Scope: Slowly digestible starch (SDS), as a functional carbohydrate providing a slow and sustained glucose release, may be able to modulate food intake through activation of the gut-brain axis.
Methods and results: Diet-induced obese rats were used to test the effect on feeding behavior of high-fat (HF) diets containing an SDS, fabricated to digest into the ileum, as compared to rapidly digestible starch (RDS). Ingestion of the HF-SDS diet over an 11-week period reduced daily food intake, through smaller meal size, to the same level as a lean body control group, while the group consuming the HF-RDS diet remained at a high food intake. Expression levels (mRNA) of the hypothalamic orexigenic neuropeptide Y (NPY) and Agouti-related peptide (AgRP) were significantly reduced, and the anorexigenic corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) was increased, in the HF-SDS fed group compared to the HF-RDS group, and to the level of the lean control group.
Conclusion: SDS with digestion into the ileum reduced daily food intake and paralleled suppressed expression of appetite-stimulating neuropeptide genes associated with the gut-brain axis. This novel finding suggests further exploration involving a clinical study and potential development of SDS-based functional foods as an approach to obesity control.
Keywords: food intake; gut-brain axis; meal size; obesity; slowly digestible starch.
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