A recommended daily amount of prebiotics for digestive health has not been established. However, experts suggest that an effective amount is probably in the range of 5 to 15 grams per day. American studies suggest that the average intake of inulin from plant foods is about 1 to 4 grams per day. Most foods with added prebiotics from inulin or oligofructose supply about 2 to 4 grams per serving, although some products may contain more. Some of these products may also supply dietary fibre, which can help you reach your daily fibre goal (25-30 grams of dietary fibre is the recommendation). Check the Nutrition Facts panel on a food product to see how much dietary fibre is in one serving.
If you want to increase the amount of prebiotic foods in your diet, it’s a good idea to do so gradually to prevent possible temporary discomforts, such as gas, bloating or cramps, which may occur for some people with intake of more than 10 grams per day. Remember that many prebiotics supply fibre, and fibre intake should be increased slowly, along with taking in adequate amounts of fluid. The type of food and prebiotic ingredient may influence whether you experience side effects. For example, solid foods with prebiotics are often better tolerated than liquids, and foods with inulin may be better tolerated because the prebiotic acts more slowly in the intestines. If you have questions, consult a healthcare professional, such as a registered dietitian, for individual advice about how prebiotics can fit into your healthy lifestyle.