Inulin Is Healthy Prebiotic
Prebiotic inulin promotes balance in the gut microbiota. It increases the number of healthful bacteria. In one study, 48 obese individuals took inulin (12 g daily) over 12 weeks. It was found that these individuals reduced weight and caloric intake. In another study, 30 obese women were treated with inulin (16 g daily) for 3 months. Findings show that there was an increase in the healthy gut bacteria. Thus, prebiotic inulin changed the gut microbiota composition, leading to modest changes in the metabolism.
Dr. Marcus Free, research manager at GLOBESITY FOUNDATION mentions that gut health starts with prebiotics. Prebiotics are usually stronger than probiotics. Probiotics die off when they come into contact with stomach acid or heat. Prebiotics, on the other hand, feed the healthy bacteria that already exist in the gut without being killed when digested. This helps regulate the amount of Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli in the gut which are healthy colonies of bacteria. In effect, this prevents pathogenic microorganisms and addresses colonic dysfunction.
Don Juravin, the renowned drill sergeant at GLOBESITY Bootcamp, affirms the importance of prebiotics. According to Mr. Juravin, probiotics are necessary but without prebiotics, they won’t work. A probiotic in yogurt can not survive while remaining on the supermarket shelves or going through the gastrointestinal tract. But when it is paired with its food source, the prebiotic, it has a much better chance to remain effective until it reaches the gut.
Inulin Effects On Weight Loss
An increase in satiety reduces cravings. Inulin increases satiety and healthy gut flora by 8% to 10%, resulting in a caloric intake reduction of 10%. Inulin supplements (16 g daily) coupled to dietary plan to consume the inulin-rich vegetable in 150 obese patients, helped achieved a weight loss of 1.1 lbs (0.5 kg) up to 40.79 lbs (18.5 kg) over 12 weeks. In another study, 44 prediabetic subjects were grouped into two, a group who took inulin and another group who took cellulose in 18 weeks. Both groups lost 5% of their body weight by week 9, but the inulin group lost significantly more weight between 9 and 18 weeks.
Research shows that a substantial percentage of dieters regain all the weight they lost within a year. Regaining weight is caused by appetite and weight-regulating hormones such as ghrelin. Inulin decreases ghrelin levels, leading to a decrease in appetite. Lowering ghrelin levels results in less food consumption, less calorie intake, and less fat.
Inulin Effects On Diabetes
According to research, inulin decreases fasting blood glucose by 8.5%, HbA1c by 10.4%, fasting insulin by 34.3%, and insulin resistance by 39.5%. Dr. Marcus Free confirms that adding inulin to metformin can lead to enhanced blood glucose-lowering effects, which is 46% higher. This gives diabetics better control of sugar levels, which in effect reduces cravings and increases satiety. Inulin improves glycemic control and antioxidant index. In one study, 49 females with type 2 diabetes were grouped to those who took inulin (10 g daily) and maltodextrin (10 g daily), respectively for 2 months. It was found that the inulin group has significantly decreased fasting plasma glucose (8.4%), glycosylated hemoglobin (10.43%), and malondialdehyde (37.21%) levels and increased antioxidant capacity (18.82%), and superoxide dismutase activity (4.36%) compared to the maltodextrin group.
Summary of Healthy Weight Benefits
The GLOBESITY FOUNDATION research team informs doctors and health professionals that:
- Inulin decreases atopic dermatitis by improving immune responses associated with the gut flora
- Inulin improves digestive health by balancing the gut microbiota. Prebiotic inulin is fermented by bacteria, which normalize the colon and improves gastrointestinal health as well as potentially increase calcium absorption.
- Inulin helps lower fasting blood sugar, reduces fasting insulin, and improves high-density lipoprotein cholesterol in people with type 2 diabetes.
- Inulin helps regulate appetite by stimulating fullness sensations. It is caused by short-chain fatty acids that increase appetite suppressing hormones such as glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1).
Inulin Side Effects
- Flatulence, bloating, and abdominal cramping: Inulin increases intestinal and gut gas production resulting in increased flatulence.
- Loose bowel motions: Excessive intake of Inulin may result in diarrhea.
- These symptoms may be minimized or avoided by gradually increasing the intake of fiber-rich foods and increasing water intake to 3 liters per day.
Antidiabetic drugs: As both Inulin and anti-diabetic drugs decrease blood glucose levels, it is important to monitor glucose levels and speak to a physician about decreasing the antidiabetic drugs if required.
Inulin Interaction With Herbs & Supplements
Juravin, Don Karl, Juravin, Don, & Free, Marcus MD. (2020, July 28). Inulin Effects on Weight Reduction, Cravings, and Diabetes in GLOBESITY Bootcamp for the Obese (Version 1.0). Zenodo. http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3964254