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