Aug 22, 2019
Study: Starch from potatoes healthier than others

Potatoes have received a bad rap in recent decades for being full of starch and carbs. Nutrition knowledge has come a long way during that time and has shown that potatoes are good sources of numerous vitamins and nutrients, such as Vitamin C and potassium, as well as that not all carbs are equal (i.e. simple versus complex).

Not all starches are created equal either, and a study by the University of Michigan concluded that starch in potatoes is healthier than others. Results from the study were published by the American Society For Microbiology under the title, “Dynamics of Human Gut Microbiota and Short-Chain Fatty Acids in Response to Dietary Interventions with Three Fermentable Fibers.”

Researchers studied the effects of three kinds of starches — resistant starch from potatoes (RPS), resistant starch from maize (RMS) and inulin from chicory root — on 174 “healthy young adults” for two weeks. Results showed that potato starch led to higher levels of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) than the other two. SCFAs, especially butyrate, are key in maintaining optimal health, but they’re often limited due to a lack of fermentable fiber in the diet.

“Short-chain fatty acids are major end products of bacterial fermentation in the human colon and are known to have wide-ranging impacts on host physiology. Butyrate in particular is important for maintaining health via regulation of the immune system, maintenance of the epithelial barrier, and promotion of satiety following meals,” the report stated. “It may be protective against several diseases, including colorectal cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, graft-versus-host disease, diabetes and obesity. Therefore, stimulating butyrate production by the colonic microbiome could be useful for sustaining health and treating diseases.”

Study details and results, which can be found here, were published in January 2019.

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