Resistant starch treats diabetes
Resistant Starch Treats Root Cause of Type 2 Diabetes
Resistant starch is a kind of fiber, found in common foods, that is evidently a potent weapon versus diabetes and other chronic diseases. It has been named after its ability to resist digestion, acting more like a dietary fiber.
Normal starch gets rapidly turned into blood sugar which, of course, is very bad for diabetics. But this is not the case with resistant starch.
I got the idea of looking into resistant starch from Yuri Elkaim who has made a video about reversing diabetes with resistant starch.
A recent scientific review nicely summarized the benefits of resistant starch in diabetes.1 Resistant starch…
- Increases insulin secretion from the pancreas
- Enhances insulin sensitivity
- Improves blood sugar control
- Reduces blood fats (cholesterol, triglycerides)
- Increases satiety (suppresses hunger)
Studies on resistant starch, diabetes and blood sugar
Multiple human studies found that resistant starch increases insulin sensitivity,2-8 which is exactly what you want in order to improve blood sugar.
This has been observed, for instance, in overweight individuals, type 2 diabetics, patients with metabolic syndrome, and men with abdominal obesity. 2-5, 8, 9
Giving resistant corn starch to overweight individuals for 3 weeks significantly reduced their blood sugar and cholesterol, effects not seen with regular (non-resistant) corn starch.2
Adding resistant starch to bread or muffins or nutritional bars (or other carbohydrate-rich foods) significantly reduces glycemic index and insulin demand.10-13
In a study conducted in Beijing, China, type 2 diabetics either consumed, or did not consume, resistant starch for 4 weeks. Resistant starch increased insulin sensitivity and carbohydrate tolerance, while lowering fasting blood sugar, cholesterol, triglycerides (blood fats), fructosamine (similar to HbA1c) and body weight.3
Other studies confirmed that resistant starch improves blood sugar control in type 2 diabetes.14
Increased insulin sensitivity was also observed after 12 weeks of resistant starch consumption among insulin resistant patients with the metabolic syndrome.4
In an interesting study from Korea, published 2012, prediabetics or newly diagnosed type 2 diabetics consumed rice rich in resistant starch or normal rice for 4 weeks. Again, the resistant starch rice reduced fasting blood sugar and post-meal blood sugar, and lowered insulin resistance.9 The experimental rice contained only 6.5 grams of resistant starch per day, a very realistic amount.
A noteworthy study on 12 overweight individuals at risk of type 2 diabetes found that 4 weeks of resistant starch consumption significantly increased ’first-phase insulin response’. In other words, the pancreas released more insulin. Also, it happened without any weight loss. This is not easy to accomplish, but resistant starch did it.15 increased insulin response would, naturally, reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and improve blood sugar control.
Eating resistant starch at a prior meal can even enhance insulin sensitivity and decrease glycemic index of the current meal, even when the current meal itself contains no resistant starch.6
As you can see, resistant starch targets many of the underlying causes of diabetes and, thus, has all the properties of a true diabetes remedy.
How resistant starch works
Resistant starch resists digestion in the stomach, and makes it intact to the large intestine. Therefore, it doesn’t spike blood sugar like other carbohydrates. In fact, it reduces the glycemic index of other carbohydrates eaten at the same time.
Once in the large intestine, the resistant starch becomes food for healthy bacteria, promoting their growth and reducing the number of harmful bacteria. The resistant starch is also fermented by those bacteria, which turns the starch into short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). Those fats, in turn, are absorbed through the colon wall into the blood stream, where they exert various positive health effects. Yes, you read that right: some of the resistant starch is actually turned into fat, and those fats are particularly health-promoting.
Resistant starch in foods
As mentioned, resistant starch can be found in various high-carbohydrate foods, such as potatoes, bananas, rice, and others.
For example, green bananas contain substantial amounts of resistant starch, but heating destroys it. So eat them raw, or implement them in various dishes.
On the subject of bananas, obese type 2 diabetics who consumed native banana starch for 4 weeks – a powder produced from unripe bananas – lost more weight and reduced insulin resistance, confirming the benefits of resistant starch.16
Potatoes can also be a great source of resistant starch, if you prepare them the right way.
