Revolutionize your Gut Health with the Power of Inulin!

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Last updated on May 6th, 2023 at 06:01 am

Most of us have heard about probiotics and probably many of us have used one or the other probiotic food or supplement to help with several health issues or simply for better digestion. We know that probiotics are “good bacteria,” yeast, and maybe some viruses that are present in our gut from our mouth to the intestine and help regulate digestion, mood, and immunity. Many of these probiotics like BL-04® are present in fermented food and also come in the form of supplements.

However, many of us don’t know what food to eat to promote the growth of probiotics in our bodies other than fermented foods. Fermented foods have probiotics in them, but there are foods and supplements which have substances to promote the growth of the existing probiotics in our bodies without having to use any probiotic food or supplements. These substances are called prebiotics, which we can’t digest but bacteria in our guts can. You can think of prebiotics as a food or nutrition source of probiotics. One of these prebiotics is called Inulin.

What is Inulin?

The prebiotic inulin is a specialized fiber that our digestive enzymes can not break down. However, certain probiotics in our gut and especially in the colon thrive on inulin. It acts as a fertilizer for the probiotics which break down inulin into useful compounds which are beneficial for our bodies. In the process of breaking down inulin the probiotics in our microbiome increase in number and work better to provide their intended benefits.

Inulin fiber is a water-soluble polysaccharide (OR oligosaccharide depending on its source) and is considered a fructan. Fructans are non-digestible carbohydrates and are classified as fructose, which the gut bacteria or the probiotics eat. This process results in inulin being broken down as short-chain fatty acids.

This conversion of inulin into short-chain fatty acids has several benefits- it not only promotes probiotic growth but also strengthens gut barrier integrity, regulates blood glucose, and metabolism of lipids, increases inflammatory response, and aids the immune system.

Benefits of inulin

As a prebiotic, one of the major benefits of Inulin is that it promotes “good bacteria” growth in the gut microbiome, which in itself has a lot of benefits including better digestion, good health, and even psychological benefits.

There is some evidence that shows that it lowers the risk of colon cancer by strengthening the cells in the colon and preventing the growth of cancerous cells.

Inulin seems to be helpful in IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and chronic constipation.
One study found that chronic constipation treatment with inulin increased the frequency of bowel movement by more than 50%.

It regulates blood sugar, cholesterol levels, immunity, and triglyceride levels.
High triglyceride levels are known to cause hardening of the arteries and increase the risk of strokes. Studies show that supplementation with inulin for 8 weeks results in a decrease in triglyceride levels by more than 19%.

Some dieticians recommend using inulin for weight management as it promotes the feeling of satiety, which makes you want to eat less, and as a result, you would lose weight. However, the use of inulin for weight management hasn’t been properly studied yet, and we need more data and research on the subject.

Food Sources

As inulin is a fiber it is usually present in whole foods like whole grains, fruits, some vegetables, legumes, seeds, and nuts. It is also added in some packaged foods as a dietary fiber for its health benefits.

Some foods in which Inulin is naturally present are:

  • Chicory Roots
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Artichokes
  • Lentils
  • Greek Tzatziki
  • Quinoa
  • Dandelions
  • Wheat Bran
  • Leeks

Commercially available Inulin supplements are extracted from chicory root, which has a high amount of inulin present in it.
Its supplements are usually available in the form of capsules, powder, and chewable gummies and can be used with water.


8-10 g/day Immediately Before the Meal

According to the USDA, one must consume at least 14 grams of dietary fiber for every 1000 calories they consume, which means that we should get around 30-35 grams of dietary fiber every day.

Inulin as a type of dietary fiber has no specific ‘RDA’. However, up to 10 grams of it”s is generally considered safe.

Side Effects and Safety

Inulin is categorized as GRAS or Generally Recognised as Safe by the FDA, and does not have any major side effects. Still, there are some common side effects of taking inulin supplements, which are:

  • Increased Bowel Movements and diarrhea
  • Stomach Cramps
  • Bloating and flatulence

To avoid these side effects of taking inulin, one must not exceed the recommended dose as mentioned on the supplement one might be using. If your diet is devoid of dietary fiber, It might be helpful if you start with a lower dose and eventually increase it over time so the body gets used to the excess fiber intake.

*Allergen Warning

Inulin is mostly extracted from chicory roots which is a plant in the family Asteraceae which includes plants like sunflowers, dandelions, dahlias, daisies, etc. if you are allergic to the pollens of these plants then you should not use inulin derived from chicory roots.


A healthy gut has around 15,000 to 35,000+ species of bacteria and only a number of these species are harmful. Most of these bacteria are helpful and needed for proper body functions including immunity response, digestion, and psychological health. It is a prebiotic which helps in increasing probiotics in our gut microbiome by acting as a fertilizer on which probiotics like B.Adolescentis, and B. Bifidum, thrive. It also helps in weight management, lowers triglyceride levels, and blood glucose levels, and reduces the risk of colon cancer. It is categorized as ‘GRAS’ by the FDA and can be consumed to meet the RDA of dietary fiber.