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Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) affects a significant portion of the global population. About 30% of people worldwide and 25% of American adults suffer from this condition, which occurs when fat accumulates in the liver. Currently, there are no approved medications for treating NAFLD. However, recent research from China has revealed promising results regarding a resistant starch supplement that may combat liver problems.

Consumption of resistant starch alters gut bacteria

Resistant starch, a non-digestible fiber, ferments in the large intestine and has demonstrated positive effects on metabolism in various animal studies. A recent study reveals that daily consumption of resistant starch alters gut bacteria composition, leading to reduced liver triglycerides and enzymes associated with liver injury and inflammation in individuals with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Failure to address NAFLD can ultimately result in the development of severe liver ailments and exacerbate other critical health concerns such as cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes. Healthcare professionals commonly advise modifying one’s diet and engaging in physical activity as a means to mitigate NAFLD symptoms.

Researchers at Shanghai Sixth People’s Hospital are exploring new therapeutic targets to manage NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease). They believe finding an effective approach, such as identifying new therapeutic targets, would be meaningful.

Previous studies have shown that NAFLD is associated with imbalanced gut microbiota. To investigate the potential benefits of resistant starch, a type of fiber known to promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, the research team examined its effects on NAFLD patients.

Resistant starch treatment lowered liver triglyceride levels by 40%

The study with 200 NAFLD patients assigned personalized dietary plans. Half received maize-derived resistant starch, and the rest, non-resistant corn starch. Both groups consumed 20g starch mixed with water before meals twice daily for four months.

According to the study individuals receiving resistant starch treatment had nearly 40% lower liver triglyceride levels compared to the control group. Additionally, they experienced reduced liver enzymes and inflammatory factors associated with NAFLD, with these benefits remaining significant after adjusting for weight loss. Yueqiong Ni, the co-first author, emphasizes the independent impact of resistant starch on improving liver condition.