INULIN

OTHER NAME(S):

Beta(2-1)fructans, Chicory Extract, Chicory Inulin, Dahlia Extract, Dahlia Inulin, Extrait de Chicorée, Extrait de Dahlia, Inulina, Inuline, Inuline de Chicorée, Inuline de Dahlia, Long-chain Oligosaccharides, Oligosaccharides, Oligosaccharides à Chaîne Longue, Prebiotic, Prébiotique.<br/><br/>

Overview

Overview Information

Inulin is a starchy substance found in a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and herbs, including wheat, onions, bananas, leeks, artichokes, and asparagus. The inulin that is used for medicine is most commonly obtained by soaking chicory roots in hot water.

Inulin is commonly used by mouth for high blood fats, including cholesterol and triglycerides. It is also used for weight loss, constipation, diarrhea, and diabetes.

How does it 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.

Uses

Uses & Effectiveness?

Possibly Effective for

  • Constipation. Inulin seems to help relieve constipation in some children, adults, and elderly people. It increases the number of stools by up to about one per week. It also helps to make stools softer.
  • Diabetes. Short-term use of inulin along with antidiabetes drugs may improve blood sugar levels in some people with diabetes. The benefit of long-term use is unclear.
  • High levels of fats called triglycerides in the blood (hypertriglyceridemia). Taking inulin seems to lower triglycerides in some, but not all, people with high triglyceride levels.
  • Obesity. Taking inulin seems to decrease body weight a small amount in adults who are overweight or obese. In obese children, inulin decreases the amount of body fat.

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Diarrhea in people taking antibiotics (antibiotic-associated diarrhea). Some early research shows that taking inulin with a similar fiber called fructo-oligosaccharides does not prevent diarrhea in children who are taking antibiotics.
  • Celiac disease. Some people with celiac disease may have trouble absorbing vitamins and minerals from food. Taking inulin might help children and teens with this condition absorb some vitamins. Inulin might also help these children and teens absorb iron.
  • High cholesterol. It is unclear if taking inulin as a supplement lowers blood cholesterol in people with high cholesterol levels.
  • Prediabetes. Some early research suggests that inulin does not improve the body's ability to manage insulin and blood sugar in people with prediabetes.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of inulin for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

When taken by mouth: Inulin is POSSIBLY SAFE in adults when used appropriately. The most common side effects occur in the stomach. They may include gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and cramps. These side effects are more severe at high doses of inulin (more than 30 grams).

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Inulin is POSSIBLY SAFE in pregnant and breast-feeding women when consumed in food. Not enough is known about the use of inulin as medicine during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Children: Inulin is POSSIBLY SAFE in children when taken by mouth as a medicine, short-term.

Interactions

Interactions?

We currently have no information for INULIN Interactions.

Dosing

Dosing

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

ADULTS

BY MOUTH:

  • For constipation: 12-40 grams per day for up to 4 weeks.
  • For diabetes: 10 grams per day for 8 weeks. Drinking 30 grams of inulin-containing milk powder dissolved in water before breakfast and 15 grams dissolved in water before dinner has been used for 12 weeks.
  • For high levels of fats called triglycerides in the blood (hypertriglyceridemia): The usual dose of inulin is about 14 grams daily.
  • For obesity: 10-30 grams per day for 6-8 weeks.
CHILDREN

BY MOUTH:
  • For constipation: 4 grams per day for 6 weeks.
  • For obesity: 8 grams per day for 16 weeks.

View References

REFERENCES:

