Researchers confirm chicory inulin benefits on blood sugar

Researchers confirm chicory inulin benefits on blood sugar

Inulin fibre from chicory root's beneficial effects on metabolic risks – including managing blood sugar levels – has been confirmed by new research.

Published in the European Journal of Nutrition, the newly published research contains previously proprietary data that was used to help inulin gain an EFSA approved health claim after a joint application by Beneo, Cosucra and Sensus.

Carried out by the Functional Food Centre at Oxford Brookes University, UK, and co-funded by the same three giants of chicory-derived inulin and fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS), the two randomised, double-blind controlled trial tested blood glucose and insulin responses in healthy adults after consuming foods that were identical in composition yet contained either full sugar or the sugar partially replaced with chicory root fibres, either oligofructose or inulin.

“Lowering the blood glucose response to food products with chicory inulin or oligofructose, instead of sugars, could contribute to prevention and reducing the risk of chronic metabolic diseases,” said lead researcher Doctor Helen Lightowler.

Trial details

The first study included a yoghurt drink in a portion of 250g, in which 20% of the sucrose was replaced with oligofructose.

A 14% reduction in blood glucose response was measured, compared to a 17% reduction after the full sugar yoghurt drink had been consumed.

The second study included a 110g portion of fruit jelly in which 30% of the sucrose was replaced with inulin. The results showed a 16% reduction in blood glucose response compared to a 40%  in the full fruit jelly.

Lightowler said that importantly the trial results were achieved without compromising on taste and sensory qualities “which is essential for the acceptance of such products by consumers in their everyday life.”

While part of the research was submitted and accepted in the joint health claims submission relating to lower blood glucose responses with chicory root fibres, this is the first time such the data has been published in a peer reviewed scientific journal.

Source: European Journal of Nutrition
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1007/s00394-017-1409-z
“Replacement of glycaemic carbohydrates by inulin-type fructans from chicory (oligofructose, inulin) reduces the postprandial blood glucose and insulin response to foods: report of two double-blind, randomized, controlled trials”
Authors: Helen Lightowler, Sangeetha Thondre, Anja Holz, Stephan Theis

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