Nutritional Status and Body Composition in Patients With Hepatic Glycogen Storage Diseases Treated With Uncooked Cornstarch—A Controlled Study

Bruna B. dos Santos, Tatiéle Nalin, Kamila C. Grokoski, Ingrid D.S. Perry, Lilia F. Refosco, Filippo P. Vairo, Carolina F.M. Souza, Ida V.D. Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hepatic glycogen storage diseases (GSDs) are genetic diseases associated with fasting hypoglycemia. Periodic intake of uncooked cornstarch is one of the treatment strategies available for those disorders. For reasons that are still not clear, patients with hepatic GSDs may be overweight. Aims: To assess nutritional status and body composition in patients with hepatic GSDs receiving uncooked cornstarch. Methods: The sample included 25 patients with hepatic GSD (type Ia = 14; Ib = 6; III = 3; IXα = 1; IXβ = 1), with a median age of 11.0 years (interquartile range [IQR] = 9.0-17.5), matched by age and gender with 25 healthy controls (median age = 12.0 years, IQR = 10.0-17.5). Clinical, biochemical, and treatment-related variables were obtained from medical records. Nutritional status and body composition were prospectively evaluated by bioelectrical impedance. Results: Patients and controls did not differ with regard to age and gender. Height was significantly reduced in patients (median = 1.43 m, IQR = 1.25-1.54) in comparison to controls (median = 1.54 m, IQR = 1.42-1.61; P =.04). Body mass index for age z-score and fat mass percentage were higher in patients (median = 1.84, IQR = 0.55-3.06; and 27.5%, IQR = 22.6-32.0, respectively) than in controls (median = 0.86, IQR = −0.55 to 1.82; P =.04 and 21.1%, IQR = 13.0-28.3; P =.01, respectively). When patients were stratified by type, those with GSD Ia had significantly higher adiposity (median fat mass = 28.7%, IQR = 25.3-32.9) than those with GSD III and GSD IXα/β (median fat mass = 20.9%, IQR = 14.9-22.6; P =.02). Conclusions: Our findings suggest that patients with hepatic GSD on treatment with cornstarch, especially those with GSD Ia, exhibit abnormalities in nutritional status and body composition, such as short stature and a trend toward overweight and obesity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Inborn Errors of Metabolism and Screening
StatePublished - Sep 22 2017


  • adiposity
  • bioelectrical impedance
  • body composition
  • hepatic glycogen storage diseases
  • nutritional status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Genetics(clinical)


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