Effects of Resistant Starch, A Non-digestible Fermentable Fiber, on Reducing Body Fat


209 Knapp Hall, Louisiana State University AgCenter, Baton Rouge, LA 70803. E-mail: mkeenan@agctr.lsu.edu


Objective: To assess the effects of energy dilution with non-fermentable and fermentable fibers on abdominal fat and gut peptide YY (PYY) and glucagon-like peptide (GLP)-1 expressions, three rat studies were conducted to: determine the effects of energy dilution with a non-fermentable fiber, compare similar fiber levels of fermentable and non-fermentable fibers, and compare similar metabolizable energy dilutions with fermentable and non-fermentable fibers.

Research Methods and Procedures: In Study 1, rats were fed one of three diets with different metabolizable energy densities. In Study 2, rats were fed diets with similar fiber levels using high amylose-resistant cornstarch (RS) or methylcellulose. In Study 3, rats were fed diets with a similar dilution of metabolizable energy using cellulose or RS. Measurements included food intake, body weight, abdominal fat, plasma PYY and GLP-1, gastrointestinal tract weights, and gene transcription of PYY and proglucagon.

Results: Energy dilution resulted in decreased abdominal fat in all studies. In Study 2, rats fed fermentable RS had increased cecal weights and plasma PYY and GLP-1, and increased gene transcription of PYY and proglucagon. In Study 3, RS-fed rats had increased short-chain fatty acids in cecal contents, plasma PYY (GLP-1 not measured), and gene transcription for PYY and proglucagon.

Discussion: Inclusion of RS in the diet may affect energy balance through its effect as a fiber or a stimulator of PYY and GLP-1 expression. Increasing gut hormone signaling with a bioactive functional food such as RS may be an effective natural approach to the treatment of obesity.