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Diet Fortified With Prebiotic Fiber Improves Bone Health

May 9, 2011: 04:38 AM EST
U.S. researchers examining the effects of different doses of the prebiotic fibers known as galactooligosaccharides (GOS) on bone health found in a rat study that GOS was associated with increased absorption of calcium and magnesium and, in turn, increased bone density. The rats were fed a normal diet enriched with two, four, six or eight percent GOS, or no GOS, for eight weeks. The GOS was found to decrease pH in the upper large intestine and increase bifidobacteria concentrations. As the dose of GOS increased, so did absorption of calcium. Absorption of magnesium also increased, but this was not dose-dependent. Analysis of bone density found increases at several skeletal sites. The researchers concluded that “GOS seem to have potential to contribute to improved peak bone mass and strength.”
Connie M. Weaver, et al., "Galactooligosaccharides Improve Mineral Absorption and Bone Properties in Growing Rats through Gut Fermentation", Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, May 09, 2011, © American Chemical Society
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