What is it
HEALTHY PREBIOTIC PLANT FIBRES
The prebiotic plant fibres chicory oligofructose and agave inulin are medicinal in their many important health impacts, including facilitating FAT LOSS and ENHANCING GUT HEALTH
Most of us lack fibre in our diets – it may be the most underappreciated macronutrient! We generally do not consume close to the c. 25g/day (for women) or c. 38g/day (for men) recommended. Inulin is a soluble fibre that is found in many (>36,000) plants and has multiple powerful and positive health effects. Inulin is mainly (90%) undigested – it reaches the colon where it is metabolised by beneficial bacteria, creating health-enhancing short-chain-fatty acids such as butyrate (i). It is a well-known prebiotic – it promotes the development and action of health-promoting colonic bacteria, especially Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli (ii). In addition to its microbiome-benefiting effects, inulin reduces fat accumulation by suppressing fat-production genes.
A placebo-controlled randomised clinical trial in children found that just 8g/day of oligofructose (a prebiotic fibre) for 16 weeks led to significant reductions in % body fat and % trunk fat compared to the placebo group (iii). Importantly, inulin also reduces hypertriglyceridemia and hepatic (liver) steatosis (fat accumulation), two important deleterious effects of sugar-consumption (iv). Inulin appears to lower metabolic syndrome risk by reducing low grade inflammation and improving IL-22-mediated protection of the epithelium (intestinal lining) (v). Significant reductions in Crohn’s disease and enhanced intestinal Bifidobacteria have been observed in human patients taking inulin daily for just three weeks (vi). Oligofructose combined with inulin has been shown to enhance the gut mucosal barrier and inhibit inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) (vii). This combination has also been shown to prevent colon carcinogenesis in animals and appears to reduce colon cancer risk and oncogenesis in humans (viii). Probiotics combined with inulin intake has been demonstrated to lower mucosal pro-inflammatory cytokines and improve immune regulatory transforming growth-factor-β (ix).
They can help
REGULATE IMMUNITY, NUTRITION, APPETITE
These prebiotic plant fibres can help to ENHANCE IMMUNE FUNCTION, MINERAL ABSORPTION and HELP to REGULATE APPETITE
Inulin promotes the gastrointestinal (GI) immune system. It also supports the overall immune system, indirectly stimulating T-cell function, natural-killer cells and phagocytic activity via altering the lactic acid bacteria in the GI tract (x, xi, xii). This function has been shown in animal studies to protect versus pathogens, as well as versus tumors (x). Studies have demonstrated how inulin supplementation improves immune responses to vaccines as well as to viruses themselves, so much so that prebiotics such as inulin and probiotics are being investigated for prevention and treatment of COVID-19 (xi, xii, xiii). Inulin has also been observed to improve mineral absorption, particularly of Calcium and Magnesium, and also of Iron (xiv, xv, xvi).
Bone mineral density and bone mineral content was positively influenced by inulin intake, both in adolescents and in postmenopausal women (where bone density loss is a major concern) (xvii, xviii). Inulin also has the opposite effect of fructose on food intake and appetite regulation. By increasing short-chain fatty acids (SCFs) in the colonic lumen, inulin increases the expression of glucagon-like-peptide-1 (GLP-1) in the mucosa and thence in the blood, which lowers the levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin. Unlike fructose which increases ghrelin and induces leptin resistance (resistance to the fullness hormone), inulin helps to lower and regulate appetite, allowing us to stay satiated and not overeat (xx).
What about taste?
Smooth and Creamy Texture
We have chosen these particular fibres for multiple reasons, related to health and taste. NOMOSU is about ‘no more sugar’, AND creating the healthiest, most delicious treats possible, every time. These mainly soluble fibres help to naturally enhance the smooth texture of our chocolates, and to round out their sweet, delightful taste, while allowing the full, intensely delicious flavours of our cacao to shine through.
