Whereas inulin-enriched supplement shows intestinal immune enhancement, acacia fiber supplement has stronger prebiotic activity, which may lead to increasing mineral absorption.
both fiber-enriched supplements tested in the present study show the potential to be beneficial to gut-health, although differently. Whereas inulin-enriched supplement shows intestinal immune enhancement, acacia fiber supplement has stronger prebiotic activity, which may lead to increasing mineral absorption.
Inulin are polymers composed mainly of fructans (the fructose units in inulins are joined by a β(2→1) glycosidic bonds) found in many different plants. Fructans are a polymer of fructose molecules, and fructans which are formed into short linear chains are known as fructooligosaccharides, and long cross-linked chains are known as inulin. Inulin and fructooligosaccharides are storage carbohydrates for tens of thousands of different plants used for energy during droughts or during the winter and help them to survive cold temperatures. Inulin is also a source of human soluble dietary fiber. Some foods that naturally contain inulin/FOS/fructans include asparagus (zero to three percent), chicory (fifteen to twenty percent), onion (two to six percent), leek (three to ten percent), garlic (nine to sixteen percent), dandelion leaves (twelve to fifteen percent), wheat (one to four percent), yacon (three to nineteen percent), artichoke (three to ten percent), and Jerusalem artichoke (sixteen to twenty percent). Supplemental inulin is usually extracted from chicory root and is added to many different products as a source of dietary fiber including, for example, Kind bars.
Acacia and psyllium are two dietary fiber supplements marketed for various purposes. Psyllium is most commonly used to relieve constipation, and acacia -- though less common -- appears effective for this purpose as well. As is true of other soluble fibers, both acacia and psyllium may help promote healthy weight, and psyllium can help lower cholesterol. Consult your doctor before taking supplements of any kind. All supplements have the ability to cause side effects.
Understanding Soluble Fiber
Soluble fiber is present in your diet in foods such as oat bran, beans and other legumes, as well as some fruits and vegetables. During digestion, soluble fiber attracts and absorbs water, mixing with it to form a gel-like substance that promotes digestive health. It's this quality that makes fiber supplements beneficial for constipation. Acacia and psyllium come from plants but are not found naturally in foods -- though they're sometimes added to them. Both are typically taken as a dietary supplement in powder form.
Both Relieve Constipation
Both acacia and psyllium are effective for relieving constipation, according to a study published in the "Journal of Pediatrics" in 2012. Researchers compared the effectiveness of the two fibers in children with chronic functional constipation -- a condition characterized by infrequent bowel movements. They found that both were equally effective at relieving constipation, with no noticeable difference between the two.
Both Promote Healthy Weight
Along with a healthy diet and exercise plan, both acacia and psyllium may help fight obesity. A study published in 2012 in the "Nutrition Journal" found acacia significantly reduces body fat percentage and BMI -- a measure of body fatness -- in healthy women. A similar study published in the "European Journal of Clinical Nutrition" in 2009 reported that psyllium reduced BMI, fasting blood sugar, waist circumference and triglycerides in people with Type 2 diabetes.
Dietary Fiber Recommendations
You can get the same benefits by eating a diet rich in fiber. Consume at least 20 grams of fiber from food, not supplements, recommends the Harvard School of Public Health. Most fiber foods contain a mixture of soluble and insoluble fiber -- the latter does not dissolve in water and helps add bulk to stool. If the current fiber content of your diet is low, increase it gradually to avoid digestive discomfort. A fiber-rich diet includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes.
Inulin is indigestible by the human enzymes ptyalin and amylase, which are adapted to digest starch. As a result, it passes through much of the digestive system intact. Only in the colon do bacteria metabolise inulin, with the release of significant quantities of carbon dioxide, hydrogen, and/or methane. Inulin-containing foods can be rather gassy, in particular for those unaccustomed to inulin, and these foods should be consumed in moderation at first.
Inulin is a soluble fiber, one of three types of dietary fiber including soluble, insoluble, and resistant starch. Soluble fiber dissolves in water to form a gelatinous material. Some soluble fibers may help lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels.
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