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J Nutr. 1997 Apr;127(4):615-22.

A high amylose (amylomaize) starch raises proximal large bowel starch and increases colon length in pigs.

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  • 1CSIRO (Australia) Division of Human Nutrition, Adelaide.


Young male pigs consumed a diet of fatty minced beef, safflower oil, skim milk powder, sucrose, cornstarch and wheat bran. Starch provided 50% of total daily energy either as low amylose cornstarch, high amylose (amylomaize) cornstarch or as a 50/50 mixture of corn and high amylose starch. Neither feed intake nor body weight gain as affected by dietary starch. Final plasma cholesterol concentrations were significantly higher than initial values in pigs fed the 50/50 mixture of corn and high amylose starch. Biliary concentrations of lithocholate and deoxycholate were lower in pigs fed high amylose starch. Large bowel length correlated positively with the dietary content of high amylose starch. Concentrations of butyrate in portal venous plasma were significantly lower in pigs fed high amylose starch than in those fed cornstarch. Neither large bowel digesta mass nor the concentrations of total or individual volatile fatty acids were affected by diet. However, the pool of propionate in the proximal colon and the concentration of propionate in feces were higher in pigs fed amylose starch. Concentrations of starch were uniformly low along the large bowel and were unaffected by starch type. In pigs with cecal cannula, digesta starch concentrations were higher with high amylose starch than with cornstarch. Electron micrographic examination of high amylose starch granules from these animals showed etching patterns similar to those of granules obtained from human ileostomy effluent. It appears that high amylose starch contributes to large bowel bacterial fermentation in the pig but that its utilization may be relatively rapid.

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