Sunday, December 8, 2013

Why a "science project" on Resistant Starch?

I've been following the resistant starch threads at Richard Nikoley's blog. Commenter TaterTot Tim had been supplementing his diet very heavily with 4TB/day of unmodified potato starch. He and another commenter, Marie, had done a considerable amount of personal testing and found resistant starch (RS) to work incredibly well on blunting blood glucose spikes. In fact, they showed they could eat a baked potato with practically no BG spike.

For diabetics this is about the biggest news since Eli Lilly discovered a way to mass-produce insulin. Really. It is that big. Bigger, actually, since RS frees people from insulin injections. I'm not diabetic, but recognize that millions of people are. Further, even for healthy people, BG spikes are not a good thing and we all do well to avoid them. (And, well, I do like an occasional bowl of honey-drizzled oatmeal or baked potato with sour cream or home-baked apple pie...) So this RS thing offered some intrigue.

Later TaterTot had his gut biome sampled and the results were stunning. Stunning, but not surprising. There's literature. His sample was the "best" the American Gut people had ever measured. TaterTot mentioned he wished he had a "before" sample to compare against. That gave me an idea...

I had been thinking of getting on the resistant starch train, but hadn't actually got around to it. In that regard, I could serve as a good "before" sample. With my wife and the older two of our three children onboard we could set up our own interesting dose-response experiment: we live and eat together, we are all healthy, we have roughly the same activity levels. What if each one of us supplemented with RS a little bit differently? What would the results be? Hmm... Hey, that sounds like a pretty cool science project!

Unfortunately, the cost is non-trivial. Doubly so since we're living off savings while the startup I co-founded gets built out. A gut biome is about $100/person and we'd need two: one "before" to serve as a baseline, and one "after" to compare the effect of each RS supplement regimen.

But... what about Kickstarter!?! $20 or so from 400 or so of Richard Nikoley's closest friends... It could happen. :)

Now, obviously for people to feel like donating $10, $20, or more -- you know who you are ;) -- to some random guy on 'teh interwebz' is a worthwhile endeavor, they'll need to know a little something about the random guy they're sending their money to. Hence this blog. It is to show my seriousness about the project, solicit input and recommendations, answer questions, record intermediate progress, and ultimately to share the results.

So, stay tuned for more. And if you haven't donated yet, please consider it.

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