Ingredion Incorporated announced the results of a new clinical trial conducted using HI-MAIZE® high amylose resistant starch, which shows that the ingredient may improve insulin sensitivity in women. The study was conducted by Barbara Gower, Ph.D., in the Department of Nutrition Sciences at The University of Alabama at Birmingham. The results are being presented at the Annual Obesity Week conference on November 4, 2014 from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm in the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, Boston, MA. 


Resistant starch is a type of dietary fiber that has beneficial metabolic effects including lowering blood glucose concentrations and improving insulin sensitivity. The study was performed to better understand its effects in women. The study was conducted in 43 healthy normal-weight and obese, pre- and post-menopausal women aged 22 - 68 years, using a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind crossover design. HI-MAIZE® 260 corn starch was formulated into snack foods and tested at two doses, 15 and 30 g resistant starch per day. An isocaloric snack formulated with a highly-digestible waxy corn starch served as a control. The participants consumed the snack foods for four-week intervals with a four-week washout period between the three test periods. Insulin sensitivity was assessed at the end of each test period using an intravenous glucose tolerance test.

The results show that HI-MAIZE®high amylose resistant starchimproved insulin sensitivity in the combined group of pre- and post-menopausal women. Baseline insulin sensitivity and waist circumference affected the response. A subset of women with unusually high insulin sensitivity was identified (n = 12). No improvement was found in this subgroup. For the remainder of the women (n = 28), a 26% improvement in insulin sensitivity was found after consuming the snacks containing 30 g resistant starch compared to the snacks containing no resistant starch ( p = 0.02). The effects were also affected by waist circumference with greater improvements noted in women with larger waists.

“This study underscores the metabolic benefits that HI-MAIZE® high amylose resistant starchh delivers to consumers concerned about maintaining healthy blood sugar levels,” said Christine Pelkman, Ph.D. senior nutrition scientist and clinical research manager with Ingredion Incorporated. “Published clinical studies have shown that resistant starch such as HI-MAIZE® reduces the glycemic response of foods and improves insulin sensitivity. This study indicates that HI-MAIZE may deliver these benefits to certain women and that the effect was more pronounced in those who would benefit the most.”