Mannan-Oligosaccharides (MOS)

Mannan-Oligosaccharides (MOS) are a type of prebiotic fiber derived from the cell walls of certain yeasts, especially baker's yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. MOS have gained increasing attention in nutritional science and the development of dietary supplements in recent years due to their positive effects on gut health and the immune system.

MOS consist of short chains of mannose sugar molecules. They are indigestible, meaning they pass through the small intestine and reach the colon unchanged, where they exert their prebiotic functions.

MOS serve as a food source for beneficial gut bacteria and contribute to maintaining a healthy microbiome. They support the gut's barrier function and can help reduce the risk of intestinal infections. One of the notable properties of MOS is their ability to bind to certain pathogenic bacteria that have mannose-specific adhesion sites. By binding these pathogens, MOS prevents them from attaching to the intestinal wall and causing infections.

Although MOS are widely used in animal nutrition and are increasingly being considered in dietary supplements for adults and older children, they are generally not used in infant nutrition. Instead, other prebiotics such as Fructooligosaccharides (FOS), Galactooligosaccharides (GOS), and Human Milk Oligosaccharides (HMOs) are more commonly used for infant formula. These prebiotics are chosen to mimic the composition and function of the oligosaccharides naturally occurring in breast milk and to promote a healthy microbiome in infants.

The use of prebiotics in infant formula is subject to strict scientific and regulatory standards to ensure safety and appropriateness for this specific age group. MOS, although they have potentially health-promoting properties, are not common for use in infant nutrition and would require careful examination and validation.

In summary, Mannan-Oligosaccharides are interesting prebiotic substances with positive effects on gut health and the immune system, but their role in the nutrition of infants is less clearly defined compared to other established prebiotics like FOS and GOS.