What is Inulin? The Ultimate FAQ Guide to Inulin

15 CommentsThursday, 20 October 2016  |  Admin

What is inulin? 90+ Questions dedicated to how, what, when, why, where, which, who and many more.

We get so many questions relating to inulin, we decided to create the ultimate FAQ guide as a resource for all our customers, as well as the World Wide Web. So if your question is HOW, WHAT, WHEN, WHY, WHERE, WHICH related, we would like to think we have it covered.

ultimate faq guide to inulin

For your convenience we have created quick jump links to the relevant areas below. Click on the prefix question below and you will jump to that section with all the answers.


'DOES' Related Inulin Questions (?)

Does inulin cause flatulence (gas)?

A: It is possible that if you normally have a bad reaction to eating dietary fibre, or if you suffer with irritable bowel syndrome, you may find high doses of inulin a problem. Inulin is classed as a FODMAP (acronym for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols), a type of fibre which ferments in the colon and may produce gas and digestive problems.

It is also a member of the carbohydrate group known as fructans, which have been shown to promote better health and reduce the risk of disease. If you wish to tap into the many health benefits of adding inulin to your diet, whilst avoiding the inconvenience of flatulence, the secret is to begin with small amounts of inulin. The dose can be gradually increased until you are able to assess your tolerance.

A study by the Department of Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Minnesota found that oligo-fructose, (a short-chain fatty acid often used as a sweetening additive), causes faster fermentation in the gut than that of native inulin, which may lead to more flatulence and gastrointestinal symptoms. The study concluded that most healthy participants could tolerate up to 10 grams of native inulin and 5 grams of the ‘sweet’ inulin per day.

Does inulin contain gluten?

A: Inulin and oligo-fructose (sweet inulin) are prebiotics found in certain foods. These substances go through the gut undigested and are finally used by the colon’s good bacteria. It is one of the problems for celiac patients that bad bacteria can easily multiply and take over, and when this happens a possible leaky gut may allow toxins into the bloodstream. It is therefore essential to get sufficient prebiotics from food to make sure the friendly microflora thrive. The following gluten-free foods are high in these prebiotics:

  • Agave
  • Artichoke (Jerusalem, not globe)
  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Banana
  • Garlic
  • Leeks
  • Onions
  • Yams

It should be noted that soluble fibre obtained from wheat dextrin does contain gluten so is unsuitable for those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.

Does inulin feed candida?

A: Within the intestinal tract are millions of ‘friendly’ bacteria (microflora) and yeasts all battling for survival against pathogens such as candida. Inulin provides the prebiotic food on which the microflora feed, so helping the friendly bacteria thrive and multiply to outnumber the baddies (pathogens). This type of inulin does not feed pathogenic bacteria or encourage yeast colonies.

However, fructooligosaccharides (not surprisingly shortened to the nickname of FOS), is found in fruits such as yacon, apples, bananas, grapes, wheat and barley is also a form of inulin which passes unchanged through the digestive system. This type of inulin has been found to feed the good bacteria, but will also act as a nutrient to candida.

Does inulin suppress appetite?

A: Research by Imperial College London and the Medical Research Council analysed the effects of inulin dietary fibre to see if it helped with problems of obesity. The laboratory study identified a molecule called acetate which is a by-product of consuming dietary fibre. It seems that when acetate is released it is transported to the brain where it signals to us that we are full.

These findings confirm the benefits of increasing the amount of inulin fibre in our diet to help prevent over-eating.

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'HOW' Related Inulin Questions (?)

How does inulin fibre work?

A: Inulin fibre works in a similar way to other (insoluble) dietary fibres in the digestive system, except that as a soluble fibre, it becomes a gel-like substance and mops up dangerous fats as it passes undigested through the gut. Inulin has one extremely useful function that other fibres lack; upon reaching the end of the digestive process, it feeds the healthy bacteria which helps to boost your immune system.

Good bacteria, also known as probiotics, need fuel in order to function efficiently. The type of fuel they need is called prebiotic, and inulin is an excellent prebiotic. It is able to survive the caustic acids in the stomach, remaining intact to feed the probiotics waiting in your intestines. This helps by improving your digestion, thereby providing an enhanced immune system and many other health benefits.

How does inulin work?

A: Inulin is not digested or absorbed by the enzymes and acids in the digestive system, but remains intact until it reaches the colon. 
When it reaches the large intestine, inulin is converted by bacteria to a gel-like substance which is known as a prebiotic. Prebiotics are used as food by the colon’s protective bacteria, otherwise known as probiotics such as lactobacilli and bifidobacteria, helping them thrive and multiply.
 
It is the probiotic bacteria that help boost the immune system and keep your digestive system functioning efficiently. They also help aid the absorption of food, including calcium and magnesium.

Probiotics need the sustenance of prebiotics to survive against the constant onslaught of pathogens and microorganisms. Probiotics are perishable bacteria which can be killed off by enzymes and acids in the stomach. Those that manage to reach the lower part of the gut then have to compete with other bacteria (pathogens and microorganisms) to establish themselves. This is why helping probiotic bacteria not just survive but thrive is so important.

Inulin has been found to feed only the good bacteria rather than the pathogens, giving a significant boost to the immune system. It also helps block the production of cholesterol and visceral fat.

How inulin is made

A: Inulin is most commonly obtained from chicory roots and the process involves firstly soaking the fresh or dried root in a solvent (either hot water or ethanol). The inulin can then be mechanically extracted from the root, purified/filtered and spray dried.

The process is similar to that of sugar beet extraction and in the UK the same equipment is often used with only slight modifications being necessary.

There are various other methods of extraction available, and research is ongoing to discover new and more efficient methods of obtaining inulin from chicory root.

