Table of Contents
- What are the different functions of Psyllium vs Inulin?
- Is Inulin FODMAP friendly?
- What are the benefits of Bacillus Coagulans and Inulin?
- Is Inulin good for IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)?
- What’s the effect of Inulin on SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth)?
- Can Inulin be used for leaky gut?
- Which is better: Inulin vs Acacia fiber?
- What are the health benefits of Inulin found in Jerusalem Artichoke?
- What are the side effects of Inulin found in Jerusalem Artichoke?
- Which is better: Inulin vs FOS?
- Want to know more?
What are the different functions of Psyllium vs Inulin?
The different functions of Psyllium vs Inulin are determined extensively in the literature and they include the following:
- Inulin: Boosts immunity and increases the number of good bacteria in the gut
- Psyllium: Prevents constipation and reduces cholesterol levels
Nevertheless, a review study published in the Journal of Nutrition Today in 2015, recommends consuming soluble nonfermenting, gel-forming fiber due to its rich nutritional benefits as compared to other forms.
Moreover, a recent study published in the Journal of Neurogastroenterology in 2022, reveals that taking psyllium reduced inulin-related gas production in IBS patients and recommends further investigations on coadministering psyllium and inulin to prevent unwanted side effects.
Is Inulin FODMAP friendly?
Inulin is not FODMAP friendly as it contains long-chain carbohydrates (either polysaccharides or oligosaccharides) which are indigestible in the small intestine. Thus, they act as a food source for gut bacteria.
A study in the Journal of Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine in 2020, claims that inulin may have potentially beneficial effects on the quality of life and bowel function of IBS-C patients in relevance to the amount of stool and its structure. However, the authors also recommend further investigations to validate these claims.
In the video below, Dr. Tod Cooperman explains the pros and cons of using Psyllium and provides important tips when choosing and using psyllium as a laxative as well as for cholesterol-lowering, blood sugar control, and reducing appetite:
This is our recommended Probiotic Supplement with Inulin:
What are the benefits of Bacillus Coagulans and Inulin?
The benefits of Bacillus Coagulans and Inulin involve treating stomach conditions which include the following:
- Gas pain
- Alleviate symptoms of (IBS, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s disease)
- Reducing symptoms of stomach ulcers caused by H. pylori infection
A study published in the Journal of Food and Nutrition Research in 2016, showed that taking bacillus coagulans and inulin orally can play a role in improving the biochemical and clinical parameters in lab rats with rheumatoid arthritis.
Is Inulin good for IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)?
Inulin is not good for IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), as it can cause the following symptoms:
- Abdominal pain
Evidently, even small doses ranging between 0.5-1 grams can cause the previously mentioned symptoms. However, some contradictory case studies say otherwise.
A case report of a 46-year-old female with IBS treated with inulin and other probiotic supplements claims that there was an overall improvement in her symptoms and quality of life. Nevertheless, this improvement is explained by the coadministered probiotic supplement rather than inulin alone.
What’s the effect of Inulin on SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth)?
The effect of inulin on SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) is negative owing to their high fructans content which induces the following symptoms making patients uncomfortable:
- Abdominal pain
- Gut cramps
Can Inulin be used for leaky gut?
Inulin can be used for leaky gut by increasing the proliferation of the cells lining the colon and reducing the number of bad bacteria which in turn prevents the leaky gut from occurring.
This was evident in a review study published in the Journal of PeerJ in 2018, which discussed the potential positive effects of dietary fibers including inulin on gut-related physiological outcomes and showed that prebiotic fibers (inulin) may have promising potential to induce specific gut health benefits.
Which is better: Inulin vs Acacia fiber?
Both inulin and acacia fiber has the potential to improve gut health but in different functions, and they can be classified as follows:
- Inulin: Better in boosting immunity and enhancing immune function
- Acacia: Increases mineral absorption due to their strong prebiotic activity
A review study published in the Journal of Food and Environmental Safety in 2015, highlights the important and varying health benefits of both inulin and acacia for the gut. Similarly, another study published in the Journal of Nutrients in 2020, explains how they both affect the gut positively but in different ways.
What are the health benefits of Inulin found in Jerusalem Artichoke?
There are seven health benefits of Inulin found in Jerusalem Artichoke, and these include the following:
- Improving intestinal immunity by raising probiotics levels in the gut
- Managing the negative effects of antibiotic use
- Enhancing the digestion process
- Reducing constipation and providing a great source of fiber
- Increasing calcium absorption in the body
- Improving the mood and alleviating emotional disturbances
- Improving weight loss and reducing obesity
- Protecting against cancer that affects the digestive system (ex. Stomach cancer, colon cancer, pancreatic cancer, etc.,)
What are the side effects of Inulin found in Jerusalem Artichoke?
The side effects of Inulin found in Jerusalem Artichoke are not significant and are usually limited to people who are intolerant to FODMAPs or who are allergic to inulin. These side effects include the following:
- Abdominal pain and discomfort
- Stomach cramps
- Loose stool
- Anaphylaxis (in case of allergy)
It’s recommended to start with small amounts first until the body gets used to it then proceed with larger amounts. But it’s always best to consult your doctor first regarding the specific dosage and whether it’s suitable for you.
Which is better: Inulin vs FOS?
Even though both Inulin and FOS are chemically classified as probiotics and serve similar functions in promoting the growth of gut bacteria and boosting immunity, the bioavailability of FOS is considered superior to that of inulin.
A study published in the Journal of Applied and Environmental Microbiology in 2005, illustrates that they both have different functions, uses and side effects making their comparison subjective to their use.
Therefore, it’s recommended to discuss consuming either inulin or FOS with your doctor first before adding them to your diet.
Want to know more?
Click the links below to access the individual topic pages:
This article makes use of information from the U.S. National Library of Medicine under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
- McRorie JW Jr. Evidence-Based Approach to Fiber Supplements and Clinically Meaningful Health Benefits, Part 2: What to Look for and How to Recommend an Effective Fiber Therapy. Nutr Today. 2015 Mar;50(2):90-97. DOI: 10.1097/NT.0000000000000089. PMID: 25972619; PMCID: PMC4415970.
- Gunn D, Abbas Z, Harris HC, Major G, Hoad C, Gowland P, Marciani L, Gill SK, Warren FJ, Rossi M, Remes-Troche JM, Whelan K, Spiller RC. Psyllium reduces inulin-induced colonic gas production in IBS: MRI and in vitro fermentation studies. Gut. 2022 May;71(5):919-927. DOI: 10.1136/gutjnl-2021-324784. Epub 2021 Aug 5. PMID: 34353864; PMCID: PMC8995815.
- Bărboi OB, Ciortescu I, Chirilă I, Anton C, Drug V. Effect of inulin in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (Review). Exp Ther Med. 2020 Dec;20(6):185. DOI: 10.3892/etm.2020.9315. Epub 2020 Oct 13. PMID: 33101475; PMCID: PMC7579772.
- Abhari K, Shekarforoush SS, Hosseinzadeh S, Nazifi S, Sajedianfard J, Eskandari MH. The effects of orally administered Bacillus coagulans and inulin on prevention and progression of rheumatoid arthritis in rats. Food Nutr Res. 2016 Jul 15;60:30876. DOI: 10.3402/fnr.v60.30876. PMID: 27427194; PMCID: PMC4947834.
- Ama, Suzanne, and McElligott, Mary and Stevens, Sandy, Effect of Inulin on Microbiota Composition and Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Case Report (December 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3506404 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3506404
- Pham VT, Seifert N, Richard N, Raederstorff D, Steinert RE, Prudence K, Mohajeri MH. The effects of fermentation products of prebiotic fibres on gut barrier and immune functions in vitro. PeerJ. 2018 Aug 10;6:e5288. DOI: 10.7717/peerj.5288. Erratum in: PeerJ. 2018 Aug 17;6:. Steinert, Robert [corrected to Steinert, Robert E]. PMID: 30128177; PMCID: PMC6089210.
- Nakov, Gjore & Georgieva, Darina & Vasileva, Nastia & Damyanova, Stanka & Stamatovska, Viktorija & Necinova, Ljupka. (2015). PREBIOTIC EFFECTS OF INULIN AND ACACIA GUM (REVIEW). Journal Food and Environment Safety of the Suceava University. 14. 148-156.
- Massot-Cladera M, Azagra-Boronat I, Franch À, Castell M, Rodríguez-Lagunas MJ, Pérez-Cano FJ. Gut Health-Promoting Benefits of a Dietary Supplement of Vitamins with Inulin and Acacia Fibers in Rats. Nutrients. 2020 Jul 23;12(8):2196. doi: 10.3390/nu12082196. PMID: 32718017; PMCID: PMC7468733.
- Rossi M, Corradini C, Amaretti A, Nicolini M, Pompei A, Zanoni S, Matteuzzi D. Fermentation of fructooligosaccharides and inulin by bifidobacteria: a comparative study of pure and fecal cultures. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2005 Oct;71(10):6150-8. DOI: 10.1128/AEM.71.10.6150-6158.2005. PMID: 16204533; PMCID: PMC1265942.