Resistant Starch…2018

Howdy, ya’all – Hope everyone’s year is off to a good start. I was just poking around PubMed and found a couple of cool new resistant starch papers that I thought I’d share.

Fiber and Telomeres

Telomeres are “caps” found on the end of chromosomes. The length of telomeres is associated with your biological age (as opposed to how many birthdays you’ve had).  A person with longer telomeres presumably is healthier than a person with shorter telomeres. Testing telomere length has become all the rage in certain circles of “bio-hackers” and all sorts of supplements are being sold to lengthen telomeres and improve health…one thing I’ve never seen recommended is fiber. Most of the bio-hacking crowd is of a low-carb mindset, so using starch to lengthen telomeres will probably not be well-recieved.

Hayflick_Limit.jpg

The average cell will divide between 50-70 times before cell death. As the cell divides the telomeres on the end of the chromosome get smaller. The Hayflick Limit is the theory that due to the telomeres shortening through each division, the telomeres will eventually no longer be present on the chromosome. This end stage is known as senescence and proves the concept that links the deterioration of telomeres and aging (wikipedia).

Yet, here we have a 2018 study in which over 5000 adults were tested for telomere length. Things that shorted telomeres were smoking, drinking heavily, lack of exercise, age, etc… but the one thing that increased telomeres reliably was a high fiber intake.  Specifically, resistant starch was singled out as being able to even reverse some telomere shortening caused by overconsumption of red meat.

Hardly any of the 5000+ people tested ate even the recommended dose of fiber (approx 25g/day), but those that did, had the longest telomeres, all things considered.

Numerous investigations indicate that dietary fiber reduces risk of disease and premature death. Some of the health benefits associated with dietary fiber could be a result of the preservation of telomeres, or, in other words, reduced cell aging. To date, the relationship between fiber consumption and telomere length has received minimal attention, and the association has never been evaluated in a large sample representing men and women of the United States. Hence, the purpose of the present study was to determine the extent to which fiber intake accounts for differences in telomere length in 5674 randomly selected adults from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Study (NHANES). A secondary objective was to ascertain the effects of several potential confounding factors, including age, gender, race, housing status, misreported energy intake, smoking, physical activity, alcohol use, and body mass index, on the fiber and telomere relationship.

The study concludes:

Total fiber intake (grams per 1000 kcal) was linearly related to leukocyte telomere length in a large sample of women and men representing U.S. adults….A difference of 4.8 to 6.0 years in cell aging was found between those in the lowest compared with the highest quartiles of fiber intake. Overall, the present study highlights the risk of accelerated aging among U.S. women and men who do not consume adequate amounts of dietary fiber.

Take home – If you start hearing about telomeres and are convinced you need a supplement…look no further than a green banana, piece of raw potato, or spoonful of potato starch.

Read the full-text:   Dietary Fiber and Telomere Length in 5674 U.S. Adults: An NHANES Study of Biological Aging

RS2 and Inflammation

Here’s another human-based study designed to check out some findings in an earlier rat study. Remember back a few years when most of the RS studies were animal-based, and the nay-sayers kept pointing out that science means nothing unless it’s studied on humans.  Well, here we go. A study in which people with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and undergoing dialysis were given 20-25g/day (a couple spoonfuls) of Hi-Maize cornstarch (HAMS-RS2).

In conclusion, this study demonstrated that dietary supplementation with high amylose resistant starch can ameliorate inflammation and oxidative stress, lower plasma concentration of nitrogenous waste products, and improve constipation in ESRD (End-stage Renal Disease) patients maintained on hemodialysis.

Big Pharma has spent countless billions looking for drugs to lower inflammation and oxidative stress, etc… Here we have a couple spoonfuls of dirt-cheap cornstarch doing the same, plus relieving constipation.  How ’bout dat?

 

Buy Hi-Maize Resistant Starch.

Take home – Hardly anyone eats enough fiber. Try your hardest to eat lots of good, whole foods, and supplement with something like Hi-Maize, potato starch, or green bananas.

Read the full-text here:  Effect of high amylose resistant starch (HAM-RS2) supplementation on biomarkers of inflammation and oxidative stress in hemodialysis patients: a randomized clinical trial

Starch Structure (Aye caramba!)

Here’s a good paper out of Mexico for you starch geeks out there.  Has some good descriptions of starch digestibility, resistant starch, and the health benefits of RS.

starchpppstarchpic

Read the full text here: Starch digestibility: past, present, and future.

And lots of other papers, too!  In fact, 62 papers so far in 2018 with “resistant starch” in the key words.

Enjoy…

Tim

 

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