British Journal of Nutrition

Effect of carbohydrate intake on lipid metabolism

Influence of dietary retrograded starch on the metabolism of neutral steroids and bile acids in rats

Miriam J. F. Verbeeka1a2, Emile A. M. De Deckerea1*, Lilian B. M. Tijburga1, Johan M. M. Van Amelsvoorta1 and Anton C. Beynena2a3

a1 Unilever Research Laboratorium, PO Box 114, 3130 AC Vlaardingen, The Netherlands

a2 Department of Human Nutrition, Wageningen Agricultural University, PO Box 8129, 6700 EV Wageningen, The Netherlands

a3 Depatment of Laboratory Animal Science, Utrecht University, PO Box 80.166, 3508 TD Utrecht, The Netherlands


Diets enriched in retrograded amylose (RS3) have been shown to lower serum cholesterol concentrations in rats. The possibility was tested that this hypocholesterolaemic effect of RS3 is caused by an increase in excretion of neutral steroids and/or bile acids. Six groups of ten rats were fed on purified diets containing either 12 or 140 g RS3/kg solid ingredients with and without added cholesterol (5 g/kg). Low-RS3 diets, with and without added cholesterol, to which the bile-acid-binding resin cholestvramine (20 g/kg) was added, were used as reference. The high-RS3 diets v. the low-RS3 diets tended to reduce the increase in the total serum cholesterol concentration during the course of the experiment (P = 0 067), decreased serum triacylglycerol concentrations, raised total neutral steroids and total bile acids in caecal contents and faecal excretion of total bile acids, but lowered faecal excretion of neutral steroids. In addition, the serum concentration of total 3α-bile acids was markedly raised by the high-RS3 diets. The high-RS3 diets raised the faecal excretion of lithocholic and muricholic acids, but lowered that of hyodeoxycholic acid, and increased the caecal amounts of lithocholic, ursodeoxycholic, β-muricholic and ω-muricholic acids. Apart from the stimulation of faecal bile acids excretion, the effects of cholestvramine on bile acid metabolism differed at various points from those of RS3. Cholesterol feeding had predictable effects on cholesterol metabolism and led to greater elevating effects of RS3 on the faecal and caecal amounts of muricholic acids. The results suggest that the serum-cholesterol-lowering effect of high-RS3 diets may be explained by an increased influx of neutral steroids and bile acids into the caecum, and increased faecal excretion of bile acids, and/or by an altered intestinal bile acid profile.

(Received March 17 1994)

(Revised February 16 1995)

(Accepted April 12 1995)


* For reprints.