Pertinent information in correspondence with Carol:

With regard the McCance & Widdowson's starch ratings, if you have a copy of my previous book you'll see on page 45 I listed a number of the vegetables that according to their ratings, should be safe to eat. However, when testing with iodine, some of these react badly showing a great deal of starch, and some don't show any at all despite their book saying they're high in starch. Garlic powder, for example (I don't have my McCance & Widdowson to hand) from memory rated very high in starch in their book. However, I've tested it many times with iodine and never discovered any starch. I also use it a lot and have no adverse reaction to it. On the other hand, cabbage, which they say contains only 0.1, does contain starch – is well known even for people without IBS/AS to be a cause of 'wind'.

I decided (and still stick to this) that the iodine test is the best indicator of starch, for me. But of course, the other thing that McCance & Widdowson don't talk about, is the difference in starch in plants, depending on how ripe it is when you test it – or (in the case of fruit) whether it was tree ripened or stored in an unripe state in cold storage, for months before being put on the supermarket shelves. This makes a huge difference as the starch in the fruit never gets a chance to turn to sugar. They give no indication of how ripe/fresh the fruit and veg. was when they tested it. But as the original book was written years ago it is possible that everything they tested was reasonably fresh and not subjected to supermarket storage methods.

As you're no doubt bored with hearing me explain, when I first went on the diet over 15 years ago, I never found any starch in, for example, sweet apples. Now when tested they all go almost the same colour as bread. The poor things have been picked green the previous autumn and stored for months until they're brought out in the spring of the next year. Ever wondered why your local supermarket has out-of-season fruit and veg. all year round? This is why. For normal people this won't matter (except it ruins the taste) but it can cause real problems for me.

So although McCance & Widdowson are an industry guide, I would recommend that all IBS/AS sufferers test with iodine. It seems really reliable.

Carol's book is a very helpful guide.

Things to consider for those just starting the programme:

Lactose, the sugar component of milk, is also food for Klebsiella pneumoniae and promotes their growth at about half the rate starches do, so at least when starting the diet it is best to avoid milk products; they should be 'experimented' with back in after several weeks feeling better.

FRIED foods greatly change the character of the tract and the number of free-radicals and lectins, or damaging protein bits, is increased many times. Additionally, the sticky nature of the fry oils and their hydrophilic properties make them bad for the tract, generally, and specifically could trap food in proximity to existing lesions (Crohn's-like microlesions) and assure coupling--a bridge--for the substrate and the bad bacterium.

PROCESSING of foods can make them more provocative: Wheat has a starch content, but the micronization process of milling it into flour causes its surface area to increase hundreds of millions of times (colloid chemistry), presenting a massive substrate that can be seeded with billions of bacteria. If you want to do LSD and incorporate things like rice into your diet, the reason we don't react to steamed (not fried) rice is that there are much fewer bits; rice flour could still be a danger. Also, when sugar is caramelized, it polymerizes into a hardened chain that is not digested early enough to avoid becoming Kp food; eat caramel sparingly.

Supplementation is urgent in all cases of AS, and calcium, magnesium, boron, zinc, copper, selenium, esterC, vitE, Bcomplex, EFAs (especially borage seed oil or evening primrose for GLAs--at night is best) are important. However some ignorant manufacturers use starch as a filler/binder and this can be devastating. I have been knocked into a major flare by taking just a couple of enzyme pills, trusting instead of testing. So, test everything and, certainly, take the supplements.

Tract-supportive foods include lychee fruit, okra (some react to this), yoghurt (some fewer react to this; be sure to locate live active cultures, starch-free like Stonyfield Farms brand), salmon, tuna, all melons, grapes, cranberries, cherries, and tofu<--these don't have to be tested. Eat many small meals, and one afternoon meal daily should consist of a raw selection of: Lettuce, celery, carrots, and/or cucumber. Other things that could help include glutamine, rutin, quercetin (some have bad reaction to this), colostrum, aloe vera, and noni juice.

Evacuation of the tract should occur in natural cycles, with food being processed out of the tract within 12-14 hours (charcoal tablets before a meal can serve as indicator). Some foods can cause transit time to increase, especially milk products (ice cream) or the combination of starches with protein (sandwiches esp cheeseburgers). In such a condition, an old fashioned physick may help: About 2 tsp Epsom salts in 4-6 oz warm water. Some like senna extract, which should be better than castor oil (last resort).