Background: In many developed countries, magnesium and calcium intakes do not reach recommendations for a large part of the population. Mineral water may be a useful alternative source of dietary minerals, especially in groups of people at risk for developing deficiency due to low intakes.
Aim: To assess if the addition of a natural and mineral-rich water increased small bowel mineral absorption in people with ileostomy.
Methods: A controlled randomised crossover study with two periods of two days each and a minimum 5 days of washout was performed in six ileostomy subjects. Apparent mineral absorption from 0.5 L of natural mineral water with either a high or a low mineral content consumed in the fasting state was compared. The daily addition of minerals corresponded to 2.3mmol magnesium, 6.9 mmol calcium and 7.7mmol sulphate. Ileostomy effluents were sampled and analysed for magnesium, calcium and total sulphate.
Results: When compared with the control, the median absorbed amount of magnesium increased from 0.8 (0-1.34) mmol/d to 1.2 (0.8-1.9) mmol/d,which corresponded to a 30% increase (P = 0.028). Median amount of calcium absorbed increased from 8.3 (6.7-13.6) mmol/d to 14.8 (8.3-20.4) mmol/d, i. e. a 45% increase (P = 0.027). The sulphate absorption increased from 1.9 (1.3-2.2) mmol/d to 5.1 (4.2-6.8) mmol/d,which corresponded to 197 % increase (P = 0.028).
Conclusions: The mineral-rich water increased absorption of both magnesium and calcium and can therefore be used as an additional source of minerals. However, consumption with meals may be preferred.