Inulin is not a carbohydrate particularly known but it is contained in some foods in common use and we find it also used as an additive because it can improve the flavor of some industrial products. Let's find out what these foods are and what properties we can attribute to this substance.
Inulin: what it is
It is a carbohydrate defined as "not available" because it is not digestible by enzymes produced by the human body. There are also others with the same characteristics while some carbohydrates are digestible. We find inulin in many foods of plant origin but to extract it they are mainly used chicory and artichoke, in white truffles and dahlia tubers .. If we look carefully at the label of some industrially produced foods, its name appears as an additive, to improve its flavor.
Not being digestible, it reaches the intestine without being digested and is welcomed by the bacteria of the intestinal flora that ferment it and derive nourishment from it. We talk about "good" bacteria, which help us feel better in the intestine and digestive, so inulin is in fact a friendly substance to our intestine but this is not its only property. For example, it is also a useful remedy for those who have to reduce the amount of cholesterol present in food.
Inulin: what it is for
The most common situation in which this substance is prescribed involves the presence of excessive concentrations blood fat, especially cholesterol and triglycerides. In some cases it can also help those who are overweight or those who are constipated.
Earlier we talked about properties inherent in the health of our intestinal flora and against the bad cholesterol but it is correct to warn that the European Food Safety Authority has however rejected the nutritional claims that spoke of both of these features. In fact, there is currently insufficient evidence to support that inulin can promote the well-being of the intestinal flora, acting as a prebiotic and helping digestion and gastrointestinal regularity. As for the level of cholesterol in the blood, the same applies. For now we cannot say that its effect against theexcess cholesterol. We cannot be certain that it causes a sense of satiety and that it helps the body's natural defenses by improving calcium absorption.
To summarize the hypothesized benefits, here is a diagram of the activities attributed to this carbohydrate:
- Protective activities against tumor pathologies, such as colon carcinoma;
- Protective activities against pathogenic microorganisms.
- Improving activities against intestinal absorption of minerals such as calcium and magnesium;
- Improving activities of the tree, thanks to a mass-forming effect;
- Prebiotic activities;
- Metabolic activities, useful in reducing the risk of hypercholesterolemia, hypertriglyceridemia and hyperglycemia.
We must not overdo this substance that can be taken daily but with doses not exceeding 10 grams, for one healthy and adult individual. We can find this dose by eating foods that contain it, therefore especially vegetables. Those who already eat a lot of it or those who follow a vegetarian diet usually do not need to take supplements.
Instead, gods are sometimes needed inulin products people who eat little vegetables and little fruit and who could benefit from its hypothetical prebiotic effects perhaps to recover from antibiotic therapy. Even those suffering from gastrointestinal disorders can try to treat us with inulin, but not before talking to their doctor. In fact, this substance does not always give him desired effects under these circumstances. To supplement your power supply, they are usually needed 5-10 grams of inulin per day which we can find in various forms: powder, tablets or functional foods.
Inulin: side effects
There are no particular fines regarding the use of inulin which usually does not create problems unless there is a hypersensitivity to the substance. Also with regard to its compatibility with drugs, there are no reports. If anything, we can remember that it enhances the absorption of minerals such as calcium and magnesium and enhances the effect of probiotics.
However, there are subjects that are better use inulin with great caution, such as those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, abdominal swelling, alternate alvus and other pathologies attributable to impaired sensitivity to fibers. A cure based on this carbohydrate could aggravate the situation.
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