Starch malabsorption and breath gas excretion in healthy humans consuming low- and high-starch diets

Gastroenterology. 1988 Aug;95(2):356-63. doi: 10.1016/0016-5085(88)90491-x.

Abstract

Dietary starch delivery to the colon and excretion in stools and the ability of unabsorbed carbohydrates to promote hydrogen and methane release in breath were evaluated in 6 volunteers during two 8-day periods on starch diets of 100 and 300 g, respectively. Significantly less starch was recovered from the terminal ileum by aspiration per 24 h during the low-starch period (4.1 +/- 0.3 vs. 9.5 +/- 1.1 g, mean +/- SEM, p less than 0.01). Unabsorbed glucose tended to rise during the high-starch period (2.7 +/- 0.8 vs. 1.1 +/- 0.3 g). Fecal outputs of starch, glucose, volatile fatty acids, and lactic acid were not significantly different during the two periods. Daily breath hydrogen excretion was unchanged (181.2 +/- 22.7 vs. 193.7 +/- 19.8 ml for the low- and high-starch periods, respectively), whereas breath methane excretion increased markedly in the three methane producers during the high-starch period (217.2 +/- 80.9 vs. 32.4 +/- 7.3 ml). Starch malabsorption in the healthy small intestine was moderate even with a high-starch diet and less than that previously estimated by indirect methods. Unabsorbed starch catabolism by the colonic flora does not seem to explain most of the breath hydrogen excretion.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breath Tests*
  • Colon / metabolism
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / metabolism*
  • Feces / analysis
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen / analysis*
  • Ileum / metabolism*
  • Intestinal Absorption*
  • Malabsorption Syndromes / diagnosis*
  • Male
  • Methane / analysis*
  • Starch / metabolism*

Substances

  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Hydrogen
  • Starch
  • Methane