Inulin Fiber supplement health benefit - review of published studies, benefit for cholesterol, gastrointestinal health, and cancer
April 1 27 2018 by
Ray Sahelian, M.D.

Inulin fiber is a carbohydrate belonging to a class of compounds known as fructans. Because inulin fiber is resistant to digestion in the upper gastrointestinal tract it reaches the large intestine essentially intact, where it is fermented by indigenous bacteria.
   Inulin fiber naturally occurs as a series of oligo- and polysaccharides with different chain lengths. Inulin fiber is not absorbed from the gastrointestinal system. For reasons of growing interest in the food and pet food industries, the short chain inulins have to be separated from their long chain analogues because their properties (digestibility, prebiotic activity and health promoting potential, caloric value, sweetening power, water binding capacity, etc.) differ substantially.

Inulin side effects and safety

No significant inulin side effects have been noted in the medical literature. In very high doses there could be minor side effects mostly related to the gastrointestinal system.

Consumption of inulin products can cause gastrointestinal (GI) distress. To determine the GI tolerance of two inulin fibers, shorter chain length oligofructose and native inulin, at 5- and 10-g doses compared to a placebo. Twenty-six healthy men and women ages 18 to 60 years participated in the study. Healthy subjects with no history of GI conditions consumed diets with typical amounts of fiber. The two inulin fibers tended to increase GI symptoms mildly. Most frequently reported symptoms were flatulence followed by bloating. The 10-g dose of oligofructose substantially increased GI symptoms compared to control. Doses up to 10 g/day of native inulin and up to 5 g/day of oligofructose were well-tolerated in healthy, young adults. J Am Diet Assoc. 2010; Gastrointestinal tolerance of chicory inulin products.


Colon health - Increasing the levels of friendly bacteria in the gut
healthy volunteers consumed 10 grams daily of very long chain inulin prebiotic derived from globe artichoke for 3 weeks. Friendly bacteria called Bifidobacteria and lactobacilli were significantly higher in the inulin group in comparison to the placebo group. Costabile A, Kolida S, Klinder A, et al. A double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study to establish the bifidogenic effect of a very-long-chain inulin extracted from globe artichoke (Cynara scolymus) in healthy human subjects. Br J Nutr. 2010.

Colon cancer
Inulin -type fructans (beta (2,1 ) fructans) extracted from chicory roots (Cichorium intybus) are prebiotic food ingredients, which in the gut lumen are fermented to lactic acid and SCFA. Research in experimental animal models reveals that inulin -type fructans have anti cancer properties. A number of studies report the effects of inulin -type fructans on chemically induced pre-neoplastic lesions or tumors in the colon of rats and mice. Higher beneficial effects can be achieved by synbiotics (mixtures of probiotics and prebiotics), long-chain inulin -type fructans compared to short-chain derivatives. Inulin- type fructans reduce tumor incidence in mice and reduce growth and metastasizing properties of implanted tumor cells in mice. The effects have been reported to be associated with gut flora-mediated fermentation and production of butyrate. In human cells, inulin -derived fermentation products inhibit cell growth, modulate differentiation and reduce metastasis activities. In conclusion, evidence has been accumulated that shows that inulin -type fructans and corresponding fermentation products reduce the risks for colon cancer.

Cholesterol and lipids
A series of animal studies demonstrate that inulin -type fructans affect the metabolism of lipids primarily by decreasing triglyceridaemia because of a reduction in the number of plasma VLDL particles. The human data largely confirm the animal experiments. They demonstrate a reduction in trigycerides and a decrease in cholesterol. Inulin appears thus eligible for an enhanced function claim related to normalization of blood lipids.

Effect of oral inulin fiber administration on lipid profile and insulin sensitivity in subjects with obesity and dyslipidemia
Rev Med Chil. 2003
A clinical trial, double blind, randomized with placebo was carried out in 12 obese patients with high triglyceride and cholesterol levels. The subjects were randomized to receive 7 g/day of inulin or placebo in the morning, during 4 weeks. Oral inulin administration reduced total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, VLDL and trygliceride levels in dyslipidemic and obese subjects, without modifications in the insulin sensitivity.

