Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) are short-chain polymers comprised of D-fructose and D-glucose, which are not metabolized by the body like simple sugars are, and are therefore considered non-digestible oligosaccharides. They occur naturally in bananas, garlic, Jerusalem artichokes and certain other foods, and technically are a soluble fiber. FOS are effective sweeteners, being half as sweet as sucrose, yet are not absorbed and have minimal caloric value. FOS may be considered prebiotic and support the proliferation of intestinal probiotics, especially the bifidobacteria.* Our FOS are derived from sugar cane. Non-dairy and gluten-free.
Fructo-oligosaccharides are chains of plant sugars. They are taken from asparagus, Jerusalem artichokes, and soybeans or produced in the laboratory. People use these sugars to make medicine.
Fructo-oligosaccharides are commonly used by mouth for constipation. Some people use them for weight loss, to prevent traveler’s diarrhea, and to treat high cholesterol levels and osteoporosis. But there is limited scientific research to support these other uses.
Fructo-oligosaccharides are also used as prebiotics. Don’t confuse prebiotics with probiotics, which are live organisms, like lactobacillus, bifidobacteria, and saccharomyces, and are good for your health. Prebiotics act as food for these probiotic organisms. People sometimes take probiotics with prebiotics by mouth to increase the number of probiotics in their intestine.
In foods, fructo-oligosaccharides are used as a sweetener.
Natural Medicines rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.
- Constipation. Taking fructo-oligosaccharides short-term seems to relieve constipation in adults. Fructo-oligosaccharides are often used in combination with probiotics for this condition. There is also evidence that adding fructo-oligosaccharides to milk or infant formula can improve symptoms of constipation in infants who are not breast-feeding.
- Weak and brittle bones (osteoporosis). When taken with calcium, taking fructo-oligosaccharides might slow down bone loss in older women.
- Travelers’ diarrhea. Taking fructo-oligosaccharides 2 weeks prior to travel does not seem to prevent traveler’s diarrhea.
- Promoting growth of bacteria in the intestine.
- High cholesterol.
- Weight loss.
- Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of fructo-oligosaccharides for these uses.
Fructo-oligosaccharides do not get digested in the body until they reach the colon. In the colon, they are digested by good bacteria. This helps the good bacteria to grow.
When taken by mouth: Fructo-oligosaccharides are POSSIBLY SAFE to take by mouth short-term and in doses of 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: There isn’t enough reliable information to know if fructo-oligosaccharides are safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Children: Fructo-oligosaccharides are POSSIBLY SAFE when added to infant formula or cow’s milk and given to healthy infants in daily doses of up to 4 grams per liter or up to 1 gram per kilogram of body weight. Some infants experience mild bloating, gas, and vomiting.
There are no known interactions with medications. Before taking this product, talk with your health professional if you take any medications.
There are no known interactions with herbs and supplements.
There are no known interactions with foods.
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:
- For constipation: Doses up to 10 grams daily can be used alone or in combination with probiotics.
- For weak and brittle bones (osteoporosis): 3.2 grams of fructo-oligosaccharides plus 800 mg of calcium daily can be used.
- For constipation: Infant formula or cow’s milk fortified with fructo-oligosaccharides has been given to infants ages 6-24 months for 4 weeks. The daily dose of fructo-oligosaccharides was based on infant weight: 6 grams for infants 6.0-8.9 kg, 9 grams for infants 9.0-11.9 kg, and 12 grams for infants over 12.0 kg.
Chicory Inulin Hydrolysate, Complexe d’Oligosaccharide, FOS, Fructo Oligo Saccharides, Fructo-Oligosacáridos, Fructooligosaccharides, Fructo-Oligosaccharides à Courte Chaîne, Inulin Hydrolysate, Oligofructan, Oligofructose, Oligosaccharide Complex, Oligosaccharides, Prebiotic, Prébiotique, SC-FOS, Short Chain Fructo-Oligosaccharides.
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