Galacto-oligosaccharides are the nutrients necessary for maintaining a healthy microflora in the body. In the human body perform the functions of prebiotics, feeding the beneficial bacteria in the intestine.
In short and simple language, prebiotics are substances (mostly undigested food particles) that stimulate the work of beneficial bacteria in the intestine.
In addition to the “work” in the human body, the properties of prebiotics are used in the food industry to produce products of different categories.
Among the most famous prebiotics:
- galactooligosaccharides (GOS);
- fructooligosaccharides (FOS).
The natural sources of galactooligosaccharides are breast milk and some plants. For the needs of industry, GOS is obtained from a milk base (lactose). The finished product is usually presented in the form of a dry concentrate or syrup.
The role of GOS in the body
Galactooligosaccharides are part of a functional diet. That is, a diet, adhering to which, you can significantly improve the state of health and appearance (nails, hair, skin). GOSy are very useful substances for the human body. Their beneficial effects are felt by most organs and systems.
They are capable of:
- regulate the digestive process;
- to promote the reproduction of lacto-, bifidobacteria, which are beneficial for the body;
- remove harmful bacteria from the intestines;
- regulate intestinal motility;
- to promote more active absorption of beneficial substances (in particular magnesium, phosphorus, calcium);
- improve the synthesis of most vitamins from group B;
- accelerate the passage of food through the digestive tract;
- protect against allergies;
- stabilize cholesterol;
- normalize blood pressure.
In addition, galacto-oligosaccharides are useful for appearance. In particular, it is known that GOSy promote weight loss, relieve acne, improve skin color.
Galactooligosaccharides, or GOS, are carbohydrates that, like insoluble fiber, are not digested by the digestive system. Due to this property, GOS positively affects the intestines, stimulating its work.
But the positive effect of galactooligosaccharides on the intestines is not limited to this. In addition to the special structure, this carbohydrate also has other useful features. In particular, it belongs to the group of prebiotic substances that are responsible for maintaining the correct microflora in the intestine. And the state of the whole organism depends on it: beneficial bacteria that live in the intestines are necessary to maintain immunity, help to resist all kinds of diseases, are necessary for the normal absorption of beneficial substances through the intestinal walls.
Scientists have calculated that an adult needs approximately 15 grams of galacto-oligosaccharides to meet the needs of the body. A third of this portion is spent on ensuring the health of the digestive tract.
But this definition of the daily rate is approximately. More accurate doses depend on the individual needs of the body at different ages. Also, dosage adjustment is necessary against the background of some diseases.
For example, dysbacteriosis, colitis, weakened immunity, allergy and frequent colds are good reasons for increasing galacto-oligosaccharide intake. Persons with hypertension, infants, the elderly, and people after taking antibiotics need to receive GOSov regularly.
Excess or lack of
Observing a balanced diet, you can not worry about the shortage or excess of most nutrients. Otherwise, it is extremely important to listen to the signals that the body sends. When he loses his portion of CES, as a rule, there are constipation and dysbiosis, colitis, bloating are possible. Against the background of insufficient consumption of galacto-oligosaccharides, immunity decreases, B-group hypovitaminosis develops, and skin problems begin. But all these are only external manifestations. In fact, the problems associated with the lack of GOSov, more than serious. This substance serves as food for good intestinal bacteria. Its deficiency leads the correct microflora to the “hunger strike” and activates the reproduction of pathogenic bacteria.
As for the excess of CRP, it is very difficult to “earn” it, since this nutrient does not accumulate in the body. The only problem is possible through the consumption of oligosaccharides, allergies caused by individual intolerance to the substance.
Benefits for children
Maintaining proper intestinal microflora is important from the first days of life. Since this indicator depends on immunity, healthy growth and development of the baby. Moreover, what will be the health in adulthood depends on the quality of nutrition in the first days of life. Prebiotics are capable of ensuring the vitality of the right bacteria. As scientific experience shows, breastfed children have almost no problems with intestinal microflora. Since from the first days of life with mother’s milk, they get the necessary oligosaccharides.
But with the health of babies on artificial feeding is not so simple. The only way to provide infants with an intestinal balance is to feed them with mixtures based on probiotics (live bifidobacteria) or prebiotics (oligosaccharides). Meanwhile, even the latest developments of scientists can not be compared in their effectiveness with breast milk.
When ingested, oligofructose and oligosaccharides pass through the upper sections of the digestive tract in an undigested form. In the same consistency of the substance pass into the colon. Here, the enzymes from the group of lacto-, bifidobacteria affect GOS, FOS, and they begin their new life in the role of prebiotics.
How to interact with other substances
Persons on whose table dairy products regularly appear should not suffer from a shortage of SES. This means that, most likely, these people have normal and other indicators, in particular, some vitamins and nutrients. Where are such conclusions from? It’s simple. Galacto-oligosaccharides help the body absorb calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and proteins better. In addition, maintaining an adequate level of GOSov will help the production of B-group vitamins.
This carbohydrate is a derivative of lactose. This explains why most of the galacto-oligosaccharide source products are from the dairy food group. But the “habitat” of SES is not limited to the limits of the dairy department in the supermarket. This beneficial substance is found in some fruits, cereals, vegetables and herbs.
What is the GOS:
Dairy products: milk (especially breast), kefir, whey, ryazhenka.
Vegetables: Jerusalem artichoke, soybean, garlic, onion, asparagus, tomatoes, leek.
Herbs: chicory, artichoke, dandelion.
Fruits: bananas, mangoes, apples, berries.
Other sources: rye bran, honey.
You can also apply GOS and FOS in the form of syrups, including them in the composition of infant formulas (if intended for children). In this case, 90 percent of prebiotics should be oligosaccharides, 10 percent – oligofructose. The total concentration of the substance is not higher than 8 g of prebiotics per liter of milk.
Also, using the GOS concentrate, it is easy to enrich food for adults:
- dry breakfasts;
- the drinks;
- sports nutrition.
Consumption of foods rich in galacto-oligosaccharides is extremely important for people in old age. Over the years, the concentration of beneficial microorganisms in the intestine decreases, and this leads to a weakening of the immune system. To cope with the problem will help functional nutrition.
In animal husbandry, oligosaccharides have found their use as a useful feed additive.
At first glance it may seem that the microorganisms contained in the intestines are not the most important thing that is worth taking care of a person. Meanwhile, the quality of our life depends on the intestinal microflora. And in order for these small organisms to be good neighbors, it is important to take care of proper feeding for them. Galacto-oligosaccharides are the best choice for this task.