Purpose of review
Resistant starch has received much attention recently as a healthy carbohydrate component of the diet. Resistant starch is not digested in the small intestine and can thus affect the gut microbiota of the host because of its fermentability. This review summarizes the interactions along the resistant starch–gut microbiota–host axis to help understand the health effects of resistant starch.
Recent studies indicate that resistant starch can be a helpful dietary component for special disease states like diabetes, metabolic syndrome, chronic kidney disease, constipation, and colitis. Its health effects are associated with modulation of the gut microbiota, and with gut microbes converting resistant starch into active and bioavailable metabolites that promote intestinal health.
The results from human clinical trials and studies in animal models indicate that supplementation of the diet with resistant starch in different metabolic diseases help remodel gut microbiota, especially increasing short-chain fatty acid (SCFA)-producing bacteria, and produce bioactive metabolites like SCFA, bile acids, and amino acids responsible for a variety of health effects. The gut microbiota and microbial metabolites probably mediate the effects of resistant starch on intestinal health.