Resistant Starch…2018

Howdy, ya’all – Hope everyone’s year is off to a good start. I was just poking around PubMed and found a couple of cool new resistant starch papers that I thought I’d share.

Fiber and Telomeres

Telomeres are “caps” found on the end of chromosomes. The length of telomeres is associated with your biological age (as opposed to how many birthdays you’ve had).  A person with longer telomeres presumably is healthier than a person with shorter telomeres. Testing telomere length has become all the rage in certain circles of “bio-hackers” and all sorts of supplements are being sold to lengthen telomeres and improve health…one thing I’ve never seen recommended is fiber. Most of the bio-hacking crowd is of a low-carb mindset, so using starch to lengthen telomeres will probably not be well-recieved.


The average cell will divide between 50-70 times before cell death. As the cell divides the telomeres on the end of the chromosome get smaller. The Hayflick Limit is the theory that due to the telomeres shortening through each division, the telomeres will eventually no longer be present on the chromosome. This end stage is known as senescence and proves the concept that links the deterioration of telomeres and aging (wikipedia).

Yet, here we have a 2018 study in which over 5000 adults were tested for telomere length. Things that shorted telomeres were smoking, drinking heavily, lack of exercise, age, etc… but the one thing that increased telomeres reliably was a high fiber intake.  Specifically, resistant starch was singled out as being able to even reverse some telomere shortening caused by overconsumption of red meat.

Hardly any of the 5000+ people tested ate even the recommended dose of fiber (approx 25g/day), but those that did, had the longest telomeres, all things considered.

Numerous investigations indicate that dietary fiber reduces risk of disease and premature death. Some of the health benefits associated with dietary fiber could be a result of the preservation of telomeres, or, in other words, reduced cell aging. To date, the relationship between fiber consumption and telomere length has received minimal attention, and the association has never been evaluated in a large sample representing men and women of the United States. Hence, the purpose of the present study was to determine the extent to which fiber intake accounts for differences in telomere length in 5674 randomly selected adults from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Study (NHANES). A secondary objective was to ascertain the effects of several potential confounding factors, including age, gender, race, housing status, misreported energy intake, smoking, physical activity, alcohol use, and body mass index, on the fiber and telomere relationship.

The study concludes:

Total fiber intake (grams per 1000 kcal) was linearly related to leukocyte telomere length in a large sample of women and men representing U.S. adults….A difference of 4.8 to 6.0 years in cell aging was found between those in the lowest compared with the highest quartiles of fiber intake. Overall, the present study highlights the risk of accelerated aging among U.S. women and men who do not consume adequate amounts of dietary fiber.

Take home – If you start hearing about telomeres and are convinced you need a supplement…look no further than a green banana, piece of raw potato, or spoonful of potato starch.

Read the full-text:   Dietary Fiber and Telomere Length in 5674 U.S. Adults: An NHANES Study of Biological Aging

RS2 and Inflammation

Here’s another human-based study designed to check out some findings in an earlier rat study. Remember back a few years when most of the RS studies were animal-based, and the nay-sayers kept pointing out that science means nothing unless it’s studied on humans.  Well, here we go. A study in which people with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and undergoing dialysis were given 20-25g/day (a couple spoonfuls) of Hi-Maize cornstarch (HAMS-RS2).

In conclusion, this study demonstrated that dietary supplementation with high amylose resistant starch can ameliorate inflammation and oxidative stress, lower plasma concentration of nitrogenous waste products, and improve constipation in ESRD (End-stage Renal Disease) patients maintained on hemodialysis.

Big Pharma has spent countless billions looking for drugs to lower inflammation and oxidative stress, etc… Here we have a couple spoonfuls of dirt-cheap cornstarch doing the same, plus relieving constipation.  How ’bout dat?


Buy Hi-Maize Resistant Starch.

Take home – Hardly anyone eats enough fiber. Try your hardest to eat lots of good, whole foods, and supplement with something like Hi-Maize, potato starch, or green bananas.

Read the full-text here:  Effect of high amylose resistant starch (HAM-RS2) supplementation on biomarkers of inflammation and oxidative stress in hemodialysis patients: a randomized clinical trial

Starch Structure (Aye caramba!)

Here’s a good paper out of Mexico for you starch geeks out there.  Has some good descriptions of starch digestibility, resistant starch, and the health benefits of RS.


Read the full text here: Starch digestibility: past, present, and future.

And lots of other papers, too!  In fact, 62 papers so far in 2018 with “resistant starch” in the key words.




