The use of nondigestible oligosaccharides to manage the gastrointestinal ecosystem

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The gastrointestinal tract represents a small, complex ecosystem that has several distinct habitats. Exclusive use of parenteral nutrition has shown that dietary inputs are critical to maintain the structural components (physical, chemical, and biotic features) and functional elements (transfer of energy and materials) of the gastrointestinal ecosystem. Similar to other ecosystems, the gastrointestinal ecosystem is responsive to the types and amounts of dietary inputs. Nondigestible oligosaccharides (NDO) are recognized as a vital component of a healthy diet. Supplementing diets with NDO increases the densities of lactic acid producing bacteria and provides numerous health benefits. These include enhanced enteric and systemic immune functions, increased energy and nutrient availability, inhibition of pathogen growth, reduced risk of carcinogenesis, and improved levels and profiles of serum lipids. This review describes how the various types of NDO can be used as 'management tools' to beneficially affect the bacteria resident in the gastrointestinal ecosystem and thereby enhance health during development and in healthy and diseased states. There is a need to better understand how variation among the gastrointestinal ecosystems of different species, individuals, and age groups, particularly the resident bacteria, influences the responses to different amounts and types of NDO.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-15
Number of pages7
JournalMicrobial Ecology in Health and Disease
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 11 2001

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Oligosaccharides
Ecosystem
ecosystem
bacterium
Bacteria
diet
structural component
nutrient availability
Energy Transfer
Parenteral Nutrition
Insurance Benefits
energy
nutrition
serum
pathogen
lipid
Gastrointestinal Tract
Lactic Acid
Carcinogenesis
Age Groups

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)

Cite this

The use of nondigestible oligosaccharides to manage the gastrointestinal ecosystem. / Buddington, Randal.

In: Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease, Vol. 13, No. 1, 11.04.2001, p. 9-15.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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