Colonic gas homeostasis: Mechanisms of adaptation following HOST-G904 galactooligosaccharide use in humans

Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2017 Sep;29(9). doi: 10.1111/nmo.13080. Epub 2017 Apr 18.


Background: We have shown that a galactooligosaccharide prebiotic administration (HOST-G904) initially increased intestinal gas production and this increase declined back to baseline after 2 week administration. Our aim was to determine the mechanism of microbiota adaptation; i.e., to determine whether the net reduction is due to decreased overall production or increased gas consumption.

Methods: In 10 healthy subjects, intestinal gas production and intraluminal disposal was measured before, at the beginning and after 2 week of HOST-G904 prebiotic administration. Anal gas was collected for 4 hour after a probe meal. Paired studies were performed without and with high-rate infusion of exogenous gas (24 mL/min) into the jejunum to wash-out the endogenous gas produced by bacterial fermentation. The exogenous gas infused was labeled (5% SF6 ) to calculate the proportion of endogenous gas evacuated.

Key results: The volume of intestinal gas produced i.e., endogenous gas washed-out, increased by 37% at the beginning of HOST-G904 administration (P=.049 vs preadministration) and decreased down to preadministration level after 2 week administration (P=.030 vs early administration). The proportion of gas eliminated from the lumen before reaching the anus tended to increase after 2-week administration (87±3% vs 78±5% preadministration; P=.098).

Conclusions & inferences: Adaptation to regular consumption of HOST-G904 prebiotic involves a shift in microbiota metabolism toward low-gas producing pathways, with a non-significant increase in gas-consuming activity. Hence, regular consumption of HOST-G904 regulates intestinal gas metabolism: less gas is produced and a somewhat larger proportion of it is consumed.

Keywords: diet; fiber; gut microbiota; intestinal gas; prebiotics.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / drug effects*
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prebiotics*


  • Prebiotics