Potential of Fructooligosaccharides and Xylooligosaccharides as Substrates To Counteract the Undesirable Effects of Several Antibiotics on Elder Fecal Microbiota: A First in Vitro Approach

J Agric Food Chem. 2018 Sep 12;66(36):9426-9437. doi: 10.1021/acs.jafc.8b02940. Epub 2018 Aug 30.


Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) and xylooligosaccharides (XOS) were employed as substrates for in vitro fermentations to assess their capacity to counteract the effects caused by three antibiotics (ABs) at different doses on the elderly gut microbiota and its metabolic activity. The AB type and dose scarcely affected the total bacterial numbers and the microbiota composition after 24 h. However, in the presence of ABs, the relative percentages of Lactobacillus decreased (from 11.4% to 3.2% in the presence of XOS1), as well as the butyrate production, whereas the population of Bacteroides increased significantly in the presence of XOS1 (from 27.5% to 55.7%). FOS were able to counteract these effects by increasing the butyrate production and the number of Lactobacillus, while maintaining the number of Bacteroides almost constant and decreasing the clostridia. XOS2 (mainly DP = 2-4) also showed ability to increase the percentages of Bifidobacterium and the production of both butyrate and acetate.

Keywords: antibiotics; elderly; fructooligosaccharides; gut microbiota; in vitro fermentation; xylooligosaccharides.

MeSH terms

  • Acetates / metabolism
  • Aged
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / adverse effects*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Bacteria / classification
  • Bacteria / drug effects
  • Bacteria / genetics
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification*
  • Butyric Acid / metabolism
  • Eucalyptus / chemistry*
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Fermentation
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / drug effects*
  • Glucuronates / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Lactobacillus / metabolism
  • Oligosaccharides / metabolism*
  • Plant Extracts / metabolism*
  • Prebiotics / analysis


  • Acetates
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Glucuronates
  • Oligosaccharides
  • Plant Extracts
  • Prebiotics
  • fructooligosaccharide
  • xylooligosaccharide
  • Butyric Acid