Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) Abstracts

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The following is a collection of fructooligosaccharides (FOS) abstracts from published scientific research and papers. has designed Polydophilus with fructooligosaccharides research in mind.


Roberfroid MB

Health benefits of non-digestible oligosaccharides.

In: Adv Exp Med Biol (1997) 427:211-9

Non-digestible oligosaccharides are complex carbohydrates of the non- a-glucan type which, because of the configuration of their osidic bonds, resist hydrolysis by salivary and intestinal digestive enzymes. In the colon they are fermented by anaerobic bacteria. Among the non-digestible oligosaccharides, the chicory fructooligosaccharides occupy a key position and, in most european countries, they are recognised as natural food ingredients. The other major products are the short chain fructooligosaccharides and galactooligosaccharides obtained by enzymatic synthesis using sucrose and lactose as substrates respectively, the soybean oligosaccharides, the xylooligosaccharides produced by partial hydrolysis of xylans and polydextrose or pyrodextrins prepared by a chemical treatment of carbohydrates. The most well known effect of most non-digestible oligosaccharides, and in particular of the fructooligosaccharides, is the selective stimulation of the growth of Bifidobacteria thus modifying significantly the composition of the colonic microbiota. Such a modification, which has clearly been demonstrated in human volunteers, is meant to be benificial in part because it is accompanied by a significant reduction in the number of bacteria reported to have pathogenic potential. Within the framework of research and development of “functional foods”, such an effect justifies a “functional claim” for fructooligosaccharides namely “bifidogenesis”. They are also typical “prebiotics”. Besides their bifidogenic effect, the chicory fructooligosaccharides have additional nutritional properties on digestive physiological parameters like colonic pH and stool bulking which justify their classification as dietary fibers. Moreover, in experimental models, it has also been reported that they improve the bioavailability of essentiel minerals and that they reduce serum triglyceridemia by lowering hepatic lipogenesis. Such effects demonstrate interactions between the chicory fructooligosaccharides and key functions in the body but their significance for humans still need to be proven before being used to justify additional claims.

Institutional address: Dept. of Pharmaceutical Sciences Universite Catholique de Louvain Brussels Belgium.



Gibson GR, Roberfroid MB

Dietary modulation of the human colonic microbiota: introducing the concept of prebiotics.

In: J Nutr (1995 Jun) 125(6):1401-12

Because the human gut microbiota can play a major role in host health, there is currently some interest in the manipulation of the composition of the gut flora towards a potentially more remedial community. Attempts have been made to increase bacterial groups such as Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus that are perceived as exerting health-promoting properties. Probiotics, defined as microbial food supplements that beneficially affect the host by improving its intestinal microbial balance, have been used to change the composition of colonic microbiota. However, such changes may be transient, and the implantation of exogenous bacteria therefore becomes limited. In contrast, prebiotics are nondigestible food ingredients that beneficially affect the host by selectively stimulating the growth and/or activity of one or a limited number of bacterial species already resident in the colon, and thus attempt to improve host health. Intake of prebiotics can significantly modulate the colonic microbiota by increasing the number of specific bacteria and thus changing the composition of the microbiota. Nondigestible oligosaccharides in general, and fructooligosaccharides in particular, are prebiotics. They have been shown to stimulate the growth of endogenous bifidobacteria, which, after a short feeding period, become predominant in human feces. Moreover, these prebiotics modulate lipid metabolism, most likely via fermentation products. By combining the rationale of pro- and prebiotics, the concept of synbiotics is proposed to characterize some colonic foods with interesting nutritional properties that make these compounds candidates for classification as health-enhancing functional food ingredients.

Institutional address: MRC Dunn Clinical Nutrition Centre Cambridge United Kingdom.



Molis C, Flourie B, Ouarne F, Gailing MF, Lartigue S, Guibert A, Bornet F, Galmiche JP

Digestion, excretion, and energy value of fructooligosaccharides in healthy humans.

