A prospective randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, dose-response relationship study to investigate efficacy of fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) on human gut microflora.
Sci Rep. 2019 Apr 2 ;9(1):5473. Epub 2019 Apr 2. PMID: 30940833
Fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS), a prebiotic supplement, is known for its Bifidogenic capabilities. However, aspects such as effect of variable quantities of FOS intake on gut microbiota, and temporal dynamics of gut microbiota (transitioning through basal, dosage, and follow-up phases) has not been studied in detail. This study investigated these aspects through a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, dose-response relationship study. The study involved 80 participants being administered FOS at three dose levels (2.5, 5, and 10 g/day) or placebo (Maltodextrin 10 g/day) during dosage phase. Microbial DNA extracted from fecal samples collected at 9 intervening time-points was sequenced and analysed. Results indicate that FOS consumption increased the relative abundance of OTUs belonging to Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus. Interestingly, higher FOS dosage appears to promote, in contrast to Maltodextrin, the selective proliferation of OTUs belonging to Lactobacillus. While consumption of prebiotics increased bacterial diversity, withdrawal led to its reduction. Apart from probiotic bacteria, a significant change was also observed in certain butyrate-producing microbes like Faecalibacterium, Ruminococcus and Oscillospira. The positive impact of FOS on butyrate-producing bacteria and FOS-mediated increased bacterial diversity reinforces the role of prebiotics in conferring beneficial functions to the host.