Assorted Links

9 Replies to “Assorted Links”

  1. I said it over on FTA and I’ll say it here too. Given our essentially poor understanding of gut biota, I think it’s a mistake to focus on the ratio of fermicutes and bacteroidetes as there are both pathogenic and beneficial organisms in each category. What is clear is that bfidio is the group targeted by human breast milk and is the dominant form in a breast fed infant. There are probably some lessons to be drawn from that.

    Seth: I agree. I believe it is a mistake to focus on these sort of measurements. I think it is better to focus on things that clearly matter — pain, absence of pain, good sleep, bad sleep, easy-to-observe stuff like that. Do that before assuming you have a correct theory of how gut biota influence health.

  2. Here’s Mr. Heisenbug’s latest post on resistant starch (12/15):

    “What Resistant starch lacks in breadth, it makes up in precision. Resistant starch is a laser-guided missile aimed at the two most important strains of mucosal bacteria in one of the most crucial clusters of bacteria in the human gut.”

    “And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the reason Resistant Starch, in the form of raw potato starch, is officially the body hack of *maybe* the decade.”

  3. Hello Seth,

    Concerning RS, might I ask you to add my Indiegogo Project to the assorted links — for those readers that might miss it here in the comments.

    And of course, I’d love to have you contribute. The personal tour of Oregon Wine Country perk is still available. 🙂

    Thank you,

    Seth: Thanks for your comment, Allan, and I’m happy to have you mention your project here in the comments. However, I’m afraid I don’t think the project is well thought out. I think it is really hard — much harder than you seem to say — to figure out whether this or that gut biota will produce good or bad health. Obviously more variety is better but beyond that what? If it were me, I would try to figure out specific connections between resistant starch and stuff we care about (sleep?). That is relatively simple. And free. Sure, resistant starch will change my gut biota. So what? I want a connection to something I care about first. I do not care about my gut biota independently from other outcomes. Perhaps there is something very important here, but see that “no victory lap” post. You don’t see me trying to maximize REM sleep or minutes of deep sleep or my Zeo score. I could measure my sleep in expensive high-tech ways, but I don’t. I try to maximize things that are easy to measure and that obviously matter, such as how rested I feel in the morning.

  4. Hi Seth,

    Thank you for the links. Have you seen this?
    It’s all over the news, of course. It makes for a great sensationalist article (Americans wasting 28 billion a year!)

    What do you think? It seems a bit over-generalization for me. I have started taking some Magnesium supplements and they seem to help a lot. Maybe it’s more a question of targeted vitamins or minerals instead of a multi-pill?
    Would love to hear your opinion on this.

    Seth: I agree with the research. If anything, multivitamin pills seem to hurt my health — a conclusion I reached before the research came out. I also agree with you, magnesium supplementation seems to be a good idea. Also Vitamin D in the morning. Putting a bunch of stuff together and failing to control the time of day makes for a mess. Not good research.

  5. Seth –

    Can you elaborate on how multivitamins hurt your health and how you arrived at that conclusion?


    Seth: They slowed me down on the brain (reaction-time) test I do. But I need to repeat this result to be sure of it.

  6. Hello Seth,

    I appreciate your reply, thank you.

    I’d like to clarify a little bit if I may. I did see the ‘no victory lap’ post and I am aware of the limitations of our knowledge of RS & gut biota. I certainly don’t believe RS should be the next panacea. However, I do think gut biota is an interesting avenue for further investigation. A lot of people have reported some incredible outcomes from supplementing with RS, and seemingly the only mechanism RS has for improving health is through gut biota. OK then, which bacteria and how much RS? That is the point of the Indiegogo project, to advance those questions ever so slightly.

    We’re presently a healthy, happy family. What’s our biota look like now? After 6 weeks of RS, each person taking a slightly different formulation, what’s our biota then? How did we respond as far as sleep, happiness, mental focus, etc. So much of the N=1 science on the internet is from people recovering from pathological conditions, I often wonder for healthy people looking for a modicum of prophylaxis, how much of the N=1 experience (and dosage) is applicable.

    Best Regards,

    Seth: “A lot of people have reported some incredible outcomes from supplementing with RS, and seemingly the only mechanism RS has for improving health is through gut biota.” You might be right. But I am less sure that better gut biota is “the only mechanism”. Another possibility I find plausible is 1. RS improves sleep (not thru gut biota). 2. Better sleep improves health.

    Judging by what you say, I would start to measure “sleep, happiness, mental focus, etc.” for each member of your family. Day after day — something like that. Then I would test one formulation (not several) of RS. What effect does it have on each of the things you are measuring? That study costs nothing. And would be a lot more interesting, at least to me, than the study you propose. To interpret it does not require a untested theory of how gut biota affects health.

    I believe you (and your family and everyone else) will benefit more from a better understanding of the effect of RS on sleep, happiness, mental focus, etc., than from a better understanding of the effect of RS on gut biota. And you can make hundreds of measurements of sleep, etc., for the price of one measurement of gut biota. Larry Smarr’s failure to reduce his Crohn’s disease illustrates how high-tech measurement of something different than what you care about can have disappointing results.

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