Researchers have been investigating the health benefits of resistant starch for at least twenty years. While many foods contain resistant starch, the quantity changes as the bananas ripen, the potatoes are cooked or the whole grains are milled. For this reason, these foods are not generally used in research. Researchers need readily available and stable ingredients for their clinical trials to be meaningful.
Resistant starch from high amylose corn has been commercially available in the food industry since the 1990s and maintains its resistant starch through food preparation and storage. It has been extensively used by researchers around the world and provides a strong basis for resistant starch's health benefits.
Different structures and resistant starch may have slight differences in their health effects. Because there are too many unknowns about metabolism and fermentation, it is much too early to tell if slight differences in structures of unmodified resistant starch have slightly different effects. Thus, for simplicity purposes, we’re going to treat them as roughly equivalent.
In contrast, chemically modified resistant starches are very different and may have different fermentation effects. They have significantly different changes in the intestinal bacteria/microbiota, raising questions about their health effects. They are assumed to be different than unmodified resistant starch, with benefits yet to be confirmed.
We have categorized the clinical studies into three areas: digestive benefits, blood sugar and glycemic benefits, and weight control benefits. In addition, a complete list of RS clinicals (with links) is provided as a reference.