Nutrition Science

Research Pipeline

The Alliance for Potato Research and Education (APRE) was established in June 2011 to advance the scientific understanding of the role potatoes play in promoting health, including the role of potatoes on cardiometabolic health, healthy dietary patterns, and healthy lifestyles (with an emphasis on athletic performance and life stages). These summaries highlight research currently underway.



Impact of a Low Glycemic Load (GL) Diet Containing Potatoes on Body Composition and Cardiometabolic Health in Subjects with Metabolic Syndrome (MetS)

Jamie Baum, PhD, University of Arkansas

A clinical trial investigating the short- and long-term (16 weeks) effects of consuming various forms of potatoes as part of low GL diets in MetS subjects on markers of cardiometabolic health, such as blood glucose and cholesterol levels. Participants will consume at least four potato meals per week as part of a low GL meal, either prepared white potatoes or processed fried potatoes.


Cardiometabolic Benefits of Potatoes Mediated Along the Gut-Vessel Axis in Adults with Metabolic Syndrome (MetS)

Richard Bruno, PhD, RD, The Ohio State University

A clinical trial examining potatoes in a dietary pattern based on the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA), in patients with MetS. The study will assess how potato resistant starch impacts the gut microbiome, which can impact cardiovascular health.


Efficacy of Potato Resistant Starch (RS) on Improving Gut Microbiota Composition, Inflammatory Profile, and Insulin Signaling in High-Fat Fed Rats

Claire de La Serre, PhD, University of Georgia

An animal trial conducted in rodents that will assess the impact of potato RS supplementation on changes in gut microbiota composition. The study will look at gastrointestinal function, inflammatory signaling and insulin function to understand the role of potato RS as a potent prebiotic, with potential therapeutic benefits against obesity and its associated comorbidities.


Potato Product Form Impacts In Vitro Digestibility and Glucose Transport but Old Modestly Impacts 24h Blood Glucose Response in Humans

Mario Ferruzzi, PhD, North Carolina State University

A trial with pre-clinical and clinical components assessing the digestive release and accessibility of white potato phenols, as well as the ability of potato phenolics to impact starch digestion and glucose uptake and transport. The study will also assess the impact of potatoes on the gut microbiome. [Published: Li, M., George, J., Hunter, S., Hamaker, B. R., Mattes, R., & Ferruzzi, M. G. (2019). Potato product form impacts in vitro starch digestibility and glucose transport but only modestly impacts 24h blood glucose response in humans. Food & Function. doi:10.1039/c8fo02530d.]


Potato Consumption and Risk of Chronic Disease: Qualitative Gap Analysis

Liz Johnson, PhD, Tufts University

An evidence mapping project summarizing published data related to potato intake and biomarkers of health and disease over the past 10 years. The analysis will include interviews with key nutrition and health experts to identify gaps, strengths and weaknesses of currently published trials in an effort to make recommendations to help improve future studies.


The Effect of Potatoes on Markers of Cardiometabolic Health

Penny Kris-Etherton, PhD, RD, Pennsylvania State University

A clinical trial comparing the effect of daily potato consumption to a fixed amount of refined cereals and grains in healthy weight individuals. The study will look at the following markers of cardiometabolic health: fasting glucose levels, insulin sensitivity, blood pressure, lipids and lipoproteins, arterial stiffness, body weight and dietary intake, as well as diet quality.


Effects of Potato Resistant Starch (RS) Intake on Insulin Sensitivity, Related Metabolic Markers and Satiety in Overweight or Obese Men and Women

Kevin Maki, PhD, Midwest Biomedical Research – Center for Metabolic & Cardiovascular Health

A clinical trial comparing acute (one day) potato intake with carbohydrate-matched foods low in fiber and RS. Participants will consume roughly two potatoes per day, in different meal forms containing 15 grams of RS. The study will look at potatoes’ impact on postprandial insulin sensitivity, markers of satiety and free fatty acid levels in overweight or obese adults.


Potato Intake and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease in a Large Norwegian Cohort

Trine Moholdt, PhD, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

An epidemiological study investigating the association between potato intake and risk of all-cause mortality and cardiovascular disease mortality. The study will also determine if there is an association between potatoes and an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease-related hospitalization and obesity.


Healthy Adolescent Dietary Patterns for Minimizing Cardiometabolic Risk Include Regular Potato Consumption

Lynn Moore, DSc, MPH, Boston University

An epidemiological study evaluating the contribution of potato consumption, as part of a healthy diet, to changes in body fat and blood pressure throughout adolescence in young girls. The study will also evaluate the effects of potato consumption on the risk of elevated glucose levels or dyslipidemias at the end of adolescence.