  • Nicolucci AC, Hume MP, Martínez I, Mayengbam S, Walter J, Reimer RA. Prebiotics reduce body fat and alter intestinal microbiota in children who are overweight or with obesity. Gastroenterology. 2017;153(3):711-722. View abstract.
  • Pedersen A, Sandstrom B, Van Amelsvoort JM. The effect of ingestion of inulin on blood lipids and gastrointestinal symptoms in healthy females. Br J Nutr 1997;78:215-22. View abstract.
  • Piazza C, Privitera MG, Melilli B, et al. Influence of inulin on plasma isoflavone concentrations in healthy postmenopausal women. Am J Clin Nutr 2007;86(3):775-80. View abstract.
  • Roberfroid MB, Van Loo JA, Gibson GR. The bifidogenic nature of chicory inulin and its hydrolysis products. J Nutr 1998;128:11-9. View abstract.
  • Roberfroid MB. Functional effects of food components and the gastrointestinal system: chicory fructo-oligosaccharides. Nutr Rev 1996;54:S38-42. View abstract.
  • Slavin J, Feirtag J. Chicory inulin does not increase stool weight or speed up intestinal transit time in healthy male subjects. Food Funct. 2011;2(1):72-7. View abstract.
  • Smiljanec K, Mitchell CM, Privitera OF, Neilson AP, Davy KP, Davy BM. Pre-meal inulin consumption does not affect acute energy intake in overweight and obese middle-aged and older adults: A randomized controlled crossover pilot trial. Nutr Health. 2017;23(2):75-81. View abstract.
  • Szajewska H, Weizman Z, Abu-Zekry M, et al.; ESPGHAN Working Group on Probiotics and Prebiotics. Inulin and fructo-oligosaccharides for the prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhea in children: report by the ESPGHAN Working Group on Probiotics and Prebiotics. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2012;54(6):828-9. View abstract.
  • Teuri U, Karkkainen M, Lamberg-Allardt C, Korpela R. Addition of inulin to breakfast does not acutely affect serum ionized calcium and parathyroid hormone concentrations. Ann Nutr Metab 1999;43:356-64.. View abstract.
  • van der Beek CM, Canfora EE, Kip AM, et al. The prebiotic inulin improves substrate metabolism and promotes short-chain fatty acid production in overweight to obese men. Metabolism 2018;87:25-35. View abstract.
  • Williams CM. Effects of inulin on lipid parameters in humans. J Nutr 1999 Jul;129(7 Suppl):1471S-3S. View abstract.
  • Yang HY, Yang SC, Chao JC, Chen JR. Beneficial effects of catechin-rich green tea and inulin on the body composition of overweight adults. Br J Nutr 2012;107(5):749-54. View abstract.
  • Abrams SA, Griffin IJ. Calcium absorption is increased in adolescent girls receiving enriched inulin. World Congress of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, & Nutrition, Boston, MA, August 5-9, 2000: Abstract 821.
  • Bonnema AL, Kolberg LW, Thomas W, Slavin JL. Gastrointestinal tolerance of chicory inulin products. J Am Diet Assoc 2010;110(6):865-8. View abstract.
  • Brighenti F, Casiraghi MC, Canzi E, Ferrari A. Effect of consumption of a ready-to-eat breakfast cereal containing inulin on the intestinal milieu and blood lipids in healthy male volunteers. Eur J Clin Nutr 1999;53:726-33.. View abstract.
  • Brighenti F. Dietary fructans and serum triacylglycerols: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. J Nutr. 2007 Nov;137(11 Suppl):2552S-2556S. doi: 10.1093/jn/137.11.2552S. View abstract.
  • Cai X, Yu H, Liu L, et al. Milk powder co-supplemented with inulin and resistant dextrin improves glycemic control and insulin resistance in elderly type 2 diabetes mellitus: a 12-week randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Mol Nutr Food Res 2018;62(24):e1800865. View abstract.
  • Closa-Monasterolo R, Ferré N, Castillejo-DeVillasante G, et al. The use of inulin-type fructans improves stool consistency in constipated children. A randomised clinical trial: pilot study. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2017;68(5):587-594. View abstract.
  • Closa-Monasterolo R, Gispert-Llaurado M, Luque V, et al. Safety and efficacy of inulin and oligofructose supplementation in infant formula: results from a randomized clinical trial. Clin Nutr 2013;32(6):918-27. View abstract.
