Chicory is a plant that has been used many times in history as a substitute for coffee. It is a perennial or biannual that is found on many continents, usually in warmer climate areas. Chicory has been subjected to a number of tests, and there is conflicting information about it’s use because of lack of long term studies. Scientists have found that chicory is extremely high in a substance called inulin. Inulin is naturally occurring in most plants, and has been found to be beneficial. Inulin is considered a pre-biotic. It promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in the digestive tract, most often the intestines and colon. Some food companies are starting to use inulin as an additive because of the healthy benefits derived from it’s use. We have added a small amount of chicory to RoBarr so we could take advantage of the medicinal properties, but not so much that it would be considered a dangerously high level for people not previously taking inulin in some form. Inulin is listed by the Mayo clinic as a medicine.
Studies have shown the following benefits:
Note: Pubmed is the publication of the American Medical Association.
In a study published in “Pharmacological Research Journal, 1999” entitled “Inhibitory effect of mast cell-mediated immediate-type allergic reactions by Cichorium intybus” confirmed that Cichorium intybus (Chicory) inhibits mast cell-mediated immediate-type allergic reactions in vivo and in vitro.
In a study published in “Journal of Nutrition, 1999“ entitled “Effects of inulin on lipid parameters in humans” it was found that a compound called fructooligosaccharide inulin decreases the serum triglycerides by inhibiting the hepatic fatty acid synthesis and at the same time reducing production of low density lipoproteins LDL).
In a study published in “Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 2005”, entitled “Inhibition of the expression and activity of cyclooxygenase-2 by chicory extract” it was reported that Chicory contains fructans with reported prebiotic-bifidogenic properties as well as anti-inflammatory effects. Chicory has been found to inhibit prostaglandin E(2) and cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2). Altogether, the data presented strongly support chicory root as a promising source of functional food ingredient, combining prebiotic and anti-inflammatory properties.
In a research published in “Carcinogenesis, 1997” entitled “Effect of dietary oligofructose and inulin on colonic preneoplastic aberrant crypt foci inhibition” have shown that Chicory derived Oligofructose and inulin, naturally-occurring fermentable chicory fructans, have been shown to stimulate the growth of bifidobacteria which are regarded as beneficial strains in the colon and inhibit colon carcinogenesis in the laboratory animal models
In a study published in “Critical reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 2001” entitled “Inulin and oligofructose as dietary fiber: a review of the evidence” confirmed that Inulin and oligofructose share the basic common characteristics of dietary fibers, that is, saccharides of plant origin, resistance to digestion and absorption in the small intestine, and fermentation in the colon to produce short-chain fatty acids that are absorbed and metabolized in various parts of the body. Moreover, this fermentation induces a bulking effect.
In a study published in “British Journal of Nutrition, 2005” entitled “Impact of inulin and oligofructose on gastrointestinal peptides” confirmed that dietary inulin-type fructans extracted from chicory root may modulate the production of peptides, such as incretins, by endocrine cells present in the intestinal mucosa. This suggests that chicory may have an important role in the management of obesity and diabetes through their capacity to promote secretion of endogenous gastrointestinal peptides involved in appetite regulation.
A study published in the “Journal of Renal Nutrition, 2002” suggested that the increase in bifidobacteria has been assumed to benefit human health by producing compounds that inhibit potential pathogens, by reducing blood ammonia levels, and by producing vitamins and digestive enzymes.