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J Nutr Biochem. 2000 Oct;11(10):500-8.

Fructooligosaccharides enhance mineral apparent absorption and counteract the deleterious effects of phytic acid on mineral homeostasis in rats.

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  • 1Unité de Laboratoire pour l'Innovation dans les Céréales, Riom, France.


Phytic acid (PA) and fructooligosaccharides (FOS) such as inulin are two food components that are able to modify mineral absorption negatively or positively. The influence of PA and FOS on the cecal and apparent mineral absorption as well as on the mineral status (plasma, hepatic, and bone) were investigated in four groups of rats fed one of the experimental diets: a fiber-free (FF) diet, a FF diet containing 7 g/kg PA (FF + PA), a diet containing 100 g/kg inulin (FOS), or a FOS diet containing 7 g/kg PA (FOS + PA). The cecal enlargement together with the acidification of cecal pH in rats adapted to FOS diets led to an improved Ca and Mg cecal absorption. Mineral apparent absorption was significantly enhanced by FOS ingestion (Ca, +20%; Mg, +50%; Fe, +23%; Cu, +45%), whereas PA decreased this factor only for trace elements (Fe, -48%; Zn, -62%; Cu, -31%). These inhibitory effects of a FF + PA diet have repercussions on blood (Mg, -15%; Fe, -12%; transferrin saturation -31%), liver (Mg, -18%; Fe, -42%; Zn, -25%), and bone (Zn, -25%) variables. However, the introduction of FOS into a PA diet counteracted these observed deleterious effects by stimulating bacterial hydrolysis of PA (+60% in rats adapted to FOS + PA compared to those fed the FF + PA diet) and by improving cecal absorption of minerals.

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