How inulin works

A: Inulin is not digested or absorbed in the gut but remains intact in a gel-like form until it reaches the bowels where it provides sustenance for protective or ‘friendly’ bacteria, leading to improved metabolic health. It also helps to reduce the production of cholesterol and visceral fat. (These are the dangerous fats which can lead to heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and other serious conditions).

How is inulin manufactured?

A: Inulin is most commonly obtained from chicory roots and the process involves firstly cutting up and soaking the fresh or dried root in a solvent (either hot water or ethanol). The inulin can then be mechanically extracted from the root, purified/filtered and spray dried. The process is similar to that of sugar beet extraction and in the UK the same equipment is often used with only slight modifications being necessary.

How is inulin digested?

A: Inulin is a soluble fibre which is not digested as it passes through the gut and reaches the large intestine still intact. Gut bacteria converts inulin to short-chain fatty acids which have beneficial effects on the digestive system

These fatty acids are known as prebiotics and when they reach the large intestine they provide nourishment to the protective bacteria which live in the intestines (probiotics). Because they are suitable food only for the probiotics bacteria, and do not feed the bad bacteria (pathogens), the process enables probiotics to multiply and thrive.
 
By overcoming the pathogens, these good bacteria help protect us from colon cancer, inflammatory bowel diseases and constipation. They also help regulate blood sugar and reduce cholesterol and high blood pressure.

How is inulin extracted from chicory?

A: The process of extracting inulin from chicory involves coarsely grinding the fresh or dried root. It is then sprayed with liquid (either hot water or ethanol). The inulin can then be extracted, purified/filtered and spray dried to obtain inulin powder. This process is similar to that of sugar beet extraction and in the UK the same equipment is often used with only slight modification to the processing plant being necessary.

There are various other methods of extraction available, and research is ongoing to discover new and more efficient methods of obtaining inulin from chicory root.

How is inulin grown?

A: Inulin is extracted mainly from chicory root. Chicory is a biennial crop-plant grown commercially mainly in Holland, France, Belgium and a small amount in the US. Fresh chicory root contains approximately 68% inulin. Dried roots contain approximately 98% inulin.

chicory root in a basket

The tuberous root develops during the main growing season and is harvested at the beginning of October. The harvesting extends for a two-month period, until the ground becomes too hard due to frost. An indication that the root is ready to be harvested is when the outer leaves of the chicory plant turn yellow, but the inner leaves are still green. Leaves are usually cut off before the roots are dug. 

Historically, the roots have been dug with a machine similar to that used for harvesting sugar beet, but a bespoke chicory root harvester is now available to do this job more efficiently. See a chicory-root harvester in action.

How much inulin fibre per day?

A: A placebo-controlled, double blind study was carried out using sixty-six healthy volunteers in ages ranging from 18 to 50 years. The participants were put into three groups; assigned to consume shots of pear, carrot and sea buckthorn, plum, pear and beetroot, all of which contained either 5 grams per day of Jerusalem artichoke inulin or a placebo.

The outcome showed that good bacteria levels were significantly higher from the consumption of both the PCS and PPB shots compared with the placebo. So a very high level of benefit (90%) to the product was observed. The study confirmed the prebiotic efficacy of fruit and vegetable shots containing Jerusalem artichoke inulin.

Although the study used inulin extracted from the Jerusalem artichoke, inulin extracted from chicory root is also highly effective and the most widely used for supplement purposes. 

The recommended quantity needed varies widely between 5 and 40 grams per day, dependent upon the individual. It is recommended that you begin with a small amount, gradually increasing until you find your comfortable limit. A dose of 8 to 12 grams per day has been found to be the optimal amount for most people. 

How much inulin daily?

A: Research has shown that inulin, oligo-fructose and FOS significantly increase good bacteria in the colon, even when only quite moderate amounts are consumed (5 to 8 grams per day).

The study in question used inulin extracted from the Jerusalem artichoke, but inulin from chicory root is also highly effective and the most widely used for supplement purposes. A recommended quantity needed per day varies widely between 5 and 40 grams per day dependent upon the individual. It is recommended that you begin with a small amount per day, gradually increasing until you find your comfortable limit. A dose of 8 to 12 grams per day has been found to be the optimal amount for most people. 

How much inulin should I take?

A: An amount of 8 to 12 grams of inulin per day will maintain a healthy digestive system but it is recommended to begin treatment with a small dose, gradually increasing until your own tolerance is reached. 

How much inulin fibre per day?

A: An amount of 8 to 12 grams of inulin per day will maintain a healthy digestive system but it is recommended to begin treatment with a small dose, gradually increasing until your own tolerance is reached. 

How much inulin in chicory coffee?

A: Chicory coffee does not contain much inulin. According to Teeccino who manufacture chicory coffee, a 10 oz cup has less than one gram. However, even this amount is useful to include with other ways of getting your daily quota. 

How much inulin in Jerusalem artichoke?

A: The Jerusalem artichoke contains approximately 31.5% inulin fibre. It should not be confused with the round, green globe artichoke.

harvested jerusalem artichoke

How much inulin in a jicama?

A: Jicama looks like a root vegetable but is actually a legume and it grows on vines. Originally a native to the Mexican peninsula, it now grows in Central America, the Caribbean, the Andes and Southern Asia where it is a popular food source.

jicama root

Jicama is low in calories but high in oligofructose inulin so helpful for diabetics and for colon health. In a serving of 100 grams, the dietary fibre is 5 grams and sugar is 2 grams.

How much inulin in onion?

A: Half a cup of cooked onion provides 1.5 grams of inulin.

How much inulin in a banana?

A: Although the inulin content of a banana is quite small, being between only 0.3 to 0.7 percent of its weight, if you eat bananas regularly they make a significant addition to your daily inulin quota

How much inulin in rye bread?

A: Rye consists of roughly 0.5 to 1.0 percent of inulin. Bread made with rye flour instead of wheat flour will help you to get additional benefit of extra inulin in your regular diet

How much inulin is too much?

