Starches of varied digestibilities differentially modify intestinal function in rats

A. Lajvardi, G. I. Mazarin, M. B. Gillespie, S. Satchithanandam, R. J. Calvert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Starches of different digestibilities may enter the colon to different extents and alter colonic function. Male Fischer 344 rats were fed diets containing 25% cooked potato starch, arrowroot starch, high amylose cornstarch or raw potato starch for 6 wk. Fecal weight, transit time, colonic thymidine kinase activity (a marker for cell proliferation), and weight, starch content and pH of the cecum and proximal and distal colon were measured. Raw potato starch was much less completely digested than high amylose cornstarch, resulting in a 32-fold greater amount of undigested starch entering the cecum in the raw potato starch group. Both the high amylose cornstarch and raw potato starch diets significantly enhanced fecal weight and produced large intestinal hypertrophy, effects that were greatest in the raw potato starch group. Raw potato starch feeding was associated with the highest level of thymidine kinase activity, although the differences in thymidine kinase activity among the four groups were not significant. This diet also produced a 50% longer transit time. Entry of a large amount of raw potato starch into the colon resulted in greater luminal acidity, greater luminal bulk and slower transit. A much smaller amount of starch entered the colon in the high amylose cornstarch group and resulted in fecal bulking but no alteration in transit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2059-2066
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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