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.
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