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Nutrition. 2013 Jan;29(1):325-31. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2012.06.010.

Mannitol improves absorption and retention of calcium and magnesium in growing rats.

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Division of Bioscience, Faculty of Agriculture, Okayama University, Okayama, Japan.



Resistant sugars, which have several desirable properties, are often used in food production and the pharmaceutical industry. We evaluated the effects of mannitol on the absorption and retention of calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) in growing rats.


In experiment 1, 4-wk-old growing male Wistar rats were given a control diet (C) or mannitol diets containing 2%, 4%, 6%, or 8% mannitol (2M, 4M, 6M, or 8M, respectively) for 28 d to measure the absorption and retention of Ca and Mg. In the last 7 d of the feeding trial, the non-absorbable marker chromium-mordant cellulose was added to the experimental diets to estimate Ca and Mg absorbability in the intestinal segments. In experiment 2, 9-wk-old growing male Wistar rats were fed for 7 d with the experimental diets (C, 4M, or 8M) to observe cecal parameters.


Apparent Ca absorption and retention in bone were significantly increased by 6M and 8M. Apparent Mg absorption was significantly increased by 4M, 6M, and 8M, whereas Mg retention in bone was significantly increased by 8M. The Ca/Cr and Mg/Cr in cecal digesta were similar in all groups. Fecal Ca/Cr was significantly decreased by 6M and 8M and Mg/Cr was significantly decreased by 4M, 6M, and 8M. In experiment 2, cecal weight and tissue weight were significantly increased by 8M. A significant decrease in pH was concomitant with a significant change in cecal organic acid concentrations after mannitol consumption.


Absorption and retention of Ca and Mg are promoted by mannitol feeding through the fermentation of mannitol in the cecum.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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