Reference Number: 106
It is known that chicory inulin (average degree of polymerisation DP=lO) and oligofructose (DP=4) affect bowel function. Whereas transit time is not affected with daily doses ranging between 4 and lSg, such doses increase stool frequency and have a faecal bulking effect in healthy volunteers.Recently a new type of chicory inulin with higher average chain length (DP=25)has become commercially available. From a nutritional point of view this is an interesting carbohydrate, as it is fermented more slowly than the native product, giving it the opportunity to arrive in more distal parts of the colon.
In this placebo controlled study, we investigated the effect of this high performance inulin on bowel function in healthy volunteers with low stool frequency (1 stool every 2 to 3 days).
Subjects were administered 15g of the product/day for 2 weeks. Besides macroscopic observations (stool frequency, faecal bulking, etc.), or-caecal transit time, effect on intestinal permeability, amount of faecal fat, bile acids, dry solids, etc. were monitored.
There was a significant increase in stool frequency with the high performance inulin. The earlier observed trend to increase faecal bulk with 1.5 to 2g per g inulin ingested was observed in present study as well. There were no effects on the other measured parameters.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS STUDY
The importance of dietary fiber such as inulin in improving stool frequency and bowel function is highlighted in this study. Inulin commonly present in foods such as chicory roots, asparagus, leeks, onions, garlic and sprouted wheat act as prebiotics which mean they serve as the main source of food and energy for our gut microbes that are responsible in maintaining a healthy digestive and immune system.