Inulin Fiber from Chicory Root Linked to Better Managing Blood Sugar
Blood sugar normally rises after eating, but a high spike in blood sugar can lead to health complications such as diabetes. Two recent studies suggest that consuming inulin fiber from chicory root may help people manage their blood sugar levels.
For the first study, 40 healthy adults were given either a 250 g yogurt drink in which 20% of the sucrose was replaced with oligofructose or a full-sugar equivalent drink. The researchers measured capillary blood glucose and insulin before the participants consumed the drinks and at 15, 30, 45, 60, 90, and 120 minutes after they started to drink.
For the second study, 42 healthy adults were given either a 100 g portion of fruit jelly in which 30% of the sucrose was replaced with inulin fiber or a full sugar equivalent jelly. Again, the researchers measured capillary blood glucose and insulin before the participants consumed the jelly and at 15, 30, 45, 60, 90, and 120 minutes after they started to eat.
Both the inulin yogurt and the inulin jelly showed reductions in glycemic response when compared with the full-sugar versions. The inulin yogurt resulted in a 31.9 mmol/L/min glycemic response, while the full-sugar yogurt had a 37.3 mmol/L/min glycemic response. The inulin jelly had a 53.7 mmol/L/min glycemic response, compared with a 63.7 mmol/L/min in the full-sugar version. Glycemic response is a measure of the effect that food has on blood sugar levels after eating.
Researchers from Oxford Brookes University conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on March 3, 2017, in European Journal of Nutrition.
Inulin is a soluble dietary fiber that is non-digestible. It passes through to the large intestine and becomes healthy intestinal micro flora. Dandelion root, chicory root and elecampane root all have high concentrations of inulin.
Previous studies suggest that inulin helps strengthen the immune system, enhance the absorption of minerals such as calcium and magnesium, improve digestion and lower cholesterol.