Inulin

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inulin

[′in·yə·lən]
(biochemistry)
A polysaccharide made up of polymerized fructofuranose units.

Inulin

 

(C6H10O5), an organic substance of the polysaccharide group, a D-fructose polymer. It is a white powder, readily soluble in hot water and poorly soluble in cold. Sweet-tasting, it has a molecular weight of 5,000–6,000. Its structural formula is

During hydrolysis, inulin forms D-fructose and a small quantity of glucose in the presence of acids and the enzyme inulase. Inulin and the intermediate products of its fermentative decomposition, that is, inulides, do not have reducing properties. An inulin molecule comprises a chain of 30–36 fructose radicals in furanose form. Like starch, inulin serves as a reserve carbohydrate and occurs in many plants, primarily in the family Compositae as well as in the families Campanulaceae, Liliaceae, Lobeliaceae, and Violaceae. The inulin content reaches 10–12 percent in the tubers and roots of the dahlia, narcissus, hyacinth, tuberose, chicory, and Jerusalem artichoke. Related carbohydrates (pseudoinulin, inulenin, levulin, helianthin, sinistrin, irisin) are nearly always found with inulin in plants; these carbohydrates yield D-fructose upon hydrolysis as does inulin.

Inulin is extracted from chicory or from the Jerusalem artichoke. It is readily assimilated by the human body and is there fore used in medicine as a starch and sugar substitute in diabetes mellitus. Inulin also serves as the starting material for the commercial preparation of fructose.

References in periodicals archive ?
6,7) At low concentrations, creatinine clearance exceeds inulin clearance, whereas at plasma creatinine levels above 14 mg/dL, the creatinine to inulin clearance ratio decreases, which led to the conclusion that a fixed tubular excretion capacity might exist.
As expected for endogenous GFR markers, multiple linear regression analysis between the reciprocals of the LMW protein serum concentrations, and inulin clearance showed a highly significant positive relationship (Table 1).
For these reasons, renal inulin clearance is not routinely used in the clinical setting.
We also examined 27 pediatric patients [15 males (7-17 years) and 12 females (6-17 years)], in whom inulin clearance had been determined for nephrologic evaluation of a nephroblastoma or because they had received nephrotoxic drugs.
Among 41 normotensive elderly patients with no evidence of renal disease, 11 had GFRs determined by inulin clearance below the 95% reference interval, and all 11 of these patients had increased CysC but normal SCr (33).
Although inulin clearance is the gold standard (20), GFR determination in children is barely practicable because timed urinary sampling is unreliable in children.
GFR was determined in all by steady-state inulin clearance and adjusted to a standard body surface of 1.