A: The recommended amount of inulin powder to be taken as a supplement is somewhere between 5 and 40 grams per day. It is a good idea to start with a smaller amount, gradually increasing it until you reach a point where you are aware of any discomfort such as bloating or gas, and at that point you may assume that the amount you are taking may be too much. Eating foods containing inulin is unlikely to take you over the advisable amount, but go by how you feel in terms of digestive comfort.

How much inulin per day?

A: The recommended amount of inulin powder to be taken as a supplement is between 8 and 12 grams for most people. It is a good idea to start with a smaller amount, gradually increasing it until you reach a point where you are aware of any discomfort such as bloating or gas.
 
If you decide to obtain your inulin by eating vegetables, fruits and grains which contain soluble fibre such as onions, garlic, leeks, artichokes, rye, barley, wheat, you will need approximately 25 grams of soluble fibre each day to maintain a healthy digestive system.

How was inulin discovered?

A: In 1804, whilst boiling the roots of the inula helenium plant, German scientist Valentin Rose isolated an unknown substance which he called inulin.

It was not until the 1930s that inulin’s non-digestible qualities were used by two scientists named James Colquhoun Irvine and Charles William Soutar in their study on the constitution of polysaccharides and the conversion of cellulose into glucose.

Inulin how much to take?

A: The recommended amount of inulin powder to be taken as a supplement is between 8 and 12 grams for most people. It is a good idea to start with a smaller amount, gradually increasing it until you reach a point where you are aware of any discomfort such as bloating or gas.

If you decide to obtain your inulin by eating vegetables, fruits and grains which contain soluble fibre such as onions, garlic, leeks, artichokes, rye, barley, wheat, you will need approximately 25 grams of soluble fibre each day to maintain a healthy digestive system. 

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'IS' Related Inulin Questions (?)

Is agave inulin bad for you?

A: Results of a 2015 study on whether agave inulin supplementation affects the fecal microbiota (bacteria in the colon) of healthy adults taking part in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial, were published by the American Society for Nutrition via Cochrane Library.

agave plants in the field

Findings of how agave inulin affects microbiota were positive, but it was concluded that further investigation was needed to establish whether agave inulin supplementation shifted the gastrointestinal microbiota composition and activity in healthy adults. The trial concluded that further investigation is necessary to determine whether the observed changes will lead to significant health benefits in humans.

Is inulin a prebiotic?

A: Inulin becomes a prebiotic due to interaction with colonic bacteria.

Is inulin a soluble fibre?

A: Inulin belongs to a group of carbohydrates called fructans. It is also a soluble fibre, which means that it breaks down in water but despite this, it does not digest as it passes through the stomach and small intestine. Due to its capacity to remain entire through the digestive system, inulin reaches the colon undigested where it feeds good bacteria, sometimes referred to as ‘friendly flora’. 

Is inulin bad for you?

A: Inulin is rarely bad for you; any amount of inulin is considered safe. It is a non-allergenic, natural soluble dietary fibre, present in many everyday foods. It is possible that those who have a bad reaction to eating large amounts of certain fibres may find inulin a problem. It is a carbohydrate known as a FODMAP, which ferments in the colon and may produce gas and digestive problems. If this is the case it is a good idea to add inulin or other fibre to your diet very slowly to see how they affect you, and also drink plenty of water.

Is inulin gluten free?

A: Inulin is gluten free. Inulin and oligo-fructose (sweet inulin) are prebiotics found in certain foods. These substances go through the gut undigested and are finally used by the colon’s good bacteria. It is one of the problems for celiac patients that bad bacteria can easily multiply and take over, and when this happens a possible leaky gut may allow toxins into the bloodstream. It is therefore essential to get sufficient prebiotics from food to make sure the friendly microflora thrive. The following foods are high in these prebiotics which are all gluten free:

  • Agave
  • Artichoke (Jerusalem, not globe)
  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Banana
  • Garlic
  • Leeks
  • Onions
  • Yams

Is inulin good for you?

A: Inulin is a soluble fibre which medical science has found can improve your cardiovascular health as well as your digestive system. It is also a great help in weight management, particularly when it comes to reducing the amount of visceral (active) fat that clings to the abdominal organs. Eating inulin-rich foods, or supplementing your diet with an inulin supplement on a regular basis, may boost your immune system and help your body to fend off many serious diseases and conditions.

Is inulin safe?

A: Inulin-type prebiotics are generally recognised as safe. 

Is inulin safe during pregnancy?

A: Inulin-type prebiotics are generally recognized to be safe but you should check with your GP before taking inulin in supplement form. This is particularly important with inulin derived from chicory as this herb has properties which may cause menstrual bleeding.

Is inulin a soluble fibre?

A: Inulin is a soluble fibre found in high quantities in the root of the chicory plant and the Jerusalem artichoke. Many other plants also contain inulin but in smaller amounts. Dietary fibre has been used to help digestive health, reduce appetite and help the cardiovascular system, but inulin doesn’t work in the same way as simple dietary fibre, it has been found in clinical trials to give prebiotic help to the beneficial bacteria which play an important role in boosting the immune system and fighting various diseases.

Is inulin soluble or insoluble fibre?

A: Inulin is a soluble fibre. It passes through the small and large intestines unabsorbed. During this process inulin ferments and becomes a gel-like substance which feeds the healthy intestinal microflora that live in the gut.

Is inulin vegan?

A: Inulin in its pure form is vegan.

Inulin and oligofructose are part of a class of carbohydrates called fructans. They are derived purely from vegetables and herbs, certain fruits, legumes, oats, rye, barley and wheat. However, due to the health benefits of inulin oligofructose they are often added to certain foods such as yogurt and milky desserts to provide fibre and improve the texture. The sweet version of inulin may be used as a flavour enhancer in certain foods.

