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Effects of oligofructose-enriched inulin on intestinal absorption of calcium and magnesium and bone turnover markers in postmenopausal women

  • Leah Holloway (a1), Sharon Moynihan (a1), Steven A. Abrams (a2), Kyla Kent (a1), Andrew R. Hsu (a1) and Anne L. Friedlander (a1)...
Abstract

Deficiency of oestrogen at menopause decreases intestinal Ca absorption, contributing to a negative Ca balance and bone loss. Mg deficiency has also been associated with bone loss. The purpose of the present investigation was to test the hypothesis that treatment with a spray-dried mixture of chicory oligofructose and long-chain inulin (Synergy1; SYN1) would increase the absorption of both Ca and Mg and alter markers of bone turnover. Fifteen postmenopausal women (72·2 (sd 6·4) years) were treated with SYN1 or placebo for 6 weeks using a double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over design. Fractional Ca and Mg absorption were measured using dual-tracer stable isotopes before and after treatment. Bone turnover markers were measured at baseline, 3 and 6 weeks. Fractional absorption of Ca and Mg increased following SYN1 compared with placebo (P < 0·05). Bone resorption (by urinary deoxypyridinoline cross-links) was greater than baseline at 6 weeks of active treatment (P < 0·05). Bone formation (by serum osteocalcin) showed an upward trend at 3 weeks and an increase following 6 weeks of SYN1 (P < 0·05). Closer examination revealed a variation in response, with two-thirds of the subjects showing increased absorption with SYN1. Post hoc analyses demonstrated that positive responders had significantly lower lumbar spine bone mineral density than non-responders (dual X-ray absorptiometry 0·887 ± 0·102 v. 1·104 ± 0·121 g/cm2; P < 0·01), and changes in bone turnover markers occurred only in responders. These results suggest that 6 weeks of SYN1 can improve mineral absorption and impact markers of bone turnover in postmenopausal women. Further research is needed to determine why a greater response was found in women with lower initial spine bone mineral density.

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Corresponding author
*Dr Anne L. Friedlander, fax +1 650 849 0535, friedlan@stanford.edu
References
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British Journal of Nutrition
  • ISSN: 0007-1145
  • EISSN: 1475-2662
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