Galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) is a type of long-chain carbohydrate that is produced naturally through the enzymatic conversion of lactose, especially in cow’s milk. GOS is comprised of beta(β) linked galactose units, with galactose or glucose on the reducing end. GOS are best-known for their prebiotic properties, meaning that they act as a substrate for the growth of beneficial bacteria, like Bifidobacterium in the gut. The natural source of GOS is cow’s milk or human breast milk.
Galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) Benefits and Uses
Anaerobic bacteria make up an essential component of the human intestinal tract and colon. It has been estimated that, in the colon, there exist (10)^12 bacterial cells per gram of intestinal content. Thus, the human colon makes up the largest habitat for several bacterial species on Earth. Important genera include Bifidobacterium, Bacteroides, Clostridium, and Faecalibacterium, among several others. It has been noted that the human gut microbiome is essential for supporting a healthy immune system, along with promoting healthy cognition.
When GOS is taken orally, it is not digested in the stomach and passes directly to the colon. Here, GOS acts as a substrate for the growth and support of healthy gut bacteria – it acts as a prebiotic. Research suggests an increasing need for prebiotic support supplements since the industrialization of the food supply has reduced the biodiversity of gut bacteria.
Galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) is known by a number of alternative names including:
As a dietary supplement, Galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) are recognized for their role in maintaining gut health. Galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) are generally regarded as safe when consumed at a dose of <10g/day.
Special Warning: Excessive consumption of Galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) ( > 20g/day) can cause gastrointestinal disturbances such as diarrhea, flatulence, bloating, and stomach cramps.
Warning: Do not use this supplement without first consulting your doctor, if you are taking any medication, or have any underlying medical conditions. There is insufficient research to support the use of Galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) supplementation during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Therefore, the use of Galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) should be avoided if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Do not exceed the recommended serving size.