Why is it So Important to Feed Friendly Colon Bacteria with FOS
|Why is it So Important to Feed Friendly Colon Bacteria with Fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS)?||Darrell Miller||08/09/11|
August 09, 2011 01:42 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (email@example.com)
Subject: Why is it So Important to Feed Friendly Colon Bacteria with Fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS)?
Fructo-oligosaccharides refer to short chains of fructose molecules. They belong to a group of complex carbohydrates that pass the small intestine relatively undigested but serve as a source of nutrition for friendly bacteria found in the colon. Through bacterial fermentation, they are converted into bioactive compounds. Due to their positive effects on human health, experts classify them as functional foods.
Intestinal flora comprises a group of bacteria that have been identified to be beneficial to health. They colonize the gut since birth. They play an important role in promoting healthy digestion and providing the body a steady supply of nutrients that are otherwise excreted along with waste materials. In food and drug industries, they are known as probiotics, and they rely on non-digestible foods for nutrition.
Some organic compounds referred to as dietary fiber are fructo-oligosaccharides. They are present in almost all plant-based food products, though they are most abundant in fruits and vegetables such as bananas and leeks. As they are thought to be healthier than table sugar, they are extensively utilized as natural sweeteners and added to beverages, including sports drinks and carbonated beverages.
Nutrition experts and medical professionals categorize fructo-oligosaccharides as prebiotics, which is defined as food ingredients that allow specific changes in the composition of the intestinal microflora and confer health benefits and well being. Extensive scientific research has come to a conclusion that polymer chains of fructose make excellent prebiotics and encouraged consumptions of their sources.
In addition to being a common sweetener in food and drug industries, fructo-oligosaccharides are sold at higher concentrations in pill form. In particular, they are a popular nutritional supplement in Japan since the Japanese government dubbed it a special nutrition food in the 1990s. Test tube studies have shown that they exert a direct effect on the growth of many known strains of friendly colon bacteria.
Friendly bacteria are responsible for keeping healthy levels of fermented products in the bowels, such as lactic acid, lactase, and vitamin K, among others. These nutrients are processed from dietary fiber, most notably inulin and oligofructan, both of which are fructo-oligosaccharides. The presence of fiber in the diet is helpful to the process of digestion partly due to the fact they nourish friendly bacteria.
Inulin and oligofructan have been reported to increase the population of gut flora. For one, harmful bacteria are not capable of utilizing these fructo-oligosaccharides as they do not possess the enzymes required to break them down. On the other hand, friendly bacteria have long been observed to feed on inulin and oligofructan. This limits the population of harmful strains, resulting in healthier gut flora.
Numerous bacterial strains manufacture natural antibiotics that kill harmful bacteria, which are often incriminated in the development of digestive problems. Fructo-oligosaccharides contribute to the upkeep of the bowels and prevent gastrointestinal infections as they increase the number of friendly colon bacteria.