Inulin - Discussion post: Hi everyone, I am... - Healthy Eating

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Inulin - Discussion post

Zest profile image
ZestStar

Hi everyone,

I am currently considering whether to continue with my current practice of supplementing my diet with powerdered Inulin, which I think is an expensive supplement, or whether to just try to seek out the natural foods that contain inulin. I would value any experiences you have had yourselves - i.e. have you used inulin as a supplement, or do you consider it as important in your diet?

I have found an article about inulin which looks interesting, and which has so far encouraged me that it is a good thing to include in a diet. The article is by Dr Axe, and a link is here - if you want to have a read:

draxe.com/inulin/

To summarise some of the points in that article:

Inulin is a soluble plant fibre.

It is claimed to:

1. Reduce constipation

2. Improve gut health by acting like a prebiotic

3. Help curb appetite

4. Boost heart health and lower metabolic syndrome risk factors

5. Can be used to replace sugar and flour in recipes

6. Increases calcium absorption

Natural foods containing inulin include: Ground chicory root; dandelion root; asparagus; leeks and onions; bananas and plantains; sprouted wheat; garlic; artichokes; fresh herbs; yams; burdock root; camac root, coneflower, jicama and yacon root.

I would value any comments about inulin from anyone - in terms of your personal experience, or relevant studies, or your opinion.

I have been taking it as a supplement for about two years, and I am wondering whether to continue. I have to say that the article encourages me to get some more, but I don't want to be wasting my money on it.

I think I came across it when watching a documentary that had Angela Rippon - who was taking inulin as a supplement - and that is how I started doing it - but I'd value hearing if anyone else has done this, and what their experience has been.

Thanks to grace111 for finding the article about Angela Rippon's experience, which is here:

telegraph.co.uk/health-fitn...

Many thanks,

Zest :-)

15 Replies
Zest profile image
ZestStar

I am just popping back to give links to an article I found today, which is:

Evidence-Based Approach to Fiber Supplements and Clinically Meaningful Health Benefits, Part 2

By Johnson W. McRorie, Jr

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articl...

Within that article, the conclusions state "Despite a general consensus that fiber is “good for you,” it is important to recognize the difference between replacement with dietary fiber that is intrinsic and intact in whole foods and a supplement with an isolated fiber source. Fiber supplements cannot be presumed to have the same health benefits that are associated with dietary fiber that is intact and intrinsic in whole foods. The clinically proven health benefits for fiber supplements are associated with specific characteristics (eg, viscous gel), and only a minority of marketed fiber products provide health benefits (summarized in the Table)".

I looked at the table, and they don't appear to have found any clinically proven health benefits for inulin supplements.

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articl...

Now, I am thinking again about potentially buying more inulin in a supplemented form...

But maybe someone has some more information to impart.

Zest :-)

I also remember that Angela Rippon was taking it because of a recommendation by a Professor Bell that visceral fat could be reduced - I haven't managed to find any useful articles about this research though!

Just found an article that speaks more positively of the health benefits:

clinicaladvisor.com/alterna...

“Inulin as a nutritional supplement” by Sherril Sego, Sept 16th, 2016

She concludes: "Not often does a natural food substance come along that is adaptable, palatable, and affordable, and has basically no down side. Whether the need is weight loss, diabetes management, intrahepatic fat reduction, or bowel function management, inulin can be a valuable additive to any current regimen."

Zest profile image
ZestStar

I've found an article entitled:

"A Randomized Controlled Trial: The Effect of Inulin on Weight Management and Ectopic Fat in Subjects with Prediabetes" (2015), and a link is here:

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articl...

I've not had chance to read it yet, but wanted to include it in this post, incase anyone was interested.

ShortyS profile image
ShortyS in reply to Zest

Not had chance to read articles or any experience with this... although I was doing my dissertation next year on Fibre and stool analysis I'm probably switching now to Gut Hormones and Obesity. But I had a quick search for journal articles and came up with a few on Inulin. No time at present to read but I thought I'd include for you in case of any interest ... :)

ah can't see a way of adding PDFs? I can't send a link as they are not in the free public domain but I can send you know a way of getting to you.... Sue

Zest profile image
ZestStar in reply to ShortyS

Hi Sue,

I am excited to hear from you, and I will send you a PM.

