Probiotic microorganisms are ingested as food or supplements and impart positive health benefits to consumers. Previous studies have indicated that probiotics transiently reside in the gastrointestinal tract and, in addition to modulating commensal species diversity, increase the expression of genes for carbohydrate metabolism in resident commensal bacterial species. In this study, it is demonstrated that the human gut commensal species Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron efficiently metabolizes fructan exopolysaccharide (EPS) synthesized by probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri strain 121 while only partially degrading reuteran and isomalto/malto-polysaccharide (IMMP) α-glucan EPS polymers. B. thetaiotaomicron metabolized these EPS molecules via the activation of enzymes and transport systems encoded by dedicated polysaccharide utilization loci specific for β-fructans and α-glucans. Reduced metabolism of reuteran and IMMP α-glucan EPS molecules may be due to reduced substrate binding by components of the starch utilization system (sus). This study reveals that microbial EPS substrates activate genes for carbohydrate metabolism in B. thetaiotaomicron and suggests that microbially derived carbohydrates provide a carbohydrate-rich reservoir for B. thetaiotaomicron nutrient acquisition in the gastrointestinal tract.