Effect of Chicory-derived Inulin on Abdominal Sensations and Bowel Motor Function

Fernando Azpiroz, Laura Molne, Sara Mendez, Adoración Nieto, Chaysavanh Manichanh, Marianela Mego, Anna Accarino, Javier Santos, Manuela Sailer, Stephan Theis, Francisco Guarner

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17 Citations (Scopus)


© 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved. Goal: To determine the effect of a prebiotic chicory-derived inulin-type fructan on the tolerance of intestinal gas. Background: Subjects with gas-related complaints exhibit impaired handling of intestinal gas loads and we hypothesized that inulin would have a beneficial effect. Study: Placebo-controlled, parallel, randomized, double-blind trial. Subjects with abdominal symptoms and reduced tolerance of intestinal gas (selected by a pretest) received either inulin (8 g/d, n=18) or maltodextrin as a placebo (8 g/d, n=18) for 4 weeks. A gas challenge test (4 h jejunal gas infusion at 12 mL/min while measuring abdominal symptoms and gas retention for 3 h) was performed before and at the end of the intervention phase. Gastrointestinal symptoms and bowel habits (using daily questionnaires for 1 wk) and fecal bifidobacteria counts were measured before and at the end of the intervention. Results: Inulin decreased gas retention during the gas challenge test (by 22%; P=0.035 vs. baseline), while the placebo did not, but the intergroup difference was not statistically significant (P=0.343). Inulin and placebo reduced the perception of abdominal sensations in the gas challenge test to a similar extent (by 52% and 43%, respectively). Participants reported moderate gastrointestinal symptoms and normal bowel habits during baseline examination, and these findings remained unchanged in both groups during the intervention. Inulin led to a higher relative abundance of bifidobacteria counts (P=0.01 vs. placebo). Conclusions: A daily dose of inulin that promotes bifidobacteria growth and may improve gut function, is well tolerated by subjects with gastrointestinal complaints.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)619-625
JournalJournal of Clinical Gastroenterology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • functional gut symptoms
  • intestinal gas
  • intestinal microbiota
  • intestinal motility
  • intestinal sensitivity


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