Gastrointestinal effects of resistant starch, soluble maize fibre and pullulan in healthy adults.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


The British journal of nutrition, p.1-7 (2013)


February 2013, Public Health Sciences Division


Fibre has been shown to exert a number of benefits on gastrointestinal (GI) health, yet its intake is low. Addition of novel fibres to food products may increase fibre intake and improve gut health. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the influence of three novel fibres on GI outcomes in healthy human subjects. A total of twenty healthy participants (ten men and ten women) with normal BMI (23 (sem 2) kg/m2) participated in the present randomised, double-blind, cross-over study with five treatment periods. Participants consumed a maltodextrin control or 20-25 g/d fibre from soluble maize fibre (SCF) or resistant starch (RS), alone or in combination with pullulan (SCF+P and RS+P). The treatment periods were 7 d with a 3-week washout between the periods. Stool samples were collected on day 7 of each period, and GI tolerance was assessed via a questionnaire on days 1 and 6. There were no treatment differences in stool weight or consistency. SCF significantly reduced stool pH and increased total SCFA production compared with RS and control. RS+P significantly increased the percentage of butyrate compared with all the other treatments. Overall, GI symptoms were minimal. SCF+P led to the highest GI score on day 1, while RS+P had the highest score on day 6. Both SCF treatments caused a significant shift in the gut microbial community. These functional fibres are generally well tolerated, have minimal effects on laxation and may lead to beneficial changes in SCFA production in healthy adults.