Xylooligosaccharide Prebiotic Improves Gut Flora in Pre-Diabetic Subjects, Study Suggests


Researchers at UCLA found PrecticX may modify gut microbiota in both healthy and over-weight populations.

Photo © iStockphoto.com/iLexx

Photo © iStockphoto.com/iLexx

People with abnormal glucose levels often have a different gut microbial makeup than healthy people. But a recent study1 suggests PrecticX, an xylooligosaccharide (XOS) prebiotic from AIDP (City of Industry, CA), may offer benefits to gut flora in both pre-diabetic and healthy people.

Researchers at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) found that participants consuming 2 g/day of PrecticX for eight weeks experienced dramatic shifts to four bacterial taxa associated with abnormal glucose levels. While three bacteria taxa considered harmful were reduced as a result of XOS supplementation, the abundance of one separate, beneficial bacteria species increased after XOS supplementation, says AIDP. The effect was observed in both healthy people and over-weight people with unhealthy blood glucose levels

Jennifer Gu, PhD, vice president of research and development for AIDP, notes the while consumers should be aware of the effect good gut flora can have on digestive health, they should also understand that feeding gut microbes with prebiotics, like PrecticX, can yield the “maximum health benefit.”

“Advancing scientific research continues to demonstrate that balanced gut microbiota is essential for digestive function, and that an unhealthy balance in the gut is a precursor to digestive issues and immune dysfunction,” says Gu.

Gu adds that the new study is an “important follow-up” to a 2014 study, also conducted at UCLA, which demonstrated the mechanism of action, safety, and efficacy of PrecticX.2


Study Details

The new, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial included 13 pre-diabetic participants aged 30-63 and 16 healthy participants aged 21-49. For eight weeks, participants were randomized to receive either 2 g/day XOS or a placebo. Researchers evaluated the prebiotic’s effect by comparing baseline and 8-week measurements of body composition, oral glucose tolerance test, and stool sample composition.

XOS supplementation was found to significantly decrease abundance of Howardella, Enterorhabdus, and Slackia-all bacterial taxa associated with pre-diabetes-in both healthy and pre-diabetic participants taking XOS. Additionally, XOS supplementation was found to increase abundance of the species Blautia hydrogneotrophica in the pre-diabetic group, which had shown low levels of the species at baseline when compared to the healthy group.

XOS consumption also demonstrated a tendency to reduce oral glucose tolerance test 2-h insulin levels in the pre-diabetes group. However, researchers observed no XOS effect on body composition, serum glucose, triglyceride, or satiety hormones.

“This is the first clinical observation of modification of the gut microbiota by XOS in both healthy and Pre-DM [pre-diabetes] subjects in a pilot study,” concluded researchers. “Prebiotic XOS may be beneficial in reversing changes in the gut microbiota during the development of diabetes.”


Read more:

New Prebiotic Ingredient Suitable for Small Doses?

Repurposing Ingredient By-product: PrecticX

Prebiotic Ingredients: Nondigestible Oligosaccharides


Michael Crane
Associate Editor
Nutritional Outlook Magazine


1. Yang J et al., “Xylooligosaccharide supplementation alters gut bacteria in both health and prediabetic adults: a pilot study,” Frontiers in Physiology. Published online August 7, 2015.

2. Finegold SM et al., “Xylooligosaccharide increases bifidobacteria but not lactobacilli in human gut microbiota,” Food & Function, vol. 5, no. 3 (March 2014): 436-45

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