RS and Inflammation


Acute inflammation is a healthy response to injury.  Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, has been linked to numerous diseases, including cancer, heart disease, autoimmune disorders, bone & joint diseases and more.

A meta-analysis published in 2020 evaluated 13 clinical studies of the effect of resistant starch  consumption on serum levels of inflammatory biomarkers.They found that these ingredients caused a significant reduction in interleukin 6 and tumor necrosis factor alpha levels.  No significant changes were found in C-reactive protein concentrations. The authors concluded that resistant starch can improve inflammatory biomarkers in humans. This was further confirmed in a 2020 Brazilian clinical trial which recently found that resistant starch reduced inflammatory markers (Regulated upon Activation, Normal T-Cell expressed and Secreted, platelet-derived growth factor and interferon-inducible protein -10, IL-10) in adults with chronic kidney disease. (Paiva IUN 2020)

Two additional clinical trials have been published which found reduced inflammation following high levels of resistant starch consumption.

  • Dr. Stephen O’Keefe’s study included an entire diet swap, so the results cannot be isolated to one dietary component. While resistant starch was a major focus of the study, dietary fat and protein was also reduced in the two week diet swap. O’Keefe NC 2015 found reduced mucosal inflammation in the cells of the colon wall after African-Americans living in Pittsburgh ate a South African diet very high in resistant starch (38 grams/day). Reciprocally, South Africans eating the American diet had increased colonic inflammation after two weeks.
  • Dr. Denise Robertson’s study fed British adults with well-controlled type 2 diabetes high quantities of unmodified RS2 resistant corn starch (40 grams/day) and found a reduction in obesity-associated inflammation independent from any changes in body fat volume. Bodinham EC 2014.

Animal studies are also confirming resistant starch’s potential in reducing or preventing inflammation through restoration of the gut barrier and other effects of resistant starch’s fermentation. For example, Zhang et al. 2020 found improved systemic inflammation and intestinal permeability in aged mice on a high-fat diet following RS2 resistant corn starch consumption, and Almeida-Junior et al. 2017 found modulation of oxidative stress in the TNBS model of intestinal inflammation following RS2 green banana resistant starch consumption.