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Functional food properties of non-digestible oligosaccharides: a consensus report from the ENDO project (DGXII AIRII-CT94-1095)

  • Jan Van Loo (a1), John Cummings (a2), Nathalie Delzenne (a3), Hans Englyst (a2), Anne Franck (a1), Mark Hopkins (a2), Nadine Kok (a3), George Macfarlane (a2), Dorothy Newton (a2), Michael Quigley (a2), Marcel Roberfroid (a3), Trinette van Vliet (a4) and Ellen van den Heuvel (a4)...

Abstract

This paper results from the final phase of the ENDO project (DGXII AIRII-CT94-1095), a European Commission-funded project on non-digestible oligosaccharides (NDO). All participants in the programme met to perform a consensus exercise on the possible functional food properties of NDO. Topics studied during the project (including a workshop on probiotics and prebiotics) and related aspects, for which considerable evidence has been generated recently, were evaluated on the basis of existing published scientific evidence. There was a general consensus that: (1) there is strong evidence for a prebiotic effect of NDO in human subjects. A prebiotic effect was defined as a food-induced increase in numbers and/or activity predominantly of bifidobacteria and lactic acid bacteria in the human large intestine; (2) there is strong evidence for the impact that NDO have on bowel habit; (3) there is promising evidence that consumption of inulin-type fructans may result in increased Ca absorption in man; (4) there are preliminary indications that inulin-type fructans interact with the functioning of lipid metabolism; (5) there is preliminary evidence in experimental animals of a preventive effect against colon cancer. Human nutrition studies are needed to substantiate these findings. It was concluded that the nutritional properties of NDO may prove to be a key issue in nutritional research in the future.

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Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Dr Jan Van Loo, fax +32 16 801308, email jvl@rafti.eunet.be

References

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