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Dietary-resistant starch and glucose metabolism

Robertson, M. Denise

Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care:
doi: 10.1097/MCO.0b013e3283536931
CARBOHYDRATES: Edited by Luc Tappy and Bettina Mittendorfer

Purpose of review: Recent findings in animal models suggest that resistant starch is beneficial for both body weight regulation and glycaemic control. The purpose of this review is to summarize the current evidence and recommendations in humans.

Recent findings: When resistant starch replaces available carbohydrate in a meal, postprandial glycaemia is reduced. There are some data to suggest that resistant starch may affect glycaemia even when the available carbohydrate portion remains constant; however, there is inconsistency in the literature. Recent animal data suggest that chronic resistant starch feeding upregulates glucagon-like peptide 1 expression in the large bowel with concomitant increases in neuropeptide expression in the hypothalamus, combining to result in weight loss and improvements in glycaemic control. However, to date there is no evidence for this in humans.

Summary: Resistant starch may have a role in glycaemic control in healthy individuals and those with type 2 diabetes; however, there are limited interventional trials in humans to support this. There are no data concerning resistant starch feeding in human diabetes and as such no health recommendation can be made.

Author Information

Diabetes and Metabolic Medicine, Department of Nutrition and Metabolism, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK

Correspondence to M. Denise Robertson, Diabetes & Metabolic Medicine, Department of Nutrition and Metabolism, University of Surrey, Guildford, GU2 7WG, UK. Tel: +44 1483686407; e-mail:

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.