British Journal of Nutrition

Research Article

Potato and high-amylose maize starches are not equivalent producers of butyrate for the colonic mucosa

Lucile J. M. Martina1a2a3, Henri J. W. Dumona1a3, Gérard Lecannua2a3 and Martine M. J. Champa2a3 c1

a1 Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire, Laboratoire de Nutrition et Alimentation, CP 3013, 44087 Nantes Cedex 03, France

a2 Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Laboratoire Fonctions Digestives et Nutrition Humaine BP 71627, 44316 Nantes Cedex 03, France

a3 CRNH groupe métabolisme, Hôtel Dieu, Place A. Ricordeau, 44093 Nantes Cedex 01, France


Portal appearance of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) produced from fermentation of three different resistant starch (RS) sources (raw potato starch, high-amylose maize starch and retrograded high-amylose maize starch) was investigated in pigs. The catheterization technique coupled with determination of portal blood flow was used to estimate SCFA uptake by the colonic mucosa. Our hypothesis was that these three RS were not equivalent butyrate providers for the colonic mucosa and that butyrate uptake would therefore be different after in vivo fermentation of each starch. The starches induced different patterns of appearance of SCFA in the portal blood; raw potato starch was the only RS source to show a significant appearance of butyrate in the portal blood. Thus, uptake of butyrate by the colonic mucosa apparently differed between starches. This finding suggests that butyrate uptake does not only depend on the flow of butyrate appearing in the lumen. Indeed, for unexplained reasons, utilization of butyrate by the colonic mucosa appeared to be less efficient when the butyrate was produced from fermentation of potato starch than when it was produced from fermentation of the other RS sources.

(Received March 18 1999)

(Revised February 22 2000)

(Accepted April 18 2000)


c1 * Correspondong author:Dr Martine Champ, fax +33 2 4067 5012, email