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Along with providing information on whether Inulin supplements might be right for you, this article also links to Fullscript where you can buy supplements online through Fullscript’s secure healthcare formulary and get free shipping and 20% off the retail price of professional-grade supplements.

What Is Inulin?

Inulin is a type of carbohydrate that belongs to a group of substances called dietary fibers. It is found naturally in many plants, such as chicory root, Jerusalem artichoke, onions, garlic, and leeks. Inulin is not digested by our stomach and small intestine. Instead, it travels to the large intestine, where it is fermented by the good bacteria that live there.

Inulin has several health benefits. It serves as a prebiotic, which means it helps the good bacteria in our gut to grow and flourish. This can lead to better digestion and overall gut health. Inulin can also help with weight management, as it makes us feel fuller for longer periods, which may reduce the amount of food we eat. Additionally, inulin may help lower cholesterol levels and improve the body’s ability to manage blood sugar.

Inulin is often added to processed foods as a source of fiber or as a low-calorie sweetener. You can also find inulin supplements in health food stores, which can be added to your diet to increase your daily fiber intake. Remember, it’s essential to talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian before making significant changes to your diet or taking supplements.

What are the Benefits of Inulin?

Inulin is a type of dietary fiber that offers a range of health benefits for adults. Here are some of the key benefits of inulin in human health.

  • Inulin helps promote digestive health by acting as a prebiotic, which means it feeds the good bacteria in your gut and helps them grow. This can improve digestion and reduce the risk of certain digestive disorders.
  • Inulin can help lower blood sugar levels by slowing down the absorption of glucose in the small intestine. This can be especially helpful for people with diabetes or those at risk of developing it.
  • Inulin can help reduce cholesterol levels by binding to cholesterol in the digestive tract and preventing it from being absorbed into the bloodstream. This can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • Inulin can promote feelings of fullness, which can help with weight management by reducing overall calorie intake.
  • Inulin has been shown to have antioxidant properties, which can help protect the body from damage caused by free radicals and reduce the risk of certain types of cancer.
  • Inulin may improve bone health by increasing the absorption of calcium in the body, which can reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
  • Inulin may have a positive effect on the immune system by promoting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, which can help fight off infections and diseases.

How Does Inulin Compare to Psyllium Fiber?

Inulin and psyllium are both considered prebiotic fibers, meaning they stimulate the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. However, inulin has been shown to reduce harmful bacteria while psyllium increases the diversity and density of the gut microbiota.

Health BenefitInulinPsyllium
Gut microbiomeStimulates growth of beneficial bacteriaIncreases diversity and density of gut microbiota
Reduces harmful bacteria
Blood glucoseLowers blood glucose and insulin levelsImproves insulin sensitivity
Reduces postprandial glucose levels
Other health factorsImproves mineral absorption and bone healthImproves bowel regularity and reduces constipation
May aid in weight lossCan lower LDL cholesterol levels

In terms of blood glucose regulation, inulin has been shown to lower blood glucose and insulin levels and reduce postprandial glucose levels. Psyllium, on the other hand, has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity.

Regarding other health factors, inulin may improve mineral absorption and bone health and may aid in weight loss. Psyllium, on the other hand, is known to improve bowel regularity and reduce constipation, and can lower LDL cholesterol levels.

Overall, both inulin and psyllium offer a range of health benefits and can be incorporated into a healthy diet to support overall well-being.

Is Inulin Safe?

Inulin is a dietary fiber that can interact with certain medications. Here are some medications that can interact with inulin and the severity of each interaction:

  • Antibiotics: Inulin can reduce the effectiveness of certain antibiotics, including tetracycline and amoxicillin. This can lead to reduced absorption of the medication and may make it less effective in treating infections. Severity: Moderate.
  • Diabetes medications: Inulin can lower blood sugar levels, so taking it with diabetes medications that also lower blood sugar, such as insulin or metformin, can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Severity: Moderate.
  • Blood thinners: Inulin may interfere with the effectiveness of blood thinners such as warfarin or heparin. This can increase the risk of blood clots and may lead to serious health complications. Severity: Moderate.
  • Immunosuppressant medications: Inulin can stimulate the immune system, which may interfere with the effectiveness of immunosuppressant medications used to prevent rejection of transplanted organs. Severity: Mild.
  • Lithium: Inulin may reduce the absorption of lithium, a medication used to treat bipolar disorder. This can cause lithium levels in the blood to become too low, leading to reduced effectiveness of the medication. Severity: Moderate.

