3 Fantastic Benefits of Resistant Starch

What is resistant starch?

Resistant starch is simply starch that our bodies cannot digest; because we can’t digest it, it passes through to our gut where it feeds the good bacteria that live there. If you’d like to learn more about resistant starch and the foods where it can be found, check out our other posts on it! 

What are the benefits of resistant starch?

Scientists have spent quite a bit of time investigating the potential benefits of resistant starch and you’ll be as amazed as they are at what they’ve found out.

Blood sugar

It’s really important to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Diseases linked to high blood sugar are at epidemic levels. In fact, around 422 million people worldwide are thought to have diabetes and worse yet the disease is linked to around 1.6 million lives lost yearly according to the world health organization’s latest statistics [1].

Resistant starch has been shown to improve blood sugar levels and control in people who are overweight [2][3].

Scientists investigating the link between resistant starch, diabetes and blood sugar have identified several mechanisms by which resistant starch provides these benefits:

  • Firstly, as resistant starch is a dietary fiber, it lowers the rate at which our bodies absorb and digest carbs [4].
  • Secondly, resistant starch stimulates the activation of certain genes which cause our body to increase storage of carbs in our liver and muscles [5].
  • Thirdly, resistant starch increases the sensitivity of our cells to insulin, meaning they are able to better uptake and utilize the sugar in our blood. Insulin sensitivity is really important, because insulin resistance is not only linked to high blood sugar, but also type 2 diabetes and heart disease [6].

Digestive health

Resistant starch is also great for your digestive health. One reason for this is that it acts as a prebiotic. Prebiotics help to nourish our beneficial gut bacteria. By increasing the number of healthy bacteria in our large intestine, resistant starch can improve immune function, decrease the amount of bad bacteria in our guts, and promote energy production [7],[8],[9].

The fermentation of resistant starch by the friendly bacteria in our gut also increases the concentration of butyrate in the small intestine. Butyrate lowers your risk of large bowel disease, protects the gut lining and lowers inflammation [7][10].

Heart Health and Weight management

Another surprising benefit of resistant starch is its positive impact on our heart health. Researchers found that resistant starch not only lowered abnormal fat levels in the blood, but also has the potential to reduce the risk factors associated with the hardening of blood vessels in those who are overweight [11][2].

Beyond this resistant starch may also be able to help you control your appetite. A small study of healthy adults found that eating resistant starch over a 24-hour period lowered the amount of food eaten by the participants [12].

Find out more

These are just three of the many benefits of resistant starch. If you’d like to read about even more benefits of resistant starch then check out this article on the subject.

[1] “Diabetes.” https://www.who.int/health-topics/diabetes (accessed Jun. 09, 2021).

[2] O. J. Park, N. E. Kang, M. J. Chang, and W. K. Kim, “Resistant starch supplementation influences blood lipid concentrations and glucose control in overweight subjects,” J. Nutr. Sci. Vitaminol. , vol. 50, no. 2, Apr. 2004, Accessed: Jun. 09, 2021. [Online]. Available: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15242012/.

[3] M. P. Maziarz, S. Preisendanz, S. Juma, V. Imrhan, C. Prasad, and P. Vijayagopal, “Resistant starch lowers postprandial glucose and leptin in overweight adults consuming a moderate-to-high-fat diet: a randomized-controlled trial,” Nutr. J., vol. 16, no. 1, Feb. 2017, doi: 10.1186/s12937-017-0235-8.

[4] C. M. Brites, M. J. Trigo, B. Carrapiço, M. Alviña, and R. J. Bessa, “Maize and resistant starch enriched breads reduce postprandial glycemic responses in rats,” Nutr. Res., vol. 31, no. 4, Apr. 2011, doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2011.02.001.

[5] Z. Zhou, F. Wang, X. Ren, Y. Wang, and C. Blanchard, “Resistant starch manipulated hyperglycemia/hyperlipidemia and related genes expression in diabetic rats,” Int. J. Biol. Macromol., vol. 75, Apr. 2015, doi: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2015.01.052.

[6] T. C. Rideout, S. V. Harding, A. Raslawsky, and C. B. Rempel, “Dietary Resistant Starch Supplementation Increases High-Density Lipoprotein Particle Number in Pigs Fed a Western Diet,” J. Diet. Suppl., vol. 14, no. 3, May 2017, doi: 10.1080/19390211.2016.1229371.

[7] A. R. Bird, M. A. Conlon, C. T. Christophersen, and D. L. Topping, “Resistant starch, large bowel fermentation and a broader perspective of prebiotics and probiotics,” Benef. Microbes, vol. 1, no. 4, Nov. 2010, doi: 10.3920/BM2010.0041.

[8] A. Ristic, “Melatonin in Inflammation, Autoimmune Diseases & Immunity,” Dec. 09, 2019. https://selfhacked.com/blog/melatonin-th1-th2-inflammation-autoimmune-diseases/ (accessed Jun. 09, 2021).

[9] I. Martínez, J. Kim, P. R. Duffy, V. L. Schlegel, and J. Walter, “Resistant starches types 2 and 4 have differential effects on the composition of the fecal microbiota in human subjects,” PLoS One, vol. 5, no. 11, Nov. 2010, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0015046.

[10] A. Venkataraman, J. R. Sieber, A. W. Schmidt, C. Waldron, K. R. Theis, and T. M. Schmidt, “Variable responses of human microbiomes to dietary supplementation with resistant starch,” Microbiome, vol. 4, no. 1, Jun. 2016, doi: 10.1186/s40168-016-0178-x.

[11] S. N. Nichenametla, L. A. Weidauer, H. E. Wey, T. M. Beare, B. L. Specker, and M. Dey, “Resistant starch type 4-enriched diet lowered blood cholesterols and improved body composition in a double blind controlled cross-over intervention,” Mol. Nutr. Food Res., vol. 58, no. 6, Jun. 2014, doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201300829.[12] C. L. Bodinham, G. S. Frost, and Robertson, “Acute ingestion of resistant starch reduces food intake in healthy adults,” Br. J. Nutr., vol. 103, no. 6, Mar. 2010, doi: 10.1017/S0007114509992534.

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