Cardiometabolic Health Outcomes Associated with Potato Consumption in Framingham Study Adults

Lynn Moore, DSc, MPH, Boston University

An epidemiological study examining the effects of potato consumption (whole potatoes and French fries) on cardiometabolic risk in adults, while accounting for differences in diet patterns and other lifestyle habits. The study will use prospective data from the Framingham database to look at the impact of high versus low potato intake on blood pressure, blood glucose levels and serum lipids over 15-years.


How Gut Microbiota Profiles Influence Potato Resistant Starch (RS) Response in Overweight Females

Mindy Patterson, PhD, RDN, Texas Woman’s University

Continuation of an ongoing trial looking at the impact of Russet potatoes on the gut microbiome. Preliminary data indicates potato RS decreases glycemic response, and this study will expand on these initial findings to look at the association between subjects’ gut bacteria profile and glycemic response. The association between diet and physical activity and the gut microbiome will also be explored.


Effects of Potatoes on Potassium Retention and Blood Pressure in Mildly Hypertensive Men and Women

Connie Weaver, PhD, Purdue University

A clinical trial investigating whether potassium retention from potatoes is equal to or better than that of potassium supplements in hypertensive adults. The primary outcome variables in this study include blood pressure and the impact of potassium on bone health, as measured by acid-base balance and bone calcium retention.




Potato Consumption and Energy Balance: A Randomized, Controlled, Clinical Trial

David Allison, PhD, Indiana University

A clinical trial determining whether a difference exists in weight gain with daily potato consumption versus a calorie-matched snack of almonds. The outcomes will provide additional data to better understand the impact of dietary complexity on carbohydrate metabolism and weight change.


Nocturnal Blood Glucose Responses to Potato-Based Mixed Evening Meals

Brooke Devlin, PhD, Australian Catholic University

A clinical trial investigating the impact of potato consumption on postprandial and nocturnal glycemic responses, when consumed as part of a balanced meal in a real-world setting. The results will help to extend understanding of the effect of potatoes prepared by different methods, and provided as part of a mixed meal, on glycemic responses in healthy subjects and subjects with Type 2 diabetes.


Determination of the Impact of Cooking Method on Quality of Potato Protein as Determined using In Vitro Approaches

James House, PhD, University of Manitoba

An in vitro investigation of factors impacting the quality of potato protein in Russet potatoes subjected to various cooking methods: boiled, baked, fried and microwaved. The study will also compare protein quality of potatoes to other protein sources, such as casein and soy. The use of an artificial gut model will allow for measurements of glycemic index and other related parameters, like protein digestion rates and potassium bioavailability.


Influence of Resistant Starch (RS) in Baked and Boiled Potatoes

Mindy Patterson, PhD, RDN, Texas Woman’s University

A clinical trial analyzing the impact of RS in potatoes prepared and served using different methods (baked then chilled versus boiled then reheated). The study will also measure the impact of potato RS on blood glucose homeostasis and subjective satiety levels in overweight females.





Ingestion of Potatoes as a Nutritional Strategy to Improve Cycling Time-Trial Performance in Endurance Trained Cyclists

Nicholas Burd, PhD, University of Illinois

A clinical trial looking at the effect of potato consumption during a two-hour cycling challenge on subsequent time trial performance, when compared to a commercially available carbohydrate gel or a control in 12 well-trained cyclists. The results will be used to determine the impact of potatoes on utility as a race fuel during prolonged endurance exercise.


Potato-Supported Strategies to Increase Carbohydrate Oxidation, Race Economy and Performance during Endurance Exercise

Louise Burke, PhD, Australian Institute of Sport

A clinical trial investigating whether a relationship exists between increased carbohydrate oxidation and improved exercise economy and performance in elite athletes. The results will help to determine if specific feeding strategies, in the form of potato-based meals, can increase glycogen stores in endurance athletes to higher levels than conventional carbohydrate loading.


The Effects of Potato Protein on Rates of Myofibrillar Muscle Protein Synthesis in Young Women

Stuart Phillips, PhD, McMaster University

A clinical trial evaluating the impact of potato protein on muscle protein synthesis in younger, active subjects, ages 18–29. Participants will undergo two weeks of resistance training, with half receiving a diet rich in potato protein and the other half receiving a placebo.


