What is the difference between the various prebiotics?
The prebiotics of HiPP’s choice are galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) obtained from lactose. GOS are obtained from lactose (galactose) and are a natural component of breast milk oligo-saccharides.
Benefits of GOS:
- Promoting the formation of a bifidogenic intestinal flora dominated by lactobacilli
- Good tolerability
- Softer stool similar to that of breastfed infants
- Reduction of ph-value in the intestines
- Safe (so called GRAS status by FDA)
HiPP refuses to use fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS), because FOS are obtained from plants (mainly vegetable such as chicory or onions) and thus not similar to breast milk. Breast milk does not contain any vegetable components!
Critical issues in FOS are in particular the observations of negative impact on the intestinal barrier when FOS is fed to animals: Both the intestinal barrier permeability and salmonella enteritidis translocation were increased, indicating a dysfunctional intestinal barrier and irritation of the intestinal mucosa. These observations in rats were less pronounced in human tests on grown males, but still raise the issue of whether FOS should be used at all on such a vulnerable group as babies whose immune system is not yet fully developed (1).
(1) Ten Bruggencate et al. Dietary fructooligosaccharides affect intestinal barrier function in healthy men. J Nutr. 2006 Jan;136(1):70-4