2265 North Clybourn Avenue    Chicago, IL 60614    P: 773.296.6700     F: 773.296.1131

Knowledge Base

Welcome to our extensive library of articles on health concerns and ailments, alternative therapies, nutritional supplements, and much more. Please mouse over the letters to get started. We hope you enjoy browsing.

FOS (Fructo-oligosaccharides)

What Is It?

Fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) are nondigestible dietary fibers that help to keep the stomach and bowels healthy. They do this by nourishing and promoting the naturally present, “friendly” bacteria (Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli in particular) capable of warding off infection in the digestive system. Because of these properties FOS is considered a “prebiotic.” Quite popular in Japan, such prebiotics have just started to become available in the United States.

Products known as “Probiotics” are also gaining in popularity. These are actually live microbial foods found in various foods; the acidophilus in yogurt is a commonly recognized probiotic. Both prebiotics and probiotics can modify the composition of intestinal bacteria in beneficial ways.

FOS may benefit people who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, a mysterious and often painful digestive disorder that can cause alternating bouts of diarrhea and constipation. The exact cause of this condition remains to be determined, but bacterial infection is one possibility. FOS’s prebiotic action may help by restoring order in the bowel and controlling symptoms. In addition, preliminary research indicates that both prebiotics and probiotics may help protect the digestive tract from cancerous growths. More research is needed, however.

Natural food sources of FOS include onions, garlic, and asparagus. FOS capsules, however, provide high concentrations of a purified form of this dietary fiber.

General Interaction

There are no known drug or nutrient interactions associated with FOS.


FOS supplements appear to be quite safe, although some users experience unpleasant stomach cramps, gas, or bloating when they first start taking them.


Flatulence – 2,000 mg twice a day

Irritable Bowel Syndrome – 2,000 mg a day with meals

Yeast Infection (vaginal) – 2,000 mg twice a day

For product recommendations and orders click here for the Natural Apothecary or call 773-296-6700, ext. 2001.

Leave a Comment

  1. Karen Stroup says:

    Since oligosaccharides are not digested, can they cause problems for kids with suspected “leaky gut syndrome” who are on a gluten-free, casein-free diet?

  2. Dr E says:

    These are okay for kids who are sensitive to dairy and gluten even with a diagnosis of leaky gut
    Dr E

  3. Beaumont Muni says:

    Read a real good detailed study here from the journal of nutrition at http://jn.nutrition.org/content/136/1/70.full. It’s fairly technical, but interesting. There is no strong support for this conclusion. It is true that it doesn’t get digested through the small intestine but it also may cause some effects in the large intestine since in helps both the good and bad bacteria in the large intestine. The conclusion of the study is thus: “We conclude that the adverse effects of FOS on the resistance to intestinal infections in our animal studies and the present human intervention study do not support the concept that stimulating the endogenous microflora and intestinal organic acid production by rapid fermentation of nondigestible carbohydrates is beneficial for the intestinal barrier in humans.”

Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, delicious and time-saving recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!


Health Tips

Dr. Edelberg’s Health Tips contain concise bits of advice, medical news, nutritional supplement and pharmaceutical updates, and stress relief ideas. With every Health Tip, you’ll also receive an easy, delicious, and healthful recipe.

When you sign up to receive Health Tips, you can look forward to Dr. Edelberg’s smart and very current observations arriving in your in-box weekly. They’re packed with helpful information and are often slightly irreverent. One of the most common responses to the tips is “I wish my doctor talked to me like this!”

Quick Connect

Get One Click Access to our


The Knowledge Base


Patient education is an integral part of our practice. Here you will find a comprehensive collection of staff articles, descriptions of therapies and nutritional supplements, information addressing your health concerns, and the latest research on nutritional supplements and alternative therapies.

Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, delicious and time-saving recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!


Upcoming Workshops

The Next Lyme Academy Begins
Tuesday, October 4, 5:30-7 pm
Here’s a special invitation for patients of Dr. Kelley who are currently being treated for Lyme disease. Dr. Kelley’s new, four-week Lyme Academy starts on October 4, continuing over the following three Tuesdays.


Awakened Body, Quiet Mind
An innovative workshop series for relieving mind/body stress and tapping into your true power and natural health.
4 Group Sessions with Meghan Roekle, PsyD
Four meetings using a unique combination of embodiment meditation and mental inquiry for deep healing.
Thursdays from 6:00-8:00pm; beginning October 20th

Recent Health Tips

  • Tired All The Time? Useful Info and Two Supplements

    Tired All The Time? Useful Info and Two Supplements

    As you might expect, fatigue is a fairly common reason people visit doctors. Feeling tired is vague symptom and can be linked to dozens of possible diagnoses, plus there’s a need to differentiate between physical fatigue and mental fatigue (brain fog) or consider both. When …Read More »
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers!

    Invasion of the Body Snatchers!

    I’d been reading Ally Hilfiger’s new autobiography Bite Me: How Lyme Disease Stole My Childhood, Made Me Crazy, and Almost Killed Me, preferring the Lyme parts to those devoted to fashion and her MTV “Rich Girl” series. Her symptoms were typical of chronic Lyme and …Read More »

October Sale: 20% Off Urban Moonshine Products


All Urban Moonshine products are 20% off for the entire month of October!

Urban Moonshine creates beautiful herbal formulas that focus on prevention, improving quality of life, and empowering people to create home herbal apothecaries.  More>>