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Inulin Supplementation May Help Blood Sugar and Gut Health

Inulin is a type of soluble fiber found in many plants. It is a prebiotic, which means it feeds the good bacteria in the gut. A new study suggests pre-diabetics suggests that inulin supplementation may help increase the amount of friendly intestinal bacteria, and support blood sugar health by decreasing insulin resistance. Insulin resistance occurs when your cells don’t respond well to insulin and can’t easily take up glucose from your blood.

Forty-nine adults with prediabetes participated in the study. They all received 15 g of inulin to take daily for 6 months. This study did not have a control group.  Several measures of blood sugar health were evaluated at baseline, 3 months, and 6 months.  In addition, fecal samples were collected to explore the effect of insulin on gut microbiota.

Fasting insulin levels and a measure of Insulin resistance, called HOMA-IR, improved significantly. There was also an increase in the relative abundance of several beneficial bacteria, including Actinobacteria, Bifidobacteriales, Bifidobacteriaceae, Lactobacillaceae, Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus, and Anaerostipes.

The study was conducted by researchers from Peking Union Medical College and Tsinghua University. It was published on June 29, 2021, in the International Journal of Endocrinology.

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