Orafti oligofructose shown to be beneficial

14 Mar 2018

A recent study revealed that a daily supplementation of 15g of oligofructose, a chicory root fibre, significantly increased stool frequency per week and proved to be well-tolerated at the same time.

Orafti oligofructose shown to be beneficial

A recently published study conducted by Professor Randal Buddington, University of Memphis, TN, now at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center, College of Nursing, revealed that a daily supplementation of 15g of oligofructose, a chicory root fibre, significantly increased stool frequency per week and proved to be well-tolerated at the same time. In addition, oligofructose helps to bridge the fibre gap evident in the diets of the North American population.

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Position Paper only about half of the dietary fibre recommendation is reached on average, in the North American population. The mean intake of dietary fibre in the U.S. is 17g/day with only 5% of the population meeting the adequate intake of 25g/day for women and 38g/day for men. As low fibre intake is associated with constipation, it’s estimated that 1 in 5 Americans suffer from chronic constipation and could benefit from effective products to increase fibre intake and improve bowel regularity.

The human intervention trial was a single site, randomized, controlled, double-blind and parallel-designed study of 97 healthy adults, 80% of them women, experiencing irregularity associated with low dietary fibre intake. The participants had a gradual increase of Orafti oligofructose (Orafti P95) from 5g/day up to 15g/day. Each dosage (5, 10, 15 g/day) was given for four weeks. Maltodextrin was given as control with 15g/day during the entire study period. The study participants who received oligofructose increased their stool frequency significantly compared to the study start with 15g/day.

“Fibres are important for a balanced diet and digestive health, yet we do not eat enough of them,” said Professor Buddington. “Our study definitively showed that bowel regularity is one of the many health effects gained from the prebiotic fermentation of chicory root fibres. A daily supplementation with oligofructose not only increased dietary fibre and significantly improved bowel regularity but also did so without causing gastrointestinal distress.”

Supplementation with oligofructose showed even more pronounced effects when the study subjects already consumed a certain, but still insufficient amount of fibre in their usual diet (more than 13g/day). Under these conditions, the supplementation with 15g of oligofructose bridged the fibre gap and significantly increased stool frequency per week compared to the placebo.

The individual perception of the digestion process, measured as noise, pressure, pain, bloating and gas, was reported to be very low for all gastrointestinal sensations in the oligofructose and in the placebo group. The participants in the oligofructose group reported significant improvement for the parameters “noise”, “pressure”, and “pain”, particularly at high doses.

“Sufficient dietary fibre and a good mix of various fibre types are essential for digestive health,” said Anke Sentko, BENEO-Institute Vice President Regulatory Affairs and Nutrition Communication. “Chicory root fibres can improve digestive well-being in various ways and help to bridge the fibre gap. These soluble, non-viscous and fermentable fibres are proven prebiotics and thus naturally improving the microbiota composition in the gut. The prebiotic fermentation process leads to a stimulation of the gut contractions so that laxation is improved in a natural way,” she added.