The Health Benefits Of Inulin (Prebiotic)
The nutrition nerd inside me can hardly wait to speak with you guys today all about the evidence-based health benefits of inulin, a unique type of fibre known as a prebiotic.
Prebiotics act as “food” for our healthy gut bacteria and stimulate their growth, contributing to an overall enhancement in the microbiome which in turn confers a number of health benefits for specific conditions and overall well-being.
In today’s post, prepared in collaboration with supplement company Pascoe Canada, I’ll be exploring the different contexts in which inulin supplementation has been demonstrated to meaningfully improve human health.
Let’s get to the good stuff!
Inulin, Your Diet & Your Microbiome
Foods that naturally contain meaningful amounts of inulin include bananas, asparagus, artichoke, barley and rye with chicory & dandelion root being exceptionally high sources.
Those who do not enjoy or regularly consume these foods are not likely accessing much inulin from their diet, which may be problematic since there is ample scientific evidence out there to demonstrate that boosting inulin intake via diet or supplemental means can lead to meaningful positive changes to the gut microbiome.
A 2019 study out of the American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition found that an inulin-focused diet providing 15 grams per day led to an increase in “healthy” Bifidobacterium bacteria and improved the overall satiety of study participants.
It isn’t easy to eat a diet containing 15 grams of inulin per day, however, given that the average American diet in the 90s contained about 2.5 grams of this prebiotic fibre daily.
When we look at supplemental inulin, systematic review and meta-analysis data have demonstrated that inulin in doses at a minimum of 5 grams per day consistently increase healthy Bifidobacterium.
One of the characteristics that makes Bifidobacterium so good for us is that they contribute to creating compounds known as SCFAs (short chain fatty acids).
SCFAs contribute positively to human health by:
Improving appetite and blood sugar regulation
Strengthening the immune response
Reducing the presence of bad…..