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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

January 2020

Degree Type


Degree Name



Nutrition and Food Science

First Advisor

Paul Burghardt


As the number of individuals diagnosed with prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes (T2D) rises each year, it is critical to find strategies to prevent disease progression that are low cost and easy to adhere to. This work intended to evaluate whether potato starch (PS) and medium chain triglycerides (MCT) can impact the physiological mechanisms that influence behaviors that lead to T2D. Healthy male and female adult subjects were given PS for 4 weeks. It was hypothesized that supplementation with PS will lead to an increased ratio of Bacteroidetes: Firmicutes, more Trp and 5-HT, decreased carbohydrate intake, and improved glycemic response. Before and after supplementation, subjects were given an acute dose of PS and blood samples were collected to determine the ratio of plasma Trp:LNAA, glucose, insulin, and 5-HIAA (the primary metabolite of 5-HT). Fecal samples were collected and analyzed to determine the ratio of Bacteroidetes:Firmicutes. Daily supplementation with PS did lead to a significant change in the plasma Trp:LNAA ratio following acute consumption of PS (p=0.0217, n=13) and plasma 5-HIAA following acute PGS (p=0.0224, n=13), but not in the ratio of Bacteroidetes:Firmicutes, carbohydrate intake or any measures of glycemic response. There was no relationship between MCT intake and Bacteroidetes:Firmicutes or change in Trp:LNAA. This work did provide evidence that daily supplementation with PS does impact the physiological processes that influence behavioral processes that may be helpful in preventing progression from prediabetes to T2D. A larger scale analysis with a focus on prediabetic subjects is necessary to further evaluate the potential beneficial effects of PS on markers of progression to T2D.

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