Inulin and fructooligosaccharides (FOS) are soluble prebiotic fibers that promote gut and overall health through their fermentation by gut flora to yield important metabolites. Intestinal probiotic bacteria consume inulin and in turn, produce the short-chain fatty acids that nourish the cells lining the colon. Inulin thus helps to maintain intestinal health and function. Inulin has a pleasant flavor and a very low glycemic index.
Control of blood lipids. Inulin intake can effectively reduce serum total cholesterol (TC) and low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), increase the ratio of high density lipoprotein to low density lipoprotein (LDL-C), and improve blood lipid status. Hidaka et al. reported that elderly patients aged 50-90 were fed 8 g short-chain dietary fiber daily, and the levels of triglycerides and total cholesterol in blood decreased after two weeks. Yamashita et al. fed 18 diabetic patients 8 g inulin for two weeks. Total cholesterol decreased by 7.9%, but HDL-cholesterol remained unchanged. The above parameters did not change in the control group. Brighenti et al. observed that 12 healthy young men who added 9g inulin to their daily cereal breakfast for four weeks reduced total cholesterol by 8.2% and triglycerides by 26.5%. Many dietary fibers reduce blood lipid levels by absorbing intestinal fat and forming fat-fibre complexes that wander out of the stool. Moreover, inulin itself ferments into short-chain fatty acids and lactates before the end of the intestine, which are the regulators of liver metabolism. Short-chain fatty acids (acetates and propionates) can be used as fuel in the blood, and propionates inhibit cholesterol synthesis.
Reducing blood sugar. Inulin is a carbohydrate that does not cause elevated glucose in the urine. It is not hydrolyzed into monosaccharides in the upper part of the intestine and therefore does not raise blood sugar levels and insulin levels. Now studies have shown that the decrease of fasting blood sugar is the result of short-chain fatty acids produced by fructooligosaccharide fermentation in the colon.
- Promoting the Absorption of Minerals. Inulin can greatly improve the absorption of Ca2+, Mg2+, Zn2+, Cu2+, Fe2+. It was reported that adolescents consumed 8 g/d (long-chain and short-chain inulin-type fructose) for 8 weeks and 1 year, respectively. The results showed that Ca uptake was significantly increased, and bone mineral content and density were also significantly increased. The main mechanisms of inulin promoting mineral element absorption are as follows: 1) The short-chain fat produced by inulin fermentation in colon shallows the recess on mucosa, increases the recess cells and enlarges the area of absorption, and makes the cecal vein more developed. 2) The acid produced by fermentation reduces the colon pH, which improves the solubility and bioavailability of many minerals. Especially short-chain fatty acids can stimulate the growth of colon mucosal cells and improve the absorption capacity of intestinal mucosa. 3) Inulin can promote the secretion of phytase by some microorganisms, and phytase can release metal ions chelated with phytic acid and promote its absorption. 4) Some organic acids produced by fermentation can chelate with metal ions and promote metal ions absorption.
Protecting liver and preventing colon cancer. Food is digested and absorbed to the colon. Under the action of intestinal saprophytic bacteria (Escherichia coli, bacteroides, etc.), many toxic metabolites (such as ammonia, nitrosamines, phenol and cresol, secondary bile acids, etc.) can be produced. The short-chain fatty acids produced by inulin fermentation in the colon can reduce the colon pH, inhibit the growth of saprophytic bacteria, reduce the production of toxic products and reduce its toxicity to the colon. Stimulation of intestinal wall. Inulin can inhibit the production of toxic substances, increase the number and weight of defecation, increase the acidity of feces, accelerate the excretion of carcinogens, and produce short-chain fatty acids with anti-cancer effect, which is conducive to the prevention of colon cancer.
Prevention of constipation and treatment of obesity. Dietary fibre reduce food retention time in the gastrointestinal tract, and increase the amount of feces, effective treatment of constipation. Its weight loss function is to improve the content of the viscosity, reduce the speed of food from the stomach into the small intestine, thereby reducing hunger, reducing food intake.
Increase the expression of neurotrophic factors. Inulin contains a small amount of fructooligosaccharides 2-9. Studies have shown that fructooligosaccharides can increase the expression of neurotrophic factors in cerebral neurons, protect neurons from corticosterone-induced damage, and have good antidepressant effect.
Regulation of intestinal microflora. Inulin is a natural water-soluble dietary fiber, which can hardly be hydrolyzed and digested by gastric acid. It can only be used by beneficial microorganisms in the colon to improve the intestinal environment. Some studies have shown that the proliferation of bifidobacteria depends on the number of initial bifidobacteria in human colon. When the number of initial bifidobacteria decreases, the effect of using inulin is obvious. When the number of initial bifidobacteria is large, the effect of using inulin is not obvious. Secondly, the intake of inulin can enhance gastrointestinal peristalsis, improve gastrointestinal function, increase digestion and appetite, and improve the body’s immunity.
1 teaspoon (2 grams) 1 to 2 times per day. Can be blended with water, juice, protein drink, smoothie or other beverages.
Inulin (specified to 99%). Made from Chicory root extract). Contains no fillers.
The various effects are not guaranteed and results may vary due to several factors between different people.
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