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Biomol Ther (Seoul). 2012 Jul;20(4):371-9. doi: 10.4062/biomolther.2012.20.4.371.

Plant cell wall polysaccharides as potential resources for the development of novel prebiotics.

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Chodang Pharmaceutical, Ansan 425-100, Republic of Korea.


Prebiotic oligosaccharides, with a degree of polymerization (DP) of mostly less than 10, exhibit diverse biological activities that contribute to human health. Currently available prebiotics are mostly derived from disaccharides and simple polysaccharides found in plants. Subtle differences in the structures of oligosaccharides can cause significant differences in their prebiotic proper-ties. Therefore, alternative substances supplying polysaccharides that have more diverse and complex structures are necessary for the development of novel oligosaccharides that have actions not present in existing prebiotics. In this review, we show that structural polysaccharides found in plant cell walls, such as xylans and pectins, are particularly potential resources supplying broadly diverse polysaccharides to produce new prebiotics.


Complex polysaccharides; Oligosaccharides; Pectins; Plant cell wall; Prebiotics; Xylans

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