What is prebiotics?
A prebiotic is a dietary supplement that has a beneficial effect on the host by selectively stimulating the growth and activity of one or more bacteria, thereby improving the health of the host.
For the human body, when passing through the digestive tract, most the high-quality prebiotics are not digested by the human body. They are absorbed by the intestinal flora. Most importantly it only proliferates the beneficial flora (probiotics), not the harmful bacteria that are potentially pathogenic or putrefactive to the human body. In layman’s terms, prebiotics are the “nutrients” for human probiotics.
What is inulin?
Inulin is a reserve polysaccharide in plants, mainly derived from plants. More than 36,000 species have been found, including 11 families such as Asteraceae, Platycodontaceae, Gentianaceae in dicotyledonous plants, and Liliaceae, Poaceae in monocotyledonous plants.
For example, Jerusalem artichoke, the tubers of chicory, the tuberous roots of Peony (Dali chrysanthemum), and the roots of thistle are rich in inulin, among which the inulin content of Jerusalem artichoke is the highest. The inulin molecule is composed of about 31 β-D-fructofuranose and 1~2 inulin residues, and the fructose residues can be connected by β-2,1-bonds. It is a linear polysaccharide composed of D-fructose linked by β(1→2) glycosidic bonds, often with a glucose residue at the end, and the degree of polymerization (DP) is 2~60. The average degree of polymerization DP≤9. Inulin is also known as short-chain inulin. Inulin extracted from natural plants contains both long and short chains. The molecular formula of inulin is expressed as GFn, where G represents the terminal glucose unit, F represents the fructose molecule, and n represents the number of fructose units.
What is the relationship between prebiotics and inulin?
The successfully developed functional oligosaccharides include fructooligosaccharides, galactooligosaccharides, isomalt oligosaccharides, xylooligosaccharides, mannose oligosaccharides, stachyose and inulin powder more than 10 species. In one word Inulin is one kind of prebiotic.