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Scope: Dietary prebiotics show potential in anti-diabetes. Dietary resistant starch (RS) has a favorable impact on gut hormone profiles, including glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) consistently released, a potent anti-diabetic incretin. Also RS reduced body fat and improved glucose tolerance in rats and mice. In the current project, we hypothesize that dietary-resistant starch can improve insulin sensitivity and pancreatic β cell mass in a type 2 diabetic rat model. Altered gut fermentation and microbiota are the initial mechanisms, and enhancement in serum GLP-1 is the secondary mechanism. Methods and results: In this study, GK rats were fed an RS diet with 30% RS and an energy control diet. After 10wk, these rats were mated and went through pregnancy and lactation. At the end of the study, pancreatic β cell mass, insulin sensitivity, pancreatic insulin content, total GLP-1 levels, cecal short-chain fatty acid concentrations and butyrate producing bacteria in cecal contents were greatly improved by RS feeding. The offspring of RS-fed dams showed improved fasting glucose levels and normal growth curves. Conclusion: Dietary RS is potentially of great therapeutic importance in the treatment of diabetes and improvement in outcomes of pregnancy complicated by diabetes. © 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

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Molecular Nutrition and Food Research

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