The increase of fiber intake (3 g of inulin) from an enriched cookie reduced LDL cholesterol levels in obese patients. Nutr Hosp. 2010; Randomized clinical trial with a inulin enriched cookie on risk cardiovascular factor in obese patients. de Luis DA, de la Fuente B, Izaola O, Conde R, Gutiérrez S, Morillo M. Instituto de Endocrinología y Nutrición, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Valladolid, Simancas, Valladolid.

Turk J Gastroenterol. 2014. The role of Bifidobacterium lactis B94 plus inulin in the treatment of acute infectious diarrhea in children. In contrast to many other studies of probiotic species, the number of publications evaluating Bifidobacterium lactis and its combinations with prebiotics as treatments for acute infectious diarrhea is limited. We investigated the synbiotic effects of B. lactis B94 plus inulin on acute infectious diarrhea. The study was conducted on children with acute diarrhea between the ages of 2 and 60 months. The patients were administered 5×1010 colony-forming units (CFU) of B. lactis B94 plus 900 mg inulin or placebo, once a day for five days.  Treatment with 5 × 1010 CFU of B. lactis B94 plus 900 mg inulin shortened the duration of acute watery diarrhea by an average of 31 h. This decrease was most pronounced in cases of Rotavirus diarrhea.

Chemistry and metabolism
Chicory inulin is a linear beta (2-->1) fructan, its partial enzymatic hydrolysis product is oligofructose, and by applying specific separation technologies a long-chain inulin known as inulin HP can be produced. Finally, a specific product known as oligofructose-enriched inulin is obtained by combining chicory long-chain inulin and oligofructose. Because of the beta-configuration of the anomeric C2 in their fructose monomers, inulin -type fructans resist hydrolysis by intestinal digestive enzymes, they classify as 'non-digestible' carbohydrates, and they are dietary fibers. By increasing fecal biomass and water content of the stools, they improve bowel habits, but they have characteristic features different from other fibers. Fermentation of inulin -type fructans in the large bowel is a selective process; bifidobacteria (and possibly a few other genera) are preferentially stimulated to grow, thus causing significant changes in the composition of the gut microflora by increasing the number of potentially health-promoting bacteria and reducing the number of potentially harmful species. Both oligofructose and inulin induce changes in colonic epithelium stimulating proliferation in the crypts, increasing the concentration of polyamines, changing the profile of mucins, and modulating endocrine as well as immune functions.

Q. Your website is great, thank you. I plan to experiment with Hp inulin supplementation. However, I cannot find where to buy it. Do you have any recommendations?
   A. As of 2018 I don't think this product is available.

Effect on isoflavones
Inulin in the diet or taken as a supplement increases the plasma concentrations of the soybean isoflavones daidzein and
. It appears that the absorption of these isoflavones is facilitated by inulin.

Side effects, safety, risk
Inulin side effects have rarely been reported, perhaps very high amounts could cause some gastrointestinal symptoms.

When I purchased a supply of inulin (Benefibre) to help with cholesterol reduction, the pharmacist said that it would also remove vitamins and other supplements if they were taken at the same time or shortly before or after. Is this accurate?
   I have not seen definitive studies on this topic and cannot confirm it is true, but if you are concerned you can take your supplements a couple of hours before.

Human research review
Nutr Res. 2012. Inulin-enriched pasta improves intestinal permeability and modifies the circulating levels of zonulin and glucagon-like peptide 2 in healthy young volunteers.

The fermentable fibre inulin increases postprandial serum short-chain fatty acids and reduces free-fatty acids and ghrelin in healthy subjects.
Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2010. Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 3E2, Canada.
It is thought that diets high in dietary fibre are associated with reduced risk for type 2 diabetes, at least in part because the short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) produced during the colonic fermentation of fibre beneficially influence circulating concentrations of free-fatty acids (FFAs) and gut hormones involved in the regulation of blood glucose and body mass. However, there is a paucity of data showing this sequence of events in humans. Thus, our objective was to determine the effect of the fermentable fibre inulin on postprandial glucose, insulin, SCFA, FFA, and gut hormone responses in healthy subjects. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that dietary fibre increases the production of colonic SCFAs, which may reduce type 2 diabetes risk by reducing postprandial FFAs and favorably affecting gut hormones, which regulate food intake.

