The prebiotic benefits of resistant starch on gastrointestinal health

About Resistant Starch

Resistant starch is a type of starch that is “resistant” to digestion.  Normally enzymes in your small intestine digest starches and turn them into the sugar glucose.  However, resistant starch moves through the stomach and small intestine undigested and arrives in the large intestine intact.

Once it reaches the large intestine the resistant starch, like the one in PREPD, can function as a prebiotic and provide numerous benefits for gut and immune health.  Prebiotics are what the good bacteria (probiotics) in your gut eats and promotes a healthy intestinal microbial balance. Prebiotics help increase the numbers of good bacteria, such as bifidobacteria and lactobacilli, while at the same time supressing the growth of detrimental (or bad) bacteria.  In addition, the stimulation of the bacteria in the gut by resistant starches can enhance the absorption of micro-nutrients, such as calcium, and can also improve energy recovery, utilisation and metabolism in the body.

Image below: Resistant starch molecules under the microscope

Prebiotic benefits of Resistant Starch

Resistant starches have been a normal component of people’s diet since we first began consuming cereals and grains.  However, modern diets have tended to significantly reduce the amount of resistant starch being consumed.  During the past 40 years, considerable research has been undertaken to examine how resistant starches impact our health and wellbeing.

The consumption of resistant starches have been used in many ways to assist with a diverse range of digestive conditions such as constipation, ulcerative colitis and the reduction in toxins produced from “bad” bacteria which can lead to “leaky gut syndrome”.  Once resistant starch arrives in the large intestine, the good bacteria feed on the starch producing short chain fatty acids, including butyrate, which has been shown to be beneficial to your brain, immune and gut health. This process of “fermentation” also alters conditions in the bowel, such as controlling pH, which further helps in creating a healthy environment.

How to increase resistant starch in your diet

Resistant starch can be found in small quantities in commonly consumed foods such as cooked then cooled potatoes, pasta and rice, green bananas, legumes, cashews and raw oats.  Alternatively, both PREPD Prime and PREPD Recover are a great source of resistant starch.  PREPD is a unique, two-step hydration system that uses the ability of a unique resistant starch to promote increased water and electrolyte absorption through its fermentation by the good bacteria in the gut.  However, when PREPD is consumed regularly, the resistant starch in the drink will also act as a food source for the good bacteria in the gut, providing a range of benefits linked to having a healthy gut.

You can browse the range of PREPD drinks here.

Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Professor Ian Brown FTSE, Sinead O’Connell and Professor Graeme Young (OAM) for their contributions to this article.

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