Galacto-Oligosaccharides (GOS)

Galacto-Oligosaccharides (GOS) are prebiotic fibers found in natural sources, however in insufficient concentration for all prebiotic effects [1][2]. NATVIE Healthcare uses Galacto-Oligosaccharides (GOS) in its products, produced by enzymatic biosynthesis of lactose from cow milk, allowing a maximum concentration of at least 90%.

GOS are carbohydrates which are classified as non-digestible oligosaccharide (NDO) [3]. NDOs constitute one of the most important ingredients in foods, providing not only important nutritional value and organoleptic quality but also functional properties beneficial to human health and well-being [4].

GOS are not digested by human enzymes but fermented by the probiotics of the large intestine, selectively supporting the growth mostly of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium [26]. Additional positive effects are increasing the abundance of beneficial bacteria Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, Propionibacterium freudenreichii, Akkermansia muciniphila and Roseburia intestinalis [20]. Another positive effects are inhibiting the growth of pathogenic bacteria such as, Helicobacter pylori, Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhimurium, Listeria monocytogenes, Bacteroides species and Clostridium species, and also yeast pathogens of the genus Candida [20][27][28][29][32]. Fermentation of GOS results in multiple groups of metabolites (of which short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) are the major group), and mostly increased propionate and butyrate production [6]. SCFAs play a crucial role in human health [7].


Modulation of gastrointestinal microbiota, stimulation of probiotic growth [9][20][26]
Decreased intestinal pH [9]
Increase levels of SCFAs [6][9]
Inhibition of pathogens in the intestinal flora [10][13][20][27][28][31]
Improving lipid profiles, including the reduction in serum/plasma total cholesterol,
LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, increment HDL cholesterol. Reduces markers of metabolic syndrome [34][35]
Improved mineral and vitamin absorption [10][31]
Prevention of intestinal infection and extra intestinal infections [30]
Regulate the intestinal immune system and reinforce the intestinal barrier, positive effect on immune respons [26][29][31]
Prevent colorectal cancer [31][36]
Modulate bowel function [33]
Effects in a intestinal disorders like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), ulcerative colitis (UC) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) [36]
Prevention of obesity [36]


[1] Health Effects and Sources of Prebiotic Dietary Fiber; Current Developments in Nutrition, Volume 2, Issue 3, March 2018
[2] Prebiotics: Definition, Types, Sources, Mechanisms, and Clinical Applications; Foods 2019, 8(3), 92; Probiotics and Functional Foods
[3] Neuroprotective Potential of Non-Digestible Oligosaccharides: An Overview of Experimental Evidence, Frontiers in Pharmacology, 23 August 2021
[4] Food Oligosaccharides. Production, Analysis and Bioactivity by F. Javier Moreno and María Luz Sanz, Preface; May 2014
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[7] Short-chain fatty acids activate acetyltransferase p300; eLife 2021;10:e72171
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[20] Functional Oligosaccharides: Chemicals Structure, Manufacturing, Health Benefits, Applications and Regulations by Osama O. Ibrahim; Functional Oligosaccharides: Chemicals Structure, Manufacturing, Health Benefits, Applications and Regulations; Journal of Food Chemistry & Nanotechnology
[26] Dietary modulation of the human colonic microbiota: updating the concept of prebiotics by Glenn R. Gibson, Hollie M. Probert, Jan Van Loo, Robert A. Rastall and Marcel B. Roberfroid; Nutrition Research Reviews (2004), 17, 259–275
[27] Dietary modulation of the human colonic microbiota: updating the concept of prebiotics by Glenn R. Gibson, Hollie M. Probert, Jan Van Loo, Robert A. Rastall and Marcel B. Roberfroid; Food Microbial Sciences Unit, School of Food Biosciences, The University of Reading, Reading, UK
[28] High purity galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) enhance specific Bifidobacterium species and their metabolic activity in the mouse gut microbiome by A. Monteagudo-Mera, J.C. Arthur, C. Jobin, T. Keku, J.M. Bruno-Barcena and M.A Azcarate-Peril; Benef Microbes. 2016; 7(2): 247–264. Published online 2016 Feb 3.
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Vikas Sangwan, S.K. Tomar, R.R.B. Singh, A.K. Singh, Babar Ali; Journal of Food Science Volume 76,  Issue 4, Pages: viii-vii, R103-T124 May 2011
[30] A formula containing galacto- and fructo-oligosaccharides prevents intestinal and extra-intestinal infections: An observational study by Eugenia Bruzzese, Monica Volpicelli, Veronica Squeglia, Dario Bruzzese, Filippo Salvini, Massimo Bisceglia, Paolo Lionetti, Mario Cinquetti, Giuseppe Iacono, Sergio Amarri h, Alfredo Guarinoa; Clinical Nutrition 28 (2009), Pages 156–161
[31] Prebiotic–Probiotic Relationship: The Genetic Fundamentals of Polysaccharides Conversion by Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus Genera byPenka Petrova and Kaloyan Petrov; Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia, Bulgaria; Food Bioconversion, Chapter 7 (pp.237-278), July 2017
[32] Sangwan, V, Tomar, S K, Ali, B, Singh, R R B, Singh, A K. Galactooligosaccharides reduce infection caused by Listeria monocytogenes and modulate IgG and IgA levels in mice. International Dairy Journal. 2015;41:58-63.
[33] Galacto-oligosaccharides and bowel function by Leena Niittynen, Kajsa Kajander and  Riitta Korpela; Scand J Food Nutr. 2007 Jun; 51(2): 62–66.
[34] Effect of Prebiotic Galacto-Oligosaccharides on Serum Lipid
Profile of Hypercholesterolemics by Arooj Hashmi, Naureen Naeem, Zubair Farooq, Saima Masood, Sanaullah Iqbal, Rahat Naseer; Published in Probiotics and Antimicrobial Proteins March 2016, 8:19–30
[35] A Mixture of trans-Galactooligosaccharides Reduces Markers of Metabolic Syndrome and Modulates the Fecal Microbiota and Immune Function of Overweight Adults by Jelena Vulevic,  Aleksandra Juric,  George Tzortzis,  Glenn R. Gibson Author Notes; The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 143, Issue 3, March 2013, Pages 324–331,
[36] Healthy effects of prebiotics and their metabolites against intestinal diseases and colorectal cancer by Javier Fernández, Sául Redondo-Blanco, Elisa M. Miguélez, Claudio J. Villar, Alfonso Clemente, and Felipe Lombó; AIMS Microbiology, 1(1): 48-71.
[37] Prebiotics: Definition, Types, Sources, Mechanisms, and Clinical Applications by Dorna Davani-Davari, Manica Negahdaripour, Iman Karimzadeh, Mostafa Seifan, Milad Mohkam, Seyed Jalil Masoumi, Aydin Berenjian and Younes Ghasemi. Foods 2019, 8, 92;