  • Collado Yurrita L, San Mauro Martín I, Ciudad-Cabañas MJ, Calle-Purón ME, Hernández Cabria M. Effectiveness of inulin intake on indicators of chronic constipation; a meta-analysis of controlled randomized clinical trials. Nutr Hosp 2014;30(2):244-52. View abstract.
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  • Drabinska N, Krupa-Kozak U, Abramowicz P, Jarocka-Cyrta E. Beneficial effect of oligofructose-enriched inulin on vitamin D and E status in children with celiac disease on a long-term gluten-free diet: a preliminary randomized, placebo-controlled nutritional intervention study. Nutrients 2018;10(11). pii: E1768. View abstract.
  • Dysseler P, Hoffem D. Inulin, an alternative dietary fibre. Properties and quantitative analysis. Eur J Clin Nutr 1995;49:S145-52.
  • Ferus K, Drabinska N, Krupa-Kozak U, Jarocka-Cyrta E. A randomized, placebo-controlled, pilot clinical trial to evaluate the effect of supplementation with prebiotic Synergy 1 on iron homeostasis in children and adolescents with celiac disease treated with a gluten-free diet. Nutrients 2018;10(11). pii: E1818. View abstract.
  • Gay-Crosier F, Schreiber G, Hauser C. Anaphylaxis from inulin in vegetables and processed food. N Engl J Med 2000;342:1372. View abstract.
  • Gibson GR, Beatty ER, Wang X, Cummings JH. Selective stimulation of bifidobacteria in the human colon by oligofructose and inulin. Gastroenterology 1995;108:975-82.. View abstract.
  • Guess ND, Dornhorst A, Oliver N, Frost GS. A randomised crossover trial: the effect of inulin on glucose homeostasis in subtypes of prediabetes. Ann Nutr Metab 2016;68(1):26-34. View abstract.
  • Harrold JA, Hughes GM, O'Shiel K, et al. Acute effects of a herb extract formulation and inulin fibre on appetite, energy intake and food choice. Appetite 2013;62:84-90. View abstract.
  • Heap S, Ingram J, Law M, Tucker AJ, Wright AJ. Eight-day consumption of inulin added to a yogurt breakfast lowers postprandial appetite ratings but not energy intakes in young healthy females: a randomised controlled trial. Br J Nutr 2016;115(2):262-70. View abstract.
  • Hoeger WW, Harris C, Long EM, Hopkins DR. Four-week supplementation with a natural dietary compound produces favorable changes in body composition. Adv Ther 1998;15:305-14. View abstract.
  • Kleessen B, Sykura B, Zunft HJ, Blaut M. Effects of inulin and lactose on fecal microflora, microbial activity, and bowel habit in elderly constipated persons. Am J Clin Nutr 1997;65:1397-402.. View abstract.
  • Kok N, Roberfroid M, Delzenne N. Dietary oligofructose modifies the impact of fructose on hepatic triacylglycerol metabolism. Metabolism 1996;45:1547-50. View abstract.
  • Lightowler H, Thondre S, Holz A, Theis S. Replacement of glycaemic carbohydrates by inulin-type fructans from chicory (oligofructose, inulin) reduces the postprandial blood glucose and insulin response to foods: report of two double-blind, randomized, controlled trials. Eur J Nutr 2018;57(3):1259-68. View abstract.
  • Liu F, Prabhakar M, Ju J, Long H, Zhou HW. Effect of inulin-type fructans on blood lipid profile and glucose level: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2017;71(1):9-20. View abstract.
  • Marteau P, Jacobs H, Cazaubiel M, Signoret C, Prevel JM, Housez B. Effects of chicory inulin in constipated elderly people: a double-blind controlled trial. Int J Food Sci Nutr 2011;62(2):164-70. View abstract.
  • Menne E, Guggenbuhl N, Roberfroid M. Fn-type chicory inulin hydrolysate has a prebiotic effect in humans. J Nutr 2000;130:1197-9. View abstract.
  • Mensink MA, Frijlink HW, van der Voort Maarschalk K, Hinrichs WL. Inulin, a flexible oligosaccharide I: review of its physicochemical characteristics. Carbohydr Polym 2015;130:405-19. View abstract.
  • Micka A, Siepelmeyer A, Holz A, Theis S, Schön C. Effect of consumption of chicory inulin on bowel function in healthy subjects with constipation: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2017;68(1):82-89. View abstract.

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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

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© Therapeutic Research Faculty 2018.