Background: In rats, nondigestible oligosaccharides stimulate calcium absorption. Recently, this effect was also found in human subjects.
Objective: The objective of the study was to investigate whether consumption of 15 g oligofructose/d stimulates calcium absorption in male adolescents.
Design: Twelve healthy, male adolescents aged 14-16 y received, for 9 d, 15 g oligofructose or sucrose (control treatment) daily over 3 main meals. The treatments were given according to a randomized, double-blind, crossover design, separated by a 19-d washout period. On the 8th day of each treatment period, 44Ca was given orally with a standard breakfast containing approximately 200 mg Ca. Within half an hour after administration of 44Ca, 48Ca was administered intravenously. Fractional calcium absorption was computed from the enrichment of 44Ca:43Ca and 48Ca:43Ca in 36-h urine samples, which was measured by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry.
Results: An increase in true fractional calcium absorption (%) was found after consumption of oligofructose (mean difference +/- SE of difference: 10.8+/-5.6; P < 0.05, one sided). The results are discussed in relation to the methods used.
Conclusion: Fifteen grams of oligofructose per day stimulates fractional calcium absorption in male adolescents.