HOW DOES INULIN Powder WORK?
Inulin is not digested or absorbed in the stomach. It goes to the bowels where bacteria are able to use it to grow. It supports the growth of a special kind of bacteria that are associated with improving bowel function and general health. Inulin decreases the body's ability to make certain kinds of fats.
ARE THERE SAFETY CONCERNS?
Inulin seems to be safe when used appropriately. The most common side effects occur in the stomach. Using too much inulin causes more stomach problems.
Special Precautions & Warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of inulin during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
How does inulin work on visceral fat?
You may be struggling to see how a fibre such as inulin could be effective for reducing bodyweight, visceral fat and improving overall metabolic health. However, there have actually been numerous studies on the efficacy of inulin in this regard.
Appetite & Energy Intake
Our appetite is a powerful biological driver of food consumption, but unfortunately it can work against us, leading to overeating and fat gain. Therefore, when it comes to maintaining or achieving a healthy body weight, controlling appetite is of high importance.
Because of this, there has been great interest in looking at foods or nutrients which can promote satiety – the feeling of fullness. As fibre is a well-known appetite suppressant, inulin is naturally an attractive topic to explore.
One recent study, which recruited 125 overweight or obese adults, assessed the effects of inulin, whey protein, or inulin combined with whey protein on appetite responses and bodyweight. After the 12 week study period, it was found that all three experimental groups decreased their body fat levels compared to the group receiving a placebo.
What’s more, it didn’t matter if you were taking inulin, whey protein or a combination of the two – your hunger and desire to eat was significantly lower despite the weight-loss. Furthermore, the groups receiving a daily dose of inulin saw favourable changes in the gut microbiome. Although assessing the benefits of a healthy and diverse microbiome is beyond the scope of this present article, we have explored this in detail in another piece.
Although the above study did not assess visceral fat losses per se, it can be assumed with a high degree of confidence that a decrease in overall body fat will have seen levels of fat around the vital organs decrease as well.
Another study which showed benefits to appetite and energy intake from inulin consumption was published in the Nutrition Journal in 2013. The researchers recruited 65 healthy adults and provided them with either probiotic yoghurt that also included 4g of inulin, or yoghurt without pre or probiotic properties.
It was reported that the group receiving the yoghurt with inulin powder had a significantly lower calorie intake when compared to the control group – again highlighting the appetite blunting effect of this type of fibre.
The control of appetite and body fat levels of children is also high up on the agenda of national health institutes. In the UK, 20% of children go into year 6 suffering with obesity and unfortunately, these children are at a much higher risk of being obese adults and suffer from related ailments. Obviously, intervention is required to address this burgeoning problem.
One study published last year in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition – a highly respected journal - looked at the effects of inulin in 42 obese children. The children were randomly assigned to receive a placebo, or 8g of inulin per day for 16 weeks.
At the end of the research study, it was found that the children receiving inulin had better appetite control and ate a smaller amount of food at a buffet test meal. This benefit resulted in the children decreasing their BMI significantly when compared to those in the placebo group. This means that the children lost bodyweight, which we can safely presume to be from body fat.
Another similar study published at around the same time provided complementary findings. Not only did daily inulin provision help to reduce total body fat, it did indeed result in a decrease in visceral adiposity. As high levels of visceral fat usually leads to abnormal lipid readings, it comes as no surprise that the children receiving the inulin saw a significant reduction in triglycerides and inflammation levels compared to those taking a placebo.
Although there is not a mass of evidence that has looked at the effects of inulin for decreasing appetite and body fat, the evidence that does exist shows that inulin consumption can have modest benefits in isolation. That being said, the participants in the above studies were not trying to lose weight – it just happened naturally. This suggests that taking inulin daily as part of a purposeful weight-management programme could certainly have heightened benefits.
how quickly does inulin work?
How Much To Take?
Inulin dosage varies depending on what you need it for.
To reduce cholesterol take 10 to 15 g daily.
For short-term treatment of constipation take 20 to 40 g daily for two weeks.
For long-term digestive health take 12g daily.
Inulin powder can be added to smoothies, fruit juice or water, or can be mixed into soups and sauces.
Inulin might have certain side effects in sensitive individuals or if too large a dose is used. These include: Intestinal discomfort, including flatulence, bloating, stomach noises, belching and cramping.
How Long Till I See An Effect?
The golden question… Inulin powder won’t take effect overnight, although it should help resolve constipation within a couple of days. Other health benefits will manifest themselves gradually. You may see reduced cholesterol and triglyceride levels within 2 to 4 months, and notice gradual improvements in your digestion and general energy levels over 6 months.
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