I’ve been testing this resistant starch and erectile dysfunction protocol for the last two months and have seen some surprising benefits…
Including better sleep, reduced appetite, fewer nighttime trips to the bathroom, lower fasting glucose levels, reduced stomach bloat and harder and more frequent nocturnal erections.
For me, this has been the real deal, a solid breakthrough in the erectile dysfunction department, that just keeps on coming.
For those that don’t know, resistant starch is a starch that acts more like a dietary fiber, so unlike regular starch which is rapidly digested and broken down into glucose, this guy passes straight through to the large intestine mostly intact.
This means that the rapid glucose spike that accompanies regular starch consumption is drastically reduced, leading to increased insulin sensitivity and improved first phase insulin response in people who consume it.
Resistant starch also improves your postprandial glycemic response to other foods, and even other meals, as the glucose blunting effect carries over to the next time you eat.
The reduced stomach bloat many people experience likely happens because resistant starch is a prebiotic that the good bacteria in your gut thrive on, so their numbers increase when you feed it to them, which leaves less room in your gut for the bad guys.
The fermentation of this starch does other good things such as reducing intestinal pH levels – while increasing production of gut protective short-chain fatty acids, including butyrate, which the cells in your colon must have, otherwise they undergo autophagy (self digestion) and die.
This increase in butyrate happens in large part because beneficial microbes in your gut, such as roseburia, eubacterium and several others, thrive on resistant starch, and when they break it down, butyrate is produced as a waste byproduct…
And many other beneficial bacteria in your gut consume this butyrate, which encourages growth of even more of the good guys, which squeezes out the bad bugs like enterobacter that can cause bloating, reflux and possibly even obesity in humans.
These beneficial bacteria also kill off many other nasty pathogens that colonize and infect your gut mucosa.
If you look carefully at the evidence it’s clear that one of the primary benefits of RS consumption is the increased butyrate production that occurs in your gut when you eat them, resulting in a positive shift in your intestinal bacterial makeup.
Refined, heavily processed carbohydrate foods are lacking in resistant starch and fiber so these junk carbs are quickly digested in the small intestine, which means very little RS reaches your large intestines to feed the good guys that keep your gut, your body, your brain and yes…even your penis functioning properly.
So if your gut microbes are all out of whack, resistant starch may be just what your body needs to regain the balance it needs to function optimally.
I need to warn you that I’m moving into heavy theory in this section, as I’ve never found any solid explanation as to why penile tumescence (nocturnal erections) increase with you eat resistant starch, but here are few possibilities that I believe go a long way toward explaining this…
For one, its well known that excess weight, especially around the belly, has a negative impact on your ability to achieve an erection.
But in many cases, especially in older men, this belly bloat is not caused by overeating, but by poor intestinal bacteria makeup, which often leads to excessive water retention around the mid section.
If you have a blatant bloating problem (a rapid and abnormal increase in waist size after eating) you may have small bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), or excessive growth of bacteria in the small intestine, a place where gut bacteria concentrations are supposed to be very low.
If you seriously bloat up after meals, but flatten somewhat by morning, this is a strong clue that you may have this problem.
If you do, studies have shown that people suffering from SIBO and other gut disorders are much more likely to be dealing with hypothyroidism, AKA an under-active thyroid.
And here’s the kicker…
A study published in the December 2005 issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, showed data demonstrating a strong relationship between low thyroid and sexual dysfunction in men.
In this trial, a whopping 64.3% of the men suffering with hypothyroid experienced low sex drive, delayed ejaculation and erectile dysfunction, compared to the controls with no thyroid issues.
And this theory fits nicely with the info on this page, because many people using RS report that body temperatures go up, which is a strong signal of increased thyroid function – while others report less stomach bloat when they wake in the morning and less bloating after eating meals, which is a signal that gut bacteria are shifting in the right direction.
Every person I’ve talked to who has been using resistant starch has reported that deep sleep and vivid dreams increase quite dramatically, usually the first night after they take it.
And this is another clue we need to examine…
Because vivid dreaming happens during your REM sleep cycle, and this can only help your erection cause because REM sleep is also where you get your peak pulsatile production of testosterone.
So more high quality REM sleep is going to mean more nocturnal testosterone pulsation, and its this testosterone that fuels those erections that come on in the early morning hours.
This is a big smoking gun, especially for men who suffer from insomnia, or chronic poor quality sleep.
It’s quite possible that this increase in sleep quality occurs because resistant starch feeds certain bacteria in the gut that produce serotonin, which is then converted by other microbes in your gut into the sleep inducing hormone, melatonin.
If this is the case, this would explain the calm, chill feeling many people experience while using RS.
Also, bifidobacterium denim bacteria levels often increase in the gut of those who consume RS, and this microbe is well known for its ability to create gamma-amino-butyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter that dampens and calms nerve function.
