“The New Fiber Story — Natural Resistant Starch,” a symposium held at the annual meeting of the American Dietetic Association (ADA), reported good news about the ability of this fiber to hold obesity at bay.

Speakers described new studies into the bodily effects of starches with highglycemic indices (GI) to those with low GI ratings, which can also be viewed as starches that are digested quickly vs. slowly. One done on an equal-calorie basis with mice by David Ludwig, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Optimal Weight for Life program at Children’s Hospital of Boston, MA, found that the low-GI diet yielded lean mice with normal amounts of fats distributed throughout the body. The high-GI diet produced mice with twice the amount of fat in bodies, blood and livers. Both sets of mice weighed the same at the end of the study, which was published in the September issue of Obesity.

Another report, by Mike Keenan, M.D., Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, found that resistant starch increases the production of the satiety hormones GLP-1 and PYY within the large intestine when used in a low-fat diet. These hormones are important because a new class of diabetes drugs increase GLP-1. Also, these two hormones have been shown to increase in individuals who have undergone bypass surgery.

National Starch Food Innovation, Bridgewater, NJ, helped sponsor the ADA symposium.