Gut health with resistant starch

What is resistant starch?

Starch is the main source of carbohydrates in the human diet which is digested and absorbed predominately by the small intestine and broken down into glucose which is used for energy. Starch is divided into 3 types depending on the rate it is digested in the human body. A portion of the starch that is rapidly digested within 20 mins of ingestion, a portion of the starch that is slowly digested between 20-120 mins and a portion of starch that is resistant to digestion after 120 mins.1

Resistant starch (RS) is the fraction of starch that is not digested in the small intestine but reaches the colon. Examples of food that are high in RS are unripe bananas, cooked & cooled potatoes, partially milled grains, cereals, beans & legumes. The extent to which starch resists digestion can influence the development or progression of certain diseases such as diabetes & colon cancer. This quality of RS has many health benefits for the human body. This is because RS undergoes fermentation by bacteria in the colon to produce substances such as, short-chain fatty acids that have important health benefits.

What is gut microbiota?

Humans & their microbiota have a mutualistic symbiotic relationship. The gut microbiota is a group of microorganisms that colonize the gastrointestinal tract, being more prevalent in the large intestine. There are 1,013 species of bacteria in the human gastrointestinal tract, about as many as human cells in the body. The gut microbiota is dominated by anaerobic bacteria that belong to the phyla, firmicutes & bacteriodetes.

Why is a healthy gut microbiome important?

A healthy gut microbiome is imperative to good health.  Diet, illness, medication & lifestyle can affect an individual’s unique composition of gut microbes & make bad bacteria outweigh good bacteria. Many studies showed that it might be possible to improve heart health by making dietary changes that affect the gut. The NIH noted that the gut microbiome plays an important role in human health & influences the development of chronic diseases ranging from metabolic diseases to gastrointestinal disorders & colorectal cancer.2

The main impact of gut microbes on host physiology is on metabolism, with the microbiota helping to absorb nutrients & ferment non-digestible carbohydrates in the large intestine, producing short-chain fatty acids that influence adiposity, immune function & colon cell health. Gut microbiota also affects gut morphology, promotes barrier integrity & helps in digestive function. Additionally, the microbiota can influence the immune system by regulating the development of lymphoid tissues, increasing the production of Ig A antibodies & influencing t-cell composition. Gut microbes can also affect the nervous system by decreasing synaptic connectivity & pain perception. It can also influence bone homeostasis by regulating bone density as well as increasing the re-absorption of calcium from the gut.

Why is resistant starch important for a healthy gut microbiome?

The gut microbiome thrives on resistant starch, a dietary fiber that cannot be digested by the body but is food for gut bacteria. When resistant starch is fermented by the good bacteria in the gut, a short-chain fatty acid called butyrate is produced. Butyrate has very important functions: it is a source of energy for colon cells, increases blood flow in the large intestine & keeps the colon cells healthy & has an anti-proliferative activity- protects colon cells against DNA damage by activating apoptosis in mutated cells & protects from colorectal cancer.3

Why is having a diet rich in all 3 fibers important?

The evidence suggests that the 3 main types of fiber, soluble, insoluble & resistant starch, offer a range of important health benefits & should be consumed daily. Soluble fibers lower fat absorption, lowers cholesterol levels & aid in weight management. Insoluble fibers improve bowel health, prevent constipation & reduce risk of colorectal conditions such as hemorrhoids & diverticulitis. Both soluble & insoluble fibers also help in regulating healthy blood sugar levels. A diet rich in RS nourishes the gut microbiome, improves gut health, bone health, immune health, brain health & protects from colorectal cancer. So, all 3 fibers are necessary for gut health, heart health, immune health, bone health, brain health, healthy gut-brain axis, protection against colorectal cancer, increased blood sugar levels, gastrointestinal disorders & metabolic diseases.

Why FenuLean®

FenuLean® is our clinically-studied Fenugreek protein & fiber, that has been shown to provide a balanced proportion of protein (>25%), soluble fibers (>20%), insoluble fibers (>30%), & resistant starch (>10%) & is truly a complete nutritional powerhouse! It is proven to manage healthy weight & maintain healthy blood sugar levels. It is an ideal ingredient to enhance daily fiber intake, improve gut health by maintaining a healthy gut microbiota & improve overall health.

References & links:

  1. https://csironewsblog.files.wordpress
  2. walnuts for heart health: effect on the gut may be key- medical news today
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