Fructo-Oligosaccharides

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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.

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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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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Reviewed on 3/29/2011 12:35:40 PM

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