February 29, 2024

Prebiotic effect evidenced for chicory root fibres by the first systematic review with meta-analyses

3 min read
Prebiotic effect evidenced for chicory root fibres

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

LGiordani | Prebiotic effect evidenced for chicory root fibres by the first systematic review with meta-analyses | A new systematic literature review with meta-analyses, conducted by Dávid U. Nagy et al.[i], demonstrates that chicory root fibre intake (starting at 3g/day) promotes significant growth of Bifidobacteria in the gut microbiome in all age groups and improves bowel function parameters. It is the first study of this kind, based on randomised control trials, that has investigated the effect of inulin-type fructans derived from chicory root on Bifidobacteria abundance in gut microbiota and health-related outcomes.

Included in the systematic review with meta-analyses, considered the strongest methodology in the hierarchy of scientific evidence, were 50 human intervention studies, with a total of 2,495 participants. These were selected based on an extensive literature search and review process that followed the guidelines of the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews and Interventions[ii]. This research evidenced that inulin, oligofructose and combinations thereof, derived from the chicory root as the source of origin, act as a bifidogenic factor, promoting the selective growth of Bifidobacteria. The systematic review with meta-analyses also demonstrates that chicory root fibre is a prebiotic that complies with the ISAPP (International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics) definition of prebiotics.

The researchers further reported that the bifidogenic effects of the chicory root fibres were accompanied by improved bowel regularity. This was validated by increased stool frequency in healthy adults, and by softer stools in healthy infants and children.

Commenting on the findings, Anke Sentko, Vice President Regulatory Affairs & Nutrition Communication at BENEO said: “I am extremely pleased that this detailed critical systematic review with meta-analyses has been conducted. Following the highest quality scientific evidence methodology, the prebiotic effect of inulin-type fructans sourced from the chicory root is confirmed. It yet again shows that integrating chicory root fibres into a person’s daily diet supports Bifidobacteria and thus their gut microbiome, while also improving the bowel functions of the very young to the very old.”

BENEO’s prebiotic fibres, Orafti® Inulin and Oligofructose, are inulin-type fructans. They are natural, non-GMO, clean label prebiotic fibres that are derived from chicory root via a gentle hot water extraction method, unlike some other fibres that are artificially or chemically made. They can be used in a wide range of food and beverage applications including baby food, according to national legislations. As proven prebiotics, chicory root fibres (inulin, oligofructose) support a healthy gut microbiota and selectively promote the growth of beneficial microorganisms, such as Bifidobacteria, in the gut. Chicory root fibres are the preferred food for those good  microorganisms and thus help them to grow and multiply. Due to the increased bacterial metabolism in the large intestine, regularity is improved.


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The BENEO-Institute is an organization which brings together BENEO’s expertise from Nutrition Science and Legislation teams. It acts as an advisory body for customers and partners reaching from ingredient approval, physiological effects and nutritional composition to communication and labelling. The key nutritional topics of the BENEO-Institute’s work include weight management, digestive health, bone health, physical and mental performance, the effects of a low glycaemic diet as well as dental health.

The BENEO-Institute facilitates access to the latest scientific research and knowledge throughout all nutritional and regulatory topics related to BENEO ingredients. It provides BENEO customers and partners with substantiated guidance for some of the most critical questions in the food industry. BENEO is a division of the Südzucker Group that employs more than 1,000 people and has production units in Belgium, Chile, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.



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