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Benefits of Chicory Root Extract

Sonia Nair
Chicory root extract is commonly found as an ingredient in some dietary supplements and additives, for its high fiber content. Here is a brief overview about the extract.
You might have heard of chicory coffee, which is prepared from dried, roasted, and ground chicory roots. This powder is either used directly for brewing coffee, or added to regular coffee powder. Apart from making coffee, chicory roots are used for various other purposes.
The chicory plant has been used by humans for a very long time, for both medicinal and culinary purposes. Nowadays, different varieties of chicory plants are cultivated in various regions across the globe. While some varieties are used as vegetables, like the leaves of radicchio; others are grown for their roots. In some regions, chicory roots are used for brewing beer. Of late, chicory root extract is very much in demand, and is widely used as a dietary supplement that is rich in fiber.

Chicory Root Extract

This extract is made from the roots of the chicory plant. Even though, chicory roots have been used for various purposes for a very long time; it was during the 1970s, that the high inulin content in the roots was identified. Inulin is a polysaccharide, which is used as a probiotic as well as a sweetener. Inulin is a naturally occurring plant fiber.
While fresh chicory roots contain around 30% of inulin, it is almost 98% in chicory root extract. Due to the high inulin content, this extract is now used in dietary supplements and additives, especially those used in high fiber diets.

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As in the case of chicory coffee, chicory root extract is also made by drying and grinding the roots of the chicory plant. This powdery is then mixed with water, so as to remove all soluble materials. Once the soluble materials are filtered out, the extract is obtained.
Health Benefits
  • Diabetics use chicory root extract as a replacement for sugar. It is also said to be useful for lowering high blood sugar levels.
  • This extract is also said to be beneficial in treating ailments, like rheumatism, joint stiffness, gout, and stomach upset. It is used for cleansing the internal organs and blood.
  • The extract is beneficial for the smooth functioning of the digestive system, as it feeds the intestinal flora, and fights worms and parasites.
  • Due to the high fiber levels, chicory root extract helps in digestion, and fights fat accumulation. So, uses of chicory root extract include losing weight and lowering cholesterol too.
It is also claimed that chicory is good for the heart, and for preventing some types of cancer.
Even though chicory root extract is said to be beneficial in various ways, there is no scientific evidence to prove its efficacy. It is said that excess intake of products with this extract may cause contact dermatitis, eye problems, and drug interactions.
Pregnant women must avoid using this extract, as it is linked to abortion. It is always better to consult your health care provider, before using this product. Even if you decide to use it, choose good quality products.
Disclaimer: This story is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.