It has been indicated that probiotics can be nourished by consuming prebiotics in order to function more efficiently, allowing the bacteria to stay within a healthy balance. In this study, we investigated the effects of xylooligosaccharides- (XOS-) enriched rice porridge consumption on the ecosystem in the intestinal tract of human subjects. Twenty healthy subjects participated in this 6-week trial, in which 10 subjects received XOS-enriched rice porridge while the others received placebo rice porridge. Fecal samples were collected at the end of weeks 0, 1, 3, 4, 6, and 7 for microorganism examination. The results showed that 6-week daily ingestion of the XOS-enriched rice porridge induced significant increases in fecal bacterial counts of Lactobacillus spp. and Bifidobacterium spp., as well as decreases in Clostridium perfringens without changing the total anaerobic bacterial counts, compared to that of placebo rice porridge. However, fluctuations in the counts of coliforms were observed in both groups during the 6-week intervention. In conclusion, the intestinal microbiota balance was improved after daily consumption of 150 g of rice porridge containing XOS for 6 weeks, demonstrating the prebiotic potential of XOS incorporated into foods. This also indicates the effectiveness of XOS as a functional ingredient in relation to its role as a prebiotic compound.
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