Overview

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.

How does it work ?

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.

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