Regularly eating foods that contain resistant starch is associated with weight loss and improved blood glucose control, new evidence indicates.

The supplement – which contains a kind of carbohydrate that takes longer to be digested – is found in wholegrains, beans, raw oats and green bananas.

In addition, resistant starch is found in rice, pasta and potatoes after they have been cooked and are left to cool down.

Resistant starch is classed as a prebiotic because it cannot easily be digested and absorbed in the small intestine, and instead is digested by bacteria as it reaches the large intestine.

A team of researchers from Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine in China analysed how resistant starch impacts a human’s gut bacteria.

During the study, a total of 37 people living with overweight drank a sachet of starch mixed with water twice a day before meals for eight weeks, and then for another eight weeks they were given resistant starch.

The results show that the participants lost around 2.8 kilograms of weight after consuming resistant starch for eight weeks.

Meanwhile, the participants experienced no weight loss after they had ordinary starch for eight weeks, the study reported.

According to the findings, blood sugar levels among the participants were less likely to rise when the individuals were having resistant starch compared to when they were consuming normal starch.

After examining stool samples from the participants, the researchers found several bacterial species became more numerous in their guts when they were taking resistant starch.

The scientists then transplanted these bacteria into mice who were being fed a high-fat diet. They found that the mice were losing weight after receiving the bacteria.

Rebecca McManamon, a representative for the British Dietetic Association, said: “The trial was too small to be definitive, but the findings are plausible. It’s logical that these results would happen.

“However, some people with irritable bowel syndrome may find that eating resistant starch results in bloating and discomfort due to the bacteria creating gas as they break it down.”

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