Inulin is a powerhouse dietary additive. It is high in fiber, low-calorie, and is overall packed with health benefits. Inulin is not digested by digestive enzymes of the human body and belongs to the group of dietary fibers. In this regard, it is used in medicine as a prebiotic. It also serves as a raw material for the commercial production of fructose. Also, due to its low mass and the absence of specific carriers, inulin is perfectly filtered into the Bowman capsule in the nephron (structural unit in the kidney), without reabsorbing further along the kidney tubule. The fiber in inulin is soluble, meaning it easily dissolvable in water. Therefore, it dissolves in the stomach and then forms a gelatinous substance that:
- Ensures the feeling of satiety
- Removes cholesterol as it passes through the digestive tract
It provides help with digestion
Human gut contains approximately 15,000 to 36,000 species of bacteria. Overall a very small portion of Good bacteria provides many health benefits. Inulin stimulates these bacteria to grow.
Inulin aids digestion by increasing the number of good bacteria in the gut, particularly Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli, which assist in:
- Fending off unwanted pathogens (bad bacteria)
- Infection spreading prevention
- Immune system stimulation
Inulin also adds bulk to your stool and increases the frequency of your bowel movements. Whilst possibly having more bowel movements, inulin overall slows the digestive process. This enables your body to absorb nutrients from the consumed food more effectively. More particularly, research suggests that inulin can optimize calcium absorption in the body, which as we know promotes a stronger skeletal system.
It controls blood sugar.
Inulin slows digestion, including the digestion of carbohydrates. This allows to slow down the release of sugar without spiking, which promotes healthy blood sugar levels.
A 2015 study revealed that inulin might benefit people with prediabetes. It can act as a potential blood-stabilizer when used long-term.
Some research suggests these properties make inulin a good weight maintenance aid.
It could potentially lower your cancer risk.
As an immune system booster, it may also be a good preventative supplement against cancer of the digestive system. A lot of research has been done though one of the studies concludes that the combination of probiotics such as inulin has the potential of reducing colon cancer risk.