Oligofructose allows Orafta to reduce body weight and energy intake

The study showed that diet or lifestyle changes are not necessary.

Supplementation with oligofructose (OraftiP95) can reduce body weight and energy intake in overweight and obese adults without changing lifestyle or diet, an independent study led by Dr. Reimer of the University of Calgary in Canada found.

The results of this study represent a major advance and add to previous results supporting the ability of inulin-type fructans to promote weight control, BENEO-Orafti noted.

According to the group, a research study previously showed that supplementing the diet of healthy adolescents with oligofructose-enriched inulin (OraftiSynergy1) for one year promotes appropriate development of body weight and body mass index (BMI) during the growth phase. Adolescents had lower body fat mass when receiving OraftiSynergy1 compared to the control group (1). In a previous human intervention study, intake of oligofructose (OraftiP95) in healthy adults resulted in lower daily energy intake along with prolonged satiety and reduced hunger (2).

This new study (3), conducted by Dr. Reimer’s research team – and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in April 2009 – allows us to better understand the weight management capacity of inulin/oligofructose.

In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 48 healthy overweight or obese adults received 21 grams per day of oligofructose (Orafti®P95) or maltodextrin (equivalent amounts of calories as a control).

After 12 weeks, volunteers in the oligofructose group experienced a significant weight loss of 1.03 kg, while people in the control group experienced a weight gain of 0.45 kg. Weight loss mainly affected body fat mass, especially central fat mass.

The weight loss could be explained by the lower energy intake observed in people in the oligofructose group. Furthermore, the authors observed that oligofructose intake had an effect on postprandial glycemia and insulin responses before and after the intervention period, indicating improved glucose regulation.

Since the volunteers did not change their physical activity or dietary habits, the observed results in relation to body weight, fat mass and caloric intake were attributed to oligofructose supplementation.

Furthermore, the authors report a decrease in the postprandial ghrelin response and an increase in the postprandial peptide YY (PYY) response, while they could not detect glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) modulations. Although there is no doubt that hormonal signaling plays a role in regulating the body’s energy intake, the exact interactions remain to be elucidated.


Results show for the first time in a human intervention study that oligofructose supplementation, independent of any lifestyle changes, can reduce body weight, primarily through fat loss, and help control caloric intake in overweight and obese adults.

Anke Sentko, vice-president of the Legal Department and nutrition communication of BENEO Group, manufacturer of oligofructose OraftiP95, commented that “besides peptides that regulate appetite, we must definitely pay attention to insulin, because it stimulates fat storage and prevents fat burning.”

In addition to inulin/oligofructose, the BENEO Group has developed a new functional carbohydrate with a low insulin requirement, the sugar isomaltulose (palatinose) with a low glycemic index, which has been the subject of a number of studies showing an increase in fat burning.

Being overweight is one of the top four health problems for consumers worldwide. Along with reducing physical activity, excessive energy intake is one of the main causes of overweight.


(1) Abrams et al. (2007) Effect of prebiotic supplementation and calcium intake on body mass index. The Journal of Pediatrics 151: 293-298.

(2) Cani et al. (2006) Oligofructose promotes satiety in healthy humans: a pilot study. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 60: 567-572.

(3) Parnell JA & Reimer RA (2009) Weight loss during oligofructose supplementation is associated with reduced ghrelin and increased PYY in overweight and obese adults. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 89(6): 1.751-1.759.

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