Ingredients > Galacto-Oligosaccharides

Galacto-Oligosaccharides: Top Health Benefits For A Healthy Lifestyle

What Is Galacto-Oligosaccharides?

While it may be a mouthful to say, galacto-oligosaccharides refer to the nondigestible carbohydrates that are able to resist your gastrointestinal and digestive enzymes. In other words, galacto-oligosaccharides are nondigestible fiber — and they happen to have prebiotic capabilities.1 

As you may already know, prebiotics are essential to feed and fuel probiotics. So, while prebiotics are made up of fibrous material your body is unable to digest, they get into your digestive tract whole and make themselves useful as your “good gut bugs’” (or probiotics’) primary food source.2

Galacto-oligosaccharides is the collective word for the group of carbs composed of oligo-galactose. They contain both lactose and glucose. And while they can be commercially produced from lactose and β-galactosidase, they can also occur naturally in human milk.3,4 

Galacto-oligosaccharides are produced by glycoside hydrolases. They use lactose as a substrate.5

History Of Galacto-Oligosaccharides

Now, oligosaccharides take form from monosaccharides through chemical synthesis and by the action of different mineral acids. This process is called “reversion.” Essentially, reversion is the production of oligosaccharides during the acidic hydrolysis of lactose. Reversion was initially observed in the early 1950s.6 

But it wasn’t until 1995 that Japan made galacto-oligosaccharides commercially available. Today, you’ll often see galacto-oligosaccharides in infant formulas and other conventional foods.7

In the European Union, the safety of galacto-oligosaccharide was reviewed by the Scientific Committee on Food in 2003 and was approved for use in infants. Then, in 2008, galacto-oligosaccharides also received a “no questions” letter from the Food And Drug Administration, recognizing their status as a safe ingredient.8



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