Inulin: Carbohydrate, Polysaccharide and Fructan
Inulin is a polysaccharide from the fructan group, which is composed of mostly linear fructose chains with a terminal glucose. It is not broken down in the small intestine and enters the large intestine, where it is active as a prebiotic for intestinal bacteria and as a dietary fiber. Inulin is used as a dietary supplement, for determining kidney function and in the food industry. Possible adverse effects include digestive disorders, especially in sensitive people with intolerance.
Inulins are commercially available, for example, in the form of capsules and as powder.
Masticlife offers dietary supplements with the highest quality PDO Chios mastic, which also contain inulin (read the ingredients carefully). These are:
Inulins should not be confused with insulins.
Structure and characteristics od inulin
Inulins are predominantly linear polysaccharides composed of numerous fructoses and containing terminal glucose molecules. The chain length is variable. The fructoses are linked β-glycosidically. Inulins are natural products found in many plants such as wheat, onions, Jerusalem artichokes, garlic, bananas, and asparagus. They are often extracted from the chicory root (Cichorium intybus).
Even masticlife dietary supplements use chicory root.
Inulin is a water-soluble dietary fiber that is not digested in the small intestine. Depending on the type, it has a slightly sweet taste. In addition, as a prebiotic, inulin promotes the growth of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli.
Fields of application of inulin
- As a dietary supplement, as a prebiotic.
- For the determination of renal function. Inulin is exclusively filtered at the kidney and not secreted or reabsorbed.
- In the food industry.
According to the package insert. Inulin is administered perorally as a dietary supplement.
Possible adverse effects include gastrointestinal disturbances such as flatulence, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.
Digestive disturbances occur primarily in sensitive individuals, for example, those with vegetable intolerance and fructose malabsorption.
Inulin is fermented in the large intestine by the bacteria of the intestinal flora and releases, among other things, short-chain fatty acids and gases such as methane, carbon dioxide and hydrogen.