Effects of resistant starch on glycaemic control: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Br J Nutr. 2021 Jun 14;125(11):1260-1269. doi: 10.1017/S0007114520003700. Epub 2020 Sep 22.


The effects of resistant starch on glycaemic control are controversial. In this study, a systematic review and meta-analysis of results from nineteen randomised controlled trials (RCT) was performed to illustrate the effects of resistant starch on glycaemic control. A literature search was conducted on PubMed, Scopus and Cochrane electronic databases for related publications from inception to 6 April 2020. Key inclusion criteria were: RCT; resistant starch as intervention substances and reporting glucose- and insulin-related endpoints. Exclusion criteria were: using type I resistant starch or a mixture of resistant starch and other functional food ingredients as intervention; using substances other than digestible starch as controls. The effect of resistant starch on fasting plasma glucose was significant (effect size (ES) -0·09 (95 % CI -0·13, -0·04) mmol/l, P = 0·001) compared with digestible starch. Subgroup analyses revealed that the ES was larger when the dosage of resistant starch was more than 28 g/d (ES -0·16 (95 % CI -0·24, -0·08) mmol/l, P < 0·001) or the intervention period was more than 8 weeks (ES -0·12 (95 % CI -0·18, -0·06) mmol/l, P < 0·001). The effect on homoeostatic model assessment (HOMA)-insulin resistance (IR) was significant (ES -0·33 (95 % CI -0·51, -0·14), P = 0·001). However, the effects on other insulin-related endpoints were not significant, including fasting plasma insulin, four endpoints from the frequently sampled intravenous glucose tolerance test (insulin sensitivity index, acute insulin response, disposition index and glucose effectiveness) and HOMA-β. The current study indicated moderate effects of resistant starch on improving glycaemic control.

Keywords: Fasting plasma glucose; Glycaemic control; Insulin sensitivity; Meta-analyses; Resistant starch.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Glucose / drug effects*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Fasting / blood
  • Female
  • Functional Food
  • Glycemic Control / methods*
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Resistant Starch / administration & dosage*
  • Whole Grains


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Resistant Starch