Chicory inulin does not increase stool weight or speed up intestinal transit time in healthy male subjects
ABSTRACT Inulin is a non-digestible oligosaccharide classified as a prebiotic, a substrate that promotes the growth of certain beneficial microorganisms in the gut. We examined the effect of a 20 g day(-1) supplement of chicory inulin on stool weight, intestinal transit time, stool frequency and consistency, selected intestinal microorganisms and enzymes, fecal pH, short chain fatty acids and ammonia produced as by-products of bacterial fermentation. Twelve healthy male volunteers consumed a well-defined, controlled diet with and without a 20 g day(-1) supplement of chicory inulin (degree of polymerization (DP) ranging for 2-60), with each treatment lasting for 3 weeks in a randomized, double-blind crossover trial. Inulin was consumed in a low fat ice cream. No differences were found in flavor or appeal between the control and inulin-containing ice creams. Inulin consumption resulted in a significant increase in total anaerobes and Lactobacillus species and a significant decrease in ammonia levels and β-glucuronidase activity. Flatulence increased significantly with the inulin treatment. No other significant differences were found in bowel function with the addition of inulin to the diet. Thus, inulin is easily incorporated into a food product and has no negative effects on food acceptability. Twenty grams of inulin was well tolerated, but had minimal effects on measures of laxation in healthy, human subjects.
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ABSTRACT: The recent fermentable fiber revolution has emerged on the prospect of providing digestive health benefits such as enhanced immune system, mineral adsorption, and general colonic health. These benefits accrue from dietary component, primarily ‘non-digestible’ (ND) dietary carbohydrates that reach the colon intact or partially digested by the stomach or small intestine. The fructo-, galacto-, and xylooligosaccharides, as well as fermentable carbohydrates such as pectin, arabinoxylans, and resistant starch form part of this diverse group of compounds also commonly referred to as ‘prebiotic’. These prebiotic modulate the composition and metabolism of the gut microbiota thereby improving long-term human health status. Numerous studies have shown that gut microbiota is significantly influenced by the type and quantity of nondigestible carbohydrate in the diet, hence the increased awareness of food industries and consumers in incorporating a wide range of pre- and pro-biotics in the daily diet. Oligosaccharides present important physicochemical and beneficial physiological properties for consumers, including anti-carcinogenic effect, low caloric value and the ability to stimulate the growth of beneficial bacteria in the colon. Thus, oligosaccharides from various sources, such as dairy products, bacteria, algae, fungi and higher plants, have been widely used to formulate food ingredients and pharmacological supplements. In the food industries, the non-digestible oligosaccharides have been implicated as dietary fiber, sweetener, and weight controlling agent, as a humectant in confectioneries, bakeries and breweries. Keeping in view the importance of the functional oligosaccharides, we present an overview of their positive health benefits, focused on the digestive system and their potential applications.Oligosaccharides: Food Sources, Biological Roles and Health Implications, Edited by Lori S. Schweizer and Stanley J. Krebs, 01/2013: chapter Oligosaccharides: A Key for Gut Health; Nova Science Publishers., ISBN: 978-1-62948-329-0
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ABSTRACT: Constipation is a highly prevalent and difficult‐to‐cure health problem, forcing 10–20% of the worldwide population to seek medical care. Efficacy of treatments varies greatly among individuals, and problems are becoming more frequent despite higher consumption of fibre‐rich foods, the most popular solution for preventing such gastrointestinal disorders. The evidence that consumption of fibre prevents and relieves constipation is unconvincing or uncertain. The food industry has made great efforts to develop fibre‐rich ingredients, especially those from food by‐products and wastes. Except for psyllium and wheat bran, most of these ingredients have intermediate or low laxative potential and their efficacy needs to be confirmed by more clinical studies. This review suggests that there are major discrepancies between the proposed fibre‐enriched ingredients and the consumers' needs. As a lasting solution to prevent constipation, the true impact of dietary fibre and potent food‐grade laxatives might also be limited by overeating.International Journal of Food Science & Technology 03/2013; 48(3). DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2621.2012.03207.x · 1.35 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The impact of oligofructose (OF) intake on stool frequency has not been clearly substantiated, while significant gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms have been reported in some individuals. The aim of the present study was to determine the effects of OF on stool frequency and GI symptoms in healthy adults. In an 8-week, randomised, double-blind, parallel-arm study, ninety-eight participants were provided with 16 g OF in yogurt and snack bars (twenty male and thirty female) or matching control foods (seventeen male and thirty-one female), to incorporate, by replacement, into their usual diets. Participants completed a daily online questionnaire recording stool frequency and rating four symptoms: bloating, flatulence, abdominal cramping and noise, each on a Likert scale from '0' for none (no symptoms) to '6' for very severe, with a maximum symptom intensity score of 24 (sum of severities from all four symptoms). Online 24 h dietary recalls were completed during pre-baseline and weeks 4, 6 and 8 to determine fibre intake. When provided with OF foods, fibre intake increased to 24·3 (sem 0·5) g/d from pre-baseline (12·1 (sem 0·5) g/d; P < 0·001). Stool frequency increased with OF from 1·3 (sem 0·2) to 1·8 (sem 0·2) stools per d in males and 1·0 (sem 0·1) to 1·4 (sem 0·1) stools per d in females during intervention weeks compared with pre-baseline (P < 0·05),but did not change for control participants (males: 1·6 (sem 0·2) to 1·8 (sem 0·2); females: 1·3 (sem 0·1) to 1·4 (sem 0·1)). Flatulence was the most commonly reported symptom. Mean GI symptom intensity score was higher for the OF group (3·2 (sem 0·3)) v. control (1·7 (sem 0·1)) (P < 0·01), with few participants reporting above moderate symptoms. No change in symptom intensity occurred over time. Consuming yogurt and snack bars with 16 g OF improves regularity in young healthy adults. However, GI symptoms, resulting from an increase in oligofructose intake, may not diminish with time.04/2014; 3:e7. DOI:10.1017/jns.2014.6