A novel resistant maltodextrin alters gastrointestinal tolerance factors, fecal characteristics, and fecal microbiota in healthy adult humans

J Am Coll Nutr. 2008 Apr;27(2):356-66. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2008.10719712.


Objective: Resistant maltodextrin has been shown to increase fecal bulk by resisting digestion and being partially fermented by colonic bacteria to short-chain fatty acids (SCFA). The objective of this experiment was to determine potential prebiotic effects, gastrointestinal tolerance, and fecal characteristics of free-living humans fed a novel resistant maltodextrin or a normal maltodextrin control.

Methods: Subjects (n = 38) were enrolled in a randomized, double-blind study where they were assigned to one of three daily treatments: 15 g maltodextrin; 7.5 g maltodextrin plus 7.5 g resistant maltodextrin (Fibersol-2; Matsutani Chemical Company, Hyogo, Japan); and 15 g resistant maltodextrin. The experiment lasted 7 wk and consisted of a 2 wk baseline period, a 3 wk treatment period, and a 2 wk washout period. During wk 3 to 5 (treatment period), subjects consumed their assigned treatments.

Results: Resistant maltodextrin supplementation tended to increase (p = 0.12) fecal Bifidobacterium populations during the treatment period, altered (p < 0.05) bacterial populations from baseline to treatment, and resulted in very minor effects in gastrointestinal tolerance. There was a shift (p < 0.05) in molar proportions of SCFA towards butyrate, the preferred energy substrate of colonocytes.

Conclusion: Resistant maltodextrin supplementation was well tolerated, resulted in favorable fermentation characteristics in the large bowel, and also resulted in a change in bacterial populations.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ammonia / metabolism
  • Bifidobacterium / genetics
  • Bifidobacterium / growth & development
  • Clostridium perfringens / genetics
  • Clostridium perfringens / growth & development
  • DNA, Bacterial / chemistry
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Fatty Acids, Volatile / metabolism
  • Feces / chemistry*
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / drug effects*
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / microbiology
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / physiology
  • Humans
  • Lactobacillus / genetics
  • Lactobacillus / growth & development
  • Male
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Polysaccharides / administration & dosage*
  • Polysaccharides / chemistry
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / chemistry
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / genetics


  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Fatty Acids, Volatile
  • Polysaccharides
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S
  • Ammonia
  • maltodextrin