Galacto Oligosaccharide (oligolactose)
Posting Date : Nov 05, 2012 GMT
Galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS), also known as oligogalactosyllactose, oligogalactose, oligolactose or transgalactooligosacchariden (TOS), belong, because of their indigestible nature, to the group of prebiotics. Prebiotics are defined as non-digestible food ingredients that beneficially affect the host by stimulating the growth and/or activity of beneficial bacteria in the colon. GOS naturally occurs in human milk, and commercial available products are broadly used in food for both infants and adult, ranging from infant formula to biscuits to food for the critical ill. They are widely recognized as the non-digestible carbohydrates that occur naturally in human milk. Moreover they can be manufactured from lactose through enzymatic conversion.
Because of the configuration of their osidic bonds, galactooligosaccharides resist hydrolysis by salivary and intestinal digestive enzymes. Therefore they reach the colon virtually intact.The human intestine contains about 300-500 different species of bacteria that can be divided into health-promoting ones, like Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli and into harmfull ones like Clostidia. Galacto-Oligosaccharides (GOS) belong to the group of prebiotics which are defined as non-digestible food ingredients that beneficially affect the host by stimulating the growth and/or activity of beneficial bacteria in the colon. The increased activity of these health promoting bacteria results in a number of health related benefits both directly by the bacteria itself or indirectly by the organic acids they produce via fermentation. Examples of potential health promoting benefits are inhibition of the growth of harmfull bacteria, stimulation of the immune functions, absorption of essential nutrients and syntheses of certain vitamins.
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