Human Data

The data obtained from animal studies suggest lipid-lowering properties in inulin-type fructans, and they justify investigating the effects in humans.32 Indeed, in agreement with the strategy for development of functional foods (see Chapter 1, Section 1.3.3), convincing data in human nutrition intervention studies are required to substantiate such a claim. To date, a total of 12 studies that have investigated effects of inulin or oligofructose on blood lipids in humans have been reported in the peer-reviewed literature. Table 11.2, Table 11.3, and Table 11.4 summarize the key features of these studies that have shown positive (8 studies) and negative (4 studies) outcomes, respectively, for the effect of inulin or oligofructose on blood lipids and other related parameters. For their review, these studies are classified according to the type of subjects that were included, i.e., normolipidemic, (slightly) hyperlipidemic, or noninsulin-dependent diabetic subjects.

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