British Journal of Nutrition

Research Article

Influences of dietary adaptation and source of resistant starch on short-chain fatty acids in the hindgut of rats

Åsa M. Henningssona1 c1, E. Margaretaa1, G. L. Nymana1 and Inger M. E. Björcka1

a1 Applied Nutrition and Food Chemistry, Center for Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Lund University, P.O. Box 124, SE-221 00 Lund, Sweden


The effect of adaptation time on the concentration and pattern of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) formed in the hindgut of rats given resistant starch (RS) in the form of raw potato starch (RPS) or high-amylose maize starch (HAS) was evaluated. Each starchy material was tested in diets containing 100 g indigestible carbohydrate/g DM, and fed for 13, 28 and 42 d. At the end of each period, the content of SCFA was determined in caecum, distal colon and faeces. The caecal concentration of total and individual SCFA increased for both diets with increasing adaptation time. The concentration of butyric acid was higher in the group fed RPS than in that fed HAS at all adaptation times. The caecal proportion of butyric acid was low both in rats fed RPS and HAS (6 and 4 %, respectively) following 13 d of adaptation. However, after 28 d of adaptation, the proportion of butyric acid had increased to 19 % in rats given RPS. A longer adaptation period (42 d) did not increase the proportion of butyric acid further. With HAS, there was also a significant (P<0·01) increase in the proportion of butyric acid with longer adaptation time. However, the increase was much slower and the proportion of butyric acid reached 6 and 8 % after 28 and 42 d respectively. It is concluded that the pattern of SCFA formed from RS in rats is dependent on adaptation time. It cannot be excluded that the different patterns of SCFA reported in the literature for RS may be due to the time of adaptation.

(Received January 10 2002)

(Revised September 23 2002)

(Accepted October 17 2002)


c1 *Corresponding author: Dr Åsa M. Henningsson, fax +46 46 222 45 32, email