Fructooligosaccharide (FOS) and Galactooligosaccharide (GOS) Increase Bifidobacterium but Reduce Butyrate Producing Bacteria with Adverse Glycemic Metabolism in healthy young population

Sci Rep. 2017 Sep 18;7(1):11789. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-10722-2.


The gut microbiota has been implicated in glucose intolerance and its progression towards type-2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Relevant randomized clinical trial with prebiotic intervention was inadequate. We sought to evaluate the impact of fructooligosaccharides (FOS) and galactooligosaccharides (GOS) on glycemia during oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) and intestinal microbiota. A randomized double-blind cross-over study was performed with 35 adults treated with FOS and GOS for 14 days (16 g/day). Faeces sampling, OGTT and anthropometric parameters were performed. Short-term intake of high-dose prebiotics had adverse effect on glucose metabolism, as in FOS intervention demonstrated by OGTT (P < 0.001), and in GOS intervention demonstrated by fasting glucose (P < 0.05). A significant increase in the relative abundance of Bifidobacterium was observed both in FOS and GOS group, while the butyrate-producing bacteria like Phascolarctobacterium in FOS group and Ruminococcus in GOS group were decreased. A random forest model using the initial microbiota was developed to predict OGTT levels after prebiotic intervention with relative success (R = 0.726). Our study alerted even though FOS and GOS increased Bifidobacterium, they might have adverse effect on glucose metabolism by reducing butyrate-producing microbes. Individualized prebiotics intervention based on gut microbiome needs to be evaluated in future.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bifidobacterium / metabolism*
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Butyrates / metabolism*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oligosaccharides* / pharmacokinetics
  • Oligosaccharides* / pharmacology
  • Prebiotics*
  • Ruminococcus / metabolism*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Butyrates
  • Oligosaccharides
  • Prebiotics
  • fructooligosaccharide