Inulin and fructooligosaccharide affect in vitro calcium uptake and absorption from calcium-enriched gluten-free bread

Food Funct. 2016 Apr;7(4):1950-8. doi: 10.1039/c6fo00140h.


Compromised intestinal calcium absorption affecting a deterioration of bone state is a sign of coeliac disease. Experimental calcium-fortified gluten-free bread (GFB) of improved calcium bioavailability could increase calcium content in the diets of coeliac disease patients, allowing them to obtain the amount of calcium they need for therapeutic use. Prebiotics, including inulin-type fructans (IFs) have a beneficial effect on calcium bioavailability. In the present study, the in vitro model composed of the intestinal-like Caco-2 cells and the human intestinal bacteria (Lactobacillus, Enterococcus and Enterobacteriaceae) were used to analyse the effect of inulin and fructooligosaccharide (FOS) of different chain lengths, on calcium uptake and absorption from experimental GFB. Analysed IFs, especially short-chain FOS, significantly (p < 0.05) increased cellular calcium uptake from GFB digest and stimulated the intestinal bacteria applied in the cultures to the intensive synthesis of organic acids. In particular, the concentration of butyric, valeric and lactic acids increased significantly. Similarly, in the calcium absorption experiment, IFs increased the cellular calcium retention but concomitantly reduced its content in basolateral filtrates. The results obtained suggest that the applied IFs affected differentially calcium uptake and absorption from the experimental calcium-enriched GFB, therefore a further study is needed to assess whether these observations made in vitro contribute to IF effects on calcium absorption from experimental GFB in vivo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biological Availability
  • Bone and Bones / metabolism
  • Bread / analysis*
  • Caco-2 Cells
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Celiac Disease / genetics
  • Celiac Disease / metabolism*
  • Celiac Disease / physiopathology
  • Diet, Gluten-Free
  • Food, Fortified / analysis
  • Glutens / adverse effects
  • Glutens / analysis
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Absorption*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Inulin / metabolism*
  • Oligosaccharides / metabolism*


  • Oligosaccharides
  • fructooligosaccharide
  • Glutens
  • Inulin
  • Calcium