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Resistant Starch Could Improve Insulin Sensitivity for Men

Reduced insulin sensitivity results in your body becomes less efficient at utilizing insulin to remove sugar from the blood, requiring increasing amounts of insulin to keep blood sugar levels stable. A recent study from researchers at National Starch suggests that a small daily amount of resistant starch could improve insulin sensitivity in men.

Resistant starch is a type of starch that does not digest but instead ferments in the large intestine where it acts like a dietary fiber.

The study, which will be published in the April 2012 issue of the Journal of Nutrition, included 33 overweight men and women with an average age of 49.5 and an average BMI of 30.6 kg/m2. The participants received three different interventions over the course of the study:

1. 15 grams daily of Hi-maize 260 resistant starch

2. 30 grams daily of Hi-maize 260 resistant starch

3. Placebo

After 4 weeks, the participants completed a 3 week washout period and then randomly crossed to the other groups. This was repeated until all of the individuals completed each intervention.

The male participants showed a 56% improvement in insulin sensitivity in the 15 gram group and a 73% improvement in the 30 gram group, but the women showed no noticeable change.

The researchers believe that the difference noted between the two genders is possibly related to difference in how long food takes to travel through the gastrointestinal system, different reactions to the gut fermentation process, or something related to the menstrual cycle.

Studies have shown that resistant starch can aid in weight management, help maintain a healthy digestive system and contribute to eye health. It can be found in cold cooked potatoes, pasta salad, rice, seeds, lentils, garlic and unprocessed whole grains.

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