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Fructo-Oligosaccharides

What other names is Fructo-oligosaccharides known by?

Beta-D-fructofuranosidase, Bêta-D-Fructofuranosidase, Chicory Inulin Hydrolysate, Complexe d'Oligosaccharide, FOS, Fructo Oligo Saccharides, Fructo-Oligosacáridos, Fructooligosaccharides, Fructo-Oligosaccharides à Courte Chaîne, Inulin Hydrolysate, Oligofructose, Oligosaccharide Complex, Oligosaccharides, Prebiotic, Prébiotique, SC-FOS, Short Chain Fructo-Oligosaccharides.

What is Fructo-oligosaccharides?

Fructo-oligosaccharides are made up of plant sugars linked in chains. They are taken from asparagus, Jerusalem artichokes, and soybeans, or produced in the laboratory. People use these sugars to make medicine.

Fructo-oligosaccharides are used for constipation, traveler's diarrhea, and high cholesterol levels.

Fructo-oligosaccharides are also used as prebiotics. Prebiotics act as food for “good” bacteria in the intestine. Don't confuse prebiotics with probiotics such as lactobacillus, bifidobacteria, and saccharomyces, which are live organisms that are good for health. People sometimes take probiotics by mouth to increase the number in their intestine.

In foods, fructo-oligosaccharides are used as a sweetener.

Possibly Ineffective for...

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Constipation. Some evidence suggests that fructo-oligosaccharides may relieve constipation by increasing the bulk of the body's solid waste.
  • Promoting growth of bacteria in the intestine.
  • High cholesterol levels.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of fructo-oligosaccharides for these uses.

How does Fructo-oligosaccharides work?

Fructo-oligosaccharides pass undigested into the colon where they increase bowel mass and promote growth of certain bacteria that are thought to be beneficial.

Are there safety concerns?

Fructo-oligosaccharides seem to be safe when taken in less than 30 grams per day. They can cause intestinal gas (flatulence), intestinal noises, bloating, stomach cramps, and diarrhea. These effects are usually mild if the dose is less than 10 grams per day.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of fructo-oligosaccharides during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Dosing considerations for Fructo-oligosaccharides.

The appropriate dose of fructo-oligosaccharides depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for fructo-oligosaccharides. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

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Reviewed on 9/17/2019
References

Alles MS, et al. Fate of fructo-oligosaccharides in the human intestine. Br J Nutr 1996;76:211-21. View abstract.

Bornet FR. Undigestible sugars in food products. Am J Clin Nutr 1994;59:763S-9S. View abstract.

Bouhnik Y, Ouarne FF, Riottot M et al. Effects of prolonged ingestion of fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) on colonic bifidobacteria, fecal enzymes and bile acids in humans. Gastroenterology 1994;106:A598.

Bouhnik Y, Vahedi K, Achour L, et al. Short-chain fructo-oligosaccharide administration dose-dependently increases fecal bifidobacteria in healthy humans. J Nutr 1999;129:113-6. View abstract.

Briet F, et al. Symptomatic response to varying levels of fructo-oligosaccharides consumed occasionally or regularly. Eur J Clin Nutr 1995;49:501-7. View abstract.

Chen HL, Lu YH, Lin JJ, Ko LY. Effects of fructooligosaccharide on bowel function and indicators of nutritional status in constipated elderly men. Nutr Res 2000;20:1725-33.

Cummings JH, Christie S, Cole TJ. A study of fructo oligosaccharides in the prevention of travellers' diarrhoea. Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2001;15:1139-45.. View abstract.

Cummings JH, Macfarlane GT, Englyst HN. Prebiotic digestion and fermentation. Am J Clin Nutr 2001;73:415S-420S. View abstract.

Gibson GR. Dietary modulation of the human gut microflora using prebiotics. Br J Nutr 1998;80:S209-12. View abstract.

Losada MA, Olleros T. Towards a healthier diet for the colon: the influence of fructooligosaccharides and lactobacilli on intestinal health. Nutr Res 2002;22:71-84.

Menne E, Guggenbuhl N, Roberfroid M. Fn-type chicory inulin hydrolysate has a prebiotic effect in humans. J Nutr 2000;130:1197-9. View abstract.

Mitsouka T, Hidaka H, Eida T. Effect of fructo-oligosaccharides on intestinal microflora. Nahrung 1987;31:427-36. View abstract.

Pierre F, et al. Short-chain fructo-oligosaccharides reduced the occurrence of colon tumors and develop gut-associated lymphoid tissue in Min mice. Cancer Res 1997;57:225-8. View abstract.

Pierre F, Perrin P, Bassonga E, et al. T cell status influences colon tumor occurrence in min mice fed short chain fructo-oligosaccharides as a diet supplement. Carcinogenesis 1999;20:1953-6 . View abstract.

Roberfroid M. Dietary fiber, inulin, and oligofructose: a review comparing their physiological effects. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 1993;33:103-48. View abstract.

Stone-Dorshow T, Levitt MD. Gaseous response to ingestion of a poorly absorbed fructo-oligosaccharide sweetener. Am J Clin Nutr 1987;46:61-5. View abstract.

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