Chicory Root Fiber Improves Insulin Response in Prediabetes, Study Suggests


Beneo’s Orafti Synergy1 oligofructose-enriched inulin was found to lower energy intake and enhance weight loss in subjects with prediabetes.

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Recent research results shared by Beneo (Mannheim, Germany) suggest its Orafti Synergy1 oligofructose-enriched inulin may offer several benefits for people with prediabetes, including lowering energy intake, enhancing weight loss, and improving insulin secretion after meals. The ingredient is made from fermentable chicory root fiber, which has been studied for its weight-management benefits in the past.


Insulin Response

In one recent crossover trial1, published in the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism earlier this year, researchers observed 34 older adults with prediabetes who ingested up to 30 g per day of Orafti Synergy 1 for six weeks (including a four-week dose-escalation run-in). Compared to a similar dosage of cellulose as a control, participants consuming Orafti Synergy 1 experienced “modest but significant weight loss.”

Additionally, in two sub-group analyses, researchers found that Orafti Synergy1 reduced fasting insulin and insulin resistance in subjects with impaired fasting glucose, but not in subjects with impaired glucose tolerance. Study authors suggest this might be due to Orafti Synergy 1 acting on hepatic insulin sensitivity, which is predominant in impaired fasting glucose, rather than peripheral insulin sensitivity, which is predominant in impaired glucose tolerance, according to Beneo.

A separate subgroup analysis of 13 participants also found the chicory root fiber enhanced early insulin secretion after a meal without changing total insulin secretion.

Researchers concluded that inulin from chicory root fiber “may have unique metabolic effects that are of particular benefit to people at risk of diabetes, which warrant further investigation.”

For the main analysis, study groups were divided into three subgroups based on observance of elevated glucose in either the fasting state, the post-load state, or both states, with mean participant ages of 63.8, 62.3, and 60.7, respectively.   


Weight Loss and Ectopic Fat

A separate study2 published late last year also found weight-loss benefits of Orafti’s Synergy1 among 39 prediabetes subjects. For a period of 18 weeks, participants were randomized to consume either 30 g per day of Orafti Synergy1 or a non-fermentable control fiber. Although both groups lost approximately 5% of their body weight during the first nine weeks of the experimental period, the inulin group lost significantly more weight in the final nine weeks of the study.  

Beyond just weight loss, the Orafti Synergy1 group also experienced a significantly greater reduction in body fat percentage compared to the control group, including significant reduction in soleus muscle fat and liver fat.

“The results of these studies are exciting news for prediabetics,” said Anke Sentko, vice president of regulatory affairs and nutrition communication at Beneo. “We know that chicory root fibers help people eat less, naturally. These new results, however, stress the impressive potential of Orafti Synergy1 as a tool in diabetes prevention strategies-moving it beyond just the realms of enhancing weight loss. With its mild, sweet taste, chicory root fiber can be easily integrated into a person’s daily diet.”


Read more:

 Dietary Supplement Ingredients for Maintaining Blood Sugar 

Beneo’s Chicory Inulin Receives EU Digestive Health Claim

Purslane Extract Supports Blood Sugar Control, Study Suggests


Michael Crane
Associate Editor
Nutritional Outlook Magazine


1. Guess ND et al., “A randomised crossover trial: the effect of inulin on glucose homeostasis in subtypes of prediabetes,” Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, vol. 68, no. 1 (2016): 26–34

2. Guess ND et al., “A randomized controlled trial: the effect of inulin on weight management and ectopic fat in subjects with prediabetes,” Nutrition & Metabolism, vol. 12 (October 2015): 36

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