Dietary Fiber and Prebiotics: Health Benefits.
The health benefits of dietary fiber have long been valued. Increased dietary fiber intake is associated with less cardiovascular disease, and fiber plays a role in gut health, and many effective laxatives actually isolate the fiber source. Higher fiber intake is associated with weight loss. Initially only polysaccharides were included in dietary fiber, but recent definitions include oligosaccharides as dietary fibers, not based on their chemical measurements as dietary fibers through the accepted Total Dietary Fiber method, but based on their physiological effects.
Inulin, oligofructose and other oligosaccharides are included in the fibers of the US food label. In addition, oligosaccharides are the most famous "probiotics", a selective fermentation component that allows for specific changes in the composition and/or activity of the gastrointestinal microflora to benefit the health and well-being of the host. Earwax is a carbohydrate compound, primarily an oligosaccharide, known to resist digestion in the human small intestine and reach the colon where it is fermented by the intestinal microflora. Studies have shown that inulin and oligofructose, lactulose and resistant starch meet all aspects of definition, including stimulation of bifidobacteria, a beneficial bacterial genus. Other isolated carbohydrates and carbohydrate-containing foods, including galactooligosaccharides, galactooligosaccharides, polydextrose, wheat dextrin, gum arabic, Trichoderma, banana, whole wheat, and whole grains Corn is also beneficial.