Medication Interactions with Inulin.

Inulin is a dietary fiber that can interact with certain nutritional supplements. Here are some nutritional supplements that can interact with inulin:

  • Calcium and magnesium supplements: Inulin can increase the absorption of calcium and magnesium, so taking it with these supplements may enhance their effectiveness. This can be beneficial for bone health and may reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
  • Probiotics: Inulin acts as a prebiotic, which means it feeds the good bacteria in your gut. Taking inulin with probiotics can help promote the growth of these beneficial bacteria and improve gut health.
  • Digestive enzymes: Inulin may interfere with the absorption of digestive enzymes, so taking it with these supplements may reduce their effectiveness. It is recommended to take inulin separately from digestive enzyme supplements.
  • Vitamin D supplements: Inulin can increase the absorption of vitamin D, so taking it with vitamin D supplements may enhance their effectiveness. This can be beneficial for bone health and may reduce the risk of vitamin D deficiency.
  • Iron supplements: Inulin may interfere with the absorption of iron, so taking it with iron supplements may reduce their effectiveness. It is recommended to take inulin separately from iron supplements.

Food Sources of Inulin

Here is a table listing food sources of inulin and the amount of inulin in each food:

Food SourceAmount of Inulin
Chicory root36-48 grams per 100 grams
Jerusalem artichoke16-20 grams per 100 grams
Dandelion greens4-10 grams per 100 grams
Garlic1-10 grams per 100 grams
Onions1-8 grams per 100 grams
Leeks1-2 grams per 100 grams
Asparagus1-2 grams per 100 grams
Bananas0.5-1 gram per medium-sized banana
Wheat bran0.2-0.8 grams per 100 grams
Rye bread0.2-0.3 grams per 100 grams

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Inulin by NOW Foods

Inulin, a fructooligosaccharide (FOS), is a soluble prebiotic fiber that is resistant to digestion and reaches the large intestine essentially intact.* Intestinal probiotic bacteria consume Inulin and in turn, produce the short-chain fatty acids that nourish the cells lining the colon.* Inulin thus helps to maintain intestinal health and function.* Inulin has a pleasant flavor that adds a mild sweetness to foods and drinks, but has a very low glycemic index and will not negatively impact serum glucose levels.*

This product is sold by weight not volume.

Natural color variation may occur in this product.
Take 1 level teaspoon 1 to 3 times daily. Mix into your favorite beverage or food. Begin with 1 teaspoon a day and slowly increase dosage to limit GI discomfort.

Amount Per 1 Teaspoon (approx. 2.8g) Serving
Calories … 5  
Total Carbohydrate … 2.7g
Dietary Fiber … 2.5g
Organic Inulin … 2.8g
(from Blue Agave)

To Sum It Up

We’ve seen how inulin supplements offer several health advantages. They promote digestive health by enhancing gut bacteria balance and may help in managing constipation. Inulin also assists in blood sugar control, making it beneficial for people with diabetes or those at risk. Additionally, it supports heart health by reducing cholesterol levels. While inulin is generally safe, it’s important to consult a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement, especially for those with existing health conditions or dietary restrictions. Regular intake of inulin, as part of a balanced diet, can contribute significantly to overall wellbeing.

This Article is Not a Substitute for Medical Advice

Dietary supplements are not designed to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The Supplement Sciences website seeks to provide comprehensive access to the most relevant supplement information along with convenient online ordering. We do not provide medical advice and cannot guarantee that every product suggested is completely without risk. Since each person is unique in their health history and medication use, it is important to discuss supplements with your personal physician. Specifically, pregnant women and individuals being treated for cancer or liver or kidney problems must consult their physician about every nutritional supplement they plan to take. People taking medications for the treatment of HIV or with a history of organ transplant must not take supplements without consulting with their physician.

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