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Front Physiol. 2015 Aug 7;6:216. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2015.00216. eCollection 2015.

Xylooligosaccharide supplementation alters gut bacteria in both healthy and prediabetic adults: a pilot study.

Author information

Center for Human Nutrition, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA, USA.
Infectious Diseases Section, VA West Los Angeles Medical Center Los Angeles, CA, USA.
Department of Statistics Core, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA, USA.
MR DNA Molecular Research LP Shallowwater, TX, USA.
Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics, University of California Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA, USA.



It has been suggested that gut microbiota is altered in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) patients.


This study was to evaluate the effect of the prebiotic xylooligosaccharide (XOS) on the gut microbiota in both healthy and prediabetic (Pre-DM) subjects, as well as impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) in Pre-DM.


Pre-DM (n = 13) or healthy (n = 16) subjects were randomized to receive 2 g/day XOS or placebo for 8-weeks. In Pre-DM subjects, body composition and oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) was done at baseline and week 8. Stool from Pre-DM and healthy subjects at baseline and week 8 was analyzed for gut microbiota characterization using Illumina MiSeq sequencing.


We identified 40 Pre-DM associated bacterial taxa. Among them, the abundance of the genera Enterorhabdus, Howardella, and Slackia was higher in Pre-DM. XOS significantly decreased or reversed the increase in abundance of Howardella, Enterorhabdus, and Slackia observed in healthy or Pre-DM subjects. Abundance of the species Blautia hydrogenotrophica was lower in pre-DM subjects, while XOS increased its abundance. In Pre-DM, XOS showed a tendency to reduce OGTT 2-h insulin levels (P = 0.13), but had no effect on body composition, HOMA-IR, serum glucose, triglyceride, satiety hormones, and TNFα.


This is the first clinical observation of modifications of the gut microbiota by XOS in both healthy and Pre-DM subjects in a pilot study. Prebiotic XOS may be beneficial in reversing changes in the gut microbiota during the development of diabetes.


NCT01944904 (


diabetes; gut; microbiota; prediabetic; xylooligosaccharide

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