Effect of Consumption of Chicory Inulin on Bowel Function in Healthy Subjects With Constipation: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial

Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2017 Feb;68(1):82-89. doi: 10.1080/09637486.2016.1212819. Epub 2016 Aug 5.

Abstract

Constipation is among the most common health impairments in Western countries. This study aimed to determine the effect of the chicory-derived fermentable dietary fiber Orafti® Inulin on stool frequency in healthy subjects with constipation. The study was conducted according to recent guidance documents for investigating bowel function and used a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over design with a 2-week wash-out phase. Each study period comprised a run-in phase followed by 4 weeks daily intake of 3 × 4g inulin or maltodextrin (placebo). Forty-four healthy volunteers with constipation documented stool frequency and consistency, gastrointestinal characteristics and quality of life. Consumption of Orafti® Inulin significantly increased stool frequency compared to placebo (median 4.0 [IQR 2.5-4.5] versus 3.0 [IQR 2.5-4.0] stools/week, p = 0.038). This was accompanied by a softening of stools and trend toward higher satisfaction versus placebo (p = 0.059). In conclusion, Orafti® Inulin was effective in volunteers with chronic constipation and significantly improved bowel function.

Clinical trial registration: This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT02548247.

Keywords: Dietary fiber; bowel function; constipation; inulin; stool frequency.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chicory / chemistry*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Constipation / diet therapy*
  • Constipation / physiopathology
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Defecation
  • Diarrhea / etiology
  • Diarrhea / prevention & control
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / physiopathology*
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Inulin / adverse effects
  • Inulin / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Compliance
  • Patient Dropouts
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Plant Roots / chemistry*
  • Prebiotics* / adverse effects
  • Quality of Life*
  • Severity of Illness Index

Substances

  • Prebiotics
  • Inulin

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02548247