Inulin is a starchy fibrous substance found in some types of fruits, vegetables and plants that has a variety of health benefits. Iulinn benefits include reduction in blood fats, especially cholesterol and triglycerides, fighting constipation and helping with weight loss. It can be ingested either by taking supplements or through natural sources. Significant quantities naturally occurring inulin can be found in asparagus, bananas, garlic, leek, onions, burdock and chicory. Inulin that is used in supplements and in medicine is mostly obtained by leeching from chicory roots using hot water.
Human digestion system is not capable of digesting inulin fiber, so inulin passes right through the system to the colon where resident bacteria ferment it. Inulin, once fermented in colon can have many health benefits but the best documented is its role in fighting constipation. Several studies performed on adult participants who suffered from constipation show an increase in stool frequency after a daily intake of 10 do 20 grams . The participants had more frequent and softer stools after taking inulin supplements and the accompanying problems of constipation, vomiting and headaches, were gone. There were also no participants reporting issues with diarrhea during the study which is important because inulin resolved their issues without making the new ones like so many constipation medicines do.
Clinical trials on obese patients proved the benefits of inulin in reducing the levels of LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels . The two groups of patients were receiving either 7 grams of inulin or placebo every day during a four week period. The control group experienced no changes while the group that received inulin saw a reduction of cholesterol and triglycerides without changes in insulin sensitivity. The highest reported reduction in triglycerides was 19%.
Inulin also has reported benefits in fighting colon cancer. The research performed on mice and rats has shown that inulin consumption has reduced the colon tumor incidence as well as growth and metastasizing of implanted tumor cells in the test animals. Scientists attribute these cancer fighting properties to the improvements in bacterial flora of colon area caused by inulin. Research performed on human subjects has proven inulin benefits in treating polyp patients but the results were inconclusive for the cancer patients. This inulin benefit remains to be examined in more detail on human subjects in order to prove the benefits if inulin treatment.
If you are fighting constipation or have bad blood test results and have, like most people with these issues, tried so many different treatments that you are running out of ideas than inulin supplements are probably the right thing for you. Also if you want to improve your bacterial colon flora and prevent ever having these types of issues you should take advantage of inulin benefits.If you want further information about inulin,reading our article what is inulin is a good idea.