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Br J Nutr. 2002 May;87 Suppl 2:S187-91.

Non-digestible oligosaccharides and calcium absorption in girls with adequate calcium intakes.

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USDA/ARS Children's Nutrition Research Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Non-digestible oligosaccharides such as inulin and oligofructose have been shown to consistently increase calcium absorption in experimental animals, but data in humans are less clear-cut. The objective of this study was to assess the effect of 8 g/d of oligofructose or a mixture of inulin and oligofructose on calcium absorption in girls at or near menarche. A total of fifty-nine subjects were studied using a balanced, randomized, cross-over design. They received, in random order, 8 g/d placebo (sucrose), oligofructose or the mixture inulin+oligofructose for 3 weeks, separated by a 2-week washout period. Throughout the study, subjects consumed a total of approximately 1500 mg/d dietary calcium, by adding two glasses of calcium-fortified orange juice to their diet. Four grams of placebo, oligofructose or the mixture inulin+oligofructose was added to each glass of orange juice immediately before it was consumed. At the end of each 3-week adaptation period, calcium absorption was measured, using a dual stable isotope technique, from the cumulative fractional excretion of an oral and an intravenous tracer over 48 hours. Calcium absorption was significantly higher in the group receiving the inulin+oligofructose mixture than in the placebo group v. P=0.01), but no significant difference was seen between the oligofructose group and the placebo group v. P=NS). We conclude that modest intakes of an inulin+oligofructose mixture increases calcium absorption in girls at or near menarche.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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