Soluble corn fiber is a nondigestible carbohydrate that’s used in a variety of foods.
In addition to providing sweetness while decreasing the sugar and calorie contents of many processed foods, it’s used to improve the texture and thickness of products.
What’s more, some studies suggest that soluble corn fiber may even be associated with several health benefits.
This article evaluates some of the benefits, side effects, and potential uses of soluble corn fiber.
Soluble corn fiber, also referred to as resistant maltodextrin, is a type of dietary fiber made from cornstarch.
It’s produced using enzymatic hydrolysis, a process that involves breaking the chemical bonds of a molecule using enzymes (
Soluble corn fiber is typically used to thicken processed foods like cereals, baked goods, dairy products, protein bars, and salad dressings.
It’s also used in place of sugar as a sweetener due to its low glycemic index, which measures the extent to which a food affects your blood sugar levels (
Because it doesn’t spike your blood sugar levels, it’s often used as a sugar substitute in low carb, keto-friendly products to help those following the ketogenic diet remain in the metabolic state of ketosis.
Along with being lower in calories and sugar than many other sweeteners, soluble corn fiber is rich in soluble fiber. This type of fiber absorbs water in the digestive tract to form a thick, gel-like consistency (
Soluble fiber has been tied to several health benefits and may help support digestive regularity, decrease cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and promote weight loss (
Soluble corn fiber is a type of dietary fiber made from corn starch. It’s high in fiber and low in calories and sugar, and it’s often used to improve the taste and texture of processed foods.
Soluble corn fiber may offer several potential health benefits, mostly related to your gut health and blood sugar levels.
Supports gut health
Soluble corn fiber acts as a prebiotic, meaning that it helps feed the beneficial bacteria in your gut (
Several studies show that prebiotics can help improve digestive health (
In fact, one study among 20 healthy men found that consuming 21 grams of soluble corn fiber per day increased concentrations of several specific strains of healthy gut bacteria (
The composition of your gut bacteria plays a key role in many aspects of your health and may be involved in immune function, digestive health, cancer prevention, and more (
May stabilize blood sugar levels
Soluble corn fiber has a low glycemic index, meaning that it doesn’t spike blood sugar levels to the same extent as regular sugar (
According to one older animal study, consuming soluble corn fiber with a high fat meal prevented increases in levels of triglyceride and insulin, which is the hormone responsible for transporting sugar from the bloodstream into your cells (
Another study in 22 men found that drinking a beverage with soluble corn fiber affected blood sugar and insulin levels significantly less than a beverage made with maltodextrin, a type of processed carb made from corn, rice, or potato starch (
Other research has found that increasing your intake of soluble fiber could help improve blood sugar management and prevent insulin resistance, a condition that impairs your body’s ability to use insulin efficiently (
Helps promote bone health
Some studies suggest that soluble corn fiber could improve bone health.
For instance, one small study among 14 postmenopausal women showed that supplementing with 20 grams of soluble corn fiber for 50 days increased bone calcium retention by 7% (
Another 4-week study in 28 healthy adolescent women found that consuming 10–20 grams of soluble corn fiber per day significantly increased calcium absorption (
This is thought to be due to the prebiotic mechanisms of soluble corn fiber and its ability to increase mineral absorption by improving gut health (
Soluble corn fiber may help improve blood sugar levels, as well as gut and bone health.
Although soluble corn fiber is associated with several possible health benefits, it’s mostly found in foods that are heavily processed and refined.
Regularly eating processed foods has been linked to a higher risk of several health conditions, including heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes (
Like other types of fiber, soluble corn fiber may also cause minor digestive issues, including gas and bloating, when consumed in high amounts (
Drinking plenty of water and increasing your intake gradually can help prevent negative side effects caused by higher fiber intake.
Finally, keep in mind that soluble corn fiber is often derived from genetically modified crops. In fact, in 2010, it was estimated that about 86% of corn grown in the United States and Canada was genetically modified (
Research shows that genetically modified corn is safe for consumption and unlikely to harm health or contribute to issues like food allergies (
Still, those who prefer to avoid genetically modified organisms (GMOs) due to concerns about the potential long-term health effects of genetically modified ingredients can opt for non-GMO corn fiber supplements (
Soluble corn fiber is mostly found in processed foods and often genetically modified. Increasing your intake of fiber too quickly may also cause negative digestive symptoms.
Soluble corn fiber is a type of fiber used to thicken or sweeten many processed food products, especially those labeled low carb or keto-friendly.
Besides being high in fiber and low in calories and sugar, it has a lower glycemic index than many other sweeteners. It’s also associated with other health benefits, including improved gut and bone health.
However, it’s often derived from genetically modified ingredients and found in many processed foods. Plus, consuming large amounts may cause digestive issues.
Selecting healthier options that contain soluble corn fiber, such as whole grain cereals, soups, or dairy products, can help maximize its potential health benefits.
Those who prefer to limit their consumption of genetically modified ingredients can also opt for non-GMO soluble corn fiber supplements.