Soluble corn fiber increases bone calcium retention in postmenopausal women in a dose-dependent manner: a randomized crossover trial

Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Sep;104(3):837-43. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.116.132761. Epub 2016 Jul 27.


Background: Dietary soluble corn fiber (SCF) significantly improves calcium absorption in adolescents and the bone strength and architecture in rodent models.

Objective: In this study, we aimed to determine the skeletal benefits of SCF in postmenopausal women.

Design: We used our novel technology of determining bone calcium retention by following the urinary appearance of (41)Ca, a rare long-lived radioisotope, from prelabeled bone to rapidly and sensitively evaluate the effectiveness of SCF in reducing bone loss. A randomized-order, crossover, double-blinded trial was performed in 14 healthy postmenopausal women to compare doses of 0, 10, and 20 g fiber from SCF/d for 50 d.

Results: A dose-response effect was shown with 10 and 20 g fiber from SCF/d, whereby bone calcium retention was improved by 4.8% (P < 0.05) and 7% (P < 0.04), respectively. The bone turnover biomarkers N-terminal telopeptide and osteocalcin were not changed by the interventions; however, a significant increase in bone-specific alkaline phosphatase, which is a bone-formation marker, was detected between 0 and 20 g fiber from SCF/d (8%; P = 0.035).

Conclusion: Daily SCF consumption significantly increased bone calcium retention in postmenopausal women, which improved the bone calcium balance by an estimated 50 mg/d. This study was registered at as NCT02416947.

Keywords: 41Ca; bone calcium retention; bone-specific alkaline phosphatase; postmenopausal women; soluble corn fiber.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Biomarkers / urine
  • Bone Density Conservation Agents / administration & dosage
  • Bone Density Conservation Agents / adverse effects
  • Bone Density Conservation Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Bone Remodeling*
  • Calcium Radioisotopes
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Dietary Fiber / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Fiber / adverse effects
  • Dietary Fiber / therapeutic use*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Food, Fortified* / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Indiana
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoporosis, Postmenopausal / diagnostic imaging
  • Osteoporosis, Postmenopausal / metabolism
  • Osteoporosis, Postmenopausal / prevention & control*
  • Osteoporosis, Postmenopausal / urine
  • Prebiotics / administration & dosage
  • Prebiotics / adverse effects
  • Solubility
  • Whole Body Imaging
  • Zea mays / chemistry*


  • Biomarkers
  • Bone Density Conservation Agents
  • Calcium Radioisotopes
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Prebiotics

Associated data