In: Am J Clin Nutr (1996 Sep) 64(3):324-8

The fate of fructooligosaccharides (FOS) in the human gastrointestinal tract was evaluated in six healthy volunteers over an 11-d period. After an equilibration phase, 20.1 g FOS/d was given in three identical postprandial doses. Distal ileal output of FOS and their constituent components were determined by intestinal aspiration after a single meal, and the amounts of FOS excreted in stools and urine were also measured. Most of ingested FOS, 89 +/- 8.3% (mean +/- SEM), was not absorbed in the small intestine, and none was excreted in stools, indicating that the portion reaching the colon was completely fermented by colonic flora. A small fraction of ingested FOS was recovered in urine. The mean estimated energy value of FOS was 9.5 kJ/g. We conclude that in healthy humans, FOS are only slightly digested in the small intestine and then fermented in the colon, resulting in reduced energy production.

Institutional address: Centre de Recherche en Nutrition Humaine Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Laennec Nantes France.



Sghir A, Chow JM, Mackie RI

Continuous culture selection of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli from human faecal samples using fructooligosaccharide as selective substrate [In Process Citation]

In: J Appl Microbiol (1998 Oct) 85(4):769-77

The human large intestine contains a large and diverse population of bacteria. Certain genera, namely Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus, are thought to exert health-promoting effects. Prebiotics such as fructooligosaccharides (FOS) have been shown to stimulate the growth of endogenous bifidobacteria. In this study, changes of lactic acid producing bacteria in continuous culture fermentors (semi-defined, anaerobic medium containing 5 g 1(-1) FOS, dilution rate of 0.1 h-1, pH 5.5) were followed over a 21 d period after inoculation with blended human faeces from four healthy adults. Samples were also taken every 3 d for influent/effluent FOS, short chain fatty acid (SCFA), lactate and microbiological analyses. Results showed that SCFA concentrations decreased abruptly 1 d after inoculation while lactate concentrations increased. Classical methods of enumeration using selective media showed that the proportion of total culturable count represented by bifidobacteria and lactobacilli increased from 11.9% on day 1 to 98.1% on day 21. However, molecular methods using genus-specific 16S rRNA oligonucleotide probes indicated that the bifidobacterial population maintained a level between 10 and 20% of total 16S rRNA during the first 6 d and disappeared rapidly when the maximum concentration of lactate was reached. Lactobacilli, which were initially present in low numbers, increased until day 9 and remained at high levels (20-42% of total 16S rRNA) to day 21, with the exception of day 18. Although FOS has usually been regarded as a selective substrate for bifidobacteria, these observations suggest that: (1) lactobacilli are also able to use FOS, (2) lactobacilli can out-compete bifidobacteria in continuous culture at pH 5.2-5.4 when FOS is the primary carbon and energy source, and (3) bifidobacteria can grow faster on FOS than lactobacilli under controlled conditions.

Institutional address: Department of Animal Sciences University of IL at Urbana-Champaign USA.



Oli MW, Petschow BW, Buddington RK

Evaluation of fructooligosaccharide supplementation of oral electrolyte solutions for treatment of diarrhea: recovery of the intestinal bacteria.

In: Dig Dis Sci (1998 Jan) 43(1):138-47

Although oral electrolyte solutions (OES) replenish salts and water lost during diarrhea, present formulations do not address disturbances of the normal intestinal microbiota. Therefore, we evaluated the efficacy of an OES with and without fructooligosaccharide (FOS) for treatment of pigs with acute secretory diarrhea induced by cholera toxin. Before, during, and after diarrhea, bacteriologic evaluation was made of contents collected from the mid small intestine, cecum, and distal colon and mucosa scraped from the mid small intestine. Diarrhea caused significant declines in total bacterial counts of contents from all three regions, with less of an impact on bacteria associated with the mucosa. Although total bacterial counts recovered within 24 hr, regardless of treatment, densities of Enterobacteriaceae were higher in pigs treated with OES whereas those receiving FOS had more lactobacilli. Our results show that secretory diarrhea disturbs the normal densities and relative species abundance of the microbiota, with the influences more pronounced for contents relative to the mucosa, and that adding FOS to OES accelerates the recovery of bacteria perceived as beneficial while potentially slowing the recovery of pathogenic forms.

Institutional address: Department of Biological Sciences Mississippi State University Mississippi 39762 USA.



Campbell JM, Fahey GC Jr, Wolf BW

Selected indigestible oligosaccharides affect large bowel mass, cecal and fecal short-chain fatty acids, pH and microflora in rats.

