Mineral Bioavailability

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As chicory fructooligosaccharides modify intestine and colon physiology, it should be asked whether they might influence the nutritional balance of several macro- or micronutrients.

Our recent studies (27) have shown that feeding rats with oligofructose or inulin at the dose of 10% leads to an increased fecal excretion of N, resulting most probably from an increase in fecal bacteria and leading to a decreased urinary excretion of urea and decreased uremia. Such results are in accordance with those obtained with other dietary fibers.

The possible interference of dietary fibers with ion absorption relative to their physiological effects on the small intestine and the colon has regularly been questioned. In a recent experiment in rats fed a diet supplemented with 10% FOS or inulin, we have demonstrated that the balance for Ca, Mg, and Fe is improved (27). This beneficial effect, quite surprising as compared to the effect of dietary fiber, may result from an increased intestinal absorption of the minerals. This effect has also been observed by Levrat et al. (28) in rats fed a diet containing

10% inulin, and by Ohta et al. (29). All showed that in rats fed a diet enriched |

in synthetic fructans the absorption of Ca++, Mg++ and P was significantly ยง

higher than in rats fed a diet supplemented with lactose. They also showed that galactooligosaccharides had no effect. Neither Zn or Cu bioavailability nor lipid If soluble vitamins (A and E) homeostasis was modified by chicory fructooligosac-

charides.

DISCUSSION: NON-DIGESTIBLE OLIGOSACCHARIDES J

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