Resistant Starch from Potatoes Offers Benefits to Gut Microbiome?


A new study suggests MSPrebiotic, a resistant starch, supports and increases endogenous Bifidobacteria levels in the gut in both elderly and middle-age people.

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Researchers in Canada have published new study results that suggest MSPrebiotic, a resistant starch from MSPrebiotics (Carberry, Manitoba, Canada) that’s derived from potatoes, may be effective at modulating the gut microbiome for the better in mid-age and elderly adults. Researchers found that the prebiotic, which consists of 20% amylose and 80% amylopectin, increased abundance of endogenous Bifidobacteria without additional probiotic supplementation.

The prospective, placebo-controlled, double-blind study included 42 mid-age participants (aged 30–50) and 42 elderly participants (aged 70 and older). The study lasted a total of 14 weeks, with all participants consuming the placebo daily for the first two weeks after enrollment. For the subsequent 12 weeks, participants were randomized to consume either 30 g/day of the prebiotic or the placebo, with stool samples collected at 6, 10, and 14 weeks after randomization. Researchers analyzed subject microbiome through 16S rRNA sequencing of DNA extracted from the stool, and also performed a short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) analysis with gas chromatography.

At enrollment, researchers observed a significantly higher abundance of pathogenic bacteria in the elderly group compared to the mid-age group, including Escherichia coli and Shigella. However, the same significant difference between the two groups was not observed after 12 weeks of MSPrebiotic consumption. Researchers also observed a significant increase in Bifidobacterium in both groups taking the prebiotic compared to placebo after 12 weeks of supplementation, and a small but significant increase in stool SCFA butyrate levels in the elderly group taking MSPrebiotic versus placebo.

“The study data demonstrated that MSPrebiotic meets the criteria of a prebiotic and can stimulate and increase abundance of endogenous Bifidobacteria in both [elderly subjects] and [mid-age subjects] without additional probiotic supplementation,” researchers concluded. They added that “these findings support the value of this [resistant starch] as a nutritional supplement that could benefit the gut health of both elderly and mid-age adults.”



  1. Alfa MJ et al., “A randomized trial to determine the impact of a digestion resistant starch composition on the gut microbiome in older and mid-age adults,” Clinical Nutrition. Published online March 31, 2017.
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