Prebiotic XOS95 products hitting shelves later this summer as Prenexus ramps up science program

By Stephen Daniells contact

- Last updated on GMT

Prenexus' XOS is derived from non-GMO sugar cane grown. Image © Getty Image / lzf
Prenexus' XOS is derived from non-GMO sugar cane grown. Image © Getty Image / lzf

Related tags: Prebiotics, XOS, xylooligosaccharides

Prenexus Health is ramping up its science program for its sugarcane-derived XOS (xylo-oligosaccharides), with the goal of running three to five new studies every year, said the company’s CEO.

Speaking with NutraIngredients-USA following the first publication in a peer-review journal of a study using the company’s XOS95 ingredient, Mike Bush, Prenexus CEO, said finished products containing the ingredient are expected to hit store shelves later this summer, including a beverage and a dietary supplement.

The company’s XOS, which is branded XOS95, is derived from non-GMO organic sugar cane grown in California’s Imperial Valley.


The new study, which was published in Beneficial Microbes​,​ indicated that the sugarcane XOS95 led to increases in Bifidobacterium adolescentis​ and an unidentified Bifidobacterium​ species.

“The observed increases in two bifidobacterial species in the current experiments show the prebiotic potential of XOS from sugarcane,” ​wrote scientists from Maastricht University and Keller Consulting Group.

“Because the definition of prebiotics includes a health benefit for the host, these effects should be replicated in a human clinical trial, and should be associated with health benefits, before XOS from sugarcane can really be considered a prebiotic. This will also indicate whether the changes will be observed under more realistic conditions, e.g. in the presence of other carbohydrates from the diet.”

Prebiotics are defined as “a substrate that is selectively utilized by host microorganisms conferring a health benefit”​ (ISAPP, published in Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology,​ 2017, Vol 14, pp. 491–502).

Bush told us that while this is not the first study performed with the ingredient, it is the first to be published. The other studies were pilots, which allowed the company to fine tune it’s research targets. Studies coming down the pipe focus on endpoints such as cholesterol, blood glucose, and immunity, he said.

Study details

The new study used the validated, dynamic, computer-controlled in vitro​ model of the colon (TIM-2) simulating human adults. The scientists tested the sugarcane XOS at three different doses (1.0 g/day, 1.5 g/day and 3.0 g/day) in two sets of experiments, each with a different microbiota used in the model.

After running both experiments for 72 hours, the date indicated that XOS led to consistent dose-dependent increases in abundance over time of Bifidobacteria​. Additional analysis revealed that the effects were specific to B. adolescentis​ and an unidentified species.

Results showed that the XOS led to increases in lactate, which is a known product of Bifidobacteria​.

Intestines gut health © Getty Images TLFurrer
© Getty Images / TLFurrer

“Lactate is considered an intermediate metabolite, and only accumulates if fermentation is fast,” ​wrote the researchers. “If fermentation is slow, it is converted into acetate, propionate or butyrate. Butyrate is considered to be one of the most important metabolites produced by the gut microbiota since it is a substrate for colonocytes.

“And, although bifidobacteria primarily produce acetate and lactate, other members of the gut microbiota can use either acetate or lactate through cross-feeding and convert these into butyrate. The fact that XOS feeding leads to similar amounts of butyrate as produced on the control medium, indicates that XOS may contribute to gastrointestinal health as a good substrate for production of butyrate,” ​they added.

The researchers concluded: “The results show the potential prebiotic effect of XOS from sugarcane, by its capacity to generate butyrate and increase the health-beneficial bifidobacteria.”

Source: Beneficial Microbes
11 (2)- Pages: 191–200, doi: 10.3920/BM2019.0159
“Xylo-oligosaccharides from sugarcane show prebiotic potential in a dynamic computer-controlled in vitro model of the adult human large intestine”
Authors: K. Venema et al.

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