In a global first for any government health authority, the recommendations of Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council specify a resistant starch component in their fibre intake advice *32 reflecting its considerable contribution to human health.

“ We considered the scientific evidence showing a positive impact of resistant starch on digestive health convincing and warranted inclusion in the new fibre intake recommendations.” Dr Katrine Baghurst, Chair, Nutrient Reference Values Working Party.

“High protein, low fibre diets may help you lose weight in the short term, but unless you include enough fibre, particularly resistant starch, you risk damaging your bowel” Dr David Topping, Chief Research Scientist, CSIRO Food Futures Flagship.

There is growing recognition of the important connection between diet and bacterial metabolism in the colon and specifically how the interaction can impact on important diseases like colon cancer.

In fact, the human colon is one of the most densely populated natural habitats known to science with the human body containing an order of magnitude more prokaryotic cells than it does mammalian ones.

The bacterial flora in the gastrointestinal tract should be considered ‘an organ within an organ’ exerting considerable metabolic capability.

Research with dietary components like resistant starch supports a direct link between diet, colonic bacteria and colon cancer, with recent animal studies indicating high resistant starch diets may prevent colon carcinogenesis.

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