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JASON W. ARNOLD | Prebiotic galactooligosaccharides on the aging gut



Dietary prebiotics – indigestible carbohydrates that are selectively fermented by gut micro-organisms – are emerging as safe and effective modulators of the gut microbiota. Prebiotic galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) are now included in infant formula, due to their similarity to human milk oligosaccharides, and benefit microbiota modulation during early development. As we age, the composition and function of the gut microbiota changes. A dysbiotic microbiota associated with aging contributes to physiological aberrancies in the gastrointestinal tract. The goal of this study was to assess the impacts of dietary GOS on the aging microbiota and on gastrointestinal physiology. By using an aging mouse model, the team performed a longitudinal dietary study assessing factors including intestinal permeability, inflammation, gene expression, microbiota composition and microbiota functional capacity. Results show that dietary GOS increased the abundance of beneficial micro-organisms, increasing the saccharolytic potential of the microbial community, improving intestinal barrier, increasing mucus production and modulating gene expression. University of North Carolina, USA The pleiotropic effects of prebiotic galactooligosaccharides on the aging gut.