For a more detailed self-study course on improving diabetes with resistant starch, check out Yuri Elkaim’s Defeating Diabetes Kit. In his manual, you’ll learn exactly which foods to eat, the quantities, how to prepare them, and so on, to maximize your resistant starch intake. With his information in your hands, you don’t need to take supplements because you can get all your resistant starch from commonly available foods.
- Zhang L, Li HT, Shen L, Fang QC, Qian LL, Jia WP. Effect of Dietary Resistant Starch on Prevention and Treatment of Obesity-related Diseases and Its Possible Mechanisms. Biomed Environ Sci. Apr;28(4):291-297.
- Park OJ, Kang NE, Chang MJ, Kim WK. Resistant starch supplementation influences blood lipid concentrations and glucose control in overweight subjects. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). Apr 2004;50(2):93-99.
- Zhang WQ, Wang HW, Zhang YM, Yang YX. [Effects of resistant starch on insulin resistance of type 2 diabetes mellitus patients]. Zhonghua Yu Fang Yi Xue Za Zhi. Mar 2007;41(2):101-104.
- Johnston KL, Thomas EL, Bell JD, Frost GS, Robertson MD. Resistant starch improves insulin sensitivity in metabolic syndrome. Diabet Med. Apr;27(4):391-397.
- Maki KC, Pelkman CL, Finocchiaro ET, et al. Resistant starch from high-amylose maize increases insulin sensitivity in overweight and obese men. J Nutr. Apr;142(4):717-723.
- Robertson MD, Currie JM, Morgan LM, Jewell DP, Frayn KN. Prior short-term consumption of resistant starch enhances postprandial insulin sensitivity in healthy subjects. Diabetologia. May 2003;46(5):659-665.
- Robertson MD, Bickerton AS, Dennis AL, Vidal H, Frayn KN. Insulin-sensitizing effects of dietary resistant starch and effects on skeletal muscle and adipose tissue metabolism. Am J Clin Nutr. Sep 2005;82(3):559-567.
- Robertson MD, Wright JW, Loizon E, et al. Insulin-sensitizing effects on muscle and adipose tissue after dietary fiber intake in men and women with metabolic syndrome. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. Sep;97(9):3326-3332.
- Kwak JH, Paik JK, Kim HI, et al. Dietary treatment with rice containing resistant starch improves markers of endothelial function with reduction of postprandial blood glucose and oxidative stress in patients with prediabetes or newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes. Atherosclerosis. Oct;224(2):457-464.
- Yamada Y, Hosoya S, Nishimura S, et al. Effect of bread containing resistant starch on postprandial blood glucose levels in humans. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. Mar 2005;69(3):559-566.
- Behall KM, Scholfield DJ, Hallfrisch JG, Liljeberg-Elmstahl HG. Consumption of both resistant starch and beta-glucan improves postprandial plasma glucose and insulin in women. Diabetes Care. May 2006;29(5):976-981.
- Al-Tamimi EK, Seib PA, Snyder BS, Haub MD. Consumption of Cross-Linked Resistant Starch (RS4(XL)) on Glucose and Insulin Responses in Humans. J Nutr Metab.2010.
- Hallstrom E, Sestili F, Lafiandra D, Bjorck I, Ostman E. A novel wheat variety with elevated content of amylose increases resistant starch formation and may beneficially influence glycaemia in healthy subjects. Food Nutr Res.55.
- Bodinham CL, Smith L, Thomas EL, et al. Efficacy of increased resistant starch consumption in human type 2 diabetes. Endocr Connect.3(2):75-84.
- Bodinham CL, Smith L, Wright J, Frost GS, Robertson MD. Dietary fibre improves first-phase insulin secretion in overweight individuals. PLoS One.7(7):e40834.
- Ble-Castillo JL, Aparicio-Trapala MA, Francisco-Luria MU, et al. Effects of native banana starch supplementation on body weight and insulin sensitivity in obese type 2 diabetics. Int J Environ Res Public Health. May;7(5):1953-1962.