What is Arabinoxylan?

A decade ago, the topic of “gut health” was rarely discussed beyond the context of regularity and digestion. Now gut health is top of mind for consumers with Google searches for "microbiome" almost doubling since 2016.1 As more research emerges on the microbiome's role in supporting not only digestive health but also immunity, skin, mood, cognitive and metabolic health2-6, this interest will continue to grow.

Why Take a Prebiotic?

Two of the hottest buzzwords in gut health are prebiotics and probiotics. We need both for a healthy, well-balanced gut. Prebiotics act as fertilizer for the gut by supplying the crucial fuel for good bacteria, including probiotics.7 In addition, when good bacteria ferments prebiotic fiber in the colon, it converts the fibers into short-chain fatty acids. These short-chain fatty acids are associated with many health benefits including immune system regulation.8

Not All Prebiotics are the Same

Similar to how there are many probiotic bacteria strains, there are many sources of prebiotic fiber. One of the most popular is fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) which are naturally found in chicory root (inulin), onions, asparagus and wheat. Another prebiotic fiber source is galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) which are derived from lactose and resemble the prebiotics in milk.

Both fructo-oligosaccharides and galacto-oligosaccharides offer prebiotic benefits (ie promote the growth of good bacteria in the gut). However, both are needed in relatively high doses to be effective. Due to this needed high dosage, fructo-oligosaccharides and galacto-oligosaccharides are both linked to digestive issues including bloating and gut discomfort. Their poor absorption can also lead to symptoms in IBS patients.9  These prebiotic fibers  can also promote the growth of not only good bacteria, but also unwanted bacteria.

Prebiotics are naturally found in many foods including bamboo shoots, fruits, vegetables, milk and honey. However, the amount of prebiotics in these foods is relatively small.  This why supplementation is the ideal choice for consumers looking to add prebiotics to their diet.10

The Science Behind Arabinoxylan

While all prebiotics help promote microbiome health, their effective dose and degree of effect may vary. Arabinoxylan is a naturally found polysaccharide dietary fiber extracted from the hemicellulose of wheat straw. Despite being derived from wheat straw, Arabinoxylan is gluten-free as the fiber comes from the wheat gluten stalks, not the grain. It consists of a linear backbone of β-1,4 xylose residues with arabinose substitution. The xylose units are substituted with 2 arabinose residues at some of the O-2, O-3 or both the O-2 and O-3 positions.

Figure 1. Structural elements of an arabinoxylan polysaccharide . Going left to right along the xylose chain: an unsubstituted xylose residue, xylose residue with O-2 bound arabinose unit, xylose residue with O-2 and O-3 bound arabinose unit, and a xylose residue with an O-3 substituted arabinose unit. (Sanchez-Bastardo et al., 2017)

Why We Chose Arabinoxylan

Inner Life! is the first and only prebiotic brand to use Arabinoxlyan. Arabinoxylan is clinically proven to promote the growth of beneficial bifidobacteria in the gut, a strain linked with key gut health benefits.11-13 Arabinoxylan is also shown to support immune health.14-16

Arabinoxylan supplies these gut health benefits without the bloating or discomfort often associated with fiber supplements, such as inulin.17 Though effective at a low dose, clinical trials show that consumers can confidently take up to 12g of Arabinoxylan a day without the worry of gastrointestinal (GI) stress including gas, bloating, and nausea.

Check out our chart below to learn more about how Arabinoxylan compares to other prebiotics in terms of potency, tolerability in the gut and the selectivity in promoting only good bacteria.

 

Arabinoxylan (Inner Life!)

Inulin

(Chicory Root, Dandelion Greens)

Asparagus

Bananas

Amount needed  to achieve prebiotic benefits

2.2 grams

5 grams

400 grams (1 pound)

15+ bananas

GI Symptoms

(Bloating, gut discomfort)

Very Little

Yes, especially with higher doses

Yes, especially with higher doses

Yes, especially with higher doses

Promotes growth of good bacteria

Yes, specifically Bifidobacterium species

Yes

Yes, but also can promote growth of bad bacteria (not selective)

Yes, but also can promote growth of bad bacteria (not selective)

A Positive Impact, Inside and Out

Inner Life! produces Arabinoxylan from upcycled wheat straw using a patented water extraction process which is better for the environment. The extraction process involves only hot water and a gentle filtering system which means no chemicals, no enzymes, and no over-processing. The end product is gluten-free, and rich in natural polyphenols.

By using upcycled wheat straw, the production process also benefits farmers by utilizing the leftover wheat stalks that are normally just thrown away. This helps reduce food waste while giving consumers a truly unique prebiotic fiber.

