Prebiotic Potential of Inulin-Type Fructans
Inulin-type fructans, like short-chain fructooligosaccharides, oligofructose, and inulin, are widely regarded as prebiotics for their ability to be selectively utilized by the intestinal microbiota to confer a health benefit.
A recent systematic review summarized the prebiotic potential of inulin-type fructans in healthy adult populations. Evidence included in the review suggest that inulin-type fructans promote the abundances of beneficial Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus. Beneficial health effects reported following inulin-type fructans intake include improved intestinal barrier function, improved laxation, reduced constipation, increased insulin sensitivity, decreased triglycerides and an improved lipid profile, increased absorption of calcium and magnesium, and increased satiety. The authors suggest that future research should focus on elucidating the mechanisms by which the intestinal microbiota mediates or modifies the effects of inulin-type fructans on human health.
Considering the undisputed scientific evidence supporting the health benefits associated with inulin-type fructans as prebiotics, consumers should include these prebiotics in their diet.
1 Hughes, Riley L, Alvarado, David A, Swanson, Kelly S & Holscher, Hannah D. 2021. The Prebiotic Potential of Inulin-Type Fructans: A Systematic Review. Advances in Nutrition 13: 492-529. doi: 10.1093/advances/nmab119.