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Nutr Hosp. 2014 Jan 1;31(2):528-34. doi: 10.3305/nh.2015.31.2.7706.

Mechanisms used by inulin-type fructans to improve the lipid profile.

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Department of Nutrition and Health, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa, Brazil..


in English, Spanish


The consumption of prebiotics has been associated with improvement in the lipid profile. Thus, this review aims to describe the main mechanisms by which inulin-type fructans improve the lipid profile and thereby reduce the cardiovascular risk.


Inulin-type fructans have been demonstrated to improve the lipid profile through a number of mechanisms. These mechanisms include: decrease in gene expression of hepatic enzymes responsible for de novo synthesis of lipids; increase of muscle lipoprotein lipase enzyme activity, enhancing the production of short-chain fatty acids; altered production of polyamines which increases the production of satiogenic peptide; altered blood glucose and insulinemia; increase of fecal excretion of bile salts and cholesterol and increase of the Bifidobacterium population.


The consumption of inulin-type fructans enhances lipid profile. Generally, the mechanisms vary according to the physiologic state of the individual and the type of diet to which the inulin-type fructans are added. Thus, inulin may be used for the prevention and/or treatment of cardiovascular diseases.

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