Anaphylactic Reaction to Inulin: First Identification of Specific IgEs to an Inulin Protein Compound.
Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 2005.
Background: A woman with a past history of allergy to artichoke presented with two episodes of immediate allergic reactions, one of which was a severe anaphylactic shock after eating two types of health foods containing inulin. Results: Dot blot assay techniques identified specific IgEs to artichoke, to yoghurt F, and to a heated BSA + inulin product. Dot blot inhibition techniques confirmed the anti-inulin specificity of specific IgE. The absence of a positive reaction indicates the probability of protein-inulin binding. There is no cross-reactivity with the carbohydrates of the glycosylated allergens.

Addition of inulin fiber to a moderately high-carbohydrate diet reduces hepatic lipogenesis and plasma triacylglycerol concentrations in humans.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2003.
A high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet is recommended for the prevention of atherosclerosis, because it reduces plasma cholesterol concentrations. However, such a diet can increase plasma triacylglycerol concentrations--an undesirable side effect. The addition of nondigestible carbohydrate could reduce the risk of elevated triacylglycerol concentrations. Eight healthy subjects were studied twice in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled crossover study after consuming for 3 wk a moderately high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet (55% of total energy) plus an oral placebo or 10 g high-performance inulin/d. Hepatic lipogenesis and cholesterol synthesis (deuterated water method), plasma lipid concentrations, fatty acid synthase, acetyl-CoA carboxylase 1, and sterol responsive element binding protein 1c messenger RNA concentrations were measured in adipose tissue at the end of the 2 diet periods. Plasma triacylglycerol concentrations and hepatic lipogenesis were lower after inulin than after placebo ingestion, but cholesterol synthesis and plasma cholesterol concentrations were not significantly different between the 2 groups. None of the adipose tissue messenger RNA concentrations changed significantly after inulin ingestion. The addition of high-performance inulin to a moderately high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet has a beneficial effect on plasma lipids by decreasing hepatic lipogenesis and plasma triacylglycerol concentrations. These results support the use of nondigestible carbohydrate for reducing risk factors for atherosclerosis.

Effect of dietary inulin supplementation on inflammation of pouch mucosa in patients with an ileal pouch-anal anastomosis.
Dis Colon Rectum. 2002.
Inflammation is a constant finding in the ileal reservoir of patients with an ileal pouch-anal anastomosis and is associated with decreased fecal concentrations of the short chain fatty acid butyrate, increased fecal pH, changes in fecal flora, and increased concentrations of secondary bile acids. In healthy subjects, inulin, a dietary fiber, is fermented to short chain fatty acids and leads to a lower pH and potentially beneficial changes in fecal flora. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of enteral supplementation of inulin on inflammation of the ileal reservoir. Twenty patients received 24 g of inulin or placebo daily during three weeks in a randomized, double-blind, crossover design. Stools were analyzed after each test period for pH, short chain fatty acids, microflora, and bile acids. Inflammation was assessed endoscopically, histologically, and clinically. Compared with placebo, three weeks of dietary supplementation with 24 g of inulin increased butyrate concentrations, lowered pH, decreased numbers of Bacteroides fragilis, and diminished concentrations of secondary bile acids in feces. This was endoscopically and histologically accompanied by a reduction of inflammation of the mucosa of the ileal reservoir. Enteral inulin supplementation leads to a decrease of inflammation-associated factors and to a reduction of inflammation of pouch mucosa.

