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Functional food properties of non-digestible oligosaccharides : a consensus report from the ENDO project (DGXII AIRII-CT94-1095)

Author: Loo, J. van · Cummings, J. · Delzenne, N. · Englyst, H. · Franck, A. · Hopkins, M. · Kok, N. · Macfarlane, G. · Newton, D. · Quigley, M. · Roberfroid, M. · Vliet, T. van · Heuvel, E. van den
Institution: Centraal Instituut voor Voedingsonderzoek TNO
Source:British Journal of Nutrition, 81, 121-132
Identifier: 71306
Keywords: Nutrition · Functional foods · Non-digestible oligosaccharides · Prebiotics · Calcium · Fructan · Inulin · Mineral · Oligosaccharide · Probiotic agent · Calcium absorption · Carcinogenesis · Chemoprophylaxis · Clinical trial · Colon cancer · Digestion · Gastrointestinal tract · Human · Immunology · Intestine function · Lactic acid bacterium · Lactobacillus bifidus · Large intestine · Lipid metabolism · Meta analysis · Mineral balance · Nonhuman · Nutritional health · Animals · Colon · Dietary Carbohydrates · Dietary Fats · European Union · Feces · Fermentation · Humans · Intestinal Absorption · Intestinal Neoplasms · Minerals · Oligosaccharides · Probiotics · Rats · Animalia · Bacteria (microorganisms) · Bifidobacterium bifidum · Lactobacillus


This paper results from the final phase of the ENDO project (DGXII AIRII-CT94-1095), a European Commission-funded project on non-digestible oligosaccharides (NDO). All participants in the programme met to perform a consensus exercise on the possible functional food properties of NDO. Topics studied during the project (including a workshop on probiotics and prebiotics) and related aspects, for which considerable evidence has been generated recently, were evaluated on the basis of existing published scientific evidence. There was a general consensus that: (1) there is strong evidence for a prebiotic effect of NDO in human subjects. A prebiotic effect was defined as a food induced increase in numbers and/or activity predominantly of bifidobacteria and lactic acid bacteria in the human large intestine; (2) there is strong evidence for the impact that NDO have on bowel habit; (3) there is promising evidence that consumption of inulin-type fructans may result in increased Ca absorption in man; (4) there are preliminary indications that inulin-type fructans interact with the functioning of lipid metabolism; (5) there is preliminary evidence in experimental animals of a preventive effect against colon cancer. Human nutrition studies are needed to substantiate these findings. It was concluded that the nutritional properties of NDO may prove to be a key issue in nutritional research in the future.