Lipid complexation with starch

It has been recognized that the complexation of amylose with the free fatty acids and monoglycerides in foods occurs at various stages of food preparation, storage, and even during the digestion process. Such a complex not only results in significant changes in the physicochemical and functional properties of starch - e.g. a change in the starch x-ray diffraction pattern to 'V' type, reduced solubility, increase in gelatinization temperature, retarded retrogradation during storage (Eliasson et al, 1981; Biliaderis and Galloway, 1989) - but also has been shown to be less digestible in various in vitro and in vivo models (Holm et al., 1983; Seneviratne and Biliaderis, 1991; Murray et al., 1998). A greater resistance to digestion of amylose-lipid complexes was observed when amylose is complexed with long-chain, saturated mono-glycerides compared with complexes with shorter-chain unsaturated mono-glycerides (Eliasson and Krog, 1985). Murray et al. (1998) incorporated a mix of monostearate and monopalmitate complexed with debranched amy-lopectin to manufacture the V-complex in an experimental diet in dogs and compared their digestion to control and resistant starches. The authors found that the ileal and total tract digestibilities of carbohydrate for the V-complex treatment were intermediate (digestions were ranked, in terms of digestibility, as control > V-complex > RS). The same group of authors also reported that consuming a V-complex-containing diet resulted in lower carbohydrate digestibility and subsequently lower serum glucose and insulin responses than dogs fed a carbohydrate-maltodextrin-containing control diet (Patil et al., 1998).

Apart from lipid-starch complexation that could modify the glycemic response, several studies have shown that co-intake of fat along with carbohydrates in a mixed meal could affect postprandial glucose response. It is believed that fat may reduce postprandial glucose by decreasing the rate of gastric emptying, at least in part related to increased stimulation of the gastrointestinal hormones [such as glucose-dependent insulin-releasing polypeptide (GIP) and glucagon-like polypeptide-1 (GLP-1)] (Morgan, 1998). Several issues, including dosage levels of fat affecting glucose response, have been described by Owen and Wolever (2003). The authors showed that fat intake along with carbohydrates in normal healthy subjects, in a dose-dependent relationship, could decrease the glycemic response; however fat consumption in a normal range (17-44% energy) does not significantly affect glycemic response. As pointed out by Owen and Wolever (2003), it is important to note that individuals with diabetes or insulin resistance should not add fat to carbohydrate meals to prevent high blood glucose surge, because studies have shown that fat addition to carbohydrate does not affect the glycemic responses in subjects with type-2 diabetes (Gannon et al., 1993). Various factors - including the type and amount of fat consumed, the type of carbohydrate eaten with the fat, and the health status of subjects consuming the food - need to be taken into account when evaluating postprandial glucose and insulinemic responses to a mixed carbohydrate-lipid meal.

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