Applications of inulin and oligofructose in health and nutrition.
J Biosci. 2002.
Inulin and oligofructose belong to a class of carbohydrates known as fructans. The main sources of inulin and oligofructose that are used in the food industry are chicory and Jerusalem artichoke. Inulin and oligofructose are considered as functional food ingredients since they affect the physiological and biochemical processes in rats and human beings, resulting in better health and reduction in the risk of many diseases. Experimental studies have shown their use as bifidogenic agents, stimulating the immune system of the body, decreasing the pathogenic bacteria in the intestine, relieving constipation, decreasing the risk of osteoporosis by increasing mineral absorption, especially of calcium, reducing the risk of atherosclerosis by lowering the synthesis of triglycerides and fatty acids in the liver and decreasing their level in serum. These fructans modulate the hormonal level of insulin and glucagon, thereby regulating carbohydrate and lipid metabolism by lowering the blood glucose levels; they are also effective in lowering the blood urea and uric acid levels, thereby maintaining the nitrogen balance. Inulin and oligofructose also reduce the incidence of colon cancer. The biochemical basis of these beneficial effects of inulin and oligofructose have been discussed. Oligofructose are non cariogenic as they are not used by Streptococcus mutans to form acids and insoluble glucans that are the main culprits in dental caries. Because of the large number of health promoting functions of inulin and oligofructose, these have wide applications in various types of foods like confectionery, fruit preparations, milk desserts, yogurt and fresh cheese, baked goods, chocolate, ice cream and sauces. Inulin can also be used for the preparation of fructose syrups.

Effects of inulin on faecal bifidobacteria in human subjects.
Br J Nutr. 1999.
A controlled study with eight healthy free-living subjects was carried out, in which energy intake was adjusted to the individual energy requirements. On administration of inulin, blood lipids, the faecal microflora, short-chain fatty acids and accompanying gastrointestinal symptoms were characterized in order to investigate the long-term effect. During the run-in phase (8 d), subjects received a typical Western diet providing 45% energy as fat and 40% energy as carbohydrate. Subsequently, the subjects consumed a fat-reduced diet which provided 30% energy as fat and 55% energy as carbohydrate for a period of 64 d using inulin as a fat replacer. Inulin significantly increased bifidobacteria from 9.8 to 11.0 log10/g dry faeces and caused a moderate increase in gastrointestinal symptoms such as flatulence and bloatedness, whereas blood lipids and short-chain fatty acids remained essentially unaffected.

Prebiotic carbohydrates modify the mucosa associated microflora of the human large bowel.
Gut. 2004.
The mucosa associated flora of the large intestine is important in determining mucosal function although what controls its composition is unknown. This study has determined the effect of the prebiotic carbohydrates oligofructose and inulin on the mucosal flora. METHODS: An in vitro chemostat model of both planktonic and surface associated bacteria was used followed by an intervention study in 29 subjects undergoing colonoscopy. Fourteen subjects, recruited from colonoscopy waiting lists, supplemented their diet for two weeks with a mix of 7.5 g of oligofructose and 7.5 g inulin. Fifteen subjects were recruited at the time of colonoscopy and given no supplement. Multiple endoscopic biopsies were taken from the caecum, transverse and descending colon, and rectum. The mucosal flora was characterised by culture and to species level by cellular fatty acid profiles. Cell proliferation was assessed by immunohistochemical staining for minichromosome maintenance protein 2, Ki67, and proliferating cell nuclear antigen. In vitro prebiotics increased surface counts of bifidobacteria from 6.6 to 7.3 log(10) colony forming units (CFU) per slide with no significant changes in planktonic bacteria. In the feeding study, prebiotics increased mucosal bifidobacteria (log CFU/g mucosa (SEM)) in both the proximal (control 5.3 (0.4) v prebiotic 6.3 (0.3)) and distal (control 5.2 (0.3) v prebiotic 6.4 (0.3)) colon. Lactobacilli were also increased in the proximal and in the distal colon. There were significantly more eubacteria in fed subjects but no changes in total anaerobes clostridia, bacteroides, or coliforms, nor in proliferation indices. Prebiotic carbohydrates can change the composition of the mucosa associated flora significantly.

Symbiotic containing Bifidobacterium animalis and inulin increases stool frequency in elderly healthy people.
Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2004.
Background: the aim of the study was to investigate the effect of a symbiotic on gut microbiota and bowel habits. Methods: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized crossover study was conducted in healthy elderly people (n= 49; mean age 70 +/- 4 years) over a total of sixteen weeks divided into periods of 4 weeks each, (1) run-in, (2) first intervention, (3) wash-out, and (4) second intervention. During the intervention periods study participants consumed daily sachets either containing the symbiotic or a placebo. The symbiotic contained bifidobacterium animalis and inulin. During the whole study subjects regularly completed questionnaires on bowel habits, well-being, gastrointestinal quality of life and underwent a medical examination. At the end of each intervention period the volunteers reported their dietary intake using a 4-day food record and provided a fresh faecal sample for the analysis of microbial and other parameters. Results: the habitual dietary intake remained constant over the entire period of investigation. The consumption of the symbiotic resulted in a significant increase of stool frequency compared to the placebo period (8.8 vs. 8.1 stools per week. Among other gastrointestinal symptoms, e.g. Bloating, flatulence, no differences between the treatment and placebo periods could be found. For several parameters of well-being a significant positive influence of the symbiotic treatment could be demonstrated. The characterization of the microbial composition using fluorescence in-situ hybridization and enzymatic analyses are in progress. Conclusion: the administration of a symbiotic consisting of bifidobacterium animalis and inulin improves well-being and gastrointestinal quality of life in elderly subjects.

The effect of the daily intake of inulin on fasting lipid, insulin and glucose concentrations in middle-aged men and women.
Br J Nutr. 1999.
The present study was carried out to examine the effect of the daily intake of 10 g inulin on fasting blood lipid, glucose and insulin levels in healthy middle-aged men and women with moderately raised total plasma cholesterol (TC) and triacylglycerol (TAG) levels. Fifty-four middle-aged subjects received either inulin or placebo for a period of 8 weeks. Compared with baseline values, insulin concentrations were significantly lower at 4 weeks in the inulin group. There was a trend for TAG values, compared with baseline, to be lower in the inulin group at 8 weeks returning to baseline concentrations at week 12. The daily addition of 10 g inulin to the diet significantly reduced fasting insulin concentrations during the 8-week test period and resulted in lower plasma TAG levels, particularly in subjects in whom fasting TAG levels were greater than 1.5 mmol/l. These data support findings from animal studies that fructans influence the formation and/or degradation of TAG-rich lipoprotein particles, and the insulin data are also consistent with recent studies showing attenuation of insulin levels in fructan-treated rats.

Inulin and longevity in rodents
Effects of lifelong intervention with an oligofructose-enriched inulin in rats on general health and lifespan.
Br J Nutr. 2008. ETAP – Applied Ethology, 13 rue du Bois de la Champelle, Vandoeuvre-lès-Nancy, France.
The aim of the study was to investigate the effects of lifelong supplementation with an oligofructose-enriched inulin on morphological and biological markers and lifespan in male and female rats. Male and female rats, age 3 months, were randomised into two groups to receive either a diet with 10 % of an oligofructose-enriched inulin (Synergy1) or a standard diet (control) for 27 months. The survival rate at 24 months of age in SYN1-F rats was 33 % greater compared with that of the control group.

ORAFTI Active Food Ingredients, the world market leader for inulin and oligofructose, has obtained approval for the classification of Beneo ™ inulin as a dietary fiber for labeling purposes in Canada. IN March, 2006, Canada’s Health Products and Food Branch approved the classification of inulin as a dietary fiber in Canada, a decision that will allow ORAFTI to label its Beneo ™ inulin range as a “dietary fiber.” ORAFTI Active Food Ingredients is a worldwide market leader in production and marketing of chicory-based food ingredients Beneo ™ inulin and oligofructose.

Q. Is inulin a glyconutrient?
   A. I have not come across a good definition of what a glyconutrient is since it is not an accepted scientific term. Inulin is a fiber and hence there is no need to call it a glyconutrient.

