Prior short-term consumption of resistant starch enhances postprandial insulin sensitivity in healthy subjects

Diabetologia. 2003 May;46(5):659-65. doi: 10.1007/s00125-003-1081-0. Epub 2003 Apr 24.


Aims/hypothesis: Diets rich in insoluble-fibre are linked to a reduced risk of both diabetes and cardiovascular disease; however, the mechanism of action remains unclear. The aim of this study was to assess whether acute changes in the insoluble-fibre (resistant starch) content of the diet would have effects on postprandial carbohydrate and lipid handling.

Methods: Ten healthy subjects consumed two identical, low-residue diets on separate occasions for 24 h (33% fat; <2 g dietary fibre). Of the diets one was supplemented with 60 g resistant starch (Novelose 260). On the following morning a fibre-free meal tolerance test (MTT) was carried out (59 g carbohydrate; 21 g fat; 2.1 kJ) and postprandial insulin sensitivity (SI(ORAL)) assessed using a minimal model approach.

Results: Prior resistant starch consumption led to lower postprandial plasma glucose (p=0.037) and insulin (p=0.038) with a higher insulin sensitivity(44+/-7.5 vs 26+/-3.5 x 10(-4) dl kg(-1) min(-1) per micro Uml(-1); p=0.028) and C-peptide-to-insulin molar ratio (18.7+/-6.5 vs 9.7+/-0.69; p=0.017). There was no effect of resistant starch consumption on plasma triacylglycerol although non-esterified fatty acid and 3-hydroxybutyrate levels were suppressed 5 h after the meal tolerance test.

Conclusion: Prior acute consumption of a high-dose of resistant starch enhanced carbohydrate handling in the postprandial period the following day potentially due to the increased rate of colonic fermentation.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Glucose / drug effects
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / pharmacology*
  • Energy Intake
  • Female
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Humans
  • Insulin / administration & dosage
  • Insulin / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postprandial Period
  • Reference Values
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Starch / pharmacology*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Insulin
  • Starch