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July 25, 1914


JAMA. 1914;LXIII(4):326-327. doi:10.1001/jama.1914.02570040040020

The search for a carbohydrate to replace starch in the dietary of the diabetic patient which will be utilized satisfactorily by him has been a long one. Thirty-five years ago inulin was suggested as a suitable substitute, and its value for the purpose indicated has been under discussion more or less ever since. Inulin is a polysaccharid of levulose, comparable in this respect with starch which is the polysaccharid of dextrose. It occurs in the roots of many of the composites, particularly in the tubers of the dahlia, artichoke, elecampane and other similar plants; so that its use in the dietary might easily come within the range of economic possibility.

No enzymes which can convert inulin into sugar have been found in the digestive tracts of the higher animals. It happens, however, that the normal acidity of the gastric juice is sufficient to effect a partial hydrolysis of inulin to

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