(i) Shoaib, M. et al. (2016) ‘Inulin: Properties, health benefits and food applications’, Carbohydrate Polymers, 147, pp. 444-454
(ii) Ho, J. et al. (2019) ‘Effect of Prebiotic on Microbiota, Intestinal Permeability, and Glycemic Control in Children With Type 1 Diabetes’, J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 104(10), pp. 4427-4440
(iii) Nicolucci, A.P. et al. (2017) ‘Prebiotics Reduce Body Fat and Alter Intestinal Microbiota in Children Who Are Overweight or With Obesity’, Gastroenterology, 153, pp. 711-722
(iv) Chambers, E.S. et al. (2018) ‘The effects of dietary supplementation with inulin and inulin-propionate ester on hepatic steatosis in adults with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease’, Diabetes Obes. Metabol., 21, pp. 372–376
(v) Zou, J. et al. (2018) ‘Fiber-mediated nourishment of gut microbiota protects against diet-induced obesity by restoring IL-22-mediated colonic health’, 23(1), pp. 41-53
(vi) Lindsay, J.O, et al. (2006) ‘Clinical, microbiological, and immunological effects of fructo-oligosaccharide in patients with Crohn’s disease’, Gut, 55(3), pp. 348-55.
(vii) Leenen, C.H.M and Dieleman, A. (2007) ‘Inulin and Oligofructose in Chronic Inflammatory Bowel Disease’, J Nutr., 137(11), pp.2572S-2575S
(viii) Vieira De Almeida, C. et al. (2019), ‘Role of diet and gut microbiota on colorectal cancer immunomodulation’, World J Gastroenterol, 25(2), pp. 151-162
(ix) Watzl, B. et al. (2005), ‘Inulin, oligofructose and immunomodulation’, British Journal of Nutrition, 93,(1), pp. S49–S55
(x) Schley, P. D. and Field , C. J., ‘The immune-enhancing effects of dietary fibres and prebiotics’, British Journal of Nutrition 87,(2), pp. S221–S230
(xi) Firmansyah A. et al. (2001) ‘Improved humoral immune response to measles vaccine in infants receiving infant cereal with fructooligosaccharides’, J. Pediatr. Gastroenterol. Nutr., 31 (A521)
(xii) Langkamp-Henken, B. et al. (2004), ‘Nutritional formula enhanced immune function and reduced days of symptoms of upper respiratory tract infection in seniors’, J. Am. Geriatr. Soc. 52, pp. 3–12
(xiii) Olamait, A.N. et al. (2020) ‘The potential application of probiotics and prebiotics for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19’, npj Sci Food 4, 17
(xiv) Griffin I. et al. (2002) ‘Non-digestible oligosaccharides and calcium absorption in girls with adequate calcium intakes’, Br. J. Nutr., 87, pp. S187–S191
(xv) Legette, L. et al. (2012) ‘Prebiotics enhance magnesium absorption and inulin-based fibers exert chronic effects on calcium utilization in a postmenopausal rodent model’, J Food Sci, 77(4), pp. H88-94.
(xvi) Weinborn, V. et al. (2017) ‘Prebiotics increase heme iron bioavailability and do not affect non-heme iron bioavailability in humans’, Food & Function, 8(5)
(xvii) McCabe, L. et al. (2015) ‘Prebiotic and Probiotic Regulation of Bone Health: Role of the Intestine and its Microbiome’, Curr Osteoporos Rep., 13(6), pp. 363–371
(xviii) Scholz-Ahrens, K.E. et al. (2007) ‘Prebiotics, probiotics, and synbiotics affect mineral absorption, bone mineral content, and bone structure’, J Nutr., 137, pp. 838S–846S
(xix) Polyviou, T. et al. (2016), ‘Randomised clinical study: inulin short-chain fatty acid esters for targeted delivery of short-chain fatty acids to the human colon’, Aliment Pharmacol Ther, 44, pp. 662-672
(xx) Davani-Davari, D. et al. (2019) ‘Prebiotics: Definition, Types, Sources, Mechanisms, and Clinical Applications’, Foods, 8(3), p. 92