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PLoS One. 2008 Feb 13;3(2):e1587. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0001587.

A randomized controlled trial of glucose versus amylase resistant starch hypo-osmolar oral rehydration solution for adult acute dehydrating diarrhea.

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Wellcome Trust Research Laboratory, Christian Medical College, Vellore, India.



Reduction of gross diarrhea rate in excess of that seen over time with intravenous therapy and appropriate antibiotics is not usually achieved by oral glucose-electrolyte rehydration therapy for cholera and cholera-like diarrheas.


This prospective randomized clinical trial at a tertiary referral hospital in southern India was undertaken to determine whether amylase resistant starch, substituting for glucose in hypo-osmolar oral rehydration solution, would reduce diarrhea duration and weight in adults with acute severe dehydrating diarrhea. 50 adult males with severe watery diarrhea of less than three days' duration and moderate to severe dehydration were randomized to receive hypo-osmolar ORS (HO-ORS) or HO-ORS in which amylase resistant high amylose maize starch 50g/L substituted for glucose (HAMS-ORS). All remaining therapy followed standard protocol. Duration of diarrhea (ORS commencement to first formed stool) in hours was significantly shorter with HAMS-ORS (median 19, IQR 10-28) compared to HO-ORS (median 42, IQR 24-50) (Bonferroni adjusted P, P(adj)<0.001). Survival analysis (Kaplan-Meier) showed faster recovery from diarrhea in the HAMS-ORS group (P<0.001, log rank test). Total diarrhea fecal weight in grams (median, IQR) was not significantly lower in the HAMS-ORS group (2190, 1160-5635) compared to HO-ORS (5210, 2095-12190) (P(adj) = 0.08). However, stool weight at 13-24 hours (280, 0-965 vs. 1360, 405-2985) and 25-48 hours (0, 0-360 vs. 1080, 55-3485) were significantly lower in HAMS-ORS compared to HO-ORS group (P(adj) = 0.048 and P = 0.012, respectively). ORS intake after first 24 hours was lower in the HAMS-ORS group. Subgroup analysis of patients with culture isolates of Vibrio cholerae indicated similar significant differences between the treatment groups.


Compared to HO-ORS, HAMS-ORS reduced diarrhea duration by 55% and significantly reduced fecal weight after the first 12 hours of ORS therapy in adults with cholera-like diarrhea.


Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN72841333.

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