Influence of Pre-meal Inulin Consumption on Energy Intake in Overweight and Obese Middle-aged and Older Adults: A Pilot Study
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Seventy-six percent of men and 71% of women over the age of 55 in the United States are considered overweight or obese,1 and the numbers are expected to rise2 especially since the population is aging.3 Aside from various metabolic comorbidities, such as hypertension, dyslipidemia, and coronary artery disease,4 overweight and obesity are also linked to decreased mobility5 and increased rate of falls in elderly,6 all of which may lead to premature death. Furthermore, adults over the age of 65 have 339% greater obesity-related medical expenses compared to younger adults (18-30 years old),7 thus strategies to promote weight management are needed. Belonging to the group of fiber, prebiotics are selectively fermented non-digestible food ingredients that have a favorable impact on the composition and activity of the gut microbiota. Specifically, inulin-type fructans (ITF) including inulin, oligosaccharides, and fructooligosaccharides have been generating interest in the prebiotic area in the past two decades. A lot of attention has been directed at weight management, since ITFs are known to stimulate the excretion of anorectic gut hormones glucagon like peptide-1 and peptide YY upon fermentation in the colon.8 Research done to date has included samples with wide age and BMI ranges, various doses of inulin, as well as different study designs. More investigations are needed in specific populations, such as older adults who might have age-related alterations in gastric emptying.9 This pilot research study investigated the effects of short-term pre-meal inulin consumption (10 g, mixed into 500 ml water) on energy intake (EI) and appetite sensations over a 24-hour period, in overweight and obese middle-aged and older adults (n=7, 55-67 years old), in order to determine the potential role of prebiotics in weight loss and weight management. A randomized crossover design was used, with participants completing both pre-meal inulin and control (500 ml water alone) conditions. There were no differences in EI, gram weight, nor energy density of foods consumed between the inulin and control conditions. However, observed subgroup differences suggest variances in response to the inulin preload related to gender, habitual fiber consumption, cognitive dietary restraint, and BMI status.
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