Physiological effects of resistant starches on fecal bulk, short chain fatty acids, blood lipids and glycemic index

J Am Coll Nutr. 1998 Dec;17(6):609-16. doi: 10.1080/07315724.1998.10718810.


Objective: To assess the effects on fecal bulking, fecal short chain fatty acid (SCFA) production, blood lipids and glycemic indices of two different forms of resistant starch (RS2 and RS3) from a high-amylose cornstarch.

Methods: Twenty-four healthy subjects (12 men; 12 women) consumed four supplements taken for 2 weeks in random order separated by 2-week washout periods. The supplements were a low-fiber (control) and supplements providing an additional 30 g dietary fiber as wheat bran (high-fiber control) or the equivalent amount of resistant starch analyzed gravimetrically as dietary fiber from RS2 or RS3. Four-day fecal collections and 12-hour breath gas collections were obtained at the end of each period. Fasting blood was taken at the beginning and end of each period. Glycemic indices of supplements were also assessed.

Results: The wheat bran supplement increased fecal bulk 96+/-14 g/day compared with the low-fiber control (p<0.001) with the mean for both resistant starches also being greater (22+/-8 g/day) than the low-fiber control (p=0.013). On the resistant starch phases, the mean fecal butyrate:SCFA ratio, which has been suggested to have positive implications for colonic health, was significantly above the low-fiber control by 31+/-14% (p=0.035). Resistant starches did not alter serum lipids, urea or breath H2 or CH4. No significant differences in glycemic index were seen between the RS and control supplements.

Conclusion: The potential physiological benefits of the resistant starches studied appear to relate to colonic health in terms of effects on fecal bulk and SCFA metabolism.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amylose
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Breath Tests
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Deuterium / analysis
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / pharmacology*
  • Energy Intake
  • Fatty Acids / analysis
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism*
  • Feces* / chemistry
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Male
  • Methane / analysis
  • Middle Aged
  • Starch / pharmacology*
  • Urea / blood


  • Blood Glucose
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Fatty Acids
  • Lipids
  • Urea
  • Starch
  • Amylose
  • Deuterium
  • Methane