What is Inulin?
Inulin is a natural soluble fiber, made from chicory roots. As an ingredient, Inulin can add nutritional value to foods while improving taste and texture.
What are the health benefits of Inulin?
Inulin is a prebiotic that is fermented in the lower intestine by the beneficial bacteria, bifidobacteria. Because Inulin is a lower calorie carbohydrate it is beneficial in foods aiding in weight management. Following the consumption of Inulin blood sugar levels are not elevated making it a quality sugar substitute in foods for diabetics. Also, Inulin is a soluble fiber which may help maintain regularity. Additionally Inulin has a positive effect on calcium absorption in adolescents and postmenopausal women, thereby potentially playing a role in bone health.
What is a prebiotic?
A prebiotic selectively stimulates growth of healthy bacteria in the colon such as Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli, which provide benefits to the body's digestive system. Inulin is fermented by these intestinal bacteria, and short chain fatty acids are produced. This can then cause a lowering of the pH in the large intestine, and result in increased calcium absorption. This lower pH also slows the growth of certain bacteria that can weaken the immune system.
What are the caloric values of Inulin?
Inulin products have caloric values ranging from 1.1 to 1.3 calories per gram. Carbohydrates in general have a value of 4 calories per gram.
How much Inulin should be consumed each day?
Prebiotic benefits can be seen from Inulin at about 5 grams per day. For increased calcium absorption a person should consume at least 8 grams per day. Dietary fiber in general should be consumed at 25-35 grams per day.
Is Inulin heat stable?
Inulin is extremely heat stable.