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AOR Inulin - Supports Gastrointestinal Health - 300 g

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Quick Overview

Inulin is a prebiotic soluble fibre that produces short chain fatty acids (SCFA's) such as butyric and propionic acid. These in turn help regulate glucose metabolism, lower plasma cholesterol levels, reduce luminal pH, stimulate the immune system, and promote the growth of beneficial gastrointestinal flora.

AOR Inulin - Supports Gastrointestinal Health - 300 g

Details

Inulin, first and foremost, is a soluble fibre. Inulin also belongs to a category of carbohydrates known as fructans, which are themselves polymers of fructose molecules.

There are three types of fructans, namely inulin, levan, and graminan, with inulin being distinguished by its unique molecular structure. Inulin is comprised of fructose-containing oligo- and poly- saccharides, which means inulin can have a widely varying number of fructose polymers. However, most forms of inulin have a greater number of fructo-saccharides (defining them, therefore, as fructo-polysaccharides), which not only confirms inulin's status as a fibre but also qualifies it as an effective prebiotic.

A prebiotic, by definition, nourishes the friendly bacteria in the gastro-intestinal tract. (This is to be distinguished from a probiotic, which actually consists of friendly bacteria). Fructo-polysaccharides, as opposed to fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS - which are also prebiotics), are preferentially used by the friendly bacteria such as the genus Bifido and the genus Lactobacillicus. FOS, on the other hand, are used not only by the aforementioned healthy bacteria but also by some potentially very unhealthy bacteria such as clostridium and helicobacter pylori.

Soluble and insoluble fibres both contribute to gastrointestinal health, albeit in different ways. Insoluble fibres contribute to gastrointestinal health by promoting regularity and peristalsis, yet a soluble fibre such as inulin boasts a somewhat wider range of benefits. Unlike their insoluble counterparts, soluble fibres are fermentable and their contribution to gastrointestinal health consists largely of the by-products of this fermentation, including short chain fatty acids (SCFA's) such as butyric and propionic acid. These in turn help regulate glucose metabolism, lower plasma cholesterol levels, reduce luminal pH, stimulate the immune system, and of course promote the growth of beneficial gastrointestinal flora. Inulin also boasts one of the lowest glycemic indexes (GI) of any carbohydrate source and can also improve the absorption of the essential mineral calcium.

Prebiotic
Inulin's use as a prebiotic is heavily supported by research. Its efficacy, safety and tolerability are so well established that one study conducted in 2007 measured the effect of inulin as an additive to infant formula, with the subjects being formula-fed human newborns with an average age of 12.6 weeks! The study determined that the infants who were fed the inulin-containing formulas did indeed demonstrate an increase in the production of Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus. An earlier key study was conducted among 29 adults recruited from colonoscopy waiting lists, with 14 having been given 7.5 grams of inulin (along with 7.5 grams of oligofructose), while the remainder was given a placebo. The study group experienced ‘significant' increases in beneficial mucosal bacteria counts such as bifidobacteria but with no changes in potentially unfriendly bacteria such as clostridium and coliform (which can include E.Coli). No such improvement in the composition of the mucosa-associated flora of the placebo group was recorded. These results are even more impressive considering the fact that inulins only comprised half the fructo-saccharide content administered to the study group.

Immune System Enhancement
The improved microflora content provided by inulin imparts wide-ranging benefits, one of the most prominent being the enhancement of the immune system. Not surprisingly, research suggests that the one area of the immune system most affected by inulin is the gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT). GALT is part of the immune system of the digestive tract and forms the largest single immune system grouping within the overall gastrointestinal tract - which itself houses 70% of the entire human immune system. In studies among laboratory animals, inulin supplementation activated a variety of immune cell activity within GALT, including that of natural killer (NK) cells. One such study even established that inulin supplementation induces a shift in the critical Th1/Th2 ratio of T-helper cell production favoring the all-important Th1. Such a shift causes a favorable biological cascade that results in the increased production of IL-2 and interferon, two of the most important cytokines in the entire immune system, which in turn stimulate NK cell production and activity.