Effects of Potato-Based Supplemental Feedings on Glycogen Recovery, Exercise Performance

Brent Ruby, PhD, FACSM, University of Montana

A two-pronged study with laboratory and field components. The lab study will look at the impact of potato-based products compared to prepackaged sport supplement products on muscle glycogen resynthesis and exercise performance in trained males and females. The field study will provide prepared potatoes to wildland fire crews, to evaluate the efficacy of potatoes as a supplement food option for operational field rations.


Anabolic Properties of Potato Derived Protein

Luc van Loon, PhD, Maastricht University

A clinical trial assessing the impact of 30 grams of potato protein on muscle protein synthesis rates at rest, as well as during recovery from exercise, in young healthy males. The study data will help to determine how well potato protein can support muscle protein synthesis and muscle reconditioning following exercise.



Effects of White Potatoes Consumed with Eggs on Satiety, Food Intake, and Glycemic Response in Children and Adolescents

Nick Bellissimo, PhD, Ryerson University

A recently completed series of clinical studies in normal weight and overweight children assessing the impact of various mixed meals compared to skipping meals and a control meal on satiety, food intake, and glycemic response. Results indicate that white potatoes as part of a mixed meal increased satiety, decreased short-term food intake, and results in similar energy intakes compared with skipping meals.


Effects of Potatoes and Other Carbohydrate-Containing Foods on Cognitive Performance, Glycemic Response, and Satiety in Children

Nick Bellissimo, PhD, Ryerson University

A recently completed series of clinical studies in normal weight and overweight children assessing the impact of 50 grams of carbohydrate from white potatoes and other sources on cognitive performance, glycemic response and subjective appetite. Among other things, results indicated that children had improved short-term declarative memory after French fries and mashed potatoes increased satiety. [Published: Lee. J. J., Brett, N. R., Wong, V. C., Zepetnek, J. O., Fiocco, A. J., & Bellissimo, N. (2019). Effects of Potatoes and Other Carbohydrate-Containing Foods on Cognitive Performance, Glycemic Response, and Satiety in Children. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism. doi:10.1139/apnm-2018-0792.]


Effect of White Potatoes and Potato Components on In Vivo and In Vitro Glycemic Response and Satiety Across the Lifespan

Nick Bellissimo, PhD, Ryerson University

A trial with both in vitro and clinical components to continue to evaluate the role of white potatoes on various health indices in children and healthy elderly subjects. The study will assess the impact of potato cooking methods on postprandial glycemia and satiety in both of these populations.




High-Quality Carbohydrates and Physical Performance: Expert Panel Report

Mitch Kanter, PhD, APRE Chief Science Officer

This commentary was published in the January/February issue of Nutrition Today based on perspectives from sports nutrition experts who convened to discuss the role of potatoes as a high-quality carbohydrate and to understand their role in improving physical performance. While the experts noted that more research is needed on the role of potatoes in performance, they were in agreement that evidence illustrates that athletes should consume a majority of daily calories in the form of high-quality, high carbohydrate whole foods, such as potatoes, to improve physical performance and recovery from exercise. [Published: Kanter, M. (2018). High-Quality Carbohydrates and Physical Performance. Nutrition Today, 53(1), 35-39. doi:10.1097/nt.0000000000000238.]


Fundamentals of Glycogen Metabolism for Coaches and Athletes

Bob Murray, PhD, FACSM, Sports Science Insights, LLC

This white paper on glycogen metabolism was developed by sports nutrition researcher Bob Murray, PhD, and published in the February 2018 issue of Nutrition Reviews. The paper explores the role of glycogen metabolism for optimal athletic performance, including the impact of nutrient-rich, high-quality carbohydrate food sources, such as potatoes, to fuel this process. [Published: Murray, B., & Rosenbloom, C. (2018). Fundamentals of glycogen metabolism for coaches and athletes. Nutrition Reviews, 76(4), 243-259. Doi:10.1093/nutrit/nuy001.]


Potato as a Source of Nutrition for Physical Performance

Mitch Kanter, PhD, APRE Chief Science Officer

This literature review discusses the latest science on nutritional needs for optimal physical performance. Topics discussed include the potential positive impact of high-quality, nutrient-dense carbohydrates versus low-quality carbohydrates on performance, the nutritional benefits of white potatoes, the merits of a balanced diet for athletes, the role of calorie dense simple sugars on performance and the evolving role of protein in the athlete’s diet. Finally, the need to move away from “fad” diets and rely on real foods spanning a variety of food groups is discussed as critical to enhancing physical performance and health.
[Published: Kanter, M. & Elkin, C. (2019). Potato as a Source of Nutrition for Physical Performance. American Journal of Potato Research. doi:10.1007/s12230-018-09701-8.]


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