Two new research studies, conducted by Professor Gary Frost and his team from Imperial College London, and funded by Diabetes UK, have shown three major beneficial effects of Beneo’s chicory root fiber OraftiSynergy1 (oligofructose-enriched inulin) in reducing the risk of diabetes.
The first is in helping prediabetic people to lower energy intake and enhance weight loss. The second is in assisting prediabetic adults reduce fat content in their liver and muscle tissue and the third is in improving their insulin secretion after a meal.
The researchers have concluded that (fermentable) chicory root fibers have unique metabolic effects that are of particular benefit to people at risk of diabetes.
Diet and lifestyle changes aimed at weight loss are known to be effective but they are difficult to sustain over the long-term, due to a compensatory increase in appetite and food intake.
With this in mind, Professor Frost and his team explored the potential of OraftiSynergy1 in diabetes prevention (as these chicory root fibers have shown in earlier research to reduce appetite as well as food intake and to promote weight loss in overweight adults).
In the first parallel-design study, that took place over 18 weeks, one group of 20 prediabetics consumed 30 g of OraftiSynergy1 daily and a control group of 19 prediabetics consumed a non-fermentable fiber.
Both groups lost approximately 5% of their body weight during the first nine-week weight loss period (as anticipated and supported by regular dietary counselling).
However, the OraftSynergy1 group showed a sustained and significantly greater weight loss in the following nine-week weight-maintenance period (where no further support was given).
This could have resulted from the significantly greater reduction in food intake observed: after nine weeks of OraftiSynergy1 supplementation, participants consumed about 270 kcal less in an ad libitum meal test.
This is the first time that regular OraftiSynergy1 supplementation has been confirmed as enhancing a traditional calorie-restricted lifestyle program, in the prediabetic population, leading to greater weight loss.
In addition, the results showed that the ingredient led to a greater reduction in body fat percentage, with significant reductions in liver fat and soleus muscle fat.
Liver fat is known to be a risk factor in metabolic diseases like diabetes mellitus, thus the observed lowering effect of the ingredient on liver fat, independent of weight loss, in prediabetic people provides an additional benefit in diabetes prevention.
The second study confirms the beneficial effects of the fiber on weight loss and energy intake in the prediabetic population.
In addition, improvements in insulin response were observed with regular OraftiSynergy1 supplementation over a six week period.
About 34 participants with impaired fasting glucose (IFG) and/or impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) consumed up to 30g OraftiSynergy1 daily, or a non-fermentable fiber as control.
In prediabetic participants with impaired fasting glucose (IFG), OraftiSynergy1 supplementation significantly reduced fasting insulin and insulin resistance.
A meal tolerance test in a subgroup of 13 participants revealed further that the chicory root fiber enhanced early insulin secretion after a meal without changes in total insulin secretion, and increased early GLP-1 secretion in comparison with the control.