Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Inulin and oligofructose in the dietary fibre concept

  • C. Cherbut (a1)
Abstract

Dietary fibre consists of remnants of edible plant cell polysaccharides and associated substances resistant to hydrolysis by human alimentary enzymes, which may benefit health through a wide range of physiological effects. Inulin and oligofructose are storage carbohydrates found in a number of vegetables, fruits and whole grains. They resist digestion and absorption in the stomach and small intestine of humans, as shown by their almost full recovery at the end of the ileum of healthy or ileostomised volunteers. Inulin and oligofructose thus enter into the large intestine where they are available to fermentation, as demonstrated by increased breath hydrogen. Fermentation of both substrates is complete and no residue is found in human stools. Inulin and oligofructose improve laxation. Their bulking capacity comprised between 1·2 and 2·1 g of stool per g of ingested substrate, results mainly from increases in microbial biomass in the colon. As water content of bacterial cells is high, stools are softer and easier to expulse. Stool frequency is thus increased, particularly in slightly constipated individuals. In addition, likely due to their fermentation properties, inulin and oligofructose also affect the intestinal epithelium (trophicity, mucin expression, etc.), that may strengthen mucosal protection and reduce the risk of gastrointestinal diseases. In summary, inulin and oligofructose are plant carbohydrates, resistant to digestion in the human small intestine and fermented by colonic bacteria. They exert several intestinal physiological effects contributing to maintenance of health. Therefore, inulin and oligofructose fit well within the current concept of dietary fibre.

    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Inulin and oligofructose in the dietary fibre concept
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Inulin and oligofructose in the dietary fibre concept
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Inulin and oligofructose in the dietary fibre concept
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Dr C. Cherbut, fax +33 2 40 67 50 12, email cherbut@nantes.inra.fr
References
Hide All
Alles, MS, Hautvast, JGA, Nagengast, FM, Hartemink, R, Van Laere, KMJ & Jansen, JBM (1996) Fate of fructo-oligosaccharides in the human intestine. British Journal of Nutrition 76, 211221.
American Association of Cereal Chemists (2001) The definition of dietary fiber. Report of the Dietary fiber definition committee to the Board of Directors, DF DEF 1/10/2001.
Blottière, HM, Champ, M, Hoebler, C, Michel, C & Cherbut, C (1999) Les acides gras à chaîne courte: de la production aux effets physiologiques gastro-intestinaux (Production and digestive effects of short chain fatty acids). Sciences des Aliments 19, 269290.
Brighenti, F, Casiraghi, MC, Canzi, E & Ferrari, A (1999) Effect of consumption of a ready-to-eat breakfast cereal containing inulin on the intestinal milieu and blood lipids in healthy male volunteers. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 53, 726733.
Campbell, JM, Fahey, GC & Bryan, WW (1997) Selected indigestible oligosaccharides affect large bowel mass, cecal and fecal short chain fatty acids, pH and microflora in rats. Journal of Nutrition 127, 130136.
Castiglia-Delavaud, C, Verdier, E, Besle, JM, Vernet, J, Boirie, Y, Beaufrère, B, De Baynast, R & Vermorel, M (1998) Net energy value of non-starch polysaccharide isolates (sugarbeet fibre and commercial inulin) and their impact on nutrient digestive utilization in healthy human subjects. British Journal of Nutrition 80, 343352.
Den Hond, E, Geypens, B & Ghoos, Y (2000) Effect of high performance chicory inulin on constipation. Nutrition Research 20, 731736.
Ellegard, L, Andersson, H & Bosaeus, I (1997) Inulin and oligofructose do not influence the absorption of cholesterol, or the excretion of cholesterol, Ca, Mg, Zn, Fe, or bile acids but increases energy excretion in ileostomy subjects. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 51, 15.
Fontaine, N, Meslin, JC, Lory, S & Andrieux, C (1996) Intestinal mucin distribution in the germ-free rat and in the heteroxenic rat harbouring a human bacterial flora: effect of inulin in the diet. British Journal of Nutrition 75, 881892.
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (1998) Carbohydrates in human nutrition. Report of a joint FAO/WHO expert consultation. No. 99. Rome: FAO.
Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine (2001) Dietary reference intakes: proposed definition of dietary fiber. National Academy Press Washington, DC, USA.
Gibson, GR, Beatty, E, Wang, X & Cummings, JH (1995) Selective stimulation of bifidobacteria in the human colon by oligofructose and inulin. Gastroenterology 108, 975982.
Höve, H & Mortensen, PB (1995) Colonic lactate metabolism and D-lactic acidosis. Digestive Disease and Sciences 40, 320330.
Howard, MD, Gordon, TD, Pace, LW, Garleb, KA & Kerley, MS (1995) Effects of dietary supplementation with fructo-oligosaccharides on colonic microbiota populations and epithelial cell proliferation in neonatal pigs. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition 21, 297303.
Kleesen, B, Sykura, B, Zunft, HJ & Blaut, M (1997) Effects of inulin and lactose on fecal microflora, microbial activity, and bowel habit in elderly constipated persons. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 65, 13971402.
Le Blay, G, Michel, C, Blottière, HM & Cherbut, C (1999) Prolonged intake of fructo-oligosaccharides induces a short-term elevation of lactic acid-producing bacteria and a persistent increase in cecal butyrate in rats. Journal of Nutrition 129, 22312235.
Livesey, G (1992) The energy values of dietary fibre and sugar alcohols for man. Nutrition Research Reviews 5, 6184.
Macfarlane, GT & Cummings, JH (1991) The colonic flora, fermentation, and large bowel digestive function. In The Large Intestine: Physiology, Pathophysiology, and Disease, pp. 5192 [Phillips, SF, Pemberton, JH and Shorter, RG, editors]. New York: Raven Press Ltd.
Mack, DR, Michail, S, Wei, S, McDougall, L & Hollingsworth, MA (1999) Probiotics inhibit enteropathogenic E coli in vitro by inducing intestinal mucin gene expression. American Journal of Physiology 276, G941950.
Molis, C, Flourié, B, Ouarne, F, Gailing, MF, Lartigue, S, Guibert, A, Bornet, F & Galmiche, JP (1996) Digestion, excretion, and energy value of fructooligosaccharides in healthy humans. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 64, 324328.
Nordgaard, I, Hansen, BS & Mortensen, PB (1995) Colonic fermentation of complex carbohydrates in short-bowel patients. No association with hydrogen excretion and fecal and plasma short-chain fatty acids. Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology 30, 897904.
Roberfroid, M, Gibson, GR & Delzenne, N (1993) The biochemistry of oligofructose, a nondigestible fiber: an approach to calculate its caloric value. Nutrition Reviews 51, 137146.
Roland, N, Nugon-Baudon, L, Andrieux, C & Szylit, O (1995) Comparative study of the fermentative characteristics of inulin and different types of fibre in rats inoculated with a human whole faecal flora. British Journal of Nutrition 74, 239249.
Trowel, H (1974) Definition of fiber. Lancet 1, 503.
Van Dokkum, W, Wezendonk, B, Srikumar, TS & van den Heuvel, EGHM (1999) Effect of nondigestible oligosaccharides on large-bowel functions, blood lipid concentrations and glucose absorption in young healthy male subjects. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 53, 17.
Wang, X & Gibson, GR (1993) Effects of the in vitro fermentation of oligofructose and inulin by bacteria growing in the human large intestine. Journal of Applied Bacteriology 75, 373380.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

British Journal of Nutrition
  • ISSN: 0007-1145
  • EISSN: 1475-2662
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed