What is inulin?
Inulin is present in numerous fruits and vegetables. It has been consumed by man since ancient times, and it is estimated that men living in the North-American Chihuahua desert over 10,000 years ago consumed 135 g of inulin per day.2 Inulin is a complex carbohydrate that is the chicory plant’s source of stored energy. When dried, the chicory root contains about 17 percent inulin.
To isolate inulin, roots are harvested, washed and cut into slices, allowing inulin to dissolve in hot water, which is collected then dried.1 Chicory inulin is a linear ß (2->1) fructan consisting of chains of fructose units (up to 60 and more units) which may have a glucose unit at the beginning (GFn; G:Glucose, F: fructose, n: number of fructose units). The shorter chains of inulin are called oligofructose or fructooligosaccharides (FOS). Chicory root fiber is undigested since the bindings between molecules are not hydrolysed by human enzymes. Extensive research over 20 years, including more than 150 human intervention studies, substantiates the nutritional and health-related properties of chicory root fiber.
|For a Serving Size of 1 scoop (5g)|
|Calories 20||Calories from Fat 0 (0%)|
|% Daily Value *|
|Total Fat 0g||-|
|Net carbs 0g||-|
|Vitamins and minerals|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs.|
Agave inulin nutrition facts
Inulin is low-calorie, containing only 150 calories per 100 gram serving. Each serving also includes 90 grams of fiber. Agave inulin is also a prebiotic and can help with calcium absorption in adolescents and post-menopausal women.
Inulin fiber nutrition facts
Inulin is a type of dietary fiber. Research has linked it to several health benefits, such as improving digestive health, helping control diabetes, and aiding weight loss.Inulin is a dietary fiber that may benefit gut health. Plants naturally contain inulin, and some manufacturers add it to processed foods.
What are the health benefits of inulin?
Inulin and weight loss
It's a pretty well-known fact that dietary fiber is a good thing when it comes to losing and maintaining a healthy weight, so it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that inulin can help your weight management efforts.
Since inulin is a soluble fiber, it becomes gel-like when it combines with water in the digestive tract, ultimately slowing down the digestive process (in a good way) and allowing you to stay full longer.
Inulin is also associated with decreased levels of ghrelin (the “hunger hormone”) and increased peptide YY (a hormone associated with fullness). Inulin’s prebiotic role also comes into play here. Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) are created during the fermentation of dietary fiber, part of its digestive process.
In addition to helping rebuild the gut’s microbiome, they may also encourage the growth of certain types of intestinal bacteria that appear to protect against obesity.
Additionally, these SCFAs can actually alter your metabolism by increasing resting energy expenditure, which can help to prevent body fat gain.Graphic that shows a drawing of bacteria going through the digestive system
Other health benefits of inulin
With plenty of ongoing research surrounding inulin and its possible uses, a variety of other health benefits have also been uncovered. Some of these include:
Bone health: Inulin has been found to help increase the absorption of magnesium and calcium, both of which play an important role in maintaining optimal bone density. This effect is particularly strong in adolescents and older adults, two groups at risk for fractures related to low bone density.
Colorectal cancer prevention: Although most research is limited to animal studies at this time, the implications are promising. Butyrate, one of the SCFAs created during inulin fermentation, has a protective effect on cells in the colon. Mouse studies have concluded that inulin may greatly reduce the growth of precancerous cells in the colon as well as decreasing systemic inflammation, both of which can yield reduced colon cancer risk.
Glycemic control: For people struggling with diabetes or prediabetes, inulin may help with blood glucose management. Inulin supplementation can significantly reduce fasting blood sugar and HbA1c in type 2 diabetics, as well as improving lipid profiles. Inulin has also shown to help reduce the deposition of fat in the liver, which may in turn improve insulin sensitivity and improve (or even eliminate) prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.
Heart health: As mentioned briefly before, inulin can improve heart health markers such as cholesterol (namely LDL) and triglycerides. In turn, these factors reduce the risk of developing heart disease.
Is inulin good for health?
Inulin is a soluble fiber that is not absorbed in the small intestine – it’s constructed of fructose molecules linked in a way that prevents breakdown. Instead, it acts as a prebiotic, meaning it feeds beneficial bacteria (including Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli) in the large intestine that play an important role in improving bowel and overall health. Gut bacteria convert inulin into short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which act as the main energy source for the cells that line your colon. SCFAs also contribute broadly to disease prevention, immune function, and good health.
The benefits of dietary inulin are well documented. Inulin has been associated with promoting microbial balance, improving weight loss (10 to 30 grams/day for 6 to 8 weeks), controlling diabetes, and relieving constipation (15 grams/day for up to 4 weeks). Studies also show that inulin may help increase calcium absorption (8 grams daily), prevent colon cancer, and treat inflammatory bowel disease.
Inulin is found most abundantly in artichokes, asparagus, chicory root, dandelion root, garlic, leeks, and onions. Adding these foods to your daily diet is Gutbliss recommended as an important way to improve your gut, and in turn, your overall health.