An international symposium "Integrating Resistant Starch, Microbiome, and Disease Risk Reduction," is proposed in Ames, Iowa, May 14-16, 2014 to explore research on the development and chemistry of dietary digestion-resistant starches, incorporation into human foods, and the impacts of resistant starch on the risk for chronic health conditions, including diabetes, colon cancer and obesity, diseases that are potentially influenced by the gastrointestinal, i.e., gut, microbiome. Resistant starch research integrates thrusts in agriculture on plant genetic modifications for health promotion and in human health on the dietary modulation of the gut microbiome. The program area of this symposium is directly relevant to FDA's Center for Food Safety and Nutrition because of its focus on the science behind developing resistant starch, a form of dietary fiber, for reducing the risk of human disease. This symposium will provide valuable information to scientists in industry and academia targeting plant modifications for health, chemistry and biology of starch;development of safe foods enriched in resistant starch;and microbiologists, nutritionists, and food scientists working in areas of diet and health. The symposium includes 21 oral presentations in seven sessions: plant breeding and genetics, chemistry, food product development, impact on the microbiome, and resistant starch for reduction of risk for colon cancer, diabetes, and obesity. Each session includes 3 speakers, one giving a keynote address. Round table discussions are on days 1&3 and a poster session is on day 2. Iowa State University sponsors will include the Office of Biotechnology and the Plant Sciences Institute and individual academic departments. Fees will be waived for local students and fee waiver plus travel grants will be offered to other students, emphasizing members of under-represented minority groups. Expected outcomes include providing state- of-the-art knowledge about resistant starch, publishing a monograph as a record of the state-of-the-art at the time of the conference and encouraging development of integrative research that will facilitate rapid progress in resistant starch development and its application to improved human health.
Obesity and related problems including diabetes are crippling our nation's health care system. Colon cancer is the third most prevalent cancer in both US men and women and is believed to be modifiable by diet. Strategies for reducing the risk for obesity, diabetes and colon cancer are clearly needed and one of the most promising strategies is increasing the intake of resistant starch, a form of dietary fiber. This symposium will assess the progress and potential for increasing the consumption of resistant starch and mechanisms whereby resistant starch may reduce disease risk, including influencing the gut microbiome.