People with insomnia often have reduced levels of GABA and several sleeping pills, including eszopiclone and zolpidem work by improving the ability of GABA to bind to the receptors in your brain.
So this boost in GABA may also explain the better sleep…the increased testosterone pulsation, and more frequent appearance of morning wood when RS consumption increases.
Lactobacillus reuteri is a beneficial bacteria discovered in 1980 by scientists who noted this strain colonizing the intestines of healthy animals almost universally throughout the animal kingdom.
And this in another gut microbe that feeds on resistant starch.
In a study titled: Probiotic Microbes Sustain Youthful Serum Testosterone Levels and Testicular Size in Aging Mice, scientists put lactobacillus reuteri in the drinking water of mice, then compared them to controls not given the bug.
At the end of the study, the mice were sacrificed and the scientists noted that these rodents had increased seminiferous tubule function, elevated sperm production and significantly more leydig cells in their testicles, when compared to the controls not given lactobacillus.
And remember, it’s the leydig cells in your testicles that produce much of the testosterone in your system, so an increase in their numbers would very likely lead to an increase in nocturnal testosterone production during REM sleep cycles.
Leydig cells also produce androstenedione and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and other 19-carbon steroids, and I believe there’s a good possibility that this boost in 19-carbon steroids happens in humans as well when beneficial bacteria like lactobacillus reuteri displace the bad guys in your gut.
Properly balanced intestinal flora is a sign of good health, and a healthy body is going to produce more sex hormones, more nitric oxide, and it will absorb and utilize vitamins, minerals and other nutrients much more effectively as well.
That being said, there are likely other things going on that explain this phenomenon, but one thing is certain….
Resistant starch is clearly a potent builder of flag pole quality morning wood, which starts for me at about 4 am, and runs on and off until 7am when I get out of bed in the morning.
So if your morning wood has been lacking lately, I suggest that you give resistant starch a try.
The most efficient way to add resistant starch to your diet is to consume pure raw potato starch (not flour).
Potato starch is made up of approximately 70 percent resistant starch, and I haven’t found any other source of RS which is more concentrated.
I suggest you start off with one teaspoon of Bob’s Red Mill Potato Starch mixed in cold water, as heat will degrade the RS, so its important that you take it cold. One teaspoon contains about 8 grams of RS, and its a good idea to start out slow to avoid digestive issues.
Trust me on this, if you take too much, especially in the beginning stages, you’ll do more harm than good.
I’ve worked my way up to four teaspoons, which appears to be the sweet spot for me, but you may wind up a bit lower or higher, depending on your gut health and how well you tolerate it.
It’s important that you consume other plant based fibers along with the potato starch, including cooked whole tubers, such as white potatoes, yams, and sweet potatoes.
You should also include carrots, leeks, green bananas, plantains, onions, artichokes, asparagus and other veggies that contain fibers certain beneficial bacteria in your gut must feed on to survive.
Failure to incorporate these foods into your diet while using potato starch may destroy specific beneficial bacteria such as bifidobacteria, which don’t feed on raw potato starch, but thrive on oligosaccharides and other fibers found in these foods.
And keep this mind when preparing whole food starches like potatoes and yams that these contain resistant starch as well, but only if you eat them cold.
You can gently reheat these after cooking and cooling without degrading the starch, and you’ll actually increase resistant starch concentrations by cooking and cooling them more than once, but if you heat a fractioned RS food like raw potato starch even once, you’ll destroy the RS.
So the simple rule is, heat then cool whole food starches, but never heat your potato starch and always eat it cold.
(Remember this, its very important).
If your gut is severely compromised, and you suffer from indigestion, bloating, excessive gas, constipation or diarrhea you should back off the earlier teaspoon recommendation and start out with no more than 1/4 teaspoon, then slowly work your way up from there.
I’d also recommend that you include the fibrous foods listed just above and supplement with This Probiotic, which seems to do good things in people with bacterial imbalances.
But for the rest of you, one teaspoon is a good starting point.
After you take your first dose, carefully monitor your dreams, your quality of sleep, and how many times you wake up at night with a rigid flagpole.
If things go well, you should start waking up with good news in under a week.
If you’ve tested resistant starch yourself and have seen improved erectile function – or if you have anything to add to this article, leave your comments below.
Insulin Sensitizing Effects of Dietary Resistant Starch
Nondigestible Carbohydrates and Mineral Bioavailability
Resistant Starch Improves Insulin Sensitivity in Metabolic Syndrome
Link Between Hypothyroidism and Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth
Prevalence of Sexual Symptoms in Male Hypo and Hyperthyroid Patients
The Control and Consequences of Bacterial Fermentation in the Human Colon
Probiotic Microbes Sustain Youthful Serum Testosterone Levels and Testicular Size in Aging Mice
Article edited by Mark Wilson. Mark currently owns 5 sites in the men's sexual health niche and has published more than 5,000 articles and blog posts on dozens of websites all over the world wide web.