SOURCE: Beneo Institute

BENEO Institute

February 08, 2017 08:30 ET

Studies Show Further Digestive Health Benefits for BENEO's Chicory Fiber

MORRIS PLAINS, NJ--(Marketwired - Feb 8, 2017) - Two recently published scientific studies, built on findings from earlier research, show that BENEO's prebiotic chicory root fibers support digestive health by improving bowel regularity and softening stools, while being very well tolerated. With up to 30% of the western population (including children) affected by a low number of weekly bowel movements and hard stoolsi, the potential for using chicory root fibers in this area of digestive health cannot be underestimated.

The first study by Antje Micka et al.ii, shows that chicory root inulin improves bowel function in adults and contributes to improved digestive health. The second study by Ricardo Closa-Monasterolo et al.iii, focuses on children between the ages of two to five years old and demonstrates that prebiotic chicory root fibers, inulin and oligofructose, support digestive health by improving stool consistency, while at the same time being very well tolerated.

The clinical trial conducted by Micka et al. was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over design trial of 44 healthy, slightly constipated subjects (self-reported constipation defined as 2-3 stools per week). Participants were supplemented with 3x4g/day of BENEO's chicory root fiber, Orafti® Inulin, or placebo (maltodextrin). The supplements were delivered in a drink form that was consumed together with breakfast, lunch and dinner over a 4-week period and after a 2-week run-in phase. The results showed that BENEO's prebiotic chicory inulin significantly improved stool frequency per week without resulting in gastrointestinal discomfort. Chicory root inulin also contributed to improved overall wellbeing and satisfaction, evaluated by a validated quality of life questionnaire for constipated people.

The research design followed the EFSA guidance documents for studies addressing digestive function (EFSA Gold Standard). It was also included in BENEO's dossier for a 13.5 claim that resulted in a positive opinion, as well as an exclusive claim for its prebiotic chicory inulin and digestive health.

The study by Closa-Monasterolo et al. is the first to show that prebiotic chicory inulin and oligofructose also support normal bowel habits in children between the ages of two to five years old. It was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled parallel group design. The children received a 2x2g/day combination of BENEO's Orafti® Inulin and Oligofructose, or placebo (maltodextrin), incorporated into yogurt or fresh cheese, for a 6-week period. Results showed that the chicory root fibers softened the stools of the constipated children and were as well tolerated as the fully digestible placebo.

While there are several scientific studies that demonstrate the positive effects of prebiotic fibers, inulin and oligofructose, in infants and small children (0-2 years old)iv,v,vi, there was previously limited data on their effect in children between the ages of 2 to 5 years old. These results highlight the high level of importance of the recent study results. This is especially significant because the 2 to 5-year-old age group is particularly at risk of constipation due to their change in diet (overall low dietary fiber intake), toilet and potty training, as well as more exposure outside of the home (kindergarten), all of which may influence their digestive well-being.

The physiological mechanisms underlying this digestive support by chicory root fibers are related to their prebiotic effect. They selectively stimulate the growth of bacteria promoting saccharolytic fermentation, in particular Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli. EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) described the underlying fermentation-driven mechanism in their positive opinion on Orafti® Inulin and the improvement of regularityvii.

"Digestive health matters at every age," said Anke Sentko, Vice President Regulatory Affairs and Nutrition Communication at BENEO. "These two recent high-quality human intervention studies show once again that BENEO's prebiotic chicory root fibers effectively support digestive health in children and adults. Chicory root fibers, inulin and oligofructose, are the best studied prebiotic fibers. They support regularity as well as wellbeing, therefore meeting consumers' needs and making them an important area of focus for many food and drink manufacturers."

BENEO's Orafti® Inulin and Oligofructose are natural, non-GMO, clean label prebiotic fibers that are derived from chicory root via a gentle hot water extraction method. These characteristics underline the uniqueness of these dietary fibers and differentiates them from others.

For further information on BENEO and its ingredients, please visit: and or follow BENEO on Twitter: @_BENEO or LinkedIn:

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, employs 900 people and has production units in Belgium, Chile, Germany and Italy.

i Candelli, et al (2001)

ii Micka A., et al (2016): Effect of consumption of chicory inulin on bowel function in healthy subjects with constipation: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, DOI: 10.1080/09637486.2016.1212819

iii Closa-Monasterolo, R., Ferre, N., Castillejo-DeVillasante, G., Luque, V., Gispert-Llaurado, M., Zaragoza-Jordana, M., Theis, S., Escribano, J. (2016) The use of inulin-type fructans improves stool consistency in constipated children. A randomised clinical trial: pilot study. International journal of food sciences and nutrition, 1-11.

iv Closa-Monasterolo, R., Gispert-Llaurado, M., Luque, V., Ferre, N., Rubio-Torrents, C., Zaragoza-Jordana, M., Escribano, J. (2013) Safety and efficacy of inulin and oligofructose supplementation in infant formula: results from a randomized clinical trial. Clinical nutrition (Edinburgh, Scotland) 32, 918-927.

v Wernimont, S., Northington, R., Kullen, M.J., Yao, M., Bettler, J. (2015) Effect of an α-lactalbumin-enriched infant formula supplemented with oligofructose on fecal microbiota, stool characteristics, and hydration status: a randomized, double-blind, controlled trial. Clin Pediatr (Phila) 54, 359-370.

vi Veereman-Wauters, G., Staelens, S., van de Broek, H., Plaskie, K., Wesling, F., Roger, L., McCartney, A., Assam, P. (2011) Physiological and bifidogenic effects of prebiotic supplements in infant formulae. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 52, 763-771.

vii EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) (2015) Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of a health claim related to "native chicory inulin" and maintenance of normal defecation by increasing stool frequency pursuant to Article 13.5 of Regulation (EC) No 1924/20061. EFSA Journal 13 (1) 3951. Citation: "Inulin resists hydrolysis and absorption in the human small intestine, but reaches the large intestine essentially complete, where it is fermented to short-chain fatty acids, lactate and gases by colonic bacteria. This is accompanied by an increase in bacterial cell mass and a higher water content of digesta. In this way Orafti® Inulin leads to softer stools and facilitated excretion as well as to an enhanced propulsion of colonic contents via chemical and mechanical stimulation of the peristaltic reflex and hence an increase in the frequency of bowel movements."

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