RS appears to play two roles with respect to weight management. Firstly there is a reduction in the digestible energy available from the RS compared with a readily digestible starch. The presence of RS in foods reduces their caloric density. Recently, research has demonstrated a second role for RS in energy metabolism and metabolic control. The lower glucose and insulin impact of RS causes changes in lipid metabolism that favor lower levels of lipid production and storage. In addition, RS is fermented within the large bowel by the indigenous colonic bacteria producing an important range of compounds called short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). The amount and type of SCFA produced are proposed to affect carbohydrate and lipid metabolism in the body, particularly in the liver, muscle and adipose tissue. The known effects of RS in relation to weight management are listed in Table 8.1. Each of these aspects will be discussed later in this chapter.
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