not only preserved the Bifidobacteria but significantly and dramatically expanded several of the big butyrate factories, lean (twin study) biota and ancestral core [based on %relative abundunce, not sheer #].
Personally I think comparing uBiome with AmGut is like comparing apples with oranges -- but let's take them for face value and see if they confirm published 16S rRNA study outcomes. The uBiome did not show any significant deficiencies when Tim dropped the PS. In fact, his superior gut responded very adequately and got even better.
Profound changes on Tim's two stool tests:
uBiome (fiber, high RS3 cooked-cooled) versus AmGut (pure high RS2, low fiber)
--F. prausnitzii 1.7-fold increase (clostridia cluster IV)
--Ruminococcus 4-fold decrease (clostridia cluster IV) ~ POTATO STARCH LOVER
--Roseburia* 36-fold increase (cluster XIVa)
--Eubacteria 8-fold increase (cluster XIVa)
for 6 wks
for 1 year
Benefits of Roseburia
I'm a huge fan of Roseburia*: R. intestinalis is a Big Phat Butyrate Factory and Eats Oligosaccharides Inulin, Cooked Resistant Starch, Digestible Starches, Chitin, Beta-glucan and Much More. It is the major butyrate factory for tested humans and appears to go down 4-fold on VLC diets, with identical reductions in butyrate and short chain fatty acid production. That makes sense, no? Starchy carbs contain RS3 and grain/legume related fiber like beta-glucan and oligosaccharides. Starchy fruit like banana contains inulin. To me, Tim's results make sense in the context of Roseburia, Eubacteria and F prausnitzii studies. These are not big RS2 eaters so may have become diminished and overshadowed to below the normal healthy averages.
Starches, inulin, oligosaccharides, beta glucan and RS2 all feed Roseburia, however, it seems to prefer a wide spectrum of fiber (except RS2). This was the major jump I think for VLC'ers and starch-free, low-carb Paleo diets. It is ironic because the whole spectrum of fiber makes us insulin sensitive and burn fat better. RS2 does too but not to the same degree as inulin, glucomannan, whole (gluten free) grains, chana dal and legumes.
Fermentation of RS2 (green banana flour/version B or raw potato starch/version A) will be spread completely through the entire colon if taken with insoluble and soluble fiber. What counts? A fiber rich diet of 15-25 or more grams daily of rainbow foods (plants and fruits with diverse color polyphenols and antioxidants known as proanthocyanidins). Psyllium. Steel cut oats. LEGUMES OR WHOLE ROASTED POTATOES (which are paleo foods imho). Inulin rich foods are asparagus, artichokes/sunchokes, onions, chives, shallots, leeks, garlic, chicory, endive, many roots, and yacon. Every geographical area on earth has easy access to cheap inulin (fructan) rich foods. The natural human diet might be a FODMAP- and RS-rich diet for perfect gut health. Chart of FODMAPs.
I'm also a huge fan of Tim's guts. It superior in many respects.
--full spectrum of ancestral core present which are seen in the healthiest, non-diseased in Europe (Julien Tap's work); many of these strains I see 'missing' on many reports. He's got them.
--awesome stool pH
--no pathogenic bacteria (Shigella, Salmonella, Neisseria, Yersina, Proteus, Serratia, Kleb pneum)
--high butyrate and off the chart SCFA production (personal communication)
He can feed his gut prebiotic food and see many low frequency strains flourish and easily thrive. Perhaps certain guts are more reliant on certain strains than others. Every gut is different and testing is really the only accurate way to determine what's inside.
He reported GI/TMI problems on just food only, without supplementation of extra gut bug food (potato starch). After losing 100 lbs of fat and reversing every modern disease (Hashimoto's, diabetes, gout, fatty liver, obesity), his gut seemed suboptimal despite an awesome high RS3/fiber diet and years of weeding with frequent use of a high antioxidant botanical tea. I think Tim's gut maybe have felt the 4-fold drop in Ruminococcus bromii, just as VLC'ers had an observed 4-fold in Roseburia and subsequent vacuum of butyrate.
I think supplementation is good in this respect, even for a potato farmer with routine access to chicken coops, poops, manure compost, muddy root vegetables, homemade kvass and kefir!
"I will say that at about 2 weeks on the 'no PS' diet I noticed some changes in my digestion. I again had some minor smelly farts, my 'TMI' was a bit 'looser' than I like, and I was not quite as regular as I had become accustomed to. By the end of the 6 weeks, I was feeling fine digestion wise, but things were a tiny bit different--not bad, but different. I tracked FBG intermittently and found no big changes. Sleep stayed great.
After the experiment, I went back to taking 2TBS of potato starch daily and within just a few days I was back to normal in the TMI department, nice, well-formed stools, and the gas went from 'silent but deadly' to 'loud but friendly.'"