Consumption of the slow-digesting waxy maize starch leads to blunted plasma glucose and insulin response but does not influence energy expenditure or appetite in humans

Nutr Res. 2009 Jun;29(6):383-90. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2009.05.009.


Limited research in humans suggests that slowly digestible starch may blunt the postprandial increase and subsequent decline of plasma glucose and insulin concentrations, leading to prolonged energy availability and satiety, compared to more rapidly digestible starch. This study examined the postprandial metabolic and appetitive responses of waxy maize starch (WM), a slow-digestible starch. It was hypothesized that the waxy maize treatment would result in a blunted and more sustained glucose and insulin response, as well as energy expenditure and appetitive responses. Twelve subjects (6 men and 6 women) (age, 23 +/- 1 years; body mass index, 22.2 +/- 0.7 kg/m(2); insulin sensitivity [homeostatic model assessment], 16% +/- 2%; physical activity, 556 +/- 120 min/wk) consumed, on separate days, 50 g of available carbohydrate as WM, a maltodextrin-sucrose mixture (MS), or white bread (control). Postprandial plasma glucose and insulin, energy expenditure, and appetite (hunger, fullness, desire to eat) were measured over 4 hours. Compared to control, the 4-hour glucose response was not different for MS and WM, and the 4-hour insulin response was higher for MS (P < .005) and lower for WM (P < .05). Compared to MS, WM led to lower 4-hour glucose and insulin responses (P < .001). These differences were driven by blunted glucose and insulin responses during the first hour for WM. Postprandial energy expenditure and appetite were not different among treatments. These results support that WM provides sustained glucose availability in young, insulin-sensitive adults.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Appetite / physiology*
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / metabolism*
  • Digestion / physiology
  • Eating / physiology*
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology*
  • Fasting / metabolism
  • Female
  • Glycemic Index / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Insulin / analysis
  • Insulin / blood*
  • Male
  • Polysaccharides / metabolism
  • Postprandial Period
  • Satiety Response
  • Starch / administration & dosage
  • Starch / metabolism*
  • Sucrose / metabolism
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Triticum / chemistry
  • Young Adult
  • Zea mays / chemistry


  • Blood Glucose
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Insulin
  • Polysaccharides
  • Sucrose
  • maltodextrin
  • Starch