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December 1, 2000
Inulin Supplementation May Increase Calcium Absorption
BOSTON--In a study presented here in August at the World Congress ofPediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, researchers found that adolescentgirls on a high calcium diet may absorb more calcium if the drink issupplemented with inulin.
In a two-month crossover study, 28 girls, between 11 and 14 years old, drankcalcium-fortified orange juice containing either 8 g of the inulin supplement ora placebo for three weeks. After a two-week break, the girls switched regimesfor three weeks.
It was found that the girls absorbed 18-percent more calcium (494 mg from1,500 mg) when drinking the orange juice with inulin; the placebo group onlyabsorbed 416 mg of calcium. However, more research needs to be conducted ongirls with a low-to-medium calcium intake, according to lead researcher StevenAbrams, a professor of pediatrics at Houston-based Baylor College of Medicine(also a U.S. Department of Agriculture and Agricultural Research Servicecenter). Abrams also noted that modest amounts of inulin maintained during anadolescent's growth spurt may have a significant effect on peak bone mass.
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