In: J Nutr (1997 Jan) 127(1):130-6

Certain indigestible oligosaccharides may benefit gastrointestinal tract health via fermentation and proliferation of desirable bacterial species. The purpose of this study was to elucidate effects of selected oligosaccharides on cecal and fecal short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) concentration, pH, total large bowel wet weight and wall weight, and gut microbiota levels in rats. Fifty male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly assigned to one of five treatments: 1) control diet; 2) control diet + 5% microcrystalline cellulose (5% CC); 3) control diet + 5% CC + 6% fructooligosaccharides; 4) control diet + 5% CC + 6% oligofructose; or 5) control diet + 5% CC + 6% xylooligosaccharides. The control diet consisted of (dry matter basis) 20% protein, 65% carbohydrate, 10.5% fat, vitamin and mineral mixes. The duration of the study was 14 d. The oligofructose- and fructooligosaccharide-containing diets resulted in higher cecal butyrate concentrations compared with the control, cellulose and xylooligosaccharide diets. Generally, total cecal SCFA pools were higher while pH was lower from ingesting oligosaccharide-containing diets compared with control or cellulose diets. Cecal total weight and wall weight were higher from oligosaccharide consumption, whereas colonic total wet weight was higher for rats consuming xylooligosaccharides compared with other treatments; colon wall weight was unaffected by treatments. Cecal bifidobacteria and total anaerobes were higher whereas total aerobes were lower in rats fed oligosaccharide diets compared with those fed the control diet. Cecal lactobacilli levels were unaffected by treatment. Dietary incorporation of fermentable, indigestible oligosaccharides, by providing SCFA, lowering pH, and increasing bifidobacteria, may be beneficial in improving gastrointestinal health.

Institutional address: Department of Animal Sciences University of Illinois Urbana 61801 USA.



Finnie IA Dwarakanath AD Taylor BA Rhodes JM

Colonic mucin synthesis is increased by sodium butyrate.

In: Gut (1995 Jan) 36(1):93-9

The effects of sodium butyrate and sodium bromo-octanoate (an inhibitor of beta oxidation) on colonic mucus glycoprotein (mucin) synthesis have been assessed using tissue from colonic resection samples. Epithelial biopsy specimens were incubated for 16 hours in RPMI 1640 with glutamine, supplemented with 10% fetal calf serum and N-acetyl-[3H]-glucosamine ([3H]-Glc NAc), and differing concentrations of sodium butyrate. Incorporation of [3H] Glc NAc into mucin by normal epithelium at least 10 cm distant from colonic cancer was increased in the presence of sodium butyrate in a dose dependent manner, with maximum effect (476%) at a concentration of 0.1 mM (number of specimens = 24 from six patients, p < 0.001). The increase in response to butyrate was not seen when specimens were incubated in the presence of the beta oxidation inhibitor sodium bromo-octanoate 0.05 M. The striking increase in mucin synthesis that results when butyrate is added to standard nutrient medium suggests that this may be an important mechanism affecting the rate of mucin synthesis in vivo and may also explain the therapeutic effect of butyrate in colitis.

Institutional address: Department of Medicine University of Liverpool.



Ohta A, Baba S, Takizawa T, Adachi T

Effects of fructooligosaccharides on the absorption of magnesium in the magnesium-deficient rat model.

In: J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo) (1994 Apr) 40(2):171-80

Magnesium (Mg) is an essential dietary element that plays important roles, acting as a cofactor of many enzymes. Rats fed a Mg-deficient diet have been reported to exhibit auricular and facial peripheral hyperemia and hemorrhage. Moreover, increased intake of calcium (Ca) or phosphorus (P) has been reported to impair apparent absorption of Mg. We tried to induce such typical inflammation in Mg-deficient rats by feeding low-Mg, high-Ca, and high-P diets. Increasing concentrations of Ca or P in the experimental diets significantly decreased the apparent absorption of Mg. And all rats fed the low-Mg (0.25 mg/g diet), high-Ca (10.4 mg/g diet), and high-P (12.0 mg/g diet) diet exhibited auricular and facial peripheral-hyperemia and hemorrhage. Then, we used the low-Mg, high-Ca, and high-P diet to investigate the effects of the fructooligosaccharides (FO) on absorption of Mg and skin inflammation. In the rats fed FO-containing (1 or 5%) diet, apparent absorption of Mg was significantly increased as compared with that of the control (FO 0%) group. In the rats fed a 5% FO-containing diet and sufficient Mg (0.50 mg/g), auricular and facial peripheral hyperemia and hemorrhage were significantly reduced. We concluded that FO increased the Mg absorption in rats fed a low-Mg, high-Ca, and high-P diet. Moreover, FO reduced inflammation in Mg-deficient rats, such as peripheral hyperemia and hemorrhage.

