Formula Milk : What are prebiotics, GOS, lcFOS and probiotics?

 Benefits of prebiotics, GOS, icFOS and other component in the formula milk in Singapore

You may have come across these scientific terms when purchasing your formula milk for your children. Here is a brief description of each one of them. You may search online or consult your doctor for detailed functions of each of these nutrition.


Prebiotics are defined as non-digestible food ingredients that are beneficial to the digestive system of infants and children. It stimulates the growth and / or activity of limited number of beneficial bacteria in the colon which can help to improve the health.

Prebiotics can improve digestion and mineral absorption. It also helps to increase the strength and effectiveness of the immune system of the infants and children.


GOS is short for galactooligosaccharides. Some infant formula milk will state that it contains GOS instead of prebiotics. But GOS is actually one of the prebiotics. Galactooligosaccharides is also known as TOS (transgalactooligosaccharides).

GOS benefits the bowel function by stimulating the growth and activity of the beneficial bacteria in the colon. It can help to increase defecation frequency and hence it can help to prevent constipation in the children and infants.


lcFos is short for long chain fructo-oligosaccharides. It is also one of the prebiotics.

lcFos in infant formula milk has a similar function to GOS in helping the digestive system.


Probiotics in the formula milk is another group of compound that benefit infant or children's digestive system.

Probiotics are live micro-organism that remains intact throughout the digestive process. Probiotics benefits the digestive system through the delivery of the healthy bacteria to the large intestines.

Probiotics may help to reduce the chance of contracting diarrhea.

It may also benefit the infant or children who suffer from lactose intolerance.

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