1991 Volume 10 Issue 2 Pages 135-144
Soybean oligosaccharide extract (SOE) containing galactooligosaccharides like raffinose and stachyose has a sweet taste similar to that of sucrose. When ingested, these galactooligosaccharides are neither digested nor absorbed, but promote the growth of bifidobacteria in the human intestine. It therefore has the potential to be an alternative sweetener in dietary treatment for metabolic disorders. However, the indigestible oligosaccharides, in general, often cause diarrhea when taken beyond a specific amount. To determine the maximum non-effective dose (NEDmax) and the 50% effective dose (ED50) of SOE on diarrhea, we conducted a single blind comparative study on 106 adult healthy volunteers with an average age of 29±12 years. They were randomly chosen to ingest either SOE in a concentration 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, or 10 times the standard dose of 0.16g/kg body weight, or the equivalent proportions of sucrose as the control. The NEDmax was found to be 0.64g/kg for males and 0.96g/kg for females, while the ED50 was 0.88g/kg for men and 2.41g/kg for women. These values assure, for both genders, that man can ingest SOE at least four times the standard dosage per ingestion without intestinal disturbances.