Inulin: Friend or Foe?
Patty Donovan, RN
Due to a dreadful experience with inulin, the author wrote an article on it. Her story started when she began her “healthy living” program. She ate “real” foods and even changed her yogurt sweetened by Splenda with an organic product. After two weeks, though, she ended up in the hospital with partial bowel obstruction. This disorder happens when either the small or the large intestine has a partial blockage. The blockage keeps the fluids, food, and gas from moving through the intestines in the normal way and causes severe recurring pain. She did not mention in her story if the doctors found the cause of her state, but for her, the real culprit is the yogurt she ate. So she researched on inulin, the substance present in yogurt, and wrote about it.
By her probe, inulin is a carbohydrate that belongs to a class of compounds known as fructans and linked to fructooligosaccharides (FOS). Though inulin and FOS are both starch and fiber, they vary in structure. Other names for inulin/FOS are Neosugar, Diabetic Sugar, Alantin, Alant Starch, Helenin, Atlanta Starch, and Dahlin. It tastes sweet, making it a great add-on to various products such as yogurt and has the same mouthfeel as fat that makes it perfect to use. With inulin, yogurt firms can sell their products as “high in fiber but low in sugar and fat.”
The author discussed as well the main sources of inulin. As what her study shows, starchy roots such as sun chokes and chicory root are rich in inulin while onions and garlic have likewise small amounts.
For its adverse effects, she claims that inulin/FOS boosts the growth of Klebsiella, a bacterium that causes infections. Though Klebsiella is present in the colon of most people, good bacteria control it making Klebsiella harmless. Yet once it reaches other parts of the body, it infects the lungs, meninges, bloodstream, urinary tract, and wounds.
She ended her write-up telling readers to take inulin from natural foods by eating chicory root, sun chokes, and others rich in such substance.
The author defined the words she used. I read her write-up without looking for unfamiliar words in the dictionary. She used simple terms, too that made me understand her story with ease. Last, I agree with her advice to eat foods that come from natural inulin/FOS instead of adding it to the diet in its refined, condensed form.
Definition of Terms
- Anaphylactic reactions — are sudden, widespread, potentially severe, and life-threatening allergic reactions.
- Glycemic index — is a relative ranking of carbohydrate in foods according to how they affect blood glucose levels.
- Intestinal flora — is the symbiotic bacteria occurring naturally in the intestine.
- Splenda — a sucralose-based artificial sweetener derived from sugar.
(Source of Featured Image: Bodybuilding.com)
Donovan, Patty (2007, December 10). “Inulin: Friend or Foe?” Natural News. Retrieved from http://www.naturalnews.com/022356_inulin_food_ingredients.html.