Resistant Starches in Diet May Help Reduce Body Weight Interview with:

Dr Stacey Lockyer BSc(hons) MSc PhD RNutr Nutrition Scientist British Nutrition Foundation Imperial House 6th Floor London

Dr Stacey Lockyer

Dr Stacey Lockyer BSc(hons) MSc PhD RNutr
Nutrition Scientist
British Nutrition Foundation
Imperial House 6th Floor
London What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: This in depth review examines the potential health benefits of resistant starch, a form of starch that is not digested in the small intestine and is therefore considered a type of dietary fibre. Some forms of resistant starch occur naturally in foods such as bananas, potatoes, grains, and pulses, and some are produced or modified commercially and incorporated into food products as a functional ingredient.

There has been increasing research interest in resistant starch, with a large number of human studies published over the last 10 years looking at a variety of different health outcomes such as postprandial glycaemia, satiety and gut health. The review summarises reported effects and explores the potential mechanisms of action that underpin them.

There is consistent evidence that consumption of resistant starch in place of digestible carbohydrates can aid blood glucose control and this has resulted in an approved health claim in the European Union. There is also some evidence that resistant starch can support gut health and enhance satiety, though much more research is needed in these areas. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: It is known that fibre is an important component of a healthy, balanced diet as a high fibre intake is associated with health benefits such as a reduced risk of colon cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes, therefore foods rich in resistant starch would make a useful addition to the diet. Findings support positive effects of resistant starch on some markers but further research is needed in most areas to establish whether consuming resistant starch can confer significant benefits which are relevant to the general population. This is definitely an exciting area of research for the future. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: There have been some interesting yet inconsistent findings from satiety studies in relation to resistant starch. Differing study designs makes it difficult to compare results and this is something for researchers to bear in mind. At present there is little evidence that consumption of resistant starch can lead to a reduction in body weight, however longer term studies are needed.

Suggestions of potential synergism between resistant starch and other fibre types in reducing postprandial glycaemia are worthy of further investigation. In addition, further research into the effects of resistant starch on gut microbial composition could lead to the classification of resistant starch as a prebiotic.

Overall, the generation of short chain fatty acids likely represents an important mechanism of action of resistant starch and as their production appears to be highly variable between individuals, this should be a consideration in terms of the number of subjects used when designing studies. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: The British Nutrition Foundation is grateful to Ingredion Incorporated for financially supporting some of the time spent on the preparation of the review. The views expressed are those of the authors alone. Thank you for your contribution to the community.


S. Lockyer, A. P. Nugent. Health effects of resistant starch. Nutrition Bulletin, 2017; DOI: 10.1111/nbu.12244

video on our website about resistant starch which you may want to link to:

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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