Resistant starch can help improve insulin sensitivity

Ingredion Incorporated, a leading global provider of ingredient solutions, today announced the results of a new independent clinical trial published in the September 2012 issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. The principal investigator was M. Denise Robertson, Ph.D. from University of Surrey (Guildford, United Kingdom) and the funding was provided by Diabetes UK.  The study showed that the consumption of HI-MAIZE resistant starch improves certain aspects of fatty acid metabolism within adipose (fat) tissue in study participants.  These findings are significant because research has shown that impairment in fatty acid metabolism within fat cells cause excess fat storage in muscles, liver and the pancreas, which directly causes insulin resistance, a major biomarker for prediabetes.  The findings also help explain how fat metabolism contributes to the development of prediabetes.  Prediabetes is defined by the American Diabetes Association as blood glucose levels that are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.  The US Centers for Disease Control has estimated that nearly 80 million American adults have prediabetes.

This study showed a clear stimulatory effect on the expression of adipose tissue genes for three important enzymes [hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL), lipoprotein lipase (LPL) and adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL)] after HI-MAIZE resistant starch consumption.  HSL levels in study participants increased by 85%, LPL levels by 171% and ATGL levels by 71% versus the control.  This study is also the fifth clinical study demonstrating improved insulin sensitivity (decreased insulin resistance) with HI-MAIZE resistant starch.  Importantly, these effects are independent of changes in caloric intake, body weight and exercise. 

This randomized, single-blind, controlled crossover dietary intervention study of fifteen adults investigated the effects of dietary HI-MAIZE resistant starch in insulin resistant (but non-diabetic), moderately obese (as determined by a mean body mass index of 34) men and women, with mean age of 49 years.  All study participants were considered sedentary and during the study, they maintained their normal daily activity levels.

The study participants, who consumed 40 grams of dietary fiber/day from HI-MAIZE resistant starch as a supplement to their diet for 8 weeks, experienced a 16% reduction in fasting insulin levels and 4% lower fasting glucose compared to the control that contained no resistant starch. In addition, study participants experienced a 65% increase in glucose uptake into muscles after eating and insulin sensitivity in the muscles rose 21% as measured by the euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamp method.

According to Dr. Christine Pelkman, Clinical Research Manager for Ingredion, "In many ways, metabolism can work against us in a vicious cycle.  Improper storage of fat causes insulin resistance, which leads to more storage of fat, and more storage of fat further escalates insulin resistance.  The primary recommendation to improve insulin sensitivity (and decrease insulin resistance) is to lose weight.  However, according to a recent article in Health Affairs, a journal focusing on health care and public policy, even when people are diagnosed with prediabetes, the percentage who commit to permanent lifestyle change, weight loss and maintenance of weight loss remains relatively low.  The exciting news from this study is that HI-MAIZE resistant starch can give people an additional tool with which they can improve their insulin sensitivity and break the cycle." 

SOURCE Ingredion Incorporated

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