Starches of low digestibility are associated with improved glucose metabolism. We hypothesise that a lowly digestible-starch diet (LDD) versus a highly digestible-starch diet (HDD) improves the capacity to oxidise starch, and that this is sex-dependent. Mice were fed a LDD or a HDD for 3 weeks directly after weaning. Body weight (BW), body composition (BC), and digestible energy intake (dEI) were determined weekly. At the end of the intervention period, whole-body energy expenditure (EE), respiratory exchange ratio (RER), hydrogen production, and the oxidation of an oral 13C-labelled starch bolus were measured by extended indirect calorimetry. Pancreatic amylase activity and total 13C hepatic enrichment were determined in females immediately before and 4 h after administration of the starch bolus. For both sexes, BW, BC, and basal EE and RER were not affected by the type of starch, but dEI and hydrogen production were increased by the LDD. Only in females, total carbohydrate oxidation and starch-derived glucose oxidation in response to the starch bolus were higher in LDD versus HDD mice; this was not accompanied by differences in amylase activity or hepatic partitioning of the 13C label. These results show that starch digestibility impacts glucose metabolism differently in females versus males.
Keywords: 13C-starch; C57BL mice; amylase; amylopectin; amylose; glucose oxidation; glycaemic index; indirect calorimetry.