If you think of garlic, yacon root, blue agave, onion, leeks, bananas, asparagus, chicory roots or even Jerusalem artichokes, then you should be thinking of fructooligosaccharides. That is since these plants all contain fructooligosaccharides. Fructooligosaccharides is a sort of carbohydrates that is called oligosaccharides. More so, fructooligosaccharides are composed of short fructose chains.
Fructooligosaccharides are subtly sweet and low-calorie. They are not digestible, so they do not have an effect on blood sugar levels. Fructooligosaccharides could additionally have many health benefits.
The best foods that contain fructooligosaccharides are blue agave, chicory root, garlic, onions and Jerusalem artichokes. For instance, blue agave is available as a nectar you can dilute in water and drink. However, you can moreover use blue agave full strength as a syrup. Then again, chicory root is commonly used as a non-caffeinated substitute beverage for coffee.
Besides foods, you can also opt for supplements to get access to fructooligosaccharides. These supplements are normally an added ingredient in prebiotic supplements available in capsule and pill forms.
The health benefits of fructooligosaccharides
Fructooligosaccharides does offer several possible health benefits, even though it has some side effects. That is since fructooligosaccharides could help to sweeten your food. On the other hand, most importantly, fructooligosaccharides is a prebiotic. More so, as fructooligosaccharides is not digestible, they travels intact through the small intestine to the colon (namely the large intestine), where they support the growth of healthy bacteria in the digestive tract.
Fructooligosaccharides could also help to protect against unhealthy bacteria. That is since fructooligosaccharides aids in suppressing Clostridium perfringens, a toxic bacteria associated with food poisoning. There are also some studies that indicated that the use of fructooligosaccharides could help to fight off salmonella, which is another food-borne illness.
Fructooligosaccharides could also help to decrease cholesterol levels. Although the studies are limited to research on the effects of rats and dogs, the results seems promising for humans. That is since the animal studies showed that fructooligosaccharides is effective of reducing weight and cholesterol levels in rats and dogs.
In addition, there has been some research that has indicated that fructooligosaccharides is not linked to cancer and not toxic to humans.
Fructooligosaccharides is also a great source of fiber. More so fructooligosaccharides is soluble, dietary fiber. This means that fructooligosaccharides could reduce or even eradicate constipation.
The side effects and risks of fructooligosaccharides
Fructooligosaccharides could lead to abdominal distress for some people. The possible side effects could be diarrhea, gas, bloating or even stomach cramps.
The abdominal distress that fructooligosaccharides could cause is that of abdominal bloating, cramps, diarrhea and loose stool.
Since fructooligosaccharides could led to increased gut problems, people with irritable bowel syndrome or IBS in short, could experience some negative effects. Conversely, people with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth syndrome could also have the same problems.
The bottom line
Fructooligosaccharides have many health benefits, although the research on it is still a bit lacking. In addition, there is no daily-recommended dosage.
The problem is even fructooligosaccharides is overused. That is since fructooligosaccharides could lead to some gastric problems, particularly in people with existing gut problems like those with irritable bowel syndrome.
Although it should be stated, that in moderate use, the benefits of fructooligosaccharides outweighs the negative effects. However, it should also be stated again that the research is lacking. Still what is known is that fructooligosaccharides is safe to be used by humans and should be added to your diet.