You’ve heard the buzz about Resistant Starch (RS), but what about the science? So many new supplements hit the market hard after one or two exciting findings and then fizzle when larger studies don’t show the same results.
I wanted to keep you up to date with the top updates from the world of RS.
The image shows how RS fits in the whole world of carbohydrates. Notice that it is the exact opposite of fructose, the worst carb.
It was the early 1990’s when the first studies about resistant starch (RS) started rolling out—an exciting, recently discovered food constituent shown to lower colorectal cancer risks. It does this by binding with and eliminating toxins, like ammonia and phenols, from the intestinal tract1.
By the late 1990’s, further benefits began to emerge. It appeared RS could also improve inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. The researchers found RS helped because gut bacteria converts RS into short-chain fatty acids, like butyrate, which are known to heal the colon2.
Later work showed RS may do more to heal the gut than probiotic supplements because of its twofold effects: It can act as a prebiotic and raise the number of good bacteria, and it can act as a symbiotic, helping the good bacteria adhere better to the intestinal surface3.
All these benefits were especially remarkable considering that literature reviews and safety studies showed RS was so safe, it didn’t require even the minimal level of regulation needed for supplements4.
Researchers soon noticed participants in some RS studies were experiencing healthy weight loss and improvements in blood sugar regulation. These observations inspired studies (starting in 2004) to see if RS could help the growing problems of obesity and diabetes.
Several studies showed RS was effective to help weight loss, reduce visceral fat, reduce insulin resistance and improve blood sugar regulation5.