Fibersol-2 may boost bifidobacteria count by almost 40%: ADM study

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images / TLFurrer
© Getty Images / TLFurrer

Related tags Fiber microbiome Prebiotic Adm

Dietary supplementation with Fibersol-2, a fermentable functional fiber, may boost levels of beneficial bifidobacteria levels in the intestine and feces and increase stool bulk, says a new clinical trial.

Twenty-five grams per day of the resistant maltodextrin from ADM/Matsutani increased fecal bifidobacteria counts by 38%, according to findings published in Nutrition Research.

Scientists from the University of Florida and ADM/Matsutani noted that they did not plan to measure objective health outcomes and that “increased bifidobacteria counts by themselves are insufficient for establishing health benefits”​. However, there are numerous studies in the scientific literature to support potential health benefits from bifidogenic prebiotics and Bifidobacterium​ probiotics, they added, including weight management, the alleviation of constipation, and a potential reduction in the number of days with cold and flu.

“It is possible that 25 g of [resistant maltodextrin] with its associated increase in fecal bifidobacteria counts will provide some of the health benefits described by others,” ​wrote the authors.

The ingredient

Fibersol-2 is a digestion-resistant maltodextrin commercialized in a joint venture between ADM and Matsutani LLC.

The soluble dietary fiber be added to dietary supplements and a wide range of foods and beverages, without adding unwanted flavor, texture or color, says the company. The ingredient has been recognized as GRAS (generally recognized as safe) by the FDA.

Study details

Fifty-one healthy adults with inadequate fiber diets were recruited to participate in the double-blind, controlled crossover study. Participants were randomly assigned to consumer 0, 15 g, or 25 g of Fibersol-2 every day for three weeks. This was followed by a two-week “washout” periods before they were crossed over to other intervention groups.

Daily total fiber intakes were found to exceed recommendations for both 15 g and 25 g groups. Analysis of stool samples indicated that stool wet weight was only increased in the 25 gram Fibersol-2 group, and only the 25 gram group experienced significant increases in fecal bifidobacteria counts.

“This is the first study to observe such a change in counts of fecal bifidobacteria with this dose of [resistant maltodextrin] in free-living men and women,” ​wrote the researchers.

“[Resistant maltodextrin] was well tolerated and allowed individuals who typically consume an inadequate fiber diet to exceed recommendations for total daily fiber intake,”​ they added. “Gastrointestinal symptom data suggested that both 15 g and 25 g of [resistant maltodextrin] were fermented, whereas only 25 g of [resistant maltodextrin] resulted in a greater change in bifidobacteria and an increase in stool [wet weight].

“Future studies are needed to identify specific health-promoting benefits that are possibly associated with increased bifidobacteria due to [resistant maltodextrin] consumption.”

Source: Nutrition Research
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2018.09.007
“In healthy adults resistant maltodextrin produces a greater change in fecal bifidobacteria counts and increases stool wet weight: a double-blind, randomized, controlled crossover study”
Authors: A.M. Burns et al.

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