Oligofructose health benefit, weight loss
July 20 2017 by
Ray Sahelian, M.D.

Oligofructose is a subgroup of inulin. Inulin and oligofructose are naturally occurring dietary components that are becoming increasingly important as Americans’ desire to boost dietary fiber intake. Inulin also is recognized as a prebiotic ingredient that supports the natural, healthful bacteria in the lower GI tract.

Nutrition. 2013. Oligofructose-enriched inulin improves some inflammatory markers and metabolic endotoxemia in women with type 2 diabetes mellitus: A randomized controlled clinical trial.

Loss of weight with supplementation, mixed results
Weight loss during oligofructose supplementation is associated with decreased ghrelin and increased peptide YY in overweight and obese adults1,2,3
Am J Clin Nutr 2009. From the Faculty of Medicine, and the Faculty of Kinesiology and Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada. The oligofructose (Raftilose P95) was kindly provided by Quadra Chemicals Ltd (Burlington, ON, Canada). Address correspondence to Raylene A Reimer, Faculties of Kinesiology and Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada.
Rodent studies show that oligofructose promotes weight loss, stimulates satiety hormone secretion, reduces energy intake, and improves lipid profiles. Our objective was to examine the effects of oligofructose supplementation on body weight and satiety hormone concentrations in overweight and obese adults. This study was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Forty-eight otherwise healthy adults with a body mass index (in kg/m2) > 25 were randomly assigned to receive 21 g oligofructose per day or a placebo (maltodextrin) for 12 wk. There was a reduction in body weight with oligofructose supplementation. Independent of other lifestyle changes, oligofructose supplementation has the potential to promote weight loss and improve glucose regulation in overweight adults. Suppressed ghrelin and enhanced PYY may contribute in part to the reduction in energy intake.

British J Nutrition. 2014. Effect of oligofructose supplementation on body weight in overweight and obese children: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Limited evidence suggests that the dietary inclusion of oligofructose, an inulin-type fructan with prebiotic properties, may increase satiety and, thus, reduce energy intake and body weight in overweight and obese adults. The aim of the present study was to assess the effect of oligofructose supplementation for 12 weeks on the BMI of overweight and obese children. A total of ninety-seven children aged 7-18 years who were overweight and obese (BMI >85th percentile) were randomly assigned to receive placebo (maltodextrin) or oligofructose (both at an age-dependent dose: 8 g/d for children aged 7-11 years and 15 g/d for children aged 12-18 years) for 12 weeks. Before the intervention, all children received dietetic advice and they were encouraged to engage in physical activity. The primary outcome measure was the BMI-for-age z-score difference between the groups at the end of the intervention. Data from seventy-nine (81%) children were available for analysis. At 12 weeks, the BMI-for-age z-score difference did not differ between the experimental and control groups. There were also no significant differences between the groups with regard to any of the secondary outcomes, such as the mean BMI-for-age z-score, percentage of body weight reduction and the difference in total body fat. Adverse effects were similar in both groups. In conclusion, oligofructose supplementation for 12 weeks has no effect on body weight in overweight and obese children.

Cargill has announced that it has expanded the GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) status of its Oliggo-Fibe0 brand of inulin and oligofructose products through an independent evaluation by a qualified scientific expert. The expansion gives food and beverage manufacturers the freedom to add inulin and oligofructose ingredients to an even broader variety of consumer-friendly food brands. The expanded GRAS status permits the Oliggo-Fiber inulin and oligofructose line of products for general use in foods at levels consistent with current good manufacturing practice. Oliggo-Fiber inulin was previously deemed GRAS by an expert panel of independent and qualified scientific professionals for use in a list of specified foods, but the “general food use” approval opens doors for other food formulation opportunities. Oliggo-Fiber inulin, known as the “invisible fiber,” can be incorporated into almost any food or beverage without affecting taste or texture. Cargill is an international provider of food, agricultural and risk management products and services. With 149,000 employees in 63 countries.