Health Benefits of Inulin: 6 Benefits

Medically Reviewed on 8/11/2022
Health Benefits of Inulin: 6 Benefits
Studies have linked inulin to health benefits such as improved gut health, diabetes management, and weight loss

Inulin is a type of fiber and prebiotic that is naturally produced by plants and found in fruits, vegetables, and grains. 

Inulin belongs to a group of nondigestible carbs called fructans, which are chains of fructose molecules that form a bond that the small intestine cannot break down. Insulin stays in the gut and feeds healthy bacteria.

Studies have linked inulin to health benefits such as improved gut health, diabetes management, and weight loss. Here are 6 health benefits of inulin.

6 health benefits of inulin

1. Promotes digestive health

According to some studies, regular consumption of inulin can increase the variety of healthy bacteria in your gut, which promotes digestive health. Your gut microbiome is a network of tiny microorganisms in your intestines that help control digestion and other functions.

As a dietary fiber, inulin can encourage regular bowel movements by adding bulk to stools, thus preventing constipation.

2. Helps control blood sugar

Inulin may help people with diabetes and prediabetes control their blood sugar levels, although the effects depend on the type of inulin used.

One study suggested that high-performance (HP) variants of inulin may reduce fat in the livers of people with prediabetes. This is significant because some studies suggest that decreasing liver fat helps reduce insulin resistance and possibly reverse type II diabetes.

In another trial, women with type II diabetes who consumed 10 grams of HP inulin per day experienced a drop in hemoglobin A1c levels, a measure of long-term blood sugar control. Their hemoglobin A1c levels dropped by an average of 10.4%, while their fasting blood sugar decreased by an average of 8.5%.

Although HP inulin may help people with diabetes and prediabetes, older studies using various other forms of inulin have produced inconsistent findings.

3. May aid weight loss

Inulin turns into a gel-like substance when it interacts with water or other bodily fluids. As a result, your stomach empties much more slowly, making you feel fuller for longer. This can help prevent overeating and aid weight loss.

4. Helps lower disease risk

Because inulin can aid in gut repair, it may also help lower the risk of diseases related to poor gut health such as gastrointestinal disorders, type II diabetes, and other health problems. 

Like other types of fiber, inulin can help lower bad cholesterol and lower your risk of some cancers.

5. Boosts mood

Gut health is linked to mental health. Some studies suggested that diversified microbiota and healthy bowel habits are associated with lower levels of anxiety and depression.

6. Enhances mineral absorption

Inulin enhances the ability of the gut to absorb certain minerals, such as calcium and magnesium.

  • Magnesium is needed for various biochemical processes that keep blood sugar levels stable and blood pressure at a healthy level. It also helps maintain nerve and muscle function.
  • Calcium is needed for the building and maintenance of strong bones and facilitates communication between the neurological system and the body.

What is inulin used for?

Due to its benefits on gastric health, inulin is often used as a prebiotic, fat replacer, sugar replacer, and texture modifier. 

For example, inulin can be added to ice cream to prevent ice crystals and reduce the fat content, as well as used in place of eggs in baked goods.

Inulin is available in powder, gummy, tablet, and capsule form.

Is inulin safe?

Although inulin is generally safe to consume, some people may experience uncomfortable side effects such as constipation, gas, diarrhea, bloating, and cramping if they consume too much of it. 

If you are allergic to ragweed, stay away from chicory and other inulin products, since they belong to the same family. 

If you are pregnant or nursing, talk to your doctor before taking any supplements. Chicory may potentially conflict with some medications and dietary supplements.


According to the USDA, there is no difference between a “portion” and a “serving.” See Answer

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

Medically Reviewed on 8/11/2022
Image Source: iStock image