Current data with inulin-type fructans and calcium, targeting bone health in adults

J Nutr. 2007 Nov;137(11 Suppl):2527S-2533S. doi: 10.1093/jn/137.11.2527s.


In humans, there is increasing evidence that the colon can absorb nutritionally significant amounts of calcium, and this process may be susceptible to dietary manipulation by fermentable substrates, especially inulin-type fructans. Inulin-type fructans can modulate calcium absorption because they are resistant to hydrolysis by mammalian enzymes and are fermented in the large intestine to produce short-chain fatty acids, which in turn reduce luminal pH and modify calcium speciation, and hence solubility, or exert a direct effect on the mucosal transport pathway. Quite a few intervention studies showed an improvement of calcium absorption in adolescents or young adults by inulin-type fructans. In the same way, a positive effect has been reported in older women.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biological Availability
  • Calcification, Physiologic / drug effects*
  • Calcification, Physiologic / physiology
  • Calcium* / metabolism
  • Calcium* / pharmacokinetics
  • Calcium* / physiology
  • Calcium, Dietary / administration & dosage
  • Calcium, Dietary / metabolism*
  • Calcium, Dietary / pharmacology
  • Female
  • Fructans / metabolism
  • Fructans / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Absorption / drug effects
  • Inulin / pharmacology
  • Inulin / physiology*
  • Middle Aged


  • Calcium, Dietary
  • Fructans
  • Inulin
  • Calcium