Why We Use Inulin in Our Probiotics Supplements

Most of us have heard of fiber before and know that it’s good for us. Fiber is a critical component of a healthy diet and can help prevent heart disease, constipation, and may even help to lower cholesterol [1]. These carbohydrates are essentially the indigestible portion of plants. Even though we can’t digest it, our gut bacteria can. This crucial benefit is precisely why we sell inulin probiotic supplements. Let’s take a look at the effect fibers have on gut bacteria and why we include inulin in our probiotics.

Why Fiber for Probiotics?

Fiber is beneficial because it is the food for your microbiome. Without adequate levels of fiber, it is nearly impossible to maintain a healthy gut [2]. These gut biome buffets are known as prebiotics.

One analysis from a Washington Post correspondent explains that there are three types of prebiotics that have exhibited benefits in studies [3].

dietary fiber for gut
Fiberlicious

These prebiotics are:

  • Galactooligosaccharide (GOS)
  • Short-Chain-Inulin:
    Fructooligosaccharide (FOS) or
    Oligofructose
  • Long-Chain-Inulin

GOS is typically extracted from lactose. Meanwhile, FOS and inulin are types of fiber found in many different types of plants, such as asparagus and onions [4]. However, most inulin probiotic supplements get their sources from chicory root.

What is Inulin?

inulin probiotic chicory flower
Chicory is rich inulin

Inulin is a polysaccharide, which means that it is a plant-based carbohydrate or sugar. There are two types of inulin, long-chain inulin and short-chain(fructooligosaccharide [FOS] and/or oligofructose) [5]. 

Much like short, medium, and long-chain fatty acids, both types of inulin are beneficial in their own ways. The end result is to facilitate a healthy microbiome by increasing levels of beneficial bacteri, a such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium [6]. 

A controlled study on inulin in yogurt for probiotic stimulation stated,

“The results showed that inulin and lactulose did not affect the growth of yoghurt starter bacteria, but stimulated the growth of B. bifidumBB-02 to a great extent [6].”

Food Science and Technology International

Many of our blends contain Bifiobacterium. Therefore, having an inulin probiotic seems like a no-brainer for fostering beneficial intestinal flora.

How an Inulin Probiotic Can Improve IBD Symptoms

IBD pain
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Increasing levels of healthy bacteria, such as Lactobacilli and Bifidobacterium, cause the microbes to produce more short-chain fatty acids, such as acetate. Fatty acids help to decrease systemic inflammation [7].

For instance, inulin probiotic intervention may decrease symptoms of Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis [8]. Studies show that in patients with Crohn’s disease, supplementation with inulin reduced the patient’s symptoms. Results also noted that inulin positively affected their microbiome composition and improved their immune response.

The study noted,

“This research project is a model that is used to assess working mechanisms of prebiotic treatment in chronic colitis. This beneficial effect was seen in conjunction with an increase of intestinal bifidobacteria and lactobacilli. In addition, feeding this prebiotic combination to the colitis-susceptible rats not only reduced mucosal proinflammatory cytokines but also increased the immunoregulatory transforming growth factor-β [8].”

Oxford Academic Journal of Nutrition

In patients with Ulcerative Colitis, treatment with an inulin probiotic decreased symptoms as well. While there are not as many studies looking at the effects of prebiotics on Ulcerative Colitis, the initial results are still promising. Overall, inulin has some impressive effects on disease prevention and general healthcare, making it a valuable supplement. 

Inulin Probiotic and General Health

inulin probiotic
Take the time to Thryve Inside

Supplementation with inulin can improve the symptoms of many different diseases. Studies have shown that inulin can help lower blood sugar. It also assists with weight loss, when compared to other types of fiber, such as cellulose. [9]

Inulin has also been found to increase the absorption of calcium, which is critical for bone health. This notion is especially during adolescence [10]. To better improve the absorption of calcium, we also include Vitamin D in our inulin probiotic supplement. That way, your body is set up for success. 

Possible Side Effects of Inulin

It is possible to have too much of a good thing when it comes to inulin and fiber in general. Most people have experienced the side effects of overeating fiber in one sitting, and it’s not pleasant [14]. 

gas in stomach
You might get a little of this if you overdo it

An overload of fiber can cause serious intestinal discomfort from bloating to diarrhea…and a host of other unpleasant symptoms. This reaction can be frustrating, especially when we’re told so often that simply eating more fiber is the cure-all for everyone’s digestive ailments.

It is important to increase these foods into your diet slowly. If you are suffering from digestive discomfort when you eat foods containing fiber, cut it down a notch. Your body and gut biome need time to readjust.

Integrating inulin into your diet is similar to starting anything new. Begin with small amounts of fiber. Gradually increase the servings you ingest. These actions are the best way to set yourself up for gut health success.

Why Does Thryve Probiotics Use Inulin?

If you have concerns about overdoing it with fiber, don’t worry about Thryve probiotics. We put this dietary fiber in the capsule with your live cultures. Therefore, they’re already digesting the inulin and creating short-chain-fatty acids!

gut health diet
Improve your quality of life from within

At Thryve we put inulin into our probiotic supplements to make sure that we are giving you the best supplement we possibly can to improve your gut health and microbiome composition. By incorporating inulin into our probiotics, we are catalyzing the work that the probiotic is already doing.

An inulin probiotic ensures the beneficial bacteria have something to eat. That way, they can provide you with the most health benefits possible [17]. Inulin is a powerful supplement that is naturally occurring in many plants. It is also a great way to take your gut health to the next level. Take the time to Thryve Inside today.

Thryve Probiotics Gut Health

Resources

[1] Cummings, John H., and Hans N. Englyst. “What Is Dietary Fibre?” Trends in Food Science & Technology, Elsevier, 14 Oct. 2003, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/092422449190638Y.

[2] J. Agric. Food Chem. 2012, 60, 36, 8776-8782. Publication Date: May 21, 2012. https://doi.org/10.1021/jf2053959

[3] Brissette, Christy, and Washington Post. “What Is Inulin And Why Is It Being Added to So Many Foods? A Nutritionist Explains.” ScienceAlert, www.sciencealert.com/inulin-is-being-added-to-many-foods-but-it-could-be-causing-stomach-problems.

[4] Ratini, Melinda. “Inulin: Uses and Risks.” WebMD, WebMD, 29 Sept. 2019, www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/inulin-uses-and-risks.

[5] The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 137, Issue 11, November 2007, Pages 2493S–2502S, https://doi.org/10.1093/jn/137.11.2493S. Published: 01 November 2007

[6] Effect of Inulin and Lactulose on Survival of Lactobacillus AcidophilusLA-5 and Bifidobacterium Bifidum BB-02 in Acidophilus-Bifidus Yoghurt. D. Özer, S. Akin, B. Özer. First Published February 1, 2005 Research Article
https://doi.org/10.1177/1082013205051275

[7] Dalile, B., Van Oudenhove, L., Vervliet, B. et al. The role of short-chain fatty acids in microbiota–gut–brain communication. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol16, 461–478 (2019) doi:10.1038/s41575-019-0157-3

[8] Celine H. M. Leenen, Levinus A. Dieleman, Inulin and Oligofructose in Chronic Inflammatory Bowel Disease, The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 137, Issue 11, November 2007, Pages 2572S–2575S, https://doi.org/10.1093/jn/137.11.2572S

[9] Guess, Nicola D, et al. “A Randomized Controlled Trial: the Effect of Inulin on Weight Management and Ectopic Fat in Subjects with Prediabetes.” Nutrition & Metabolism, BioMed Central, 24 Oct. 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26500686.