Trial to Test Potato Starch Effects on Chronic Kidney Disease
A Manitoba clinical trial will test the hypothesis that starch derived from raw potatoes could slow the damaging effects of chronic kidney disease.
Researchers at the University of Manitoba will ask people with the disease to mix a flavorless powdered supplement into a drink, such as a smoothie, each day, and will monitor the results.
“We know that ‘resistant starch’ which is abundant in uncooked potatoes and unripe bananas, passes through the upper intestine without being digested and is a source of food for the gut microbiome when it reaches the lower intestine. Now we want to evaluate its potential in chronic kidney disease,” noted Dr. Dylan MacKay, assistant professor of community health sciences at the University of Manitoba who is leading the study.
Participants in the clinical trial won’t know if they’ve received the resistant potato starch or a placebo: a digestible starch powder.
Chronic kidney disease affects about 10% of Canadian adults. Manitoba’s rate, the highest of any province is about 14%. Although kidney dialysis can extend the lifespan of those afflicted, affordable new treatments are needed to delay or prevent this final stage of the disease.
“In chronic kidney disease, the kidneys lose their ability to manage substances called uremic toxins. The toxins accumulate, eventually leading to the patient needing dialysis. Many of these toxins originate from bacteria that live inside us. By charging the food source of these bacteria through resistant starch consumption, we may be able to reduce toxin protection,” MacKay said.
A Manitoba company, MSPrebiotic, is providing the supplement for the study. The company produces supplement-grade resistant starch from peeled, dried potatoes.
The researchers plan to soon start recruiting participants with chronic kidney disease for the 14-week clinical trial. If positive health effects are seen in participants who consumed the resistant potato starch, MacKey expects the study to be expanded to other centers.