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J Diabetes. 2011 Mar;3(1):58-66. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-0407.2010.00099.x.

Can dietary fructans lower serum glucose?

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Program in Gerontology, University of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.



Convincing evidence indicates that the consumption of inulin-type fructans, inulin, and oligofructose has beneficial effects on blood glucose changes in animal models, although data in humans have been considered equivocal. As such, a systematic review of available literature on humans was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of dietary inulin-type fructans on serum glucose.


Thirteen eligible randomized controlled trials (RCT), published from 1984 to 2009, were identified using a comprehensive search strategy involving the PubMed, Medline, and Cochrane Library databases. Exclusion criteria, such as the absence of a control group, lack of information on the quantity of inulin-type fructans used, and lack of glucose values at outcome, were established.


Upon review, only four of the 13 trials (31%) showed a decrease in serum glucose concentration and only one of these was statistically significant. The remaining nine trials showed no significant changes in serum glucose concentration.


Based on the present systematic review, it does not appear that inulin-type fructans have a significant lowering effect on serum glucose in humans. More RCT are needed to determine whether inulin-type fructans, inulin, and oligofructose have beneficial effects on blood glucose in humans.

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