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Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2003;43(1):19-60.

Nutritional responses to the presence of inulin and oligofructose in the diets of domesticated animals: a review.

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  • 1Department of Animal Sciences, Division of Nutritional Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801, USA.


Inulin and oligofructose are prebiotic oligosaccharides fermented in the large intestine. This article provides an extensive review of the effects of these oligosaccharides on gastrointestinal characteristics (microflora, pathogen control, epithelial cell proliferation, putrefactive compound production, fecal characteristics, and nutrient digestibility) and systemic metabolism of carbohydrates, nitrogen, lipids, and minerals in dogs, cats, horses, calves, pigs, poultry, and rabbits. In addition, intake of inulin and oligofructose and considerations in their supplementation to animal diets are discussed. Growth performance and meat production in livestock in response to inulin and oligofructose supplementation are addressed. Finally, the possible substitution of antibiotics with fructans in animal diets and directions for future research are presented.

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