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Prebiotic-Enriched Inulin May Reduce Food Intake of Overweight Kids

Approximately 17% of children and adolescents in the US are affected by childhood obesity. A recent study suggests that consuming oligofructose-enriched inulin daily may help increase feelings of fullness and lead to lower calorie intake in overweight and obese children.


Participants in the study included 42 overweight and obese boys and girls between the ages of 7 and 12. They were given either eight grams per day of oligofructose-enriched inulin or a maltodextrin placebo for 16 weeks.


At the conclusion of the study, the researchers noted a 113 kcal reduction in the 11 and 12-year-olds who took the prebiotic. Comparatively, the placebo group had a 137 kcal increase. Additionally, the prebiotic group had a 28% increase in the satiety hormone ghrelin, when compared with baseline levels, while the placebo group only increased by 8%.


Researchers from the University of Calgary conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on February 22, 2017, in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.


Previous studies suggest that the prebiotic oligofructose may help aid with weight loss and improve digestive health. It can be found in onions, bananas, wheat, and fortified foods. It can also be taken in supplement form.


Inulin is 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 have shown that inulin strengthens the immune system, enhances the absorption of minerals such as calcium and magnesium, improves digestion and lowers cholesterol.

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