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Effects of Fructooligofructoses Chain Length on the Bifidobacteria of the Human Colon: A Pilot Study

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DOI: 10.4236/fns.2012.312211    3,763 Downloads   5,401 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Human gastrointestinal health may be improved by the consumption of prebiotic food ingredients such as fructooligo-fructoses. A study was initiated to determine the effect of fructooligofructoses of different chain lengths on gastrointes-tinal parameters. Nineteen healthy subjects aged 20 - 57 y took part in a 10-week cross-over designed study. Subjects consumed either inulin or oligofructose for 3 weeks followed by a 2-week washout period between treatments. Stool samples were collected five times (baseline, 2 treatments, 2 washout) and analyzed for bifidobacteria. Daily records were kept for stool frequency, stool consistency and flatulence frequency. Bifidobacteria counts (cfu/ml) were higher (trending toward significance) during inulin and oligofructose intakes (1.2 × 107 ± 4.8 × 107 and 2.0 × 108 ± 4.7 × 108) and washout periods (2.9 × 106 ± 6.5 × 106 and 1.1 × 107 ± 1.6 × 107) than baseline counts (2.2 × 105 ± 5.1 × 105 and 2.9 × 106 ± 6.5 × 106), respectively. Inulin and oligofructose treatment periods had a significant effect on stool consistency (watery/very hard) and flatulence frequency, but not stool frequency, when compared to baseline (P < 0.05). Further research is needed to confirm these results due to small sample size and the need for a longer washout period between treatments.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

K. Mendlik, J. Albrecht and M. Schnepf, "Effects of Fructooligofructoses Chain Length on the Bifidobacteria of the Human Colon: A Pilot Study," Food and Nutrition Sciences, Vol. 3 No. 12, 2012, pp. 1615-1618. doi: 10.4236/fns.2012.312211.

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