A recent clinical trial has indicated that using resistant starch as a microbiota-directed dietary supplement could be a promising intervention for patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The study, which spanned four months, compared the outcomes of NAFLD patients on a resistant starch diet to a control group. The results revealed a 5.89% net absolute change in intrahepatic triglyceride content (IHTC) in the resistant starch group compared to the control group after adjusting for weight loss, equating to a relative change of 24.30%. Huating Li from Shanghai Sixth People’s Hospital emphasized the effectiveness, affordability, and sustainability of this intervention, noting that adding resistant starch to a balanced diet is more feasible for individuals than rigorous exercise or weight loss treatments.
The American College of Gastroenterology currently recommends weight loss, increased exercise, a balanced diet, and abstaining from alcohol to manage NAFLD, as there are no US Food and Drug Administration approved medications for its treatment. However, the role of microbiota in stimulating the immune system and breaking down food compounds suggests that they could be beneficial in treating chronic bowel disorders like NAFLD when supplemented appropriately. The study, conducted in Shanghai, China, involved 200 NAFLD patients who underwent a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial. The primary outcome was the change in IHTC at the end of the intervention. The resistant starch group saw significant reductions in IHTC, body weight, BMI, fat percentage, and fat mass compared to the control group.