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Benefits of Fructo-Ogliosaccharides for Kids’ Gut Health

Research has shown that 70% of the immune system is in the gut, so the condition of our kids’ gut health is crucial to their overall well-being [12].

Medically Reviewed by May Zhu, RDN | Published April 11, 2024

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Fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) are gaining recognition for their potential health benefits, particularly in supporting gut health in kiddos. FOS occurs naturally in various foods such as bananas, berries, carrots, making it possible to incorporate them into the kiddo's diet through whole foods. In this blog post, we'll explore the benefits of FOS for kids’ gut health. 

Promoting Beneficial Gut Bacteria 

Fructo-oligosaccharides serve as a prebiotic, meaning they provide nourishment for beneficial bacteria in the gut, such as Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli. By stimulating the growth of these friendly microbes, FOS helps maintain a balanced gut microbiome, which is essential for digestive health.

Bowel Regularity

Studies have shown that FOS supplementation can improve bowel regularity and stool consistency in kiddos. By increasing the frequency and ease of bowel movements, FOS can help alleviate constipation symptoms and promote overall digestive comfort.

Begin Health Expert Tip

Begin Health’ Daily Growing Up Prebiotics contains inulin fiber from the chicory root plant, which is a type of oligosaccharide.  Studies have shown that kids who consume prebiotic fiber such as those found in chicory root fiber see improved regularity and less-painful poops from constipation in just six weeks of daily use. 

Boosting Immune Function

A healthy gut microbiome plays a crucial role in supporting the immune system, and FOS may contribute to this by fostering the growth of beneficial bacteria. By enhancing immune function, FOS may help reduce the risk of infections and support overall well-being in kiddos.

Supporting Nutrient Absorption

A balanced gut microbiome is essential for optimal nutrient absorption, and FOS can contribute to this by promoting a healthy gut environment. By enhancing nutrient absorption, FOS may support overall growth and development in little ones.

Research Insights

  • A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that FOS supplementation increased the abundance of beneficial gut bacteria in children, including  Bifidobacteria. These changes in gut microbiota composition were associated with improvements in bowel habits and digestive comfort.

  • Another study published in the European Journal of Nutrition demonstrated that FOS supplementation improved stool frequency and consistency in kiddos with functional constipation. The researchers observed a significant reduction in constipation symptoms following FOS treatment, highlighting its potential as a natural way to support digestive issues in kids.

Summary

Fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) offer numerous benefits for kiddos, including promoting gut health, enhancing bowel regularity, boosting immune function, and supporting nutrient absorption. 

References

  1. Benninga MA, Faure C, Hyman PE, et al. Childhood Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: Neonate/Toddler. Gastroenterology. 2016;150(6):1443-1455.
  2. Lohner S, Kullenberg D, Antes G, Decsi T, Meerpohl JJ. Prebiotics in healthy infants and children for prevention of acute infectious diseases: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Nutr Rev. 2014;72(8):523-531.
  3. Vandenplas Y, Zakharova I, Dmitrieva Y. Oligosaccharides in infant formula: more evidence to validate the role of prebiotics. Br J Nutr. 2015;113(9):1339-1344.
  4. Xiao L, Van't Land B, Engen PA, et al. Human milk oligosaccharides protect against the development of autoimmune diabetes in NOD-mice. Sci Rep. 2018;8(1):3829.

View Citation

Markowiak-Kopeć, P., & Śliżewska, K. (2017c). Effects of Probiotics, Prebiotics, and Synbiotics on Human Health. Nutrients, 9(9), 1021.https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9091021

Hojsak, I. (2017). Probiotics in Children: What Is the Evidence? Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition, 20(3), 139.https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9091021

Depoorter, L., & Vandenplas, Y. (2021). Probiotics in Pediatrics. A Review and Practical Guide. Nutrients, 13(7), 2176.https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9091021

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