Hippocrates said “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food,” 2,500 years ago. Today, “functional foods” are foods which have been shown by science to be highly nutritious and improve human health. Awareness grew in 1997 that increased intake of fruits and vegetables reduced cardiovascular risk.
Increasing numbers of plant and animal chemicals have been discovered by science to protect us from disease. Omega-3 fatty acid from fish and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) from dairy have been shown to improve our health in specific ways.
Fermented products have been shown to improve gastrointestinal supplies of friendly bacteria. Tomatoes have been found to contain lycopene, protective against various cancers. Inulin and oligofructose (FOS) are dietary components which have been shown to improve health by supporting friendly bacteria. These functional foods improved colon microflora. Inulin and FOS have been shown to increase bifidobacteria in the colon.
The use of healthy fibers improves the gastrointestinal transit time. FOS and inulin reduced neoplasia in lab testing.
CONCLUSION; With further study it may become possible to recommend inulin and oligofructose (FOS) for reducing risk of cancer. Health benefits have been demonstrated, already. These products could be considered as part of a healthy diet.
NOTE: Inulin is oligosaccharide derived from chicory (Cichonium intybus) root. Fructooligosaccaride (FOS), sometimes called oligofructose, comes from such plants as Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus.) They are sometimes referred to as prebiotics and “functional foods.”