Resistant starch (RS) decreases intestinal inflammation in some settings. We tested the hypothesis that gut inflammation will be reduced with dietary supplementation with RS in rural Malawian children. Eighteen stunted 3–5-year-old children were supplemented with 8.5 g/day of RS type 2 for 4 weeks. The fecal samples were analyzed for the microbiota, the microbiome, short chain fatty acids, metabolome, and proteins indicative of inflammation before and after the intervention. Subjects served as their own controls.Results
The consumption of RS changed the composition of the microbiota; at the phylum level Actinobacteria increased, while Firmicutes decreased. Among the most prevalent genera, Lactobacillus was increased and Roseburia, Blautia, and Lachnospiracea incertae sedis were decreased. The Shannon H index at the genus level decreased from 2.02 on the habitual diet and 1.76 after the introduction of RS (P < 0.01). Fecal acetate concentration decreased, and fecal propionate concentration increased after RS administration (−5.2 and 2.0 μmol/g, respectively). Fecal calprotectin increased from 29 ± 69 to 89 ± 49 μg/g (P = 0.003) after RS was given. The lipopolysaccharide biosynthesis pathway was upregulated.Conclusions
Our findings do not support the hypothesis that RS reduces gut inflammation in rural Malawian children.