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'WHAT' Related Inulin Questions (?)

Inulin what does it do?

A: Inulin has no calorific value, but gives serious nutritional support. Because of its fibrous quality, it helps the efficient movement of digesting food. There are many plus points for including inulin in your diet:

  • It can help prevent infections
  • Stimulate your immune system
  • Help to ease the problem of constipation
  • When it reaches the colon, inulin provides food for good bacteria such as bifidobacteria and lactobacilli
  • Inulin is a soluble fibre. It has a gel-like consistency which mops up cholesterol as it makes its way through the digestive tract
  • Slows the passage of food through the digestive system, enabling your body to absorb nutrients more effectively
  • Because inulin gives a feeling of fullness, as well as preventing the spiking of blood sugars, it may help with weight control
  • Research shows that inulin helps the body absorb calcium
  • A study from 2015 shows that inulin is beneficial for controlling blood sugar and alleviating the progress of type 2 diabetes
  • It may be a preventative supplement against cancers of the digestive system

What is inulin?

A: Although inulin appears to be a starch derived from certain vegetables, herbs, grains and fruits, it doesn’t behave in the way that most starches or carbohydrates normally do. Inulin is a polysaccharide which is a chain of sugar molecules derived from plants that are not normally known to contain starch.
 
The root of the chicory plant, which has a very high concentration of inulin, is the most widely used source of inulin for supplement purposes.

What are inulin-type fructans?

A: Inulin is the name given to a diverse range of fructose polymers or carbohydrates stored in various plants. One particular polymer, known as oligofructose, has a sweet flavour and is excellent as a food additive. It increases fibre, aids the digestive system, improves flavour and adds non-calorific sweetness to low calorie foods as a weight-loss aid. It does not cause blood sugar spikes which is a serious benefit.

What contains inulin?

A: Inulin is a starchy carbohydrate found naturally in many foods such as oats, wheat, bananas, onions and garlic, but the highest concentration of inulin is found in the root of the chicory plant. 

What does inulin do in the body?

A: Inulin is a soluble dietary fibre found in many vegetables, legumes, fruits and herbs. On its journey through the body, inulin remains intact rather than being broken down by gastric acids and it helps mop up excess triglycerides and cholesterol as it passes through the digestive system. 

Upon reaching the colon, inulin is used as food for the friendly flora (good bacteria). This has a positive effect on the efficiency of the digestive system. It also helps prevent the formation of internal (visceral) fat around the abdominal organs and gives protection from heart disease. Inulin also helps control blood glucose, giving a hand in preventing or managing type-2 diabetes.

Research studies have shown positive results that inulin may prove to be a good dietary supplement for appetite suppression.

What does inulin fibre do?

A: Inulin is a form of soluble dietary fibre which is not digested but which passes through the digestive system without being broken down and used as food. It is however converted by intestinal bacteria into a gel-like substance which changes its molecular structure and by the time it reaches the colon it has become a short-chain fatty acid, another name for which is prebiotic.

Inulin is then available as food for the good bacteria in the colon, causing them to thrive and multiply to the benefit of the whole digestive system. Inulin fibre has many useful functions; protecting against the storage of dangerous visceral fat around the abdominal organs, giving protection from heart disease, fatty liver disease, gall bladder disease and pancreatitis. Inulin also helps control blood sugar, so may prevent type-2 diabetes.

Medical research into the benefits of soluble dietary fibre have concluded a positive discovery into how inulin can help the body function more effectively.

What inulin fibre?

A: Inulin fibre from chicory root is the most widely used of all the various sources of inulin for supplement use. Chicory has the highest levels of extractable inulin of any of our native vegetables, fruits or herbs so it is a natural choice as an extremely useful source of dietary inulin. 

Inulin, which is a polymer of monosaccharide fructose, is a natural plant fibre. Modest but useful amounts may be obtained by eating a variety of vegetables, herbs and fruits such as asparagus, yam, onion, leek, garlic and banana.
 
Inulin is a dietary fibre with a difference, because unlike wheat bran for instance, inulin is soluble. It can be consumed without fear of weight gain as it is calorie-free. It takes up space in the gut, so gives a feeling of satiety, it does not digest, so makes it through the whole of the digestive system intact, apart from changing its molecular structure to become a gel-like prebiotic which feeds the microflora in the gut. This process is highly beneficial to general digestive health.

What is inulin clearance?

A: Inulin clearance is an efficient method of blood testing, performed mainly to evaluate kidney damage or for screening for diabetic nephropathy (damage to the kidneys caused by diabetes).

  • Inulin, because it is not digested in the human body, serves a useful purpose in gauging kidney function
  • Blood is filtered by the liver and spleen as well as the kidneys and the inulin clearance blood test helps define the filtration efficiency in kidney function testing by determining the inulin clearance rate, i.e. the rate at which inulin leaves the blood
  • The test is carried out by administering a dose of inulin and measuring the time it takes to decrease in the blood as it is filtered out by the kidneys into the urine

If you are from a more medical background and want technical information on the inulin clearance blood test. This video goes into specifics and formulas.

What is inulin fibre?

A: Inulin is a form of soluble dietary fibre which is not digested but which passes through the digestive system without being broken down and used as food. It is however converted by intestinal bacteria into a gel-like substance which changes its molecular structure and by the time it reaches the colon it has become a short-chain fatty acid, another name for which is prebiotic.

Inulin is then available as food for the good bacteria in the colon, causing them to thrive and multiply to the benefit of the whole digestive system. Inulin fibre has many beneficial functions, protecting against the storage of dangerous visceral fat around the abdominal organs, giving protection from heart disease, fatty liver disease, gall bladder disease and pancreatitis. It also helps control blood sugar so helps prevent type-2 diabetes.

What is inulin FOS?

A: Indigenous to South America and Hispanic countries, the smallanthus sanchifolius plant (common name yacon or ground apple), is used to produce a syrup which can be used as a sweetener, food additive and flavour enhancer.
 
The active ingredient from this plant is known as FOS, or to give it its full title, fructo-oligosaccharides. The only difference between FOS and inulin is its polymer chain length. Inulin/FOS is sometimes called neosugar, diabetic sugar, Atlanta starch, dahlin and helenin. 

What is inulin from chicory root?

A: The root of the chicory plant, which has a very high concentration of inulin, is the most widely used source of inulin for supplement purposes.

When inulin passes through the digestive system it is not broken down by the digestive process in the stomach but reaches the intestines where it provides nourishment for beneficial bacteria. This provides a boost to metabolic health in many ways.

What is inulin good for?

A: Inulin helps to prevent dangerous ‘active’ fat from cladding the internal abdominal organs such as the heart, liver and pancreas. 
Because of its fibrous quality, inulin helps reduce problems associated with bowel function such as constipation, irritable bowel syndrome and diverticular disease. 

Inulin is good for helping to regulate blood sugar and helps prevent glucose ‘spikes’ when too much sugar hits the bloodstream. 

What is inulin in food?

A: Inulin is soluble fibre which passes undigested through the gut and feeds friendly bacteria in the colon to give various health benefits.

What is inulin in stevia?

A: Inulin in stevia is a blend of the soluble, but non-digestible fibre inulin, which when combined with stevia extract can be used in recipes for hot or cold dishes as a substitute for sugar. This product is marketed as Sweet Leaf.

What is inulin made from?

A: Although inulin appears to be a starch derived from certain vegetables, herbs and fruits, it doesn’t behave in the way that most starches or carbohydrates normally do. It is in fact a polysaccharide which is a chain of sugar molecules derived from plants that are not normally known to contain starch.
 
The root of the chicory plant, which has a very high concentration of inulin, is the most widely used source of inulin for commercially produced supplement purposes. Jerusalem artichoke also provides high extraction yields. 

What is inulin powder used for?

A: Inulin powder can inhibit the storage of active (visceral) fat around the abdominal organs. This type of fat can lead to serious diseases including diabetes, pancreatitis, gall bladder disease, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.
 

  • It also encourages the beneficial intestinal bacteria to thrive, which helps maintain a healthy digestive system
  • Inulin powder is used to lower triglyceride (blood fat) levels which helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems
  • Because inulin powder is a soluble fibre, it passes undigested through the gut, but the intestinal bacteria convert it to a gel-like substance which acts as nourishment for beneficial bacteria in the colon

What is inulin prebiotic?

A: Inulin prebiotic is when inulin, the soluble fibre, has passed undigested through the small intestine to the large intestine where is becomes a prebiotic, or source of nourishment for beneficial bacteria.

What is inulin soluble fibre?

A: Inulin is found in many natural plants, it also may be purchased as a supplement. Inulin is a soluble fibre made up of chains of fructose molecules which cannot be digested by your small intestine. It travels in its entire state through the digestive system until it reaches the lower gut where it is converted to a short-chain fatty acid to nourish good microflora.

What is inulin soluble fibre in stevia?

A: Inulin soluble fibre is added to stevia when manufacturers wish to give added bulk and texture. It is also often added to enhance flavour. Inulin is added to certain products to improve the digestive properties.

What is inulin syrup?

A: Inulin syrup is produced from plants such as the agave and yacon which is Indigenous to South America. The syrup is widely used as a sweetener, food additive and flavour enhancer. Because it does not cause blood sugar spikes, inulin syrup is useful for diabetics, anyone with pre-diabetic syndrome or if you are just keen to cut down on sugar to prevent future health issues.

Inulin syrup may be substituted for refined or raw sugar, honey, molasses, maple syrup or artificial sweeteners, all of which raise blood glucose levels. Inulin syrup however, will sweeten without causing those blood-glucose spikes. It doesn’t taste quite as sweet as sugar (sweetness levels are between 30 and 50 percent of sugar in commercially prepared syrups), but it has a pleasant and not invasive sweetness.

What is inulin used for in food?

A: Due to its creamy texture, inulin is becoming a very popular additive in such foods as yogurts, cereals, soups. It is also used as a fat substitute in margarines and salad dressings and to partially replace flour in baked goods.

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Start Reducing Your Visceral Fat Levels Naturally

> Get our Pure Inulin Powder here <

Taken Daily

Extensive research has shown that Inulin Powder

can reduce visceral rate naturally over time


'WHEN' Related Inulin Questions (?)

Inulin when pregnant?

A: Inulin-type prebiotics are generally recognized to be safe but you should check with your GP before taking inulin in supplement form. This is particularly important with inulin derived from chicory as this herb has properties which may cause menstrual bleeding. 

Inulin when to take?

A: No specific time of day has been recorded as being the ideal time. It is important when taking any supplement to firstly be sure the company and source are reliable. Then always read the label and follow the advice as to dosage.

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'WHERE' Related Inulin Questions (?)

Where does inulin come from?

A: Chicory root is the chief source of high quality inulin but it can be obtained by eating artichokes, asparagus, bananas,  garlic, leeks, onions, yams, wheat

Inulin where to buy

A: When sourcing a supplier of inulin supplement ensure you find a reliable company who put the provenance of their products high on the list of priorities. 

Top quality inulin powder from chicory root is available here.

Where can inulin be found?

A: Inulin can be found naturally in asparagus, bananas, garlic, Jerusalem artichokes, leeks, onions, yams and wheat.

It can also be taken as a supplement. The inulin from the chicory root is produced as a powder and may be taken daily to ensure you have the correct amount of inulin for maximum health benefit.

Chicory root inulin powder can be obtained from trusted suppliers here.

Where does inulin fibre come from?

A: Inulin fibre comes from vegetables, fruits and a percentage from certain cereals. It can also be extracted for commercial use as an additive to various foods or as a dietary supplement.
Amounts of inulin in 100 grams of the following vegetables:
o    Asparagus: 2-3 grams
o    Chicory root: 36-48 grams
o    Garlic: 9–16 grams
o    Jerusalem artichoke: 16–20 grams
o    Jicama: 10–13 grams
o    Onions: 1–8 grams
o    Yacon root: 7–8 grams
Commercially extracted inulin is available in supplement form and is usually extracted from chicory root.

Where does inulin go?

A: Inulin, which is a prebiotic carbohydrate, does not digest in the small intestine and reaches the colon where it is fermented by gut microflora.  

Where to buy inulin fibre

A: Choose a trusted supplier of natural supplements, or shop for vegetables, fruits and grains which contain inulin.

Where to buy inulin powder

A: Choose a trusted supplier of natural supplements.

Where to get inulin?

A: It is possible to get inulin by regularly eating foods that contain it. Many everyday foods such as asparagus, leeks, onions, bananas, wheat, oats, rye and garlic all have small amounts of inulin. 

If you are unable to eat enough of these foods to make up the daily recommended amount of inulin, you may find it useful to purchase inulin powder, usually extracted from chicory root or Jerusalem artichoke, to ensure you get the required daily amount of inulin to maintain a healthy digestive system.
 
Inulin produced from chicory root is available online from Supplement Place 

Where to purchase inulin?

A: In supplement form, inulin may be purchased from trusted natural health supplement suppliers. It is also possible to include in your daily diet a good selection of inulin-containing vegetables, fruits and grains to contribute to your daily needs.

Where to buy inulin powder?

A: Inulin powder is usually available from trusted suppliers of natural health products. Look for health supplement companies who put the provenance of their products as their highest priority and who guarantee no added chemicals or colourants. Also you may wish to check whether the inulin powder is sourced and produced in the UK or Europe.

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'WHICH' Related Inulin Questions (?)

Which foods contain inulin?

A: Inulin can be found naturally in quite a few everyday foods such as asparagus, bananas, garlic, Jerusalem artichokes, leeks, oats, onions, wheat, yams and sweet potatoes.
 
Because of inulin’s creamy texture, manufacturers often like to use it as a fat substitute in some margarine spreads. You may also see it on the labels of salad dressings, meal replacement shakes, protein drinks, muesli bars and high-fibre or low-fat yoghurts.
  
Inulin is also added to some brands of biscuits, cereals and breads.

Which inulin should I buy?

A: If you wish to buy inulin as a supplement you should look for chicory root powder inulin or inulin extracted from Jerusalem artichoke. These are the two sources of inulin which give the highest yield for commercial extraction purposes.

Which is better, inulin or FOS?

A: FOS and inulin are both terms for the carbohydrate (natural sugars) which are not digestible by the human gut. The only difference between FOS and inulin is their polymer chain length, so they are very closely related. Inulin is a long-chain polymer, and FOS the short-chain version.

Both substances pass through the digestive system into the colon where they provide nourishment for bacteria. FOS is short for fructooligosaccharides and may also go by the name oligofructose or oligofructan.
 
FOS is widely used as an alternative sweetener and food additive. It gives sweetness levels between 30-50% of sugar in commercially prepared syrups. It is also available as a supplement in capsule form to support digestive health.

Which is better, inulin or psyllium

A: Inulin for supplement purposes is extracted from chicory root and Jerusalem artichoke. Inulin is highly beneficial as an aid to boosting the friendly bacteria needed to improve the immune system and protect from disease.

Psyllium fibre comes from small, gel-coated seeds produced by a shrub native to India (plantago ispaghula). This plant is now also cultivated in other parts of the world. The dietary fibre from psyllium is indigestible but is effective within the digestive system for its mucilage content. Psyllium fibre can be purchased as a capsule, tablet or powder.

psyllium plant in the wild

If you are diabetic or pre-diabetic both inulin and psyllium may help you manage your blood glucose levels. They can also lower triglycerides.

Research carried out by the University of Michigan Health System states that both substances could be of benefit in treating high cholesterol and colorectal disorders. 

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre reports that inulin may help in the prevention of eczema and psyllium may help with constipation and diverticular disease.
 
The University of Maryland Medical Centre cite other benefits of inulin and psyllium to be the reduction to risk of colon cancer and heart disease. Benefits have also been found in relieving the problem of haemorrhoids, reducing high blood pressure and helping in the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis.

Which is better, inulin or wheat dextrin?

A: Wheat dextrin is a soluble fibre and a prebiotic in the same way as inulin. Inulin is gluten free, whereas wheat dextrin does contain gluten so is unsuitable for those with celiac disease, or anyone with a gluten intolerance.

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'WHO' Related Inulin Questions (?)

Who makes inulin?

A: Chicory root inulin is mainly farmed in Belgium, Holland and France. Major commercial processors and suppliers of extracted food-grade inulin are food additive companies, not pharmaceutical companies. These manufacturers and wholesale suppliers specialise in the processing and distribution of food-grade chemicals, natural plant extracts and additives for supply to the natural health supplement/food manufacturing sector. 

Foodchem International Corporation is an example of a global manufacturer (processor) of the natural active ingredient known as inulin. Foodchem is based in China and distributes standard food additives and ingredients, including inulin powder, to customers (and our competitors) in the global food, beverage, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, animal nutrition and chemical industry in 120 countries of the world.

Who makes Inulin Powder for Supplement Place?

A: Our inulin powder is supplied from continental Europe. All our inulin is sourced from the EU and manufactured in the EU and is fully certified. 

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'WHY' Related Inulin Questions (?)

Inulin use

A: Inulin is used as a food additive and supplement to improve health in a variety of ways. Firstly, inulin is a soluble fibre and a natural aid to digestive health. It is also a prebiotic which remains intact during the digestive process until it reaches the large intestines. At this point inulin provides nourishment to the intestinal microflora (anti-oxidants) which are then able to flourish sufficiently to overcome the pathogenic bacteria which inhibit the large intestine. This results in an enhanced immune system, better able to fight disease and viruses.

Inulin is used by diabetics and those wishing to control blood glucose. It is also used to help reduce cholesterol and triglycerides (fat in the blood). Research has found that inulin enhances the absorption of calcium which helps sufferers of celiac disease who are very prone to deficiency of calcium.

The very common problem of stored visceral fat (‘active’ fat which can lead to serious disease) is greatly helped by the regular addition  inulin.

Food manufacturers use inulin in gluten free baking, as a sweetening agent, and a fat and sugar substitute.

Why add inulin?

A: Food manufacturers add inulin to various products for reasons of boosting fibre in certain foods, replacing the bulk of sugar in diet products when artificial sweetener is added. Inulin itself is not a massive sweetener but its volume takes the place of the sugar ingredient when this needs to be removed from a processed food. 

Inulin is frequently added to dairy dishes to give a creamy texture to milky dessert products and yogurts.

It is a useful additive in the manufacture of goods for the gluten-free market.

Why does inulin cause gas?

A: Inulin is classed as a FODMAP (acronym for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols), a type of fibre which ferments in the colon and may produce gas and digestive problems.

It is also a member of the carbohydrate group known as fructans, which have been shown to promote better health and reduce the risk of disease. If you wish to still get the many health benefits of adding inulin to your diet, whilst avoiding the inconvenience of flatulence, the secret is to begin with small amounts of inulin, very gradually increasing until you are able to assess your tolerance.

A study by the Department of Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Minnesota found that oligo-fructose, (a short-chain fatty acid often used as a sweetening additive), causes faster fermentation in the gut than that of native inulin, which may lead to more flatulence and gastrointestinal symptoms. The study concluded that healthy participants could tolerate up to 10 grams of native inulin and 5 grams of the ‘sweet’ inulin per day.

Why inulin is bad?

A: Inulin is considered to be a very low risk supplement but there may be some side effects to anyone predisposed to certain allergies.
Inulin side effects may include asthma and/or skin rash. Chicory derived inulin should be avoided if you have contact allergy to ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds and daisies as chicory is the same genus. 
Chicory is a mild stimulant, so if you are sensitive to stimulants you should use inulin from a different source.

Inulin may cause bloating, gas and bowel cramps, loose stools and more frequent bowel movements, particularly if you already suffer with inflammatory bowel conditions such as IBS. These symptoms may be avoided by taking inulin in tiny doses to start, gradually building to a more helpful level when your digestive system becomes accustomed to the soluble fibre. That said, some interesting study results have recently shown that in a trial comparing the effects of 5 grams and 8 grams of inulin taken daily, it was found that the higher dose produced less gas.
There may be a slight risk that chicory inulin could interfere with other drugs and supplements. It is wise to check with your medical practitioner before embarking on a course of supplements if you are unsure.

Why inulin is used in estimation of GFR?

A: Inulin plays a useful part in measuring the effectiveness of your kidneys in filtering blood. The GFR (glomerular filtration rate) is the rate at which a substance is removed from the blood, giving an indication of the effectiveness of kidney function. 

This removal process is called renal clearance and it can detect damage, or test for renal disease. Inulin is used in this type of testing by administration of a constant measured amount by blood infusion. It is the rate at which the inulin appears in the urine which is used to calculate the rate of glomerular filtration.

Why is inulin important?

A: Inulin is a tremendously effective nutritional aid: 

  • It is high in fibre, so doesn’t add calories to your diet
  • Doesn’t cause blood-sugar spikes, so helps with diabetes
  • Inhibits the storage of visceral fat
  • Reduces cholesterol
  • Inulin slows digestion and makes you feel full, so helps with weight control
  • Helps your digestive system function efficiently
  • Acts as a food for the good bacteria (particularly bifidobacteria and lactobaccili) which have a constant struggle to overcome the pathogens in your intestines.

Research is also showing encouraging signs that inulin can help the body to have better calcium absorption.

Researchers are actively exploring the use of inulin to prevent certain cancers.

Why is inulin added to some foods?

A: Food manufacturers add inulin to various products for reasons of boosting fibre in certain foods and replacing the bulk of sugar in diet products when artificial sweetener is added. Inulin itself is not a massive sweetener but its volume takes the place of the sugar ingredient when this needs to be removed from a processed food. 

Inulin is frequently added to dairy dishes to give a creamy texture to milky dessert products and yogurts.

It is a useful additive in the manufacture of goods for the gluten-free market.

Why is inulin added to stevia?

A: Inulin is added to stevia when manufacturers wish to give added bulk and texture. It is also often added to enhance flavour. Inulin is often added to improve digestive properties.

Why is inulin bad for IBS? 

A: Inulin may help in most cases of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) because one of the lifestyle adjustments necessary to manage the syndrome is to make dietary changes. Some dietary fibres are too harsh for inflammatory bowel conditions and a less aggressive fibre such as inulin may prove to be more suitable. 

However, occasionally inulin can make symptoms worse, particularly at first, so if you suffer with IBS and wish to take inulin as a supplement for its many health benefits, it’s a good idea to start with a very small amount and increase gradually as your bowel gets used to the extra soluble fibre and the prebiotic effect on your gut miroflora.

Why is inulin freely filtered?

A: In kidney function testing, inulin is used to indicate the rate of glomerular filtration due to the fact that it is freely filtered and not reabsorbed by the renal tubules. In other words, inulin is 100% excreted in the urine, enabling accurate measurement of the glomerular filtration rate.

Why is inulin in Culturelle?

A: Culturelle contains the probiotic lactobacillus (one of the important friendly bacteria that inhabit the large intestine). Inulin is added to all but one of their range of products because inulin is a prebiotic (a substance which is not digested or absorbed within the body but remains intact as a food for the good bacteria in the large intestine). 

This means that in taking a Culturelle probiotic capsule or substance, the contents will reach the large intestine where the administered lactobacillus, as well as any other probiotic colonies already there, will arrive with their own ready source of nourishment from the inulin (prebiotic) component of the dose. 

It should be noted that inulin from other sources is available to be taken as a boost to general digestive health.

Why is inulin in yogurt?

A: Food manufacturers often add inulin to yogurt, particularly the low fat/sugar varieties to give improved creamy texture and make the product more palatable.

There is also scientific evidence, based on a randomised controlled trial, that adding inulin to yogurt in order to provide extra dietary fibre to the product, results in greater feelings of satiety. This may help with appetite reduction, leading to better weight control.

Why take inulin?

A: Inulin is a powerhouse of digestive support. Your body can’t digest it, but the work it does to feed life-supporting bacteria in your large intestine is immeasurable. 

Probiotics such as bifidobacterium and lactobacilli feed on the substance that inulin becomes when it has fermented in the colon. This process turns inulin, a soluble fibre, into a prebiotic (food for the good bacteria in your gut). The colonies of protective bacteria (probiotics) are then nourished, enabling them to multiply and thrive. In feeding your friendly bacteria you are giving them the strength to protect you from the pathogens ever present in your intestines.

Inulin has many other scientifically researched health benefits, some of which are blood sugar support, cholesterol reduction, avoidance of visceral fat storage and help with weight control. 

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'ARE' Related Inulin Questions (?)

Are inulin and FOS the same thing?

A: Inulin and FOS (fructo-oligosaccaride) are very closely related, both being fructose-polysaccharides. The difference between the two substances is their polymer chain length; inulin being a long chain and FOS a short chain polymer. 

Inulin and FOS both convert to prebiotics in the colon where they provide a vital source of nourishment for protective bacteria (probiotics).

Clinical studies have shown that inulin and fruto-oligosaccaride are the most well-recognised forms of starch, which do not get digested or absorbed in the digestive process, but which meet all the beneficial requirements of a prebiotic.

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Any Questions we may not have answered?

Please let us know if you can’t find the answer to your question and we’ll do our best to help. Also, if you have any thoughts or findings of your own on inulin we’d love to hear about them.

Wishing you the best of digestive health.


Leslie Martindale
Saturday, 22 October 2016  |  6:14

Should intake be spread during the day.i.e say in two doses a day?

Hi Leslie

You can spread the dose through the day if you want to but it isnít necessary. You may find it has a laxative effect so spread the dose if you want or take the laxative effect into account.

Kind regards, Colin


Alan
Monday, 9 January 2017  |  5:19

How does inulin actually reduce visceral fat,


Mal
Monday, 20 February 2017  |  21:43

Is inulin still effective if it is dissolved in hot liquid. eg. tea or coffee?

Yes, it can be added to hot or cold liquids or sprinkled on food


Daljeet Singh
Friday, 14 April 2017  |  8:23

Really nice post. Thanks for sharing this informative post.
sexologist doctor in Delhi


Ian McCormick
Saturday, 20 May 2017  |  19:12

Hi - is insulin a stimulant? I am quite sesnsitive to caffeine, so don't want to end up with a sleepless night. Reading your faqs, possibly better to go for FOS? Thanks, Ian


Admin
Friday, 30 June 2017  |  9:34

Hello Alan, Inulin is not a stimulant but it is extracted from the root of the chicory plant, which is a mild stimulant. The effect should be mild if any. (Insulin is also not a stimulant!) If you decide to try FOS make sure you know which plant/s it is sourced from as it may well be chicory. If you would like to try Inulin we offer a money back guarantee.
Kind regards - Supplement Place


Liz Rippiner
Thursday, 29 June 2017  |  17:07

Having had bowel surgery for cancer( part removed) bowel movement is frequent and quick . Would inulin not make matters worse


Admin
Friday, 30 June 2017  |  9:37

Hi Liz, it would be best to speak to your health practitioner before trying Inulin. Some people find Inulin can help with similar symptoms associated with IBS for example, but we are not qualified to advise on cancer specifically. Kind regards - Supplement Place


Chris Patching
Monday, 3 July 2017  |  15:03

Can inulin have an adverse affect on someone with diverticulitis


Admin
Tuesday, 8 August 2017  |  9:21

Hello Chris, apolopgies for the delayed reply. Yes, Inulin can have adverse effects on sufferers of diverticulitis, including aggrivating the intestines. Probiotics can help, but a high fibre diet should be avoided.
- Supplement Place


Andrew Nuttall
Wednesday, 9 August 2017  |  14:59

Hi,
I have heard prebiotics can help with the treatment and prevention of Migraines. I suffer from LED light induced migraines on a daily basis and wonder if this could help?


Admin
Thursday, 24 August 2017  |  9:10

Hi Andrew,
There is some evidence that suggests pre and probiotics can help prevent migraines, if the migraines are caused by an imbalance in the gut flora or are triggered by certain foods. As your migraines are light induced, Inulin may not help.
- Supplement Place


Barbara Wright
Thursday, 12 October 2017  |  10:14

How long is it effective when stop taking?


Admin
Thursday, 12 October 2017  |  10:24

Hi Barbara,
Inulin is a dietary fibre so is designed to be added to supplement your diet and should be taken every day to be effective. Once use is stopped it may stay in your system for a few days, but after that it will no longer be active or effective.
-Supplement Place

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