Institutional address: Bio Science Laboratories Meiji Seika Kaisha Ltd.Sakado Japan.



Ohta A, Ohtsuki M, Baba S, Takizawa T, Adachi T, Kimura S

Effects of fructooligosaccharides on the absorption of iron, calcium and magnesium in iron-deficient anemic rats.

In: J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo) (1995 Jun) 41(3):281-91

We investigated the effects of fructooligosaccharides (FO)-feeding on the absorption of iron (Fe), calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) and on the biochemical parameters in Fe-deficient anemic rats. Fe-deficient anemic rats were made by feeding an Fe-deficient diet for 3 weeks. Then these Fe-deficient rats were fed an experimental diet that contained one of two levels of Fe (15 or 30 mg/kg diet), in the form of ferric pyrophosphate, and one of two levels of FO (0 or 50 g/kg diet) for 2 weeks. After the rats were fed these experimental diets, FO-feeding increased the hematocrit ratio, the concentration of hemoglobin and the hemoglobin regeneration efficiency during the first week. Also, the apparent absorption of Fe was increased by FO- feeding. The levels of Fe in the diet did not affect the absorption of Ca and Mg. However, FO-feeding increased the absorption of Ca and Mg. FO-feeding lowered the pH and raised the solubility of Fe, Ca and Mg in the cecal contents, suggesting that those increasing effects of FO-feeding on absorption of these minerals is correlated with fermentation of FO in the large intestine, namely, the cecum and colon. We concluded that FO-feeding improved recovery from anemia and increased the absorption of Fe, Ca and Mg in Fe-deficient anemic rats.

Institutional address: Bioscience Laboratories Meiji Seika Kaisha Ltd. Sakado Japan.



Ohta A, Ohtsuki M, Baba S, Adachi T, Sakata T, Sakaguchi E

Calcium and magnesium absorption from the colon and rectum are increased in rats fed fructooligosaccharides.

In: J Nutr (1995 Sep) 125(9):2417-24

We investigated the effects of fructooligosaccharides on the absorption of calcium, magnesium and water from the colon and rectum of rats fed a control diet or the control diet containing 50 g fructooligosaccharides/kg. Chromium-mordanted cellulose was used as an unabsorbable marker to calculate apparent absorption of calcium and magnesium. There was a positive correlation (r = 0.982, P < 0.001 in rats fed the control diet and r = 0.975, P < 0.001 in rats fed the fructooligosaccharides-containing diet) between the amount of chromium and the dry weight of each fecal pellet in the colon and rectum. Ratios of calcium to chromium and magnesium to chromium in fecal pellets in the colon and rectum were calibrated from the Ca:Cr and Mg:Cr ratios of cecal contents. In rats fed the fructooligosaccharides-containing diet, but not in rats fed the control diet, these ratios were correlated with the fractional length of transit along the colon and rectum, indicating linear disappearance of calcium and magnesium during the colorectal passage. Total apparent absorption of calcium and magnesium, predicted from regression equations with the Ca:Cr and Mg:Cr ratios of cecal contents, agreed well with those calculated from the Ca:Cr and Mg:Cr ratios of feces. The consumption of fructooligosaccharides did not affect net water absorption from the colon and rectum. These results indicated that fructooligosaccharides significantly increased calcium and magnesium absorption and that indigestible and fermentable carbohydrate facilitates colorectal absorption of calcium and magnesium.

Institutional address: Bioscience Laboratories Meiji Seika Kaisha Ltd. Sakado Japan.



Ohta A, Ohtsuki M, Hosono A, Adachi T, Hara H, Sakata T

Dietary fructooligosaccharides prevent osteopenia after gastrectomy in rats.

