Inulin properties

What is inulin?

Inulin characteristics

Jerusalem artichokes
Jerusalem artichokes are rich in inulin

Inulin is one of the few prebiotic fibers that are polysaccharides, that is, a long-chain carbohydrate, while most are short-chain (disaccharides).

Inulin-rich foods

For commercial uses, it is extracted from chicory root, although it is also found in roots and plants such as Jerusalem artichoke and dandelion root, and in vegetables such as artichokes, agave, thistles, onions, garlic, banana, salsify or calendula.

Inulin properties

In vivo studies have shown that inulin consumption increases the population of healthy bacteria such as lactobacilli (Lactobacillus) and bifidobacteria (Bifidobacterium), and reduces pathogenic bacteria of the genus Clostridium and Escherichia coli.

Therefore this type of fiber improves the intestinal flora making it useful for the diet for diarrhea, intestinal infections, constipation, cholesterol, etc.

In addition, inulin provides an added benefit over other prebiotics, as it has been observed that intestinal absorption of calcium and magnesium increases by up to 65% with the consumption of this type of fiber.

There are very comprehensive studies on the probiotic properties of agave juice (mead) due to its inulin content.

Uses of inulin

Inulin is used in the food industry to replace fat (it is used to improve the consistency of low-fat cheese) and as a prebiotic.

It manages to improve the texture of skimmed dairy, providing consistency in a product with less fat.

*Related information: Soluble fiber types

punto rojo More information on fiber

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

3 December, 2021

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