Waxy Maize hydroxypropyl distarch phosphate: the Carb that Burns Fat!

by: Team Vpx Sports

Waxy Maize has been one of the most popular carbohydrates in the bodybuilding world for over a decade. Proponents of WM cite its extremely high molecular weight as the reason for its easy digestibility and relatively mild insulin spike. But when you ingest WM, you’re giving your body a nice, long lasting trickle of readily available carbs, and your body prefers to burn those instead of fat for energy. At the three hour mark, this form of carbohydrate appears to distance itself from the pack, providing more energy than other carbohydrates at the 180 minute mark.

However, a recently published study was performed on a chemically modified form of Waxy Maize with a molecular weight roughly 1.5x that of regular WM, called Waxy Maize hydroxypropyl distarch phosphate (HDP). This study showed that the HDP-version actually stimulates increased fat utilization through reducing the secretion of glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP), a lipogenic hormone. Eating a regular meal supplemented with Waxy Maize was shown to reduce fat utilization.  The HDP-modified WM also was shown in that same study to elevate the metabolism higher than WM,  through a 70% increase in Resting Energy Expenditure.

There have been two studies performed on Waxy Maize hydroxypropyl-distarch phosphate and its effects on the metabolism: a human study (1) and a rodent study (2) - the latter being 24 weeks long, with the former examining immediate effects.  In both studies, the HDP version outperformed regular WM as well as all other carbs tested.

In the 2010 study, Mice were fed for 24 weeks on a diet containing either unmodified starch (Waxy Maize), hydroxypropylated distarch phosphate (HDP) from Waxy Maize, or a high-amylose corn starch, HDP corn starch, or HDP tapioca starch. The rodents who were fed the HDP modified Waxy Maize diet ended up with a significantly lower body weight and visceral fat weight than those fed the other diets. Rodents on the HDP diet exhibited a significantly higher hepatic fatty acid oxidation capacity and lower blood insulin than those fed the other diets. In short, the ingestion of HDP-modified Waxy Maize resulted in creating a leaner rodent, when all other factors remained constant. This was a head-to-head trial with Waxy Maize HDP being directly compared to standard Waxy Maize, HDP Tapioca, and regular corn starch.

In the 2011 study performed in humans, ten healthy male subjects consumed a meal containing a “pancake batter” made with either Waxy Maize or the HDP version of WM. And just like they observed in the rodent study, Resting Energy Expenditure (REE) and fat utilization were both higher in the Waxy Maize HDP meal, as compared to the regular WM.

1. Br J Nutr. 2011 Jul;106(1):96-104. Epub 2011 Feb 22.
2. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 298:E652-E662, 2010