11 Comments on “Resistant Starch…2018”

  1. scott April 17, 2018 at 4:32 pm #

    tim, would love to know if you see any research on sleep and resistant starch, and the immune system! why those vivid dreams? what purpose? does it increase the time or decrease the time you are asleep…considering this is a huge empire …amazes me so little is known.


  2. Wilbur April 17, 2018 at 6:14 pm #

    Cool post!

    I have been interested in telomere length for a while, but this is the first that I’ve heard a link to fiber intake. Thanks! I’ll say frankly though that I’m not surprised. Ha! I wonder what the longetivity is for 125g/day of fermentable stuff for the gut? The Govt recommendation is nonsense. 25g of fiber in a day is a day off for me.

    I do the nicotinamide riboside and pterostilbene dance. It’s compelling.

    I’m too tired to track it down, but a recent study concluded a high-fiber diet is beneficial for people with chronic kidney disease. Often people with CKD are advised to eat a low protein diet. That’s because it is often low fiber, so the bugs process the proteins into kidney-unfriendly compounds. But in the high-fiber case, the bugs prefer to digest the fibers and leave the proteins alone, so the bad products of protein fermentation are never produced.

    Maybe it’s not all what they do, but what they don’t do when fed properly!


  3. Dan Riley April 17, 2018 at 8:19 pm #

    Good to see you posting again Tim. As usual your info is on point and useful. Thanks for your work.


  4. Debbie April 18, 2018 at 4:49 am #

    Hi Tim. You know, I eat a ton of RS, lots of potatoes, two heaping spoons of Gut Garden, additional Inulin, probiotic – at times Elixa – and still have some constipation issues. It’s true, I eat a fairly low calorie diet – maybe I’m not eating enough actual food? Also, my fasting glucose level was 101 this year. It’s true I eat a big load of food at 9 pm – but still. I wonder if in spite of the above, I’m still benefiting from all the RS.


  5. Debbie April 18, 2018 at 4:51 am #

    Oh, I also eat two heaping spoons of Hi Maize starch.


  6. Sara W Peterson April 18, 2018 at 9:14 am #

    I would like you to take a look at a book that I just finished reading. My hope is that once you have read it, you will take the time to connect with the author Dr Steven R Gundry MD. He does include Resistant Starches but he is excluding our wonderful potato in his list and I don’t know why. I am going to get in touch with him as well as I believe that the two of you have down more for my personal health than anything on the planet. Let me know what you think of his most recent book (I have read them all!) The Plant Paradox,


  7. swpeterson April 18, 2018 at 9:16 am #

    Please take a look at The Plant Paradox by Dr Steven R Gundry.


  8. wildcucumber April 23, 2018 at 3:14 am #

    Oooh, that kidney study is interesting. Telomeres are important and all, but when you can relieve actual pain and inflammation (and constipation!), that’s something people might pay attention to. I wonder if anyone will try getting folks with chronic kidney issues on resistant starch BEFORE putting them on dialysis. I hope so.

    Great post, Tim, thanks.


  9. Robert April 27, 2018 at 1:23 am #

    Really interesting studies, it was a pleasure to read them.

    Earlier there was a discussion here or on vegetablepharm (can’t remember) about protein shakes, it was suspected too much liquid protein would make it to the gut bacterias and be fermented, which would be harmful.

    Here’s a new study:

    People exercising with a daily whey shake (one scoop, roughly 20 g protein) got more diversity in the bacterial microbiome than exercisers without whey shakes, but decreased variety in the virus biome, if I interpreted it correctly. Sounds good to me!

    I’ve seen several other studies where whey shakes increase beneficial bacterias, especially bifidos.

    Yet, many bobybuilders know about protein farts, it seems to be common. Maybe it’s a question of dose? They can often gulp down insane amounts. 20 g is more reasonable though, maybe it will all be absorbed before reaching the gut bacterias?

    I’ve also seen papers where it’s said (surprisingly to me) that plant based proteins would be worse than whey or casein, because they are not absorbed as well, and more of it makes it down to the gut bugs.


  10. Steve May 1, 2018 at 8:15 am #

    I’m supplementing with Inulin instead of rs2. I just use agave Inulin. I’ve read about short chain and long chain Inulin. I read that long chain is better. Do you know if agave Inulin is a good source of the long chain?


  11. Shameer Mulji (@shameermulji) May 10, 2018 at 6:04 pm #

    I notice Gut Garden advertised on your site. Have you used this product and if so, what are your thoughts on it?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: