Chicory Root Extract
Chicory Root Extract Cichorium intybus L Inulin
Chicory (Chicorium intybus) is one of the earliest known and most widely used raw materials for the manufacture of coffee substitutes (Pazola 1987). The major component of chicory root is inulin, which is a polymer of fructose with -(2-1) glycosidic linkages. Inulin belongs to the fructan family; naturally occurring fructans are important storage carbohydrates, widely found in various flowering plants. Fructans are present in noticeable amounts in chicory, Jerusalem artichokes (up to 20%), salsify, asparagus and onions (Nilsson et al. 1988, Rumessen et al. 1990). Because inulin is soluble in water and not hydrolyzed by human digestive enzymes, it is expected to behave like a soluble fiber and to have a hypolipidemic effect. Both the fermentability and the bifidogenic effect of chicory fructooligosaccharides have been confirmed in in vivo human studies that were performed by feeding human volunteers a standard diet containing chicory fructooligosaccharides (15 g/d for 15 d). A significant increase in the bifidobacteria population and a profound modification of the composition of the fecal flora were observed (Gibson et al. 1995). In human nutrition, inulin could constitute a promising source of soluble fiber either when present naturally in the food or when added to the diet (Roberfroid 1996). Inulin is easily extracted from plants such as chicory or Jerusalem artichokes.
However, no previous studies of chicory root (mainly inulin) on lipid metabolism have been reported. This study was designed to examine the effect of chicory extract or inulin on serum and liver lipids, cecal short-chain fatty acid concentrations and fecal lipid excretions.