In: J Nutr (1998 Jan) 128(1):106-10

Postgastrectomy osteopenia is observed generally in humans. Fructooligosaccharides increase the absorption of calcium from the large intestine of healthy rats. Thus, we have examined whether they stimulate calcium absorption and prevent osteopenia in rats following total gastrectomy. Rats were subjected to either a sham surgical operation or Billoth II gastrectomy. Seven rats from each surgical treatment group were fed a control diet, and another seven rats of each treatment group were fed a diet containing fructooligosaccharides (75 g/kg diet) for 4 wk. For 5 d each week, feces were collected, and the calcium and phosphorus contents were measured for calculation of the absorption of these minerals. At the end of the experiment, the rats were killed and bones were collected. The net calcium absorption, calcium content and bone mineral density of the femur and tibia in gastrectomized rats fed the control diet were significantly less than those in sham-operated rats fed control diet. The net calcium absorption in rats fed the fructooligosaccharides diet was greater than that in rats fed control diet. Moreover, dietary fructooligosaccharides prevented the decrease in the calcium content and bone mineral density in gastrectomized rats. Dietary fructooligosaccharides enhanced calcium absorption and prevented the changes indicative of postgastrectomy osteopenia such as decreases in bone calcium content and bone mineral density in gastrectomized rats.

Institutional address: Nutritional Science Center Bioscience Laboratories Meiji Seika Kaisha Ltd. Saitama 350-02 Japan.



Ohta A, Ohtsuki M, Uehara M, Hosono A, Hirayama M, Adachi T, Hara H

Dietary fructooligosaccharides prevent postgastrectomy anemia and osteopenia in rats.

In: J Nutr (1998 Mar) 128(3):485-90

Gastrectomized rats develop anemia and osteopenia, and ingestion of fructooligosaccharides leads to an increase in iron absorption and promotes recovery from anemia in iron-deficient rats. Laparotomized (sham-operated control) rats and totally gastrectomized (Billoth II) rats, in groups of 14 each, were fed a control diet without fructooligosaccharides or a diet containing fructooligosaccharides (75 g/kg of diet) for 6 wk. All rats received an intramuscular injection of vitamin B-12 every 2 wk. Tail blood was collected every week for determination of hematocrit and hemoglobin concentration. At the end of the experiment, the rats were killed and the femur and tibia were collected for measurement of bone mineral density (BMD). The hematocrit, hemoglobin concentration, hemoglobin regeneration efficiency, and BMD of both femurs and tibias were significantly lower in gastrectomized rats fed the control diet than in the other three groups. Dietary fructooligosaccharides prevented anemia and osteopenia in totally gastrectomized rats.

Institutional address: Nutritional Science Center Bioscience Laboratories Meiji Seika Kaisha Ltd. Saitama 350-02 Japan.



Morohashi T, Sano T, Ohta A, Yamada S

True calcium absorption in the intestine is enhanced by fructooligosaccharide feeding in rats [In Process Citation]

In: J Nutr (1998 Oct) 128(10):1815-8

Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) have been shown to stimulate apparent calcium absorption in the intestine. In this study, we examined the effect of FOS on true calcium absorption using the calcium balance in combination with the 45Ca kinetics method. Sixteen 45-d-old male Wistar rats were randomly divided into two groups, a control group (n = 8) and a FOS group (n = 8). The diet fed to the FOS group contained 5% FOS, at the expense of half of the sucrose in the control diet. After an adaptation period (3 d) and a free-access period (3 d) that were used to estimate the amount of food required for pair-feeding on the basis of calcium, all of the rats were pair-fed throughout the experiment from the age of 51 d. A constant amount of calcium was fed to the rats in each group (95 mg /d). At age 60 d, a 3-d metabolic study was started by the intravenous injection of 45Ca. Several variables were calculated on the bases of measurements of calcium intake, calcium in feces and serum, and 45Ca in feces, urine and serum. Both true and apparent calcium absorption in the intestine (Vad and Vna) and urinary calcium were significantly greater in rats that had been fed FOS. There were no differences between the groups in endogenous net calcium excretion into feces (Vf; Vad – Vna). The calcium balance was also enhanced by FOS. Calcium balance in the FOS group was significantly correlated with the absorbed calcium (r2 = 0.936, P < 0.01), as was that in the control group (r2 = 0.994, P < 0.01). These results suggest that the increased true calcium absorption and balance produced by FOS feeding might improve bone calcification.

Institutional address: Departments of Pharmacology School of Dentistry Showa University Shinagawa-ku Tokyo 142-8555 Japan