Weird Carbs: Your Body & “Resistant” Starch

Weird Carbs: Your Body & “Resistant” Starch

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Weird Carbs: Your Body & “Resistant” Starch – Thomas DeLauer

Categories of resistant starch:

RS1: starch that resists digestion because it’s trapped by intact plant cell walls (in legumes, grains, and seeds) – physically resists digestion because of a protective matrix or coating surrounding the granules

RS2: starch that’s protected from digestion because of its molecular structure, and only becomes accessible to human digestive enzymes after being cooked (this one’s found in raw potatoes, green bananas, and raw plantains) – intrinsically resistant to digestion before cooking

RS3: also called “retrograded starch,” which forms when you cool down certain starchy foods after they’ve been cooked (such as potatoes, rice, and other grains)

RS4: chemically modified starches that don’t occur in nature, but are created to resist digestion (raw potato starch)
Benefits of Resistant Starch

Reducing Insulin Resistance

A study published in The Journal of Nutrition found that obese men who were given 15 – 30 grams of resistant starch a day for 4 weeks showed increased insulin sensitivity compared to a control group who took zero resistant starch

Since resistant starch isn’t digested, your insulin doesn’t rise like other starches and cause blood sugar problems – can also increase satiety by giving off a feeling of fullness

Colon Cancer & Inflammation

Resistant starch has been shown to decrease the numbers and sizes of lesions due to colorectal cancer, and an increased number of cells that express the protein IL-10, which acts to regulate the body’s inflammatory response

Simply, resistant starch is able to increase the anti-inflammatory protein called IL-10

Additionally, butyrate is the preferred fuel of the cells that line your colon – therefore, resistant starch both feeds the friendly bacteria and indirectly feeds the cells in your colon by increasing the amount of butyrate

Downsides of Resistant Starch

Digestive Discomfort

Due to RS not being absorbed in the intestine, it may cause digestive discomfort similar to that of lactose, fructose, fiber and sugar alcohols as they are all subject to malabsorption

The malabsorption of resistant starch and can promote Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) – related digestive illness, such as IBS, GERD, Celiac disease and other functional GI conditions
SIBO can cause diarrhea, constipation, bloating, excessive gas, etc.

Despite RS having benefits, it’s important to consume resistant starch in combination with other types of fermentable carbs (shouldn’t just supplement with one type) because:

RS2 alone gets rapidly fermented in the proximal (beginning) part of the colon, but fails to reach further down into the distal (lower) colon

A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Investigation found that when wheat seed (RS1) was added to supplemental RS2 (in the form of green banana flour and high-amylose maize) the addition of the wheat seed helped spread fermentation throughout the entire colon (7)

Selectively Feeding Bacteria

A study published in the American Society for Microbiology found that a raw potato diet (RS2) caused human-derived fecal communities to show a major rise in Bacteroides and Eubacterium rectale (beneficial bacteria that thrive on RS2), due to the diet over-feeding them with their preferred food source (8)


1) 4 Reasons to Add Resistant Starch to Your Diet (No. 3: It Burns Fat). (2018, June 28). Retrieved from
2) Resistant Starch: It’s Not All Sunshine and Roses. (2018, August 10). Retrieved from
3) Resistant Starch – Friend, Foe or Lover ? – Digestive Health Institute. (2018, February 20). Retrieved from
4) Resistant Starch from High-Amylose Maize Increases Insulin Sensitivity in Overweight and Obese Men | The Journal of Nutrition | Oxford Academic. (2012, February 22). Retrieved from
5) Diet of resistant starch helps the body resist colorectal cancer. (2018, October 17). Retrieved from
7) Hylla S , et al. (n.d.). Effects of resistant starch on the colon in healthy volunteers: possible implications for cancer prevention. – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved from
8) Impacts of Plant-Based Foods in Ancestral Hominin Diets on the Metabolism and Function of Gut Microbiota In Vitro. (2014, July 1). Retrieved from l

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