Inner Life! prebiotic drink mixes are made with only the best ingredients, meaning no artificial sweeteners, colors, or preservatives and are conveniently packaged in single-serve sticks.

About the Author

Hannah Ackermann, RD
Communications Manager at Inner Life!
As a Registered Dietitian, Hannah uses her expertise in food and nutrition to tell Inner Life!’s ingredient story. Hannah is passionate about gut health and helping educate consumers about healthy eating

 

References

[1] https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=2016-03-01%202020-03-01&geo=US&q=microbiome

[2] Annual Research Review: Critical windows - the microbiota-gut-brain axis in neurocognitive development. Cowan CSM, Dinan TG, Cryan JF. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2019 Nov 26.

[3]The Dynamic Interplay between the Gut Microbiota and Autoimmune Diseases. Xu H, Liu M, Cao J, Li X, Fan D, Xia Y, Lu X, Li J, Ju D, Zhao H. J Immunol Res. 2019 Oct 27;2019

[4]Neuromicrobiology: How Microbes Influence the Brain. de la Fuente-Nunez C Meneguetti BTFranco OLLu TK. ACS Chem Neurosci. 2018 Feb 21;9(2):141-150.

[5] The role of bacterial skin infections in atopic dermatitis: expert statement and review from the International Eczema Council Skin Infection Group. Alexander H, Paller AS, Traidl-Hoffmann C, Beck LA, De Benedetto A, Dhar S, Girolomoni G, Irvine AD, Spuls P, Su J, Thyssen JP, Vestergaard C, Werfel T, Wollenberg A, Deleuran M, Flohr C. Br J Dermatol. 2019 Nov 1

[6] The gut microbiome alterations in allergic and inflammatory skin diseases - an update. Polkowska-Pruszyńska B, Gerkowicz A, Krasowska D. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2019 Sep 14.

[7] Slavin J. Fiber and prebiotics: mechanisms and health benefits. Nutrients. 2013; 5(4):1417–1435.

[8] Helper T Cell Responses to Respiratory Viruses in the Lung: Development, Virus Suppression, and Pathogenesis.  Viral Immunol. Jul/Aug 2017;30(6):421-430. doi: 10.1089/vim.2017.0018. Epub 2017 Jun 26.

[9] https://www.monashfodmap.com/blog/what-are-oligos/

[10] ChemID Plus. A TOXNET Database. US. National Library of Medicine. Substance Name: Xylose [USAN]. Available online:https://chem.nlm.nih.gov/chemidplus/rn/58-86-6.

[11] Walton GE, Lu C, Trogh I, Arnaut F, Gibson GR. A randomised, double-blind, placebo controlled cross-over study to determine the gastrointestinal effects of consumption of arabinoxylan-oligosaccharides enriched bread in healthy volunteers. Nutr J. 2012 Jun 1;11:36.

[12] Cloetens et al. 2010. Tolerance of arabinoxylan-oligosaccharides and their prebiotic activity in healthy subjects: a randomised, placebo-controlled crossover study. British Journal of Nutrition, 103, 703-713.

[13] Boll EV, Ekström LM, Courtin CM, Delcour JA, Nilsson AC, Björck IM, Östman EM. Effects of wheat bran extract rich in arabinoxylan oligosaccharides and resistant starch on overnight glucose tolerance and markers of gut fermentation in healthy young adults. Eur J Nutr. 2016 Jun;55(4):1661-70.

[14] Ahmed F. Elsaid, Magda Shaheen and Mamdooh Ghoneum. Biobran/MGN-3, an arabinoxylan rice bran, enhances NK cell activity in geriatric subjects: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine. 15: 2313-2320, 2018.

[15] Cao, L., Liu, X., Qian, T., Sun, G., Guo, Y., Chang, F., et al. (2011). Antitumor and immunomodulatory activity of arabinoxylans: A major constituent of wheat bran. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, 48, 160–164.

[16] Zhou, S., Liu. X., Guo, Y., Wang, Q., Peng, D., & Cao, I. (2010). Comparison of the immunological activities of arabinoxylans from wheat bran with alkali and sylanase-aided extraction. Carbohydrate Polymers, 81, 784-78

[17] Grootaert C, Van den Abbeele P, Marzorati M, Broekaert WF, Courtin CM, Delcour JA, Verstraete W, Van de Wiele T, Comparison of prebiotic effects of arabinoxylan oligosaccharides and inulin in a simulator of the human intestinal microbial ecosystem, FEMS Microbiology Ecology, Volume 69, Issue 2, August 2009, 231–24


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