Novel fibers show bone health potential: Study

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Dextrin and soluble fibers from corn may boost bone mineral content and offer a novel ingredient for the bone health market, suggests a study from Tate & Lyle and Purdue.

Rat were fed one fiber from a range of eight soluble and insoluble fibers, and the results showed that soluble corn fiber and soluble fiber dextrin produced the most benefits after 12 weeks of feeding, according to findings published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry​.

“The ultimate goal of a functional food fiber with respect to bone health is increasing resistance to fracture,”​ explained researchers led by Purdue’s Connie Weaver.

“Both the novel soluble fibers SFD and SCF significantly increased the force required to break femurs by more than 8 percent. This was achieved through increased total BMD, cortical area, and cortical thickness,”​ they added.

Study details

Weaver and her co-workers tested the potential bone health benefits of eight fibers and compared them with cellulose. The tested fibers included two types of resistant starch (insoluble fibers), soluble corn fiber, soluble fiber dextrin, polydextrose, pullulan (all Tate & Lyle), inulin, and a combination of inulin and fructooligosaccharides (both inulin and the inulin-FOS mix were supplied by Beneo-Orafti). All the fibers replaced cornstarch by 10 percent in the animals’ diets.

At the end of 12 weeks, the researchers report that both resistant fibers, the dextrin and the polydextrose increased the calcium content of the animals’ bones. On the other hand,

There were only weak associations between the fibers and the production of short-chain fatty acids, said the researchers.

“Most of the fibers had some advantage for mineral utilization. [The resistant starches], dextrin, polydextrose, inulin, and inulin/FOS increased femoral bone calcium content over cellulose,” ​report the researchers.

“The inulin/FOS blend had the expected benefits to calcium absorption and bone uptake.

“The most effective fibers were the soluble fibers, soluble corn fiber and soluble fiber dextrin […] Further study on the effects of soluble corn fiber, soluble fiber dextrin, and polydextrose on bone health is warranted in humans,”​ they concluded.

Source: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Volume 58, Number 16, Pages 8952-8957, doi: 10.1021/jf904086d
“Novel Fibers Increase Bone Calcium Content and Strength beyond Efficiency of Large Intestine Fermentation”
Authors: C.M. Weaver, B.R. Martin, J.A. Story, I. Hutchinson, L. Sanders

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