Thanks,

Zest :-)

I ashamed to say Zest I saw the same programme with Angela Rippon. I bought quite an amount of it on line and only used it a few times Its still here possibly out of date(red face) I will check it later. I think I had too much money and not enough sense at the time (but that is just me)

Zest profile image
ZestStar in reply to shengorth

Hi shengorth,

I'm really glad I've started looking into this more thoroughly, because there are quite a few articles out there - which ShortyS has kindly helped me out with, and I am aiming to read through and hopefully try to summarise my own conclusions from perusing the articles - and I will hope to make a decision on whether I'll be buying more inulin next week or not. I will add to this thread regarding what I finally decide to do.

I am still undecided in the matter, and want to have a good read around in as reputable and evidence based sources as I can find - as well as seeking the opinions of people here in the Healthy eating forum, whose experience and feedback I value. This is a really great community.

I hope your date on your inulin isn't 'out of date' - they usually last quite a long time, but I've not really checked.

Hope you're having a great weekend.

Zest :-)

Zest profile image
ZestStar

Just to say that I've not had as much time as I would like this weekend to read up on inulin - so I will be doing so as and when I can this week, and hopefully will come to a conclusion next weekend. :-)

Hi Zest,

Do you & your husband feel better for taking this as a supplement?

The only reason I'd be inclined to try it would be as a sugar substitute for baking, though I've tried pureed fruit successfully in things like muffins, so that adds fibre as well as sweetness. I quite like molasses (for minerals) as a substitute, this works well in flapjacks, & makes them taste of treacle toffee. :)

As I'm vegetarian, I am relatively unconcerned about metabolic syndrome & heart health, aside from not exercising enough. I have a lot of prebiotics & fibre in my diet, without the need for taking any as a supplement. If you eat fruit & vegetables daily, especially allium family vegetables (onions, leeks, garlic, etc) that are incorporated in many savoury meals, you're getting this naturally. fruitguys.com/almanac/2012/...

Your kefir intake should be providing you with the best form of probiotic. I have one glass a day with 25-30g of chia & linseeds soaked, which is extremely filling, as well as being very high in omega 3's, fibre, & provides me with 25% of my daily protein requirement. Nutrient to cost-wise, this is money well spent for me, as is my daily nut consumption. Between this & the fruit I eat in the afternoon, with my iron supplement, constipation is now unusual. This might be of interest to anyone who wants to know more about stool quality: cnwl.nhs.uk/wp-content/uplo... In short, if what goes in to the body is right, what comes out should also be!

As for calcium, I likely have too much from my litre of kefir a day plus other foods, so ensure I take magnesium & vitamin D3, & get K2 from kefir, so that it's directed to my bones rather than my arteries. I also eat a diet that includes boron, that's important for bone health & preventing osteoporosis: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articl... Someone recently pointed out that men also suffer from osteoporosis, so good for your hubby, too.

Can you think of something you really like to eat that's also healthy, & buy that instead? I aet dark chocolate daily, so the extra treat for me is medjool dates. Most times, my mindset tells me not to have cake when I go out for coffee as the trade-off is that I can buy a box of juicy GI friendly medjools instead. organicfacts.net/medjool-da...

Melx

Zest profile image
ZestStar in reply to BadHare

Thanks so much for this really helpful reply, Mel, I really appreciate it, and will look forward to reading through the links you've given me over the weekend. :-) xx

I grew yacon this year (dug them up in December) and although they're rather flavourless, they're a nice crunchy addition to salads and demand absolutely zero care and attention. Personally, I doubt that inulin has any particular health benefits, but if you have a few square meters of spare garden, I would recommend growing yacon.

Zest profile image
ZestStar in reply to TheAwfulToad

Thanks TheAwfulToad

I am not sure how I missed seeing your reply here - I've just linked to this post, as someone else asked about Inulin powder, and I am still taking it. Not sure if it's doing me any good, but I appreciate your suggestion of a Yacon - I've never heard of them, but will have a look.

Zest :-)

hi Zest im so xhausted now here is a link of a programme i saw angela rippon say she was going to take inulin, telegraph.co.uk/health-fitn...

Zest profile image
ZestStar in reply to grace111

Hi Grace,

Thanks so much for locating this article, it does remind me of the things she was saying in the programme - very helpful. Thank you!

I hope you have a really good rest now - you deserve it!

Zest :-) xxx

grace111 profile image
grace111 in reply to Zest

yes i think i will start to take inulin i thought i would before but i forgot all about it but this is a good reminder.

Zest profile image
ZestStar in reply to grace111

I've put a copy of that article in the body of the post above, so people can see it easily. Thanks! :-)

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