Sunday, December 7, 2014

Results!

Our results became available last week. I ended up spending a large part of this weekend summarizing the results and re-organizing the graphs from AmGut into something I hope folks find a little bit more interesting and easier to digest (heh).

I hope to make the raw taxonomy data available later this week. Until then, please enjoy the slides. I'm going to hold off offering any of my own thoughts for a while. There are a lot of folks considerably more knowledgeable in this stuff than me anyway.

Finally, special thanks to Grace and Tim for offering suggestions on the slides, Mr. Heisenbug for offering suggestions on the experiment protocol, and last but by no means least, to Richard for bringing the considerable weight of his readership to bear on the fundraiser.

Obviously the slides on the large side, but you should be able to download them for more convenient side-by-side viewing. Enjoy!!








Update: Grace clarified to me that the genus Bifidobacterium is not necessarily part of the "Ancestral Core" as I show in the slides. One must look at the species. B. Longum is the Ancestral Core. AmGut only reports to the genus level of precision. However, it's possible to run one's own analysis to get species-level data. I plan to give it a try this week and report back.









Saturday, April 26, 2014

Omega 3 Self-experiment

Not resistant starch or anything to do with gut bugs, but hopefully interesting to folks nonetheless. 

A couple weeks ago I left a comment on Seth Robert's blog concerning how I discovered omega 3 helped my wife's mood when she was in her 3rd trimester with our youngest son. He liked the comment and sent me an email asking if I'd like to expand it into a guest post. I took him up on the offer, and added the story of how I discovered omega 3 also helped my son with some ADHD symptoms he was experiencing.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

And now, more waiting

The "after" swabs were sent at the beginning of the month. Now we wait. If the American Gut project stays on schedule we should have some interesting before and after comparisons by September.

I do have a few parting thoughts until then.

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, & 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
For child 2:      87, 90, 79, 100

Also, I have no idea what would cause those seemingly random 110+ spikes. They happened to almost each person and practically in isolation compared with the rest of the family. Go figure. As they say, sometimes science is messy. It is amazing we're able to learn anything. It's also what makes frauds so easy to spot -- their data is too neat and tidy. Maybe I'll take some repeat measurements at the end of the month and see what we get. If anyone has an opinion feel free to share it in the comments.

The last thing I wanted to mention is we've backed down on the RS dosing since ending the study period. Things are much more pleasant. It's hard to describe the sensation exactly, but not taking it everyday, and for myself taking only 2 TBSP when I do take it, makes matters feel far more relaxed. Running a 1/4 cup of potato starch through one's system day in, day out, ends up feeling like a lot of work. (Not constipated work, metabolism ramped-up-and-running work.) Maybe some of it is psychological -- having this feeling like you have to take something everyday and the exact time no matter what, and you better never forget. But I also recall Richard mentioning feeling better once he backed off on his daily RS regimen and instead started taking it as the mood struck him. It kind of seemed weird at the time, and in a way it's no less weird now, except that I can totally relate. :)

So, we're all still taking RS, but not everyday and for myself only 2 T instead of 4 T. I'm also mixing mine with a bifido-cultured yogurt. Based on blog posts from Mr. Heisenbug, that seems a much better way to take it, though we won't really know if it matters until our results come back from Am Gut.

Psyllium I'm not sure we're going to stick with. No one likes the taste, and the texture is just as bad. It would take some very compelling study results or marked personal health improvements for me to want to take it on any regular basis. We shall see.

Again, thanks for following along. I hope you've found it a fun and exciting read. For the donors that made this experiment possible, especially I thank you. Everyone should have received their postcard by now. Even our friend in Australia! If you haven't please let me know. Unfortunately I didn't think to take any pictures for the blog before mailing them out. Admittedly as their Dad I'm biased, but a few of you got some really sweet artwork.

Best wishes,
-Allan

Monday, March 31, 2014

Food Journal: Monday, March 31

Breakfast:
Child 1 - 2 eggs scrambled, melted cheese on top; yogurt w/ granola
Child 2 - 2 eggs scrambled, melted cheese on top; yogurt w/ granola
Adult 1 - coffee & half-n-half
Adult 2 - coffee & whole milk

Lunch:
Child 1 - almonds, raisins, banana, thai drunkin noodles (leftovers from restaurant)
Child 2 - reheated mashed potatoes & barbecued pork country ribs
Adult 1 - reheated black beans & barbecued pork country ribs
Adult 2 - reheated mashed potatoes, sauteed kale, beef chuck roast

Dinner:
All - Beef short ribs, twice baked potato wedges, green beans w/ salt & butter
Child 1 - 1 TBSP PS & 1 TSP ground psyllium husk both in water
Child 2 - 1 TBSP PS in water
Adult 1 - 4 TBSP PS in water
Adult 2 - 2 TBSP PS in Nancy's Peach kefir

Evening snack:
Adult 1 - couple handfuls granola w/ milk

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Food Journal: Sunday, March 30

Breakfast:
All - Scottish style oatmeal w/ walnuts, raisins, honey and milk, and the usual coffees for the adults (yes, same as Sat.)

Lunch:
All: Cheese quesadillas on corn tortillas and a hard boiled egg.

Dinner:
All - Hamburgers (homemade patties, no bun), baked polenta, sauteed kale
Child 1 - 1 TBSP PS & 1 TSP ground psyllium husk both in water
Child 2 - 1 TBSP PS in water
Adult 1 - 4 TBSP PS in water
Adult 2 - 2 TBSP PS in Nancy's Peach kefir

Evening snack:
Adult 1 - 1/5 bar 85% dk. chocolate & milk

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Food Journal: Sat, March 29

Breakfast:
All - Scottish style oatmeal w/ walnuts, raisins, honey and milk, and the usual coffees for the adults

Lunch:
All - Reheated black-eyed peas, topped w/ left-over enchilada (cubed chuck, sweet peppers, cheese, flour tortilla)
Adult 1 - 2 TBSP PS in water

Dinner:
All - chicken sausages (grocery's meat counter); sautéed kale & red cabbage topped w/ raw sauerkraut; re-baked potato wedges
Child 1 - 1 TBSP PS & 1 TSP ground psyllium husk both in water
Child 2 - 1 TBSP PS in water
Adult 1 - 2 TBSP PS in water
Adult 2 - 2 TBSP PS in Nancy's Peach kefir

Evening snack:
None. Well, none yet. It's only about 8:30 as I type this. ;)

Food Journal: Friday, March 28

Breakfast:
Child 1 - 2 eggs scrambled, melted cheese on top; yogurt w/ granola
Child 2 - 2 eggs scrambled, melted cheese on top; yogurt w/ granola
Adult 1 - coffee & half-n-half
Adult 2 - coffee & whole milk

Lunch:
Child 1 - tomato soup w/ saltines (from can)
Child 2 - tomato soup w/ saltines
Adult 1 - tomato soup w/ saltines; 2 TBSP PS in water
Adult 2 - cheese/carrot/broccoli soup (from can)

Dinner:
All - Polenta (butter, no cheese); sautéed kale & red cabbage topped w/ raw sauerkraut; fresh oysters (1-2 ea); Chocolate mousse (homemade)
Child 1 - 1 TBSP PS & 1 TSP ground psyllium husk both in water
Child 2 - 1 TBSP PS in water
Adult 1 - 2 TBSP PS in water
Adult 2 - 2 TBSP PS in Nancy's Peach kefir

Evening snack:
none