Q. I was reading about inulin fiber on your site and I was curious about something. If inulin fiber is not digested, how does that affect the absorption of calories? For example if one consumes 100 calories of inulin, does the body absorb any or all of those calories, or are they passed through the digestive tract?
   A. Part of the inulin can be converted into calories, it is difficult to say exactly how much, but it would be a fraction of regular fully digestible starch.

I have been using inulin fiber for six months now to reduce my cholesterol, Does inulin (soluble fiber) reduce cholesterol?
   One study listed above indicates inulin lowers cholesterol levels. However, it is best to ingest a variety of different fibers, not just one, to provide optimal cholesterol reduction. Each type of fiber may have its own unique benefit.

Q. I've heard that inulin can be used in cooking and baking. Do you have or can you suggest any recipes?
   A. We are not familiar with it used in cooking or any inulin recipes.

Q. I am trying to lose weight, and I have a question that I can't seem to get a clear answer on. From what I understand from your inulin web page and others, fiber is not digested by your body -- it just kind of passes through and helps satisfy you without the calories "sticking" to your body. My question is this: when added to other foods, such as yogurt, does the inulin fiber some how also keep the yogurt calories from "sticking"? Or does inulin fiber simply help make the yogurt more satisfying, and not change the calories? Thanks a million!!!
   A. Inulin fiber most likely slows absorption of calories, but eventually most if not all calories are absorbed. However, fiber does provide a fullness effect which may reduce overall food consumption.

Q. Is inulin totally safe. I have had some constipation problems lately; have tried Metamucil and others and have just felt bloated. I got a colon test and all seemed good, so I am interested in hearing what you have to say about inulin and constipation. I've tried a few smart Fiberstixx from " the world's healthiest pizza" down here in New Orleans and it seems to sit well with me. How is inulin product different.
   A. Constipation has many causes, and sometimes drinking prune juice can help. However we would suggest reading the page on constipation on this web site and discussing the best option for you. Some people like inulin, others like other products. No supplement is 100 percent safe but inulin appears to have a very high safety profile.

Q. What are the possibilities of allergic reaction to inulin? Should you be tested first?
   A. We have not had anyone report to us that they have had an allergic reaction to inulin. As far as being tested firest, that is a decision you and your doctor would have to make. We don't see any specific reason to test for inulin allergy.

Q. I am considering taking inulin supplement, but I would like to know more. What if any are inulin side effects? How much do I take each day. Can this be taken with a statin drug, such as lipitor or zocor? Is inulin supplement recommended for women over 50?
   A. No significant inulin side effects have been noted in the medical literature. In very high doses there could be minor side effects mostly related to the gastrointestinal system such as cramping or nausea. Each person will take inulin as needed, there is no accepted dosage or RDA guideline. Start with small amounts of a quarter teaspoon at first and base future intake on your experience and your doctor's suggestions. We have not seen any research with statin drug use and inulin so we don't know if there are any interactions. We are not aware of any age restrictions regarding the use of inulin.

Q. I've read on your site that inulin is often derived from chicory roots. I'm wondering how much inulin I would get if I took about 1 tbsp of chicory as I often take that much and easily could.
   A. It's a good question, we don't know for sure, but some estimates are that about a third of chicory root is inulin although we need more data to be confident.

Q. I am fighting osteoporosis and would like to take inulin to enhance my calcium & magnesium absorption. I read that different inulin fructans have different efficacy. So, what form of inulin should I seek? Is fructooligosaccharide inulin the best?
   A. We have seen no long term studies that have evaluated the use of inulin for osteoporosis. Even after years and decades of research, there is still no firm agreement in the medical profession regarding the ideal dosages of calcium, vitamin D, mangesium, or other supplements. Hence the role of inulin in osteoporosis is likely to be unanswered for quite a while.

How much fructose is in an inulin product? Does inulin feed Candida or make dysbiosis worse? For a patient with severe candida and dysbiosis what is the recommended dose?
   Inulin is composed of chains of fructose in varying lengths and not necessarily single fructose molecules by themselves. We have not seen any human studies regarding the use of an inulin supplement and its influence on candida or dysbiosis. However, one rodent study indicates the administration of inulin reduced the number of pathogens in the gut.

