Effects of resistant starch, a non-digestible fermentable fiber, on reducing body fat

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2006 Sep;14(9):1523-34. doi: 10.1038/oby.2006.176.


Objective: To assess the effects of energy dilution with non-fermentable and fermentable fibers on abdominal fat and gut peptide YY (PYY) and glucagon-like peptide (GLP)-1 expressions, three rat studies were conducted to: determine the effects of energy dilution with a non-fermentable fiber, compare similar fiber levels of fermentable and non-fermentable fibers, and compare similar metabolizable energy dilutions with fermentable and non-fermentable fibers.

Research methods and procedures: In Study 1, rats were fed one of three diets with different metabolizable energy densities. In Study 2, rats were fed diets with similar fiber levels using high amylose-resistant cornstarch (RS) or methylcellulose. In Study 3, rats were fed diets with a similar dilution of metabolizable energy using cellulose or RS. Measurements included food intake, body weight, abdominal fat, plasma PYY and GLP-1, gastrointestinal tract weights, and gene transcription of PYY and proglucagon.

Results: Energy dilution resulted in decreased abdominal fat in all studies. In Study 2, rats fed fermentable RS had increased cecal weights and plasma PYY and GLP-1, and increased gene transcription of PYY and proglucagon. In Study 3, RS-fed rats had increased short-chain fatty acids in cecal contents, plasma PYY (GLP-1 not measured), and gene transcription for PYY and proglucagon.

Discussion: Inclusion of RS in the diet may affect energy balance through its effect as a fiber or a stimulator of PYY and GLP-1 expression. Increasing gut hormone signaling with a bioactive functional food such as RS may be an effective natural approach to the treatment of obesity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / drug effects*
  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Cecum / metabolism
  • Dietary Fiber / administration & dosage*
  • Dietary Fiber / metabolism
  • Energy Intake / physiology
  • Energy Metabolism / drug effects*
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology
  • Fatty Acids, Volatile / analysis
  • Female
  • Fermentation
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1 / blood
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1 / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Obesity / diet therapy
  • Organ Size
  • Peptide YY / blood
  • Peptide YY / metabolism*
  • Proglucagon / metabolism
  • Random Allocation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Starch / administration & dosage*
  • Starch / metabolism


  • Dietary Fiber
  • Fatty Acids, Volatile
  • Peptide YY
  • Proglucagon
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1
  • Starch