Resistant starch may cut food intakes: Study

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Resistant starch Nutrition National starch

Adding resistant starch to breakfast and lunch meals may reduce the amount of calories consumed over a 24-hour period by about 10 per cent, says a new study.

Writing in the British Journal of Nutrition​, scientists from the University of Surrey and Imperial College London also report that consumption of 48 grams of resistant starch intake may also cut the insulin response after a meal.

“Resistant starch appears to impact hunger and food consumption over many hours, coinciding with its fermentation in the large intestine. The main effect occurred at the ​ad libitum dinner and then later in the day after the participants left the controlled environment,” ​said lead researcher Dr Denise Robertson.

“Resistant starch does not act like other viscous fibers and gums, which may delay emptying of the stomach or slow glucose absorption over a few hours. Its effects occur over a longer period of time. This could have beneficial implications for weight management and, potentially, weight loss,”​ she added.

The study used National Starch’s Hi-Maize ingredient, which is derived from corn.

Starch types

Starches can be divided into three groups: rapidly digestible starch (RDS, digested within 20 minutes), slowly digestible starch (SDS, digested between 20 and 120 minutes), and resistant starch (RS). The latter is not digested but is fermented in the large intestine and has 'prebiotic' properties.

Resistant starch can be found naturally in cold cooked potatoes, pasta and rice as well as baked beans and lentils.

Study details

Robertson and her co-workers recruited 20 health young men aged between 19 and 31, and randomly assigned them to one of two groups: One group consumed 48 grams of resistant starch divided between two meals, and the other group consumed a placebo carbohydrate also divided between two meals.

Results showed that men in the resistant starch group consumed an average of 88 fewer kilocalories at dinner, or 7 per cent fewer than controls, and an average of 321 fewer kcal over the 24-hour period, or 10 per cent fewer than controls.

On the other hand, no differences in feelings of hunger, fullness or prospective food consumption during the study were reported by the participants in both groups.

The researchers noted that additional studies are required in order to elucidate the mechanism behind the effects.

The study was welcomed by Dr Terry Finocchiaro, director of nutrition research and development at National Starch. “This study shows that Hi-maize resistant starch impacts satiety differently than other fibres,” ​said Finocchiaro. “Because fermentation is a key mechanism and different fibres ferment in different ways, not all fibres will deliver these longer-term benefits.”

Source: British Journal of Nutrition
Published online ahead of print, First View article​, doi:10.1017/S0007114509992534
“Acute ingestion of resistant starch reduces food intake in healthy adults”
Authors: C.L. Bodinham, G.S. Frost, M.D. Robertson

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