Dietary oligofructose and inulin protect mice from enteric and systemic pathogens and tumor inducers.
Buddington KK, Donahoo JB, Buddington RK. J Nutr. 2002 Mar;132(3):472-7. Department of Biological Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762-5759, USA.
Prebiotics induce changes in the population and metabolic characteristics of the gastrointestinal bacteria, modulate enteric and systemic immune functions, and provide laboratory rodents with resistance to carcinogens that promote colorectal cancer. There is less known about protection from other challenges. Therefore, mice of the B6C3F1 strain were fed for 6 wk a control diet with 100 g/kg cellulose or one of two experimental diets with the cellulose replaced entirely by the nondigestible oligosaccharides oligofructose and inulin. From each diet, 25 mice were challenged by a promoter of colorectal cancer (1,2-dimethylhydrazine), B16F10 tumor cells, the enteric pathogen Candida albicans (enterically), or were infected systemically with Listeria monocytogenes or Salmonella typhimurium. The incidences of aberrant crypt foci in the distal colon after exposure to dimethylhdrazine for mice fed inulin (53%) and oligofructose (54%) were lower than in control mice (76%). Mice fed the diets with fructans had 50% lower densities of C. albicans in the small intestine. A systemic infection with L. monocytogenes caused nearly 30% mortality among control mice, but none of the mice fed inulin died, with survival intermediate for mice fed oligofructose. Mortality was higher for the systemic infection of S. typhimurium (>80% for control mice), but fewer of the mice fed inulin died (60%), with mice fed oligofructose again intermediate.

Q. i thought i had read somewhere that it was best to take inulin dissolved in warm water (or tea). my acupuncturist said she thought it would be best taken cold or room-temperature, her reasoning was that heat kills prebiotics. but if i read correctly here on your site, it's actually the action of bacteria in the lower intestine on the indigestible fiber that brings about benefit. because she has a high opinion of your work, she suggested your site to find a definitive answer.
   A. Probiotics are formed of bacteria and can be susceptible to heat. Prebiotics are made of fiber, not bacteria, and as such would not be influenced much from temperature except perhaps when exposed to prolonged, extreme heat which is not likely to occur if the inulin is dissolved in tea or warm water.

I am inquiring about the product: Inulin Fiber, Now Foods. I would like to know what percentage of this product is inulin and what percentage is fructooligosaccharide. I recently read in the Internal Medicine News journal (2/15/08 edition) that a 70% fructooligosaccharide 30% inlulin at 15g / day is associated with improvement in Crohn's disease activity. I would like to know how this inulin product ingredients compare to that in the study. My wife has Crohn's disease.
   Plant inulins generally contain between 20 to several thousand fructose units. Smaller compounds are called fructooligosaccharides, You may wish to contact NOW Foods at their website to know this detail. One should keep in mind that just because a study was done with a particular ratio of inulin to fructooligosaccharides, this does not mean that a different ratio would not provide a better outcome.

buy Inulin Fiber, Now Foods, Net Wt. 8 oz. (224 g)
Prebiotic Colon Support Powder
Vegetarian Formula - A Dietary Supplement

NOW's Inulin is a fructooligosaccharide derived from Chicory roots and other natural sources of inulin. As a prebiotic, it stimulates the growth of friendly and healthy intestinal bacteria which supports good colon health. Since it also has a very low glycemic index, it is suitable for many people who are on restricted diets. Add it to your favorite beverage or food. Its taste is comparable to sugar and can be used as a sugar replacer.
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Supplement Facts
Serving Size: 1 Level Teaspoon (2.8 g)
Servings Per Container: about 81
  Amount Per Serving % Daily Value
Calories 5  
Total Carbohydrate 2.7 g 1%*
Dietary Fiber 2.5 g 10%*
Organic Inulin (FOS) 2.8 g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
† Daily Value not established.

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Suggested Usage: As a dietary supplement, add 1 teaspoon of inulin fiber as required to your favorite beverage or food.