Resistant Starch and IBS

by 26 · November 27, 2013 at 06:42 PM

I recently came across an article about how "resistant starch" is very healthy and has been found to kill precancerous polps in the colon, etc. I have IBS and it hasn't exactly cleared up on the Paleo diet and FODMAPS. I was thinking of buying Hi-Maize because a lot of reviewers are saying it really helped with their IBS and they are saying that Hi-Maize doesn't cause gas and bloating. Would it be okay to add this to some of my Paleo recipes? The package says it is GMO free. Thanks for all your help!

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10 Replies

3180 · February 28, 2013 at 09:03 PM

I have been eating 5-20g/day of RS since Jan 1st. My Fasting Blood Glucose has dropped back down to 90 from 120 in that time and I seem to have many of the other benefits associated with it such as lack of hunger and stool consistency. My main goal was to lower FBG, though, and it has worked.

I would not use Hi-Maize at all. There are better options.

If you eat potatoes and rice, these have RS in them, but only under certain conditions. Raw potato has the most. 1/2 pound of raw potato has approx 25g RS, however, no one wants to eat 1/2 pound of raw potato. 1/2 pound of cooked potato contains approx 2g RS. 1/2 pound of cooked and cooled to below 45 degrees F has about 5g RS. Same holds to for rice, but in a bit lesser amounts.

An average sized green banana has about 15g RS, same banana when ripe has zero.

Raw, unmodified potato starch is 78% RS by weight. 1TBS (12g) of http://www.bobsredmill.com/potato-starch.html contains 9g of RS--but only when eaten cold...cooked it has almost none.

Here's how to put this all together: If you eat rice, eat it cold (think sushi). If you eat potatoes, eat a few slices raw when preparing them, make sure they are peeled and show no signs of green, try a small slice first to make sure you can handle it. Then eat cooked potatoes and cool the leftovers and eat cold next day. I boil 5 lbs at a time and stick in fridge for eating cold or making potato salad (w/homemade olive oil mayo), or German Potato Salad (cold potatoes, vinegar, bacon).

I also buy a big bunch of the greenest bananas I can find and eat 1 or 2 every day, 1 at first, then 2 as they ripen. Green bananas are nasty, but in a smoothie, they are fine. I sometimes eat them straight if in a hurry, but you need a cup of hot coffee or something to wash them down with--you'll see what i mean if you try-lol.

Whenever I make a smoothie, which isn't every day, I add a heaping spoonful, maybe 2TBS, of Bob's potato starch. Just make sure you don't buy a modified potato starch, has to say, un-modified--that's vitally important!

Using a combination of these tricks, I can easily get between 5-25g/day of RS.

I'm not sure how it would work for IBS, but it definitely is beneficial to the gut microflora of the colon, which seems to be a driver of metabolism and insulin sensitivity.

Here is a good paper to read through for more info: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-3010.2005.00481.x/full Table 4 indicates it may help with your IBS.

Good luck!

40 · July 09, 2013 at 11:47 AM

Hi Martine, I can relate to your statement " I had the same reaction to doctors telling me to eat more "fiber." I did that and I felt horrible and bloated!" There is a connection between both fiber and resistant starch, and symptoms of IBS. Here are a couple of links to articles talking about this: http://digestivehealthinstitute.org/2013/05/resistant-starch-friend-or-foe/ http://digestivehealthinstitute.org/2012/08/i-thought-fiber-was-good-for-me-whats-going-on-part-iii-of-iii/ Norm

18794 · February 28, 2013 at 07:40 PM

I'm a big fan of resistant starch as fiber. If you check some previous related answers of mine, you'll see that I've had IBS symptoms in the past. I found resistant starch the most tolerable form of fiber (soluble was second, and insoluble was horrible!). I thought doctors were batshit crazy when they told me I needed to eat more fiber (without explaining the different kinds), as I knew exactly what leafy greens and other roughage (insoluble fiber) made me feel like.

Some foods contain a bit of resistant starch, but resistant starch is easy to make! Just make something starchy, and let it cool. Done. That's literally all there is to it. If you do a weekly cookup, just include a nice sweet potato or squash bake, and there you go - a nice daily serving with plenty of RS. Bananas and plaintains are known to be high in RS. And if it's hard to find the fancy stuff: potatoes (cooked and cooled) work just fine.

I would be hesitant to recommend a product like "Hi-Maize", and not just because it's from corn and not actually paleo. Now, specifically Hi-Maize seems not to be made from horribly unnatural ingredients, but I would also avoid this class of products, but many are produced by processing starches in "less natural" ways (e.g. chemically) to resist digestion.

468 · November 27, 2013 at 06:42 PM

Potato starch - as a nightshade, is this totally out for us autoimmuners?

4888 · November 26, 2013 at 09:01 AM

Hi Daz.

I'm in the UK and it seems to be different! The "potato flour" which I buy from Doves Farm, is uncooked potato starch. I think, of the Bob's Mill two you mention, I'd go for potato starch, not flour!

4888 · November 26, 2013 at 08:17 AM

I don't know WHY RS works so much better than pectin or inulin - I only know that, from my own experience, it DOES. I've tried Jerusalem Artichokes (sunchokes) for inulin, I've tried apples and other fruit (for pectin), I've tried pectin - then I tried potato starch and sometimes arrowroot. Firstly dissolved in water, then in kefir (I now do either randomly - if I have kefir, I use that, if not, water) and the results are just amazing. I think that potato starch works better. I also now eat plantains, boiled potatoes reheated either fried or made into soups, potato salad, bananas, soaked and fermented legumes etc. But it is the potato flour that seems to be the miracle worker.

942 · November 26, 2013 at 01:38 AM

Why are RS so much better than pectin or inulin? I see only marginally better butyrate production, while inulin has specific bacterial action and specific medicinal effects. Pectin, too, and pectin is truly everywhere in fruits and vegetables.

4888 · November 25, 2013 at 08:11 AM

I have been using RS knowingly for a month or so now; unknowingly, about 18 months (I added back white potatoes and white rice. One of my favourite sides is cold boiled potatoes, fried up with fried onions - delicious and good source of RS to boot!).

I use two teaspoons of potato starch (must be uncooked) mixed with kefir, an hour before breakfast and an hour before my evening meal. The results have been DRAMATIC - symptoms of IBS D have virtually gone. I don't have the potato starch before lunch as I would be worried about having too much of a good thing! It has honestly had a greater beneficial effect on my gut than anything I have done in the last 30 years - I wish I'd known about RS when I was in my 30's!

There is an ENORMOUS thread about RS here


which I have found very informative. Good luck!

942 · November 25, 2013 at 01:31 AM

Consider eating large salads of grated raw carrots, turnips, hakurei turnips (now becoming common in the US), daikon, beets, and/or sliced cabbage. The advantage is in the better vitamins, enzymes, and the bacteria clinging to the food. There are other good roots eaten raw, such as jicama.

26 · July 10, 2013 at 05:48 PM

Thank you so much for the articles. I found quite a lot of information on the "digestive health institute" site for I am still trying to see what doesn't hurt. Right now, I feel like not eating ever again but I'm afraid when I fast, I end up starving and then I eat more than I should in one sitting. I am in the intermittent fasting mode without even trying because I find that NOT EATING during the day makes me feel better during the day. The main problem for me is when I take off extra time during Holidays, I tend to eat processed snacks with everyone else and it takes several weeks to recover. Thank you again Norm for your thoughtful answer. Take care.

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