Inulin is a form of soluble fiber found in quite a few plants called rhizomes. Plants that store inulin has no other forms of carbohydrates like starch, so it’s a very simple food. This completely natural substance consists of chains of fructose molecules called fructans — dietary fibers. The molecules function so that your small intestine cannot digest the inulin, causing it to work as a prebiotic. The natural bacteria found in the lower gut become stimulated by the inulin and convert the soluble fiber into a short chain of fatty acids that provide many health benefits, such as fermentation in the color to inhibit bad bacteria. (x)
Inulin is relatively new, according to the FDA standards. The dietary fiber received the organization’s seal of approval in 2018. However, studies have found that our early human ancestors had a diet of plants that contained a high insulin level. On average, early humans consumed far more amounts of it than we do today — particularly forgers and gathers. Although inulin is not a required part of a healthy diet, regular consumption of the substance can contribute to your daily fiber intake. (x)
People around the world consume inulin every single day in some form or another. Inulin is a common foodstuff. It’s popular in South America and Japan. The aboriginals of Australia add it to their diet as well. In the sixteenth century and early twentieth century, caregivers considered inulin a suitable carbohydrate for people with diabetes. (x)
Some foods that naturally contain inulin include chicory root, Jerusalem artichokes, asparagus, bananas, wheat, and garlic, to name a few. Several foods contain added inulin, such as margarine and salad dressings. Chicory root is the primary source of inulin in today’s market. (x)
Inulin Helps Measure Kidney Function
The medical industry uses inulin to measure your kidney function — inulin clearance. The procedure tests the filtering capacity of the glomeruli, known as the primary filters of the kidneys. The test determines the rate at which inulin clears from blood plasma. Apparently, inulin is the most accurate material to use since it’s small and easily passes through the kidneys into the urine without reabsorption by the body. (x)
What Does FOS Mean?
Inulin and FOS are two obviously different but effective prebiotics. Each has its own structural framework. Inulin is a longer chain molecule and criss-cross, where Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) are shorter as a linear structure.
FOS, also referred to as oligofructose, is an oligosaccharide fructan, namely an alternative sweetener. It occurs naturally in many foods and has become popular as a low-calorie replacement for sugar. The consumption of FOS increases bowel movements when given to healthy people. It’s also added to infant formulas because of the prebiotic benefits. (x)
Inulin vs. Psyllium
Inulin and psyllium are natural, plant-based fibers, which are excellent additions to a healthy diet, inulin and psyllium share many similarities. However, there are a few key differences to consider if you want to choose one over the other. (x)
Psyllium is a soluble fiber and is the most common dietary fiber found in supplements. FDA approves of using psyllium to lower your cholesterol. As a bulk-forming laxative, it thickens quickly and may not be as easy to add to your diet through drinks if you experience difficulty swallowing in general. (x)
Inulin is a soluble fiber that is also known as a prebiotic. It is a fiber supplement from chicory root added to many products to boost the fiber content. Since inulin is textureless, it is easy to incorporate into various foods and is generally undetected. In large quantities, the side effects include bloating and other gastrointestinal discomforts.
Because inulin slows down the digestive process in the gut, the inulin goes through a fermentation that benefits the system even more. (x)
Inulin has many benefits, as mentioned above. Before you decide to add inulin to your diet, check with your healthcare provider first. Some benefits include:
- Weight Loss
One of the benefits inulin provides is that it is a low-calorie fiber supplement. Because of the body’s slow digestion of this fiber, eating it can make you feel full for a reasonable amount of time. These factors combined make inulin an effective weight loss aid as it diminishes feelings of hunger and can help reduce overeating when taken before or between meals. (x)
In addition to a weight-loss aid, it is also helpful in removing cholesterol when it passes through the digestive system. (x)
- Digestive Health
Inulin is also beneficial to digestive health. Generally, bacteria are harmful, but most of the bacteria in the digestive system benefit your body because it’s good bacteria. (x)
When bad bacteria are in your gut, good bacteria fight off harmful bacteria and restore your body to its healthy condition, so you feel better. As inulin stimulates the support of good bacteria growth, it boosts your immune system and controls inflammation. (x)
Inulin increases bacteria in the gut, such as Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli. These bacteria aid in fighting harmful bacteria, preventing infection and promoting a more robust immune system. (x)
As inulin slows digestion, it also helps with the absorption of essential nutrients such as calcium. Some studies suggest that a diet high in inulin will help increase calcium absorption. (x)
Good bacteria in your gut help your body in so many ways, such as synthesizing vitamin K, supplying crucial nutrients, assisting in the digestion of cellulose, balancing the growth of new capillary blood vessels (angiogenesis), and small intestine nerve function. The reverse, harmful bacteria, is the potential of many health concerns, such as Autism, diabetes, cancer, liver disease, inflammatory bowel disease and more. (x)
- Lowers Blood Sugar
Another inulin benefit may include better control of blood sugar. The body’s slow digestion of the supplement promotes healthy sugar levels as it prevents spikes in blood glucose levels. Recent studies have shown that inulin could be beneficial for those suffering from prediabetes. When it is a part of a long-term diet, it can lower your risk for developing diabetes by regularly stabilizing your blood sugar. Research shows that it may have metabolic effects on your body, helping to inhibit the risk of diabetes. (x)
- Reduce Cancer Risks
Among the inulin benefits are the potential to lower the risk of developing cancer. Research is currently underway regarding the benefits of it in reducing cancer in the digestive system. Particularly an indication that consuming it in the everyday diet may reduce the risk for colon cancer. (x)
Extensive studies performed on animals show a positive result of inulin reducing the risk of colon cancer. The fermentation process of the digestion of inulin links the successful results. (x) Another study shows that inulin and oligofructose from chicory root stimulate the growth of bifidobacteria, which this strain benefits the colon tremendously. Added to the fact that introducing it into the system inhibits the formation of cancer-related lesions in the colon of rats. (x)
Where to Buy Inulin Supplements or Powder?
You can purchase inulin powder at BulkSupplements.com. The company is an industry-leading manufacturer and distributor of pure dietary supplements.
BulkSupplements.com is not just a consumer brand. It also supplies pure ingredients to other food and supplement brands to make their products. All products at BulkSupplements.com are manufactured and tested according to current and proper manufacturing practices.
Are you interested in trying inulin powder for your health, as described in this article? Contact BulkSupplements.com to place an order today.
The recommendation as a dietary supplement is inulin powder in doses of 2600 mg one to three times daily with food or beverage. It is essential to speak with your doctor before introducing any new supplements to your diet, as they may recommend an alternative dosage. Start with smaller doses to avoid stomach upset.
Inulin Side Effects
Inulin is a natural element of the human diet and is safe. Although there is some potential for an allergic reaction, it is extremely unlikely. (x)
Some of the side effects include discomfort during bowel movements as well as loose stools. Some stomach cramping and bloating may occur as well. Drink plenty of water to correct these concerns. As most of these side effects appear when you first consume it, these discomforts are likely to fade with regular usage as your body adjusts to inulin. (x)
The Bottom Line
Inulin powder is one of the most popular dietary fiber supplements available. The powdered form is simple to incorporate into the foods you eat every day. It helps with digestion, weight loss, reduces the risk of colon cancer and lowers your blood sugar.
When it comes to the side effects of nutritional supplements, it is among one of the safest supplements. It can help you lose weight, as well as aid in the absorption of vital nutrients. As with any supplement, you should always speak with your doctor before adding it to your diet, especially if you are pregnant or on medication.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.