Cancer Studies
Inulin's prebiotic effectiveness in enhancing the health of the gastrointestinal system is most emphatically demonstrated in cancer studies, particularly colon cancer. In fact, one double-blind, placebo-controlled Swedish study conducted in 2007 among 80 colon cancer and polypectomized patients found that prebiotic (inulin) and probiotic supplementation significantly reduced colorectal proliferation and improved epithelial barrier function. The study of inulin-type fructans regarding tumour suppression in general and colon cancer in particular has grown tremendously since 1998. The accumulation of human and animal data since then has produced a 2005 review that examined twelve animal studies encompassing 29 individual treatment groups -24 with aberrant crypt foci (or ACF, which are colon cancer precursors) and 5 with tumours. Both ACF and tumour incidence were significantly reduced in 21 of 24 and in all 5 treatment groups of the aforementioned conditions, respectively.

Calcium and Iron Absorption
Since it has been established that inulin's prebiotic capability results in the overall improved state of the gastrointestinal system, it stands to reason that such an improvement can encompass the villus. Simply put, the villus is the vast complex that lines the entire length of the intestine and is responsible for absorbing the nutrients from the food we eat. One of the essential nutrients is the mineral calcium, and inulin has indeed been studied for its ability to increase calcium absorption. One placebo-controlled study conducted among 59 young girls (at or near menarche) found that inulin supplementation increased calcium absorption by more than 15%. Another study conducted among 9 healthy adults (average age: 25.5 years) found that inulin supplementation increased the absorption of calcium by 58%. Finally, in another randomized, double-blind study - this one conducted among postmenopausal female subjects (the highest risk group for osteoporosis) - inulin supplementation increased calcium absorption by 16%.

A recent study found that inulin also helps with iron absorption. Plant-based foods such as soybeans and corn have high concentrations of phytic acid, which inhibits iron absorption. Young pigs that were fed a corn and soy-based diet supplemented with inulin absorbed significantly more iron than pigs who were not given inulin, with a 28% increase in absorbable iron and a 15% increase in final blood hemoglobin concentrations. Young pigs have very similar gastrointestinal tract anatomy and digestive physiology to humans. Inulin may benefit iron absorption due to its metabolic products which activate a gene that is responsible for a protein needed for iron uptake in gut mucosal cells. Also, the short chain fatty acids released by inulin fermentation increase digestive acidity, which stimulates the mucosal cells to proliferate, thus creating more cell surfaces for iron absorption.

Insulin Management and Lipid Metabolism
The glycemic index (GI) has become an important dietary marker since its popularization by Dr. Barry Sears (of ‘The Zone' fame) in the late 1990s. The GI theory basically implies that the insulin response generated by food - and not its fat content - is what can cause the excessive accumulation of bodyfat and the cardiovascular and other health difficulties associated with it. The GI ranges from 0-100, with foods such as table sugar rating a high 68, while an apple can rate a low 38. Inulin, in contrast, rates zero, due in no small part to the fact that it is not digested in the upper gastro-intestinal tract but rather reaches the colon intact where it is fermented by beneficial bacteria such as the genus Bifido and the genus Lactobacillicus. This effectively makes inulin one of the most beneficial sources of fibre in the world, and its effect on insulin has positive implications for those at risk for type-2 diabetes and hyperlipidemia. As far as the latter is concerned, both animal and human studies have revealed that inulin can reduce plasma levels of cholesterol and triacylglycerols (TG). In fact, one randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study revealed that 7 grams of inulin daily among 12 obese hyperlipidaemic subjects (over 4 weeks) lowered TG and total cholesterol by an impressive 27% and 20% respectively.

We began by saying that inulin is a soluble fibre, meaning it is a carbohydrate. That being said, inulin can be summarized as one of the most health-imparting sources of carbohydrates.

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Additional Information

ProductSKU 624917041552
Ingredients Contains: 60 servings 300g
Serving Size: Approx 1/2 tbsp (5 g)

Amount per Serving:

Inulin 5 g


Non-medicinal ingredients:

None.


AOR guarantees that no ingredients not listed on the label have been added to the product. Contains no wheat, gluten, corn, nuts, dairy, soy, eggs, fish or shellfish.

Suggested Use: Take approximately half of one tablespoon (5 g) of inulin in water or juice with/without food twice daily, or as directed by a qualified health practitioner.

Main Applications
• Supports normal blood glucose
• Supports healthy cholesterol levels
• Supports beneficial gut flora
• Stimulates the immune system

Source: Chicory

Pregnancy / Nursing: Safe

Cautions: None.

Other Ingredients .
Directions .
Warning .

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