Fructooligosaccharides and appetite

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Dietary fiber may play a role in obesity prevention through reduction of body weight and control of appetite, however, not all fibers are created equally, and characteristics of fiber such as viscosity, fermentability and solubility may affect appetite differently.

Recent findings

Although early studies supported that fructan fibers, including inulin, fructooligosaccharides, and oligofructose affected satiety, more recent studies are less supportive. We found that a higher dose of fiber such as oligofructose (16 g/day) is needed and for a longer duration (12–16 weeks) to detect differences in appetite and subsequent energy intake, whereas, practical amounts of fructooligosaccharides, less than 10 g/day, generally do not affect satiety or food intake. It should be noted that there are many sources of fructan fibers, both in native foods, chicory roots, agave, and Jerusalem artichokes and isolated forms that vary in chain length.

Summary

Fructan fibers, which include fructooligosaccharides, oligofructose, and inulin, provided in low doses (<10 g/day), generally do not affect measures of human appetite including satiety or food intake and should not be recommended as a fiber with sole satiating power.

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