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What is FOS?

Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) are oligosaccharides found naturally in plants such as onion, chicory, garlic, asparagus, banana, artichoke and many others. They are composed of linear chains of fructose units, connected by beta bonds (2-1). The number of fructose units varies from 2 to 60 and often ends with a glucose unit.

FOS are not digested until they reach the colon. In the colon, they are digested by the good bacteria, helping to multiply them, which is why they are used as prebiotics. Prebiotics act as food for probiotics (good bacteria).


What are the benefits of FOS?

  • They are prebiotics
Because they are not digestible, FOS travel intact through the small intestine to the colon (large intestine), where they support the growth of healthy bacteria in the digestive tract.
  • It can protect against unhealthy bacteria
FOS helps suppress Clostridium perfringens, a toxic bacterium associated with food poisoning. A study reported in the Journal of Nutrition indicated that FOS may also offer some protection against salmonella.
  • It can lower cholesterol levels
FOS is able to reduce both weight and cholesterol levels.
  • Good source of fiber
FOS are a good source of soluble dietary fiber. According to a study, reported in Nutrients magazine, FOS has been shown to reduce or eliminate constipation.



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