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Starches And The Gut

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Lately I have been reading a lot of Paleo threads about "safe starches." Leaving aside the Paleo debate and the question of the GI content of starches, I'm wondering personally if starches can be "safe" for the gut since I have come to suspect that my acne may be a symptom of gut dysbiosis. I most specifically want to discuss the question of starch and digestion. I have been eating sweet potatoes, maybe one or two a day (400g maximum) since I started taking a holistic approach and I'm reconsidering this idea in light of some indications that this might be bad for my gut. (Of course, sweet potatoes are only about 1/2 starch and contain a lot of simple sugars and disaccharides: a whole different issue).

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet and the GAPs diet both rule out all starches, including sweet potatoes, because they say that the starch will ferment in your gut and allow the unbalanced growth of "bad" bacteria. I'm wondering: are there any studies to back this up?

I have done some research and there are studies that talk about starch being digested in the colon--but none of them suggest that starch consumption will lead to gut dysbiosis (leaky gut), at least not directly.

How do we digest starch? Most of the job is done by bacterial fermentation:

The predominant amylolytic bacteria belonged to the genera Bifidobacterium, Bacteroides, Fusobacterium and Butyrivibrio. Mixed populations of gut bacteria rapidly fermented starch with the production of volatile fatty acids and organic acids. Lactate was observed to be a major, though transient intermediate during starch fermentation by these cultures. Approximately 60% of starch utilized was converted to volatile fatty acids, which in the human colon would be potentially available for absorption.

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Personally, I digest starch fine and it does not make me breakout. I eat quite a lot of both regular and sweet potatoes (like every other day). I don't think they will cause a leaky gut. The only possible danger might be in the skin on the outside which contains some anti-nutrients. Remove that and you should be good. Potatoes might not be a good food to include if you already have a leaky gut, but if you are healed and have good bacteria, the starch shouldn't be a problem to digest.


Clear as long as I stick to Paleo - lots of meats, vegetables, healthy fats, and small amounts of fruit. Supplements: CLO/ fish oil, Mg, vit. D3, vit. E.


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Yea bacterias love starch because its sugar, and sugar is basically absorbed by our cells to make ATP or energy.

Starch is just chain of glucoses. Plants make them, its everywhere in what we eat. Without them we'd be dead. Its essential, we need to keep our ratio of meat and sugar intake same, just because you think sugars are bad doesn't mean you can start eating meat instead, it could even cause more worse problems.

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I began adding about 1-2 sweet potatoes every day for the past week or so just to experiment. It's done wonders for my body temperature, as my hands and feet aren't cold all the time anymore. With the increased circulation, my face looks less aged too. However, since I started eating it, I have been less regular and a bit more constipated.

My face is really clear and smooth, but my digestion seems to have taken a turn for the worst. I don't know if the benefits will eventually go south because I'm not able to excrete wastes properly, but I guess if I keep up the experiment I will find out.

If not, just means I'll have to cut out the starch most days until I've healed properly.

Nice job with the research and references, btw.


Call me TV.

snapback.pngmoonbase, on , said:

To the OP. Dieting is silly. The only point of a diet should be to heal your body. Once that's done as long as you get the nutrients you need in you diet, you can eat whatever the hell you want. I think that's the big thing people are missing.


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My digestion has been o.k. but I can definitely feel the fermentation going on (you know what I mean). Of course, I don't know if it is bad bacteria or fungi or good bacteria doing the fermenting.

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Yea bacterias love starch because its sugar, and sugar is basically absorbed by our cells to make ATP or energy.

Starch is just chain of glucoses. Plants make them, its everywhere in what we eat. Without them we'd be dead. Its essential, we need to keep our ratio of meat and sugar intake same, just because you think sugars are bad doesn't mean you can start eating meat instead, it could even cause more worse problems.

why would eating meat cause even worse problems (i am assuming worsen acne?)

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Yea bacterias love starch because its sugar, and sugar is basically absorbed by our cells to make ATP or energy.

Starch is just chain of glucoses. Plants make them, its everywhere in what we eat. Without them we'd be dead. Its essential, we need to keep our ratio of meat and sugar intake same, just because you think sugars are bad doesn't mean you can start eating meat instead, it could even cause more worse problems.

why would eating meat cause even worse problems (i am assuming worsen acne?)

From what I've seen, meat is something that would least cause acne. Studies however do show that countries that consume more meat/dairy tend to have lot more higher risk of cancer/heart problem/diabetes. It also loosens, or destroys the nitric oxide in blood vessels which is related to inflammation. You shouldn't worry much about meat, but quitting it will provide lot more various benefits.

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All I know is sweet potatoes were one of the two things that I'm not supposed to eat (according to the specific carb diet, which worked great for me in the past) that I added back in over time, and now I'm sicker than before. I stopped eating them and will see what happens. I'm sad because I loved them. :(


Current Skin-Care Regimen (A work in progress):

Morning:

Gentle wash with DKR cleanser

Benzoyl Peroxide 2.5% (Following Dan's Regimen)

DKR Lotion + A squirt of Argan or Grapeseed oil (The lotion alone wasn't hydrating enough)

Skin 79 Korean BB Cream (excellent stuff)

Evening:

Gentle Wash with DKR Cleanser

Benzoyl Peroxide 2.5% (Following Dan's Regimen)

DKR Lotion + A squirt of Argan or Grapeseed oil


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All I know is sweet potatoes were one of the two things that I'm not supposed to eat (according to the specific carb diet, which worked great for me in the past) that I added back in over time, and now I'm sicker than before. I stopped eating them and will see what happens. I'm sad because I loved them. sad.png

what do you mean one of two things? You can eat other grains?

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No, I started eating black beans again too. I don't know what hurt me worse, but I began eating black beans for a long time (with no breakouts) and then slowly started breaking out again. A little while before that I began eating sweet potatoes again too. Neither of them causes me direct-reaction, immediate breakouts the way gluten does. But over time, I began breaking out and it got worse and worse and worse and eventually became severe. It is starting to very slowly heal now that I'm back on the specific carbohydrate diet.


Current Skin-Care Regimen (A work in progress):

Morning:

Gentle wash with DKR cleanser

Benzoyl Peroxide 2.5% (Following Dan's Regimen)

DKR Lotion + A squirt of Argan or Grapeseed oil (The lotion alone wasn't hydrating enough)

Skin 79 Korean BB Cream (excellent stuff)

Evening:

Gentle Wash with DKR Cleanser

Benzoyl Peroxide 2.5% (Following Dan's Regimen)

DKR Lotion + A squirt of Argan or Grapeseed oil


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