Resistant Starch Boosts Metabolism

Westchester, IL—A new independent clinical trial published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism details the positive effects of resistant starch (Hi-Maize from Ingredion Inc., based here) on metabolism.

Led by M. Denise Robertson, Ph.D., from University of Surrey in the United Kingdom, the study followed 15 moderately obese, but non-diabetic, middle-aged men and woman for eight weeks as they consumed 40 grams of dietary fiber a day from the resistant starch. Compared to a control group, they experienced a 16% reduction in fasting insulin levels, a 65% increase in glucose uptake into muscles and insulin sensitivity in the muscles that rose by 21%.

Overall, this means that the consumption of the resistant starch improved certain aspects of the fatty acid metabolism within adipose, or fat, tissue. This improvement is significant in supporting prediabetes or high or abnormally high sugar levels that are not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. Past research has shown that an impairment in fatty acid metabolism within fat cells can cause a dangerous surplus of fat storage in muscles, liver and the pancreas, which directly causes insulin resistance, a precursor of prediabetes.

“In many ways, metabolism can work against us in a vicious cycle. Improper storage of fat causes insulin resistance, which leads to more storage of fat, and more storage of fat further escalates insulin resistance,” said Christine Pelkman, Ph.D., clinical research manager for Ingredion. “Even when people are diagnosed with prediabetes, the percentage who commit to permanent lifestyle change, weight loss and maintenance of weight loss remains relatively low. The exciting news form this study is that HI-MAIZE resistant starch can give people an additional tool with which they can improve their insulin sensitivity and break the cycle.”


Published in WholeFoods Magazine, October 2012 (online 8/22/12)