Beta(2-1)fructans, Chicory Extract, Chicory Inulin, Dahlia Extract, Dahlia Inulin, Extrait de Chicorée, Extrait de Dahlia, Inulina, Inuline, Inuline de Chicorée, Inuline de Dahlia, Long-chain Oligosaccharides, Oligosaccharides, Oligosaccharides à Chaîne Longue, Prebiotic, Prébiotique.
Inulin is a starchy substance found in a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and herbs, including wheat, onions, bananas, leeks, artichokes, and asparagus. The inulin that is used for medicine is most commonly obtained by soaking chicory roots in hot water.
Inulin is used for high blood fats, including cholesterol and triglycerides. It is also used for weight loss, constipation, and as a food additive to improve taste.
How does it work?
Inulin is not digested or absorbed in the stomach. It goes to the bowels where bacteria are able to use it to grow. It supports the growth of a special kind of bacteria that are associated with improving bowel function and general health. Inulin decreases the body's ability to make certain kinds of fats.
Possibly Effective for...
- Lowering high levels of a kind of fat called triglycerides. Taking inulin seems to lower triglycerides by up to 19% after eight weeks of treatment.
- Constipation. Inulin helps elderly people who typically have a bowel movement only once or twice a week to have a bowel movement daily.
Possibly Ineffective for...
- Weight loss. Taking inulin in combination with chromium picolinate, capsicum, L-phenylalanine, and other nutrients, does not seem to significantly reduce weight in moderately obese people.
- High cholesterol levels. Taking inulin as a supplement does not seem to significantly lower blood cholesterol.
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Abrams SA, Griffin IJ. Calcium absorption is increased in adolescent girls receiving enriched inulin. World Congress of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, & Nutrition, Boston, MA, August 5-9, 2000: Abstract 821.
Brighenti F, Casiraghi MC, Canzi E, Ferrari A. Effect of consumption of a ready-to-eat breakfast cereal containing inulin on the intestinal milieu and blood lipids in healthy male volunteers. Eur J Clin Nutr 1999;53:726-33.. View abstract.
Cummings JH, Macfarlane GT, Englyst HN. Prebiotic digestion and fermentation. Am J Clin Nutr 2001;73:415S-420S. View abstract.
Davidson MH, Maki KC, Synecki C, et al. Effects of dietary inulin on serum lipids in men and women with hypercholesterolemia. Nutr Res 1998;18:503-17.
Dysseler P, Hoffem D. Inulin, an alternative dietary fibre. Properties and quantitative analysis. Eur J Clin Nutr 1995;49:S145-52.
Gay-Crosier F, Schreiber G, Hauser C. Anaphylaxis from inulin in vegetables and processed food. N Engl J Med 2000;342:1372. View abstract.
Gibson GR, Beatty ER, Wang X, Cummings JH. Selective stimulation of bifidobacteria in the human colon by oligofructose and inulin. Gastroenterology 1995;108:975-82.. View abstract.
Hoeger WW, Harris C, Long EM, Hopkins DR. Four-week supplementation with a natural dietary compound produces favorable changes in body composition. Adv Ther 1998;15:305-14. View abstract.
Kleessen B, Sykura B, Zunft HJ, Blaut M. Effects of inulin and lactose on fecal microflora, microbial activity, and bowel habit in elderly constipated persons. Am J Clin Nutr 1997;65:1397-402.. View abstract.
Kok N, Roberfroid M, Delzenne N. Dietary oligofructose modifies the impact of fructose on hepatic triacylglycerol metabolism. Metabolism 1996;45:1547-50. View abstract.
Menne E, Guggenbuhl N, Roberfroid M. Fn-type chicory inulin hydrolysate has a prebiotic effect in humans. J Nutr 2000;130:1197-9. View abstract.
Pedersen A, Sandstrom B, Van Amelsvoort JM. The effect of ingestion of inulin on blood lipids and gastrointestinal symptoms in healthy females. Br J Nutr 1997;78:215-22. View abstract.
Roberfroid MB, Van Loo JA, Gibson GR. The bifidogenic nature of chicory inulin and its hydrolysis products. J Nutr 1998;128:11-9. View abstract.
Roberfroid MB. Functional effects of food components and the gastrointestinal system: chicory fructo-oligosaccharides. Nutr Rev 1996;54:S38-42. View abstract.
Teuri U, Karkkainen M, Lamberg-Allardt C, Korpela R. Addition of inulin to breakfast does not acutely affect serum ionized calcium and parathyroid hormone concentrations. Ann Nutr Metab 1999;43:356-64.. View abstract.
Williams CM. Effects of inulin on lipid parameters in humans. J Nutr 1999 Jul;129(7 Suppl):1471S-3S. View abstract.