Resistant starch is a dietary fibre which is highly fermentable by bacteria in the large intestine. The capacity of dietary fibres to enhance satiety is hypothesised to be partially the result of this fermentation process. In my research I determined the effects of fermentation on metabolism and satiety, using pigs as a model for humans.
Pigs were fed a diet high in resistant starch for 2 weeks. I have found that the bacterial composition in the large intestine changed after this period compared to a control diet, with a reduction in potentially pathogenic bacteria and an increase in healthy gut-associated bacteria. In addition, gene expression changes in the large intestine showed that energy- and fatty acid metabolism were increased, whereas immune response was inhibited after consumption of resistant starch. Altogether I observed that fermentable dietary fibres improve large intestinal health and that they are useful in the prevention of obesity.