While inulin is a versatile ingredient, it also has health benefits. Inulin increasescalcium absorption
and possibly Magnesium absorption,
while promoting the growthof intestinal bacteria.4.
In terms of nutrition, it is considered a form of soluble fiber and is sometimescategorized as a prebiotic. Due to the body's limited ability to process polysaccharides,inulin has minimal increasing impact on blood sugar, and—unlike fructose—is notinsulemic and does not raise triglycerides, making it considered suitable for diabeticsand potentially helpful in managing blood sugar-related illnesses.5.
The consumption of large quantities (in particular, by sensitive or unaccustomedindividuals) can lead to gas and bloating, and products that contain inulin willsometimes include a warning to add it gradually to one's diet.
Nonhydrolyzed inulin can also be directly converted to ethanol in a simultaneousfermentation process, which may have great potential for converting crops high in inulin intoethanol for fuel.
Calculation of glomerular filtration rate
Inulin is uniquely treated by nephrons in that it is completely filtered at the glomerulus butneither secreted nor reabsorbed by the tubules.This property of inulin allows the clearance of inulin to be used clinically as a highly accuratemeasure of glomerular filtration rate (GFR) — the rate of plasma from the afferent arteriolethat is filtered into Bowman's capsule measured in mL/min.
It is informative to contrast the properties of inulin with those of para-aminohippuricacid (PAH). PAH is partially filtered from plasma at the glomerulus and notreabsorbed by the tubules, in a manner identical to inulin.