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ARS Home » Plains Area » Houston, Texas » Children's Nutrition Research Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #175859


item Griffin, Ian
item Abrams, Steven

Submitted to: Nutrition Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/8/2003
Publication Date: 6/14/2003
Citation: Griffin, I., Hicks, P.M., Heaney, R.P., Abrams, S.A. 2003. Enriched chicory inulin increases calcium absorption mainly in girls with lower calcium absorption. 2003. Nutrition Research, 23 (7): 901-909.

Interpretive Summary: It is vitally important for children to absorb enough calcium from the diet so that they can produce strong bones. This is particularly important during puberty as large amounts of bone growth during this period. We have previously shown that certain non-digestible sugars, such as inulin made from chicory root, can increase the amount of caclium absorbed from the diet. In addition to eating enough calcium in the diet, inulin may improve calcium absorption and lead to increased bone growth. In this study we combined our data from 30 children, with results of a very similar study carried out in Omaha NE. We particularly wanted to find out which children were most likely to benefit from taking inulin in the diet. Children consumed 8g/d inulin (added to orange juice) or an identical looking placebo for 2weeks, then had their calcium absorption measured. Once again we were able to show that calcium absorption was higher after consuming the inulin that after consuming the placebo. Furthermore, those children that showed the greatest benefit were those that had the lowest calcium absorption on placebo. In other words, those children whose natural ability to absorb calcium was the poorest (and therefore at highest risk of poor bone growth) had the largest benefit to consuming inulin. 8 g/d inulin improves calcium absorption, and the most benefit is seen in those children at highest risk of poor bone growth.

Technical Abstract: We have previously shown that consumption of modest amounts of Synergy1 (long-chain inulin enriched with oligofructose) significantly increases calcium absorption in girls. The objective of this study was to determine which subject characteristics are associated with this beneficial effect. Data from our original cohort of 29 girls were combined with those of an additional 25 newly recruited subjects. Calcium absorption was measured twice, in random order, after 3 weeks' adaptation to either 8 g/d Synergy1 or placebo (sucrose), separated by a 2-week washout period, using a dual-tracer stable isotope method. Overall, Synergy1 significantly increased calcium absorption from 33.1% (SD 9.2%) to 36.1% (SD 9.8%, P = 0.027). The most consistent identifiable determinant of a beneficial effect of Synergy1 on calcium absorption was the fractional calcium absorption during the placebo period, with those individuals with lower calcium absorption during the placebo period showing the greatest benefit. Abbreviations: